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multigrain bread

January 4, 2012

When I finally ran out of my reserves of whole wheat bread, there was only one thing to do. Okay, so actually there were several things I could’ve done–for example, gone out to buy bread from a store like a normal person.

However, I had recently journeyed to Ocean State Job Lot. Have you ever been there? It kinda creeps the life out of me with all those off-season Christmas decorations (okay, they were off-season at the time) and kites with animal faces on them (I kid you not, I saw them), but they have pretty much the greatest cheap-o food section ever. Including every kind of Bob’s Red Mill product imaginable, all between $3 and $4. INCLUDING their 5-grain hot cereal mix. All of this to say that I could finallyyy try out Cook’s Illustrated’s version of multigrain bread, which I’d obviously been dying to bake since I saw it months and months ago.

And it only took me about a month after that to finally get around to actually using said cereal mix to make it. But (and I know I say this pathetically often) it was worth the wait. Nice and hearty, slightly more fancy-healthy-feeling than the whole wheat bread (minus, you know, all the butter), but still soft and cushy and light in texture. Plus, I still have a bunch of cereal mix left–you know, in case I ever feeling like having a grown-up breakfast. (What? I like my Life cereal and chocolate chip pancakes.) Also, it works for breakfast *and* lunch; check it:

Multigrain Bread
1 1/4 cups 5-grain hot cereal
2 1/2 cups  boiling water
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat  flour
4 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons melted butter, melted and cooled slightly [melt it in a 1-cup glass measuring cup, then add the honey to reach 1/2 cup–the butter prevents the honey from sticking to the cup, and you don’t have to dirty up another dish melting the butter! the lengths to which I’ll go to avoid doing the dishes, I swear…]
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 tablespoon table salt
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats or quick oats

1. Place cereal mix in bowl of standing mixer and pour boiling water over it; let stand, stirring occasionally, until mixture cools and resembles thick porridge, about 1 hour. Whisk flours in medium bowl.
2. Add honey, melted butter, and yeast to grain mixture and stir to combine. Attach bowl to standing mixer fitted with dough hook. With mixer on low, add flours, 1/2 cup at a time, and knead until dough forms ball, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Cover bowl with plastic and let rest 20 minutes. Add salt and knead on medium-low until dough clears sides of bowl, 3 to 4 minutes. Add additional flour if necessary. Continue to knead dough for 5 more minutes. Transfer dough to floured work surface and knead by hand until dough forms smooth, taut ball. Place dough in large greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise until doubled, 45 to 60 minutes.
3. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and pat into 12-by-9-inch rectangle. Cut dough in half crosswise with knife or bench scraper. With short side facing you, starting at farthest end, roll one dough piece into log, keeping roll taut. Pinch seam lightly to seal. Spray loaves with water or nonstick cooking spray and roll in oats to coat evenly. Place loaves seam-side down in greased loaf pans, pressing gently into corners. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let rise until almost doubled in size, 30 to 40 minutes. Bake until internal temperature registers 200 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove loaves from pan and cool on wire rack before slicing, about 3 hours.

Source: Cook’s Illustrated

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