Do you ever find yourself going through phases when it comes to eating and/or cooking? I know I do. And I don’t mean Twinkies or Cheetos or chocolate (oh my). Those aren’t phases. Those are needs of life that keep me functioning and breathing and keep many women from eating their young. I mean times when you find yourself cooking (or eating) the same types of food over and over again.
I tend to do this often.
My family cries.
Which means I get to eat all of things I make because they are too busy crying and saying “can’t we PLEASE have something other than dishes made with pickled herring!?’ (don’t ask)
Luckily for all of you, I am NOT going through a pickled herring phase… though talking about it right now has me craving some.
My phase right now is yeast breads. Not quick breads though I love me some Pumpkin Bread or maybe some
Pumpkin Cranberry Bread or some Spiced Brown Sugar Carrot Bread or…. ok, ok, I’ll stop now. Damn. Now I want some of those too. I need to quit talking about food.
Well, back to talking about food now. Yeast breads. Current phase…yada yada yada. Tis my current food “thing” right now however. I am enjoying honing my yeasty skills and playing around with some old recipes. I’ve mentioned before that I love artisan style breads though I still giggle when I realize that what we are all calling artisan most times simply means using grains and ideas that have been around for hundreds of years but fell out of favor to be replaced by mushy soft plastic bagged white bread. Wow… can we say run on sentence?
One style of bread I love is multi grain. I enjoy the flavor, I enjoy the texture from using something other than white flour and I love the chewiness and heartiness of a rustic artisan bread. Now if I could only hone my bread shaping skills cause I suck at that part of it lol. I always end up with these misshapen ovals instead of pretty ones. But that’s ok, they taste good anyway. And this one turned out quite well if I do say so myself. It’s a multi grain wheat bread and I added some dried cranberries to it as well. For a good place to go to get some grains and seeds to add to your breads, try the King Arthur Flour site . I absolutely love their products. My current favorite is the 12 grain artisan bread flavor . It’s a boat load of seeds and grains all mixed up into one tasty bundle and it helps make a good bread fantastic. So go get out some yeast and start baking. This one is chewy, hearty and oh so good with soup or stew.
Multi Grain Wheat & Fruit Bread
- 1 cup 7 grain uncooked cereal (I use <a href=”http://www.bobsredmill.com/7-grain-hot-cereal.html”>Bobs Red Mill Brand</a>
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 1 package yeast
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 cup warm water (about 110 degrees is optimal)
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 tablespoons oil
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 cup King Arthur 12 grain artisan bread flavor (can use 1/2 cup sunflower seeds instead)
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- Combine the 7 grain cereal and boiling water in a large bowl. Let sit for ten minutes.
- Dissolve the yeast, 1 teaspoon of the sugar and the 1/4 cup warm water in a measuring cup. Let it stand for about 5 minutes. It should get nice and foamy.
- Add the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, remaining sugar, oil and yeast mixture to the bowl with the cereal.
- Mix in the 3/4 cup of warm water, then mix in the egg yolk.
- Dump it all onto a LIGHTLY floured board. Add in the 1/2 cup grains (or sunflower seeds) and the cranberries and knead everything together. At first you will have a rough shaggy mess of dough with lots of loose bits and pieces but keep kneading and it will all come together. Knead for about 5 minutes, then put the dough into an oiled bowl, turning the dough to get the top side oiled too.
- Cover the bowl loosely with either plastic wrap or a clean dishtowel. Place in a warm spot (I set mine near my wood burning stove…nice and warm) and let rise until it has doubled in bulk.
- Punch down and pull dough into 2 parts. Shape each into an oval shaped loaf, place on oiled baking sheets and let rise again until they have doubled in size. While they are rising, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Bake loaves for about 30 minutes or until loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.
- I should tell you that these will cut better when cooled but we all know that fresh bread never gets a chance to cool, so I won’t bother hehe