Marvelous Multigrain Bread

My dad gave me some sourdough starter this summer with which he’d been baking.  His bread making skills have become pretty fantastic since he came and took a class with me through our local community college a year ago or so.  I was looking for a recipe to make with this sourdough starter and saw this recipe from the Flour cookbook.  The cookbook calls for a bread sponge that she would have you make.  I decided to substitute the sourdough starter for the bread sponge.  The bread was incredibly dense, but it was good.  It was especially delicous as toast.  I understand why the owner of Flour stated that she started each day with a slice of this toast.

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Marvelous Multigrain Bread

1 1/2 c water, at body temperature
3/4 c whole wheat flour
3/4 c buckwheat flour
3 c all-purpose flour
12 oz Bread Sponge
1/3 c honey
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1/3 c millet
1/3 c sunflower seeds
1/3 c flax seeds
Big handful of medium-coarse yellow cornmeal for the baking sheet

Using a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment (or a large bowl and wooden spoon), mix together the water, whole wheat flour, buckwheat flour, and 3 c of all purpose flour on low speed for about 1 minute, or until the flour is mixed and you have a shaggy, stiff dough.  (To prevent the flour from flying out of the bowl, turn the mixer on and off several times until the flour is mixed into the liquid, and then keep it on low speed).  Cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap and let sit for about 10 minutes.  (This is called an autolyse, and it allows the water to hydrate the flour, which makes for better mixing down the road).

On medium-low speed, add the sponge, honey, and salt and mix for 3 to 4 minutes, until it is incorporated into the dough.  The dough should be somewhat sticky, but still smooth and feel like an earlobe (strange as that may sound) when you grasp a bit between your fingers.  If it is stiffer than this, mix in a few tablespoons water; if it is looser than this, gradually mix in a few tablespoons all-purpose flour.  You may need to stop the mixer a few times to pull off any dough that has gathered around the hook or on the sides of the bowl.  Add the millet, sunflower seeds, and flaxseeds and mix 1 to 3 minutes, or until the seeds are evenly distributed throughout the dough.  (If you are using a wooden spoon to mix the dough, you must dump out the dough onto a floured work surface and knead for 5 to 6 minutes, or until smooth, then return the dough to the bowl.)

Lightly cover the dough, still in the bowl, with an oiled piece of plastic wrap or a lint-free kitchen towel.  Place the bowl in a draft-free, warm place (78 to 82 degrees is ideal; an area near the oven with only the pilot light on is good) for 3 to 4 hours.  The dough will rise up a little bit (but not a lot) and it will feel a little loose and relaxed.

Flour your hands and your work surface and turn the dough out of the bowl.  Divide the dough in half with a knife or a bench scraper.  Shape each half into a ball by tucking the edges of the dough underneath and then continuing to tuck the edges underneath until the dough naturally gathers into a ball with a taut surface. (At this point, you can cover the shaped loaves and store them in the refrigerator overnight.  Remove them the next day and proceed as directed.)

Sprinkle the cornmeal on a baking sheet to keep the loaves from sticking, and place the loaves on the sheet, spacing them at least 3 inches apart.  Cover them loosely but completely with plastic wrap and let them sit at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours, or until they have loosened up and seem relaxed.  They won’t pouf up too much, but they will seem much softer.

Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 500 degrees.  (It is important that the oven comes to temperature before you place the bread inside.  The correct temperature ensures that your loaves will get enough oomph to rise and grow.)

Sprinkle the tops of the loaves with the 2 to 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour.  Slash the loaves with a knife, and place the baking sheet in the oven.  Place a rimmed baking sheet or shallow pan with about 2 cups water on the oven rack below the bread.  The steam from the water will create a nice moist atmosphere for your bread to grow.  Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the loaves are golden brown and make a hollow sound when you thump them on the bottom.

Let the loaves cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack for 15 to 20 minutes, then transfer the loaves to the rack and let cool for at least 2 hours before serving.  Once the loaves have cooled completely, they can be stored in a paper bag.


Cinnamon Bread

Over the last month, I’ve been pulling out cookbooks that are community cookbooks and not often looked at in my house.  One such cookbook is the Cedar Rapids Women of the Moose Cookbook 1979.  I was looking for some easy-to-pack/freeze/take along recipes for some snacks I was wanting to drop off at different places, and this recipe for cinnamon bread looked pretty intriguing to me.  In hindsight, I could have potentially swirled it more than I did, especially on the top, or loaded the middle up with 2/3 of the cinnamon-sugar mixture and kept only 1/3 for the top, but the taste was great.  I especially appreciated how the recipe wasn’t overly sweet but was delightful.

Cinnamon Bread

Cinnamon Bread

1 c sugar
2 c flour
1/2 c shortening
2 eggs
3 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 c buttermilk or sour milk

Mix cinnamon and sugar.  Put half of the batter in the bottom of a greased loaf pan.  Spread 1/2 of the cinnamon mixture over this.  Add the rest of the dough and spread the rest of the mixture over the top.  Take a knife and swirl the mix.  Bake at 350 degrees until browned and done.

