Monday, August 3, 2009

Multigrain bread


A few months ago my mom bought me Peter Reinhart'sThe Bread Baker's Apprentice as a gift. I'd been borrowing it repeatedly from the library (then accidentally on purpose, forgetting to return it on time). Finally, when the library started calling my house to tell me that other people were waiting for this book, I decided I needed a copy of my own so I could stop being a buttmunch keeping the library copy from others. Mom to the rescue. Thanks mom!

I love this book.  As soon as I got it home, I started leafing through it, deciding what to try first.

I'd tried the Light Wheat Bread a few months ago and we loved it. I decided that the first thing I should make from my very own copy would be this multigrain bread and BOY it didn't disappoint. Brian's first comment upon trying a piece was "This is the best bread I've ever tasted. You don't even need to try any others". Sorry, B. I've got a whole bookload of loaves to try! Oh darn. :)


For the soaker:
3 Tbs cornmeal
3 Tbs rolled oats
2 Tbs wheat bran
1/4 C water, room temp.

For the dough:
3C unbleached bread flour
3 Tbs brown sugar (I used light brown sugar both times)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbs instant yeast
3 Tbs cooked brown rice (I confess, I left this out both times I made it so far since I didn't have any brown rice)
1 1/2 Tbs honey
1/2 C buttermilk or milk
3/4 C water, room temp
About 1 Tbs poppy seeds for topping (optional, which I left out)


Day 1: Soaker

1 day prior to making the bread, mix together to soaker ingredients. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and cover with the water. The mix will be just damp. Cover with plastic wrap and set at room temp overnight.

Day 2: the Dough

Stir together the flour, brown sugar, salt, and yeast in the bowl of electric mixer. Mix in the soaker, rice, honey, buttermilk (I used milk) and water. Mix with the paddle attachment on low speed until the ingredients form a ball. You can add a bit of water if the flour does not fully mix in.

Switch to the dough hook (or transfer dough to a floured counter top) and knead the dough for about 10 minutes, adding more flour if needed, until the dough is soft and tacky, but not sticky. (I had to add a fair amount more flour both times I made this.) The dough will become smooth and shiny.

Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Ferment the dough at room temp. for 90 minutes. The dough will double in size.

Press the dough into a loaf (or roll shapes) and place into a lightly oiled loaf pan.  Mist the top of the dough with water and sprinkle the poppy seeds on top. Mist again with oil and cover with plastic wrap.

Proof the dough for another 90 minutes. It will again about double in size.

Preheat oven to 350°. Bake for 20 minutes on the middle oven rack. Small rolls should be finished baking after the initial 20 minutes. For loaves, rotate the pan 180 degrees and continue baking another 20-40 minutes for loaves. (Mine took about 20 additional minutes, 40 total.) The bread should be golden brown and be about 185° in the center.

Remove loaves from the pans and cool.

Source:The Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart, pages 187-189

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