Grainy Concoction: Whole Wheat Multigrain Sandwich Loaf
A few weeks ago a friend requested a loaf of bread and when I asked for specifics she answered ‘whatever grainy concoction’ I come up with. Well, this is the grainy concoction I’ve been making for a while. After tinkering with a variety of multi-grain loaves (including the very successful struan bread) I’ve settled on a recipe that I’m very pleased with.
This loaf was particularly exciting because it was made with flour I milled from white wheat from Palouse Brand in Washington State. I received a 5 pound bag as a Christmas gift from my fiancée’s parents and have put it to very good use the past two months (used up the last of it last week). The bread is chock full of barley, flax, quinoa, and oats which (and I’m not making this up) I purchased at the nearby food co-op during a snowstorm while wearing a plaid flannel shirt. I’ve done Ann Arbor proud.
I love this bread for just about anything. The grains make it substantial enough that a thick slice with some peanut butter is a solid breakfast. There’s a slight crunch from some of the grains that give it a nice texture and if you plan to make sandwiches it holds shape very well.
The use of an overnight soaker softens some of the whole wheat flour to give the bread a smoother finish. It’s also very important to soak the grains overnight. For one, you wouldn’t want to bit into a loaf of bread with 1/2 a cup of hard uncooked barley. Second, by soaking the grains you ensure they are saturated with water. Otherwise they’ll drink the water up from the dough during the rising and baking periods, and you’ll be left with a brittle and dry loaf.
If you don’t find the dough rising as much once it is shaped don’t be concerned. Every time I’ve made this I have trouble getting it to rise much after shaping, but then it gets a great oven spring (about 1.5-2 inches). It is worth noting that this is a larger loaf than the other sandwich loaves I’ve posted about. I haven’t reduced the total amount of flour even though I’m adding more volume with the grains. Like many other recipes I’ve made, this one allows for some customization. This is the grain mixture I like to use, but feel free to try out your own combinations and find your personal preference. Enjoy!
- 1¾ C whole wheat flour (225 g, 45%)
- 1 C water (225 g, 45%)
- ½ C barley (100 g, 20%)
- ½ C flax seed (90 g, 18%)
- ¼ C quinoa (45 g, 9%)
- ¼ C rolled oats (20 g, 4%)
- 1½ C boiling water (340 g, 67%)
- All of the grain soaker
- All of the flour soaker
- 1⅓ C whole wheat flour (155 g, 30%)
- 1 C AP flour (130 g, 25%)
- 1.5 tsp salt (10 g, 2%)
- 1.5 Tbsp sugar (20 g, 4%)
- 1.5 tsp instant yeast (5 g, 1%)
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter (30 g, 6%)
- ¼ C water (55 g, 11%)
- The night before making the dough combine the flour and water for the soaker in a small bowl. Mix until there are no dry bits of flour, then cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature overnight.
- In a separate bowl pour boiling water over soaker grains and mix. Cover loosely and leave out overnight.
- The next day when you are ready to make the bread combine the flour soaker and all remaining dough ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Knead on medium speed for 5-7 minutes, until the dough has softened and clears the sides of the bowl. Add in the grain soaker and knead another 1-2 minutes, until well combined.
- Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled, about 90 minutes.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat out to 6×8 inches. Form the loaf by rolling up the length of the dough (working from the short side). With each full rotation pinch the creases to create a bit of surface tension. As you roll it will get a bit longer as well, just make sure that when you place it in the pan it touches each edge.
- Place in the loaf pan and cover; let rise for 1 hour, or until the dough crests the top of the pan.
- While the bread rises preheat oven to 350 F.
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes, turning halfway through. Let cool for 2 hours before slicing.