Instructions for Baking
American Multi-Grain Bread
This is great wholesome bread made with seven healthy grains. The grains are all cracked or partially ground and the moisture and heat of the oven softens them to a delightful chewy texture. Enjoy this bread often.
You will need:
- 2 2/3 cups of (105 degrees) water
- One Bread Helper© for two loaves
- 1 packet of yeast (included)
- 1/3 cup butter, melted (optional)
- 3 cups bread flour
- About 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 large loaf pans (9 x 5 inches)
- Grease the inside of the pans, including the rims.
- Measure 2 2/3 cups of lukewarm (105 degrees) water. The water should be slightly warmer than body temperature when you immerse your finger in it.
Combine the three cups bread flour, the water, and the yeast by beating with a dough hook for 30 seconