Multi-grain Bread

As I mentioned in a previous post, Jason and I make our own bread. We have been doing it for almost a year now and haven’t considered giving up on it for a minute. It saves money and tastes much better than store bought bread. During the past year, we have eaten the same break 99% of the time. Sure, I have tried a whole wheat raisin bread and french bread before, but the original recipe is just so perfect, I did not see a need to change it. Since I have purchased my new cookbook, I have been trying all sorts of new recipes. I was thumbing through the bread section the other day when I stumbled across a recipe for Multi-grain bread. I figured that after a year of the same bread it was time for a change. 

The recipe was different than what I was envisioning for multi-grain bread, so I tweaked it a bit – I was actually quite nervous about this, because bread machines are very particular. You must be careful to follow the flour:sugar:liquid:yeast very carefully, or your bread will just end up being a big ball of cooked dough. This happened to me once when I first got the bread maker and eye-balled the amount of oats I needed for an oat bread…that time the bread ended up being for dipping and croutons. This time, however, everything worked out. I plan to make it again, but next time adding more whole wheat flour and oats. In doing this, I will also need to add another 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp of yeast to ensure that it rises. 
Tips for making bread in a bread machine
  1. Always add the liquid ingredients, then the salt, and then the flour. The yeast should never touch the water before the machine begins, because if the water is not the right temperature, it will prevent the yeast from rising.
  2. When you add the yeast, make a well in the flour and pour the yeast in. Again, make sure the well does not expose any water.
  3. The yeast eats the sugar to ferment and produce carbon dioxide. 
  4. The salt kills the yeast. It is needed to keep the yeast from over fermenting and causing the bread to rise too much. However, too much yeast or the yeast coming in direct contact with the salt can prevent rising.
  5. If you use at least half whole wheat flour be sure to use the whole wheat setting on the bread maker. Also, be sure to use at least 1 tsp of yeast per pound of bread when using whole wheat flour.
  6. If the loaf is too big to cut slices, cut in in half horizontally first. Then slice it normally. This makes for smaller slices, but I personally would like smaller slices and be able to take more if I need, then larger slices that give you more than you need. 
  7. If your recipe tells you to put a specific temperature of water into the mixture, be sure you do so. If the water is too cold the yeast can’t work, but if it is too hot the yeast will be killed.

Multi-grain Bread

Adapted from the Multi-grain Bread recipe in The Best of Cooking Light, Everyday Favorites
Makes a 2 pound loaf

Ingredients
  • 1 cup Warm water (100-110F)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups bread flour (you can use all-purpose, but bread flour definitely makes for a better product)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup of regular old-fashion oats (not quick oats)
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal flour (my flour had baking powder in it, so that may have led to a little more rising than normal)
  • 2 tsp bread machine yeast
Directions
  1. Place the water, liquid ingredients, and salt into the bread pan.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the flours together so well distributed. Pour onto of the liquid ingredients.
  3. With a spoon, make a small well for the yeast. Add the yeast to the well.
  4. Place the baking pan into the bread maker. Select the whole wheat setting and bake.
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