The Best Multigrain Bread Ever

multigrain breadIf I had to choose only one food to eat for the rest of my life it would be bread, hands down. The anticipation of a slice of good toast gets me out of bed in the morning. I actually get excited about the prospect of crusty bread dipped in olive oil and balsamic. The smell of fresh bread baking is the ultimate comfort. I love bread of all types… crusty artisan loaves, plain white homemade bread, baguettes, foccacia, tortillas, pitas, and I’ve learned to make them all. Undoubtedly this factor has contributed to the the few extra pounds I lug around.

I try to eat reasonably healthy, so I only make white breads as a treat now and then. Multigrain bread has become my go-to recipe. Surprisingly, it wasn’t an easy recipe to settle on. My first several attempts at making a multigrain bread resulted in loaves that were overly dense, didn’t rise well. They also tasted a little too much like granola and didn’t really satisfy my cravings. Unable to find a recipe that really worked for me, I decided some experimentation was in order. What I finally settled on was an adaptation of a recipe in my favourite book of all time, The Joy of Cooking. That recipe for Cracked-Wheat Bread actually suggests trying other cereals, so try them I did. What I ended up with is a recipe that I’ve been using for years.

Ingredients are everything!

I like to use the 12 Grain cereal from Speerville Flour Mill in this bread. If you don’t like a bit of crunch you can throw the cereal in a food processor and whiz it for a sec. Don’t make it too fine or the bread will become heavy. I also have the luxury of using my own fresh raw goat milk and our old-fashioned maple syrup, cooked over a smoky fire. I think both these ingredients give the bread a little something special.

Get your hands in there

Patience is definitely a virtue with this recipe. Getting the amount of flour in the bread exactly right is an art, not a science. Not quite enough flour and this bread sinks when it bakes. Too much flour and it has a hard time rising. The dough must be soft, but not at all sticky. If you use a mixer to knead it, be sure to take it out and knead it a few times by hand before starting the rise. Only by working the dough with your hands will you truly get a feel for the proper consistency.

Although this bread is a little on the tricky side to make, it’s worth the effort to master. It’s one of the best all-purpose breads I’ve found, equally suited to breakfast toast, sandwiches, dipping, or just eating slathered in butter. It has a good constitution, it’s light and nutty, and it freezes well.  It also has a decent shelf life, not that it will last long. I usually put away 1/2 loaf as soon as it comes out of the oven. What can I say? I’m addicted.

 

Print Recipe
The Best Multigrain Bread Ever
A well-rounded grain-filled loaf suited to any meal.
multigrain bread
Course Bread
Cuisine Canadian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Passive Time 1.5 hours
Servings
loaves
Ingredients
Course Bread
Cuisine Canadian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Passive Time 1.5 hours
Servings
loaves
Ingredients
multigrain bread
Instructions
  1. Place 3 cups of water in a medium-sized pot with a heavy bottom. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Stir the multigrain cereal into the boiling water and reduce the heat to medium. Cook the cereal, stirring frequently, until the water is absorbed and cereal resembles a thick porridge. Be sure to stir the bottom well as it cooks to prevent burning.
  3. Remove the cereal from the burner. Stir in butter, salt, maple syrup, molasses, and milk. Allow to cool slightly.
  4. Meanwhile, place the lukewarm water and yeast in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Let stand until the yeast is frothy.
  5. Stir the bran and one cup of all-purpose flour into the cereal.Add the cereal to the yeast and stir to blend.
  6. Gradually add the remaining all-purpose and whole wheat flour and stir until well incorporated. Either turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead with your hands or use the dough hook on an electric stand mixer to knead. Work the dough until it comes together in a smooth ball, adding more all-purpose flour as necessary to achieve a dough that is soft but not at all sticky. The dough should hold a ball shape and not sag when it rests.
  7. Lightly grease a large mixing bowl and place the dough ball inside. Cover with plastic wrap and a clean dish towel. Place in a warm spot and allow to rise until doubled, at least 30-40 minutes.
  8. Punch the dough down in the bowl and tip out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead again for a couple of minutes, then divide into 4 equal pieces. Knead each piece into a ball and place seam side down in a greased bread pan. Each pan will have two balls.
  9. Spray two pieces of plastic wrap and lay them loosely over the bread pans. Cover with the clean towel again and place in a warm place. Allow to rise again until doubled, about 40 minutes.
  10. Preheat oven to 350°. Carefully remove towel and plastic from the bread, then place on the middle rack in the oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Bread is done when tapping the top produces a hollow sound.
  11. Remove bread from pans and place on a wire cooling rack. Allow to cool slightly (yeah, right!) before cutting. When completely cooled seal the bread in plastic bags.
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