Hearty 5 Grain Bread

Hearty 5 grain bread

I love the hearty goodness of fresh baked bread! The soft pillowy rise of the dough, the smell as it’s baking, the unforgettable flavor that makes store bought bread taste like cardboard in comparison.

5 grain hot cereal brings a beautiful whole grain heft to these loaves. Lightly sweetened with honey, this bread is perfect for morning toast or sandwiches to tuck into those back to school lunchboxes.

Hearty 5 Grain Bread

1 1/4 cups 5 grain hot cereal (we used bulk multigrain cereal from the local store, but Bob’s Red Mill 7 grain also works great)
2 1/2 cups boiling water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup honey
4 Tblsp unsalted butter
2 1/2 tsp yeast
1 Tblsp salt
3/4 cups unsalted sunflower seeds (optional)
1/2 cup rolled or quick oats

Place cereal mix in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Pour in boiling water and stir to combine.  Let mixture cool until 100 degrees, stirring occasionally, about one hour.

Whisk flours together in a separate bowl.
*Note:the combination of flours is necessary in this recipe for best results- using only whole wheat flour will result in very heavy dense loaves.

Once grain mixture has cooled, add honey, butter and yeast and mix on low speed until combined.

Add flour mixture one cup at a time and knead with dough hook on low speed until cohesive mass starts to form. (Entire flour amount may not be necessary. Dough should be sticky.)

Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let dough rest for 20 minutes.

Add salt and knead on medium low speed until dough clears the sides of the bowl, about 5 minutes.
*Note: adding salt at this step is part of what keeps this loaf light. Salt retards the action of yeast and adding it later allow the yeast to have more “action” within the dough.

If dough is too sticky to clear the sides of the bowl, add 3- 4 Tblsps of flour until it does, being careful not to add to much flour. Too much flour will make for a heavier and drier loaf.

Continue to knead for 5 more minutes or until dough is easy to handle.  Dough should still be moist and slightly sticky.

Transfer dough to lightly floured cutting board or counter, add sunflower seeds, (if using) and knead until seeds are dispersed evenly and dough forms a smooth, round ball.

Place dough in a large, lightly greased bowl, cover with a thin cloth or kitchen towel, and set aside to rise in a warm place until nearly doubled, about 45-60 minutes.

strong*Do not punch dough down/strong

Grease two 9×5 in loaf pans with cooking spray.

Place risen dough on lightly floured counter and carefully divide in half. Gently press each piece of dough into a rectangle with the short side facing you.

Roll dough away from you, keeping dough tight as you roll. Turn seam side up and pinch seam closed.

Brush each loaf with beaten egg white and roll in oats until evenly covered. Place seam side down in prepared pans.

Cover loaves and let rise until doubled in size, about 45-60 minutes. Dough should barely spring back when pressed.

Preheat oven to 375  degrees. Bake loaves on middle rack until internal temperature registers 190-200 on a meat thermometer, about 35-40 minutes.

Transfer pans to wire rack to cool for about 5 minutes, then remove loaves from pans and cool to room temperature, about two hours.

Makes 2 loaves

*Bread will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days, or wrapped and frozen for up to a month.