January 13, 2015

Seeded Multi-Grain Bread

It's been a while since I've baked bread. In fact, I can't guarantee I've baked bread in our new house yet ... and we've been living here since August. This wouldn't be significant, but I don't tend to purchase bread because I bake it instead. I still haven't been buying much bread, so we've been lacking in that department lately.

On the bright side, a fresh loaf of homemade bread tastes much better after a couple months without one. It makes you appreciate how good homemade bread is. So I can't say this Cooking Light recipe is spectacular, but to our deprived taste buds, it tastes quite good. It's probably not a favorite for me, but it's worth repeating for its ease of preparation despite the time commitment. Start a day ahead of when you want your bread.

Seeded Multi-Grain Bread
6 oz. whole wheat pastry flour, divided
1 1/2 tsp. dry yeast, divided
1 1/4 cups warm water, divided
Dash of sugar
2 1/4 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 egg white, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp. rolled oats
2 Tbsp. flax seed
2 Tbsp. sunflower seeds

Combine 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour with 1/4 tsp. yeast. Whisk in 3/4 cup warm water. Cover loosely, and let stand 8 to 24 hours.

To make bread after the 8 to 24 hours, combine remaining 1 1/4 tsp. yeast, remaining 1/2 cup warm water and sugar in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Let stand 5 minutes. Combine using the whisk with the starter mixture.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine remaining flours and salt. Stir in yeast mixture, and use the bread hook until dough forms into a smooth ball pulling away from the sides of the bowl. Place dough in greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size.

Turn dough onto lightly floured surface, and pat into an 8-inch square. Working with one corner at a time, pull dough into center to form a ball. Repeat the process one more time of flattening into a square and shaping a ball. Roll the dough to tighten the ball. Return dough, seem side up, to the greased bowl. Cover, and let rise 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 450°F with a pizza stone or heavy baking sheet in the middle rack and a jelly-roll pan on the bottom rack. Gently invert dough onto a baking sheet or pizza paddle liberally sprinkled with flour. Gently brush dough with beaten egg white, and sprinkle with oats and seeds. Gently slide dough onto pizza stone. Pour 1 cup water into jelly-roll pan. Bake 30 minutes or until loaf is golden brown, and a thermometer inserted into the center registers 205°F. Cool on rack for 1 hour before slicing. Makes 1 loaf.

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