Five grain bread

Yield: 24 Servings

Measure Ingredient
1 pack Dried yeast
1 tablespoon Honey
¼ cup Warm water
2¾ cup Warm water
2 tablespoons Honey
2 tablespoons Molasses
2 cups All-purpose flour
1 cup Whole wheat flour
½ cup Rye flour
½ cup Wheat berries, cooked
½ cup Cooked barley
½ cup Rolled oats
4 teaspoons Salt
1 cup Whole wheat flour
2 cups White flour, as needed
1 Vegetable oil spray

FOR THE SPONGE

TO FINISH THE BREAD

Note: Rustic and rich is this five-grain bread, which is loaded with nutrients and fiber. Feel free to substitute any cooked grains or beans for the ones called for. We use a sponge (intermediary rising of part of the dough) to give the bread extra lift and flavor.

1. Combine the yeast, the honey, and the ¼ cup warm water in a small bowl and stir to mix. Let stand for 6 to 8 minutes: it should foam like a head of beer.

2. Prepare the sponge. Transfer the yeast mixture to a large mixing bowl.

Stir in the 2¾ cups warm water, 2 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons molasses, 2 cups white flour, and 1 cup whole wheat flour. Let this mixture sit for 1 to 2 hours, or until it bubbles and starts to rise.

3. To finish the bread, stir the rye flour, wheat berries, barley, oats, salt, and remaining whole wheat flour and white flour into the sponge, adding white flour until the dough becomes too stiff to stir: It should be dry enough to come away from the sides of the bowl, but soft enough to knead. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Wash the bowl and lightly oil it with the spray oil.

4. Knead the dough for 6 to 8 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. If the dough is too sticky to knead, work in a little more flour. Note: The dough can be mixed and kneaded in a heavy-duty mixer fitted with a dough hook or a large food processor fitted with a plastic dough blade.

5. Return the dough to the oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a dish towel. Place it in a warm, draft free spot and let rise for 1 ½ to 2 hours, or until doubled in bulk. (The dough can be allowed to rise at lower temperatures, even in the refrigerator, but the rising time will be longer.)

6. Punch down the dough. To make one large round loaf, oil a large (12-inch), shallow, round-bottomed bowl. Place the dough in it. To make 2 rectangular loaves, cut the dough in half. pat each half into an 8-inch-long oval. Plump the ovals in the center and drop them into 2 oiled 9-inch non stick loaf pans, seam side down. Cover the loaves with dish towels and let the dough rise again until doubled in bulk.

7. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. If making rectangular loaves, turn them onto the loaf, invert the dough onto an oiled nonstick baking sheet.

If making rectangular loaves, leave them in the pans. Lightly sprinkle the tops of the loaves with flour. Using a razor blade, make a series of decorative slashes, ¼ to ½ inch deep.

8. Bake the loaves for 40 to 50 minutes, or until firm and nicely browned.

(Rectangular loaves may need a little less baking time.) The standard test for doneness is to tap the bottom of the loaf: If it sounds hollow, the bread is cooked. You can also test for doneness with an instant-read thermometer: The internal temperature should be about 190 degrees F.

9. Transfer the bread to a cake rack to cool. If making rectangular loaves, turn them onto the cake rack. Let the bread(s) cool slightly or completely.

(Bread piping hot out of the oven is very hard to slice.) Cut into slices for serving.

Makes two 9-inch loaves (24 slices) Recipe by: Steven Raichlen's High-Flavor Low-Fat Vegetarian Cooking Posted to Digest bread-bakers.v097.n009 by Terry and Kathleen Schuller <schuller@...> on Jan 30, 1997.

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