I believe she and I both started our bread-making journey around the same time - it's hard for me to believe it was more than a year ago - and Sarah found the best Multigrain bread, hands down. It's a recipe from America's Test Kitchen, which manages to get nearly everything right.
I've made a couple minor changes to the recipe, and now cook this bread up 2 or 3 times a month. It is light, fluffy, and oh-so-delicious. I especially like it because it seems a little healthier than this bread, which is also a favorite in our house.
(slightly modified from the America's Test Kitchen recipe, which you can find for free on their website)
Makes two 9 by 5-inch loaves
Don't confuse 7-grain hot cereal mix with boxed, cold breakfast cereals that may also be labeled "7-grain." Our favorite brands of 7-grain mix are Bob's Red Mill and Arrowhead Mills. Leftover bread can be wrapped in a double layer of plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for 3 days; wrap with an additional layer of aluminum foil and the bread can be frozen for up to one month.
- 1 1/4 cups 7-grain hot cereal mix (see note above)
- 2 1/2 cups boiling water
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting work surface
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted and cooled slightly
- 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 tablespoon table salt
- 3/4 cup pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds, (unsalted)*
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats or quick oats
Instructions1. Place cereal mix in bowl of standing mixer and pour boiling water over it; let stand, stirring occasionally, until mixture cools to 100 degrees and resembles thick porridge, about 1 hour. Whisk flours in medium bowl.
2. Once grain mixture has cooled, add honey, melted butter, and yeast and stir to combine. Attach bowl to standing mixer fitted with dough hook. With mixer running on low speed, 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 dough rest 20 minutes. Add salt and knead on medium-low speed until dough clears sides of bowl, 3 to 4 minutes (if it does not clear sides, add 2 to 3 tablespoons additional all-purpose flour and continue mixing); continue to knead dough for 5 more minutes. Slowly add seeds and knead for until fully mixed. If necessary, transfer dough to floured work surface and knead by hand until seeds are dispersed evenly and dough forms smooth, taut ball. Place dough into greased container with 4-quart capacity; cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled, 45 to 60 minutes.
3. 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. Follow illustrations 1 through 3 below to shape loaves and coat with oats; cover lightly with plastic wrap and let rise until almost doubled in size, 30 to 40 minutes. (Dough should barely spring back when poked with knuckle.)
4. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 375 degrees. Bake until internal temperature registers 200 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove loaves from pans and cool on wire rack before slicing, about 3 hours.
Getting the Loaf into Shape
1. With short side facing you, starting at farthest end, roll dough piece into log. Keep roll taut by tucking it under itself as you go.
2. To seal loaf, pinch seam gently with thumb and forefinger. Spray loaves lightly with water or nonstick cooking spray.
3. Roll each dough log in oats to coat evenly. Place loaf seam-side down in greased loaf pan, pressing gently into corners.
*I prefer sunflower seeds. Something about the pumpkin seeds gives it a more unusual taste, which I like for a fancy dinner or special occasion - but for every day PB&Js, sunflower seeds hit the spot.