Peanut Bread

A coworker of mine was moving away and starting graduate school.  I am so excited for her as she begins to enter the field and get a new degree.  I know the next couple years will be really challenging, but I also believe she will do amazing things over the course of the degree and moving forward.  We were at a wedding a few weeks ago and she mentioned she likes peanuts, and it reminded me of this recipe from the Cedar Rapids Women of the Moose Cookbook 1979.  I had never made a peanut-flavored quick bread, but this seemed like a great opportunity to try it out.  She was going to let me know if it wasn’t any good, so hopefully, she liked it and it brought some tastiness while she was packing boxes.

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Peanut Bread

1 3/4 c flour
1/2 c sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 c chopped peanuts
1/2 c creamy peanut butter
3/4 c milk
2 beaten eggs

In a mixing bowl, sift flour, sugar, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Cut in peanut butter until the mixture is crumbly.  Add milk and eggs, stirring until mixture is well-combined.  Stir in peanuts.  Turn batter into well-greased 9x5x3 loaf pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes.

Restaurant Rosemary Bread

In the ongoing bread-making that I’ve been doing since my dad and I took a bread-making class together a few months ago.  If you are a loyal reader, you may have noticed an increase in the breads I’ve put together over the past several months.  Everything from cranberry multi-grain bread to wild rice bread, to old-fashioned milk bread.  This is probably the last bread I’ll throw together for a little while, but it is a tasty one.  I recommend anyone who loves rosemary throw this together.  The recipe was originally adapted from Food Network Magazine, April 2011.


Restaurant Rosemary Bread

1 1/4 oz packet active dry yeast
2 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 1/2 c flour
4 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Stir the yeast, sugar, and 1/4 c warm water in a large bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer).  Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Add 1 Tbsp olive oil, flour, 1 1/2 Tbsp rosemary, salt, and 3/4 c warm water; stir with a wooden spoon (or with the dough hook if using a mixer) until a dough forms.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, dusting lightly with flour if necessary, until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. (Or knead with the dough hook on medium-high speed, adding a little flour if the dough sticks to the bowl, about 8 minutes).

Brush a large bowl with olive oil.  Add the dough, cover with plastic wrap, and let stand at room temperature until more than doubled, about 2 hours.

Brush 2 baking sheets with olive oil.  Generously flour a work surface, turn the dough out onto the flour and divide into 4 pieces. Working with one piece at a time, sprinkle some flour on the dough, the fold the top and bottom portions into the middle.  Fold in the sides to make a free-form square.  Use a spatula to turn the dough over, then tuck the corners under to form a ball.  Place seam-side down on a prepared baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining dough, putting two balls on each baking sheet.  Let stand, uncovered, until more than doubled, about 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Bake the loaves 10 minutes, brush with the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with the kosher salt and remaining 1/2 Tbsp rosemary.  Continue making until golden brown, about 10 more minutes.  Transfer to a rack to cool.  Serve with olive oil seasoned with fresh or dried herbs, salt, and pepper.

Susan Poupore’s Wild Rice Bread

Every once in awhile, there’s a recipe that looks so delicious, I feel the need to make it.  And, ever since taking a bread making class with my dad earlier this year, I’ve been wanting to try and make some more bread recipes.  I’ve found a white bread I really like — the Old-Fashioned Milk Bread I posted about a few weeks ago.  When I saw this wild rice bread recipe in the same Savoring the Seasons of the Northern Heartland cookbook (really, I need to stop baking and cooking out of this book sometime soon), it looked like a great hearty fall bread recipe to try.  Between this and the wild rice stuffing recipe I love so much and the chicken wild rice soup recipe I love, I’m having a bit of a love affair with wild rice lately.  So Minnesota.

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Pumpkin Bread Pudding

I didn’t love the way the first round of my Cranberry Multi-Grain Bread turned out, but I did have hope for how it might be turned into something delicious.  When I was looking through the Gourmet Today cookbook and found this recipe for Pumpkin Bread Pudding, I couldn’t help but believe the recipe would turn out amazingly, adding a little tartness of cranberries to the bread.


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Cranberry Multi-Grain Bread

I was testing some different recipes for the holidays and this cranberry multi-grain bread from the Minnesota Homegrown Cookbook looked to have some nice fall flavor in it.  I found the dough to be incredibly sticky to work with as I was putting the recipe together.  I would like to try it again in the future and see what I can do.  I’m thinking the yeast might not have been proofing correctly and it maybe needed more flour, but we’ll see next time.

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Cranberry Multi-Grain Bread

Proof in large mixing bowl:
1 Tbsp yeast
1 1/2 c warm water
1/4 c powdered milk
1/6 c shortening
1/4 c brown sugar, packed

Mix in separate bowl:
1/6 c ground flax
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 c oatmeal
1/2 Tbsp salt
1 c dried cranberries
2 -2 1/2 c flour

Add flour and flax mixture to the proofed mix and knead 8 to 10 minutes.  Cover and place in a warm spot, let rise 30 to 40 minutes, then form into 2 round loaves.  Put parchment on a cookie sheet and sprinkle cornmeal on the parchment; set loaves on the cookie sheet.  Let rise 30 more minutes.  Bake 35 minutes at 350 degrees or until loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.

Note: A sprinkle of coarse kosher salt on the top of the loaves before baking adds a nice contrast to the cranberries.