Today’s post is a guest post from Master Bread Maker and Dishing The Divine’s editor, Shirley Madsen (aka my MOM!). Please leave lots of comment love for her as she was afraid that people wouldn’t want to read her post!
Paula has asked me to submit a brief write-up on my special whole wheat bread recipe. As I am sure you all know, Paula is certainly capable of doing this herself, but she considers me to be the ‘real’ bread maker in our family. Indeed, I have been baking all kinds of yeast breads for over 30 years – ever since I tasted a slice of freshly baked whole wheat bread made by Paula’s Grandma Madsen in Iowa. I grew up on ‘day old cardboard tasting white bread’ and the only other kind of bread I was familiar with was Wonder Bread. My mom refused to buy Wonder Bread as she deemed it was too expensive. She knew that us seven kids would polish off a loaf or two of this ‘cake’ in a single sitting.
Here is my current favorite recipe for a multi-grain bread based on a Cook’s Illustrated version. I say current because I am always looking for new, improved recipes. Whole wheat purists can use all whole wheat flour but you will have to increase the amount of water by a few tablespoons as whole wheat absorbs more water than white flour. Your bread will be a little denser even when using vital wheat gluten.
This recipe makes two loaves. I cut the recipe in half as I prefer to bake a new loaf a couple of times a week. Breads containing whole wheat become rancid after a few days.
Note : I buy Bob’s Red Mill 6-grain hot cereal with ground wheat, rye, corn, oats, spelt, Kamut, and flax seeds. You can use your own favorite hot cereal (some include up to 9 or more grains) or just as easily make your own mixture using whatever grains you have on hand – Scottish oats, amaranth, oat bran, wheat bran, coarse corn meal, bulgur wheat . . .
mom’s famous whole wheat bread
6 1/4 oz 6-grain hot cereal mix, 1 1/4 cups (see note above)
20 oz hot water (2 1/2 cups)
15 oz unbleached bread flour (3 cups), plus extra for dusting work surface
7.5 oz whole wheat flour or white whole wheat flour (1 1/2 cups)
4 tbsp non-instant dry milk powder
4 tbsp vital wheat gluten
4 tbsp honey
4 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
3 tsp instant yeast
1 tbsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted, slightly toasted pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds, optional
Place cereal mix or grains of your choice in the bowl of a standing mixer and pour hot water over it. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until mixture resembles thick porridge, about 1 hour or as long as overnight.
Whisk flours, dry milk powder, and vital wheat gluten in medium bowl.
To grain mixture, add honey, butter, and yeast and stir to combine. Attach bowl to standing mixer fitted with dough hook. With mixer running on low speed, add flours, 1/2 cup at a time, and knead until dough forms a ball, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Cover bowl with plastic and let dough rest 20 minutes. Add salt and knead on medium-low speed until dough clears sides of bowl, 3 to 4 minutes (if it does not clear sides, add 2 to 3 tablespoons additional all-purpose flour and continue mixing). Continue to knead dough for 5 more minutes.
Add seeds and knead for another 15 seconds. Transfer dough to floured work surface and knead by hand until seeds are dispersed evenly and dough forms smooth, taut ball. Place dough into greased container with 4-quart capacity. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled, 45 to 60 minutes.
Adjust oven rack to middle position. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray two 9 by 5-inch loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and pat into 12 by 9-inch rectangle. Cut dough in half crosswise with knife or bench scraper. Shape loaves: with short side facing you, starting at farthest end, roll dough piece into log. Keep roll taut by tucking it under itself as you go then seal loaf by pinching seam gently with thumb and forefinger. Spray loaves lightly with water or nonstick cooking spray.
Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let rise until almost doubled in size, 30 to 40 minutes. (Dough should barely spring back when poked with knuckle.)
Bake until internal temperature registers 200 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove loaves from pans and cool on wire rack before slicing, about 3 hours.