Monday, June 18, 2012

Healthy Bread

This is my interpretation of the Untrained Housewife's Multigrain Bread. It's a little bit dense and the rye flour may have been responsible for that, so don't use rye if you don't want that texture.

From left: rye flour, whole wheat flour, cereal, yeast, vinegar, mixed nuts, olive oil, brown sugar. Not pictured: salt, water, unbleached flour.
1/2 c white flour
1/2 c rye flour
2 c whole wheat flour
1 pkg quick-rise yeast
1 c several grain cereal from winco bulk section
Handful mixed nuts, chopped
At least 1 c water
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp salt
Oats, chopped cashews for topping

Soaking nuts.
Get the nuts soaking for about an hour before you put in the cereal. You can deal with some crunchy cereal bits, but crunchy nuts in a nice slice of bread are unpleasant.

My cereal is small and chopped up. It worked okay.

Cereal, nuts, and lots of water.
 Add the cereal to the nuts, and then add more water than you think you need. I didn't add quite enough, so I had to add more later.
Soak for a couple hours.
Three kinds of flour: Rye (dark brown), unbleached (white), whole wheat (reddish brown)
 Mix your flours, and add in a packet of yeast. Mix it up really well. This is where the recipe really deviates from my usual yeast usage, since you normally soak the yeast to make sure it's alive, then add everything in. Here, you just kind of hope for the best.

Flours mixed with yeast; whole bowl of soaking things dumped in without draining. In my case, it wasn't enough water.
 Do not drain your cereal and nuts. Dump the whole bowl into the mixing bowl with the flour and yeast. Also add the brown sugar, oil, and vinegar, but not the salt.

The dough was a combination of sticky and crumbly. It was pretty tough, too.
 Mix everything into a dough. It'll probably be sticky. Knead it until it's kind of smooth, then abandon it for five minutes. This is probably so the yeast can decide that it's alive before you add salt, and so the gluten has time to form. Or something.
Add the salt to the dough. I did this by dripping water on the dough, which was pretty dry, and pouring the salt on the wet areas. Then I folded the dough with the salt to the inside and worked it into the dough that way.
The lump of dough after kneading, letting rest, and adding salt.
 It was not easy.
Pour oil into a big bowl and get it very oily or else your dough will stick to it. Put the dough in the very oily bowl and make sure it becomes very oily as well.

It was warm out, so the dough (oiled, covered) went outside instead of in the cool kitchen. When it cooled off outside, it went in the oven with the light on.
 Cover the oily bowl with the oily dough in it with a damp towel and put it someplace warm.
After about 2 1/2 hours, my dough had doubled in size.
Punch it down and shape it into a rough log, then roll it in oats and chopped nuts and stuff.

After punching down and shaping, I rolled the dough in oatmeal. I should have rolled it in chopped cashews as well, but I hadn't thought that far ahead.
Press the topped dough into a greased loaf tin, or shape it into a log and bake freeform. I have a tin now, so I'm using it.

After the second rising, with cashew bits on top.
 Put the dough back into a warm place and cover again with a damp towel. This is when terrycloth is bad. I lost some oats and cashews.
Let it rise again until it's about doubled. Mine was probably not quite doubled, but I baked it anyway.
The directions say to put the dough in a cold oven and preheat to 350 F. So I did. Then I didn't set a timer.
If you do set a timer, set it for 40-50 minutes.
I may have over-cooked mine. The top bits where the dough sticks over the side of the tin went very hard. It also collapsed a little, which may have been the rye flour with its lousy structural properties sabotaging the fluffiness of the bread.
After baking, cooling on a rack thing that may or may not belong in the refrigerator.
It was worth it. The loaf is good, savory all the way through (no huge globs of salt), and the texture is dense but soft, except for the muffin top bits, which are tough and dry. All the cashews fall off, but you can eat them and they are delicious.

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