Bread is one of my favorite things to make. There’s something about the hands on kneading part that I love. Beside the fact you can make what you want, how you want it. Homemade bread is not hard to make it can take some time but most of it is hands off.
One of the main concerns I hear about is the yeast and the fear of killing it. If the water feels how when running over your wrist it is too hot. The other way to tell is stick your finger in it and count slowly to ten. If you want to pull your finger out or it feels hot, your water is too hot. Your finger should feel a little cooler from the water. Or if you are really technical you can get a thermometer to check.
This is a multigrain loaf and one of my favorites the base recipe comes from a Hobby Farms bread magazine I picked up a couple of years ago. It has some great recipes for home bread bakers of all sorts. I have modified the recipe a bit to suit my tastes and accommodate what I have on hand. Feel free to substitute with the millet and nigella (black onion seeds) and use what you have on hand that is seedy or nut like.
This bread makes some of the best toast in the world and avocado toast with it is stellar. One more note do not rush the rise times and go longer if you need to. This is a heavy and dense bread which means it will rise slowly especially on the first rise. Feel free to tweet me or facebook me if you have questions or trouble shooting.
1/2 cup lukewarm water
4 1/2 teaspoons yeast (or 2 packets)
Put in small bowl and let sit for 10 minutes to soften and get bubbly. You can put a bit of honey or sugar in to help activate the yeast.
Next gather up the dry ingredients
1 1/2 cups plus 4 to 5 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups whole grain rye flour
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup multi-grain cereal (such as Bob’s Red Mill, I buy mine from the co-op bulk bins)
1/2 cup wheat bran or oat bran. (original uses wheat germ)
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup ground flax seed
Now that we have all that gathered up we can start on the wet.
2 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 cup honey or brown rice syrup
Put in big bowl and mix until honey is dissolved. Make sure your water is not too hot, let cool if you need to. Add yeast, 1 1/2 cups whole wheat, and the the rest of your dry ingredients. Mix it all in. Dough should still be very wet at this point. Keep adding in whole wheat 1/2 cup to a cup at a time. Dough will start holding together and be workable. It will also remain slightly sticky, if it losses its sticky you put too much flour in, err on the side of too little flour if you are unsure.
Knead bread for 10 to 15 minutes by hand, it will be smooth and a little tacky when done. Use flour as needed to keep from sticking to counter and you. Grease a large bowl and cover with damp tea cloth, set in a warm and draft free place. I use the bowl I mix the bread in. It works just fine and I don’t have to dirty a second big bowl. This rising process will take two to three hours. You know the dough is ready when it has some levity to it and if you gently insert your finger into it the dough does not pop back.
While dough is rising gather the following:
1/4 cups Millet ( or sunflower seeds use a 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup Nigella seeds ( or walnuts use 1/2 cup)
2 teaspoons salt
Once dough has raised. Punch down and let rest for ten minute, this will make the second kneading process easier. Spread dough on counter and sprinkle salt, the millet and the Nigella seeds over it and knead for about 5 minutes. The seeds and salt will be well distributed through out the dough when ready. Let rest again for ten minutes.
Place on piece of parchment or baking sheet to rise, slash top with an X. Cover and let rise for 30 to 40 minutes. Preheat oven to 425. If using a baking stone put it in when you start the preheat. (I do parchment paper & baking stone. Gently lift bread on the parchment and put it on the baking stone.) Once dough has risen put in oven and cook 20 minutes at 425. Than lower temperature to 375 and bake for another 20 to 30 minutes.