Seeing the footage from Japan really puts our lives in perspective, doesn’t it?
Suddenly studying doesn’t seem so bad anymore. Even better that I have an apartment to do it in, and I know where all my family members are–and there is fresh bread to eat.
I baked this bread over the weekend, and it has held me over for the last few days when I need a quick carb pick-me-up (and it tastes amazing, really amazing with a rooibos tea spread that I bought at Wegman’s a while ago). Between that and the sun finally coming out, I might be able to muster up enough energy to get going on the last few midterms I need to study for.
This recipe is from Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads, and I chose it simply because I was impressed by the sheer amount of whole grain he managed to cram into it. It makes three loaves, and it is absolutely perfect to toast and eat with peanut butter, rooibos tea spread, butter, bananas, honey, mint jelly, eggs, and blackberry jam. I know because I’ve tried it all.
Multigrain Bread (three loaves)
- 1 C rolled oats
- 1 C barley flour (you can grind your own)
- 1 C millet
- 1 T brown sugar
- 2 t salt
- 2 C hot water (120-130 degrees)
- 1/3 C canola oil
- 3 packages dry yeast
- 1 1/2 C mashed potatoes (yes, really)
- 2 C whole-wheat flour
- 3/4 C rye flour
- 2 C all-purpose flour
Line three (or two if you want really tall loaves) loaf pans with wax paper, and grease them. Make the mashed potatoes or better yet use up leftovers (plain–no butter or sour cream, please).
In the mixer bowl, measure the oats, barley flour, millet, brown sugar, and salt. Pour in the hot water and canola oil and mix. Add the yeast and allow it to dissolve in the liquid before adding the mashed potatoes.
Next, add the whole-wheat and rye flours, and mix for two minutes with the flat beater. Change over to the dough hook. While the mixer is running, add the all-purpose flour 1/2 C at a time until the dough forms a “shaggy mass”, pulling away from the sides of the bowl. Once it is all added, if the dough remains sticky you can add sprinkles of flour, but don’t go overboard. Knead the dough (using the dough hook) for eight minutes.
Place the dough into a large, greased bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and leave at room temperature until it has doubled in size (about 1 1/2 hours).
A seriously large bowl. I had to switch to a bigger one because I didn’t anticipate the dough rising this much.
Turn the dough onto a floured table and shape it into three loaves. Place into the pans, cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel, and let it rise again (another hour). When you have twenty minutes left to rise, pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
Bake on the middle rack until browned, about 45 minutes. Turn out one of the loaves and tap on the bottom–if it sounds hollow, then they’re done.
Allow them to cool before slicing. If you can.
The absolute best part about this bread (other than the yeasty fresh-bread taste, obviously) is that the millet gives each slice an amazing crunch. Totally unexpected.
Best thing since…well.
I kept one loaf out and froze the others. Just wrap in plastic wrap and/or freezer bags first. When you take them out, make sure you allow the bread to reabsorb any water that forms inside the bag before you start slicing it and toasting it, otherwise you’ll have a really dry sandwich.
Fritz is presenting his research today in San Diego–I wish I was there too, but at least the sun managed to break out from the clouds here so I’m not missing out on all the fun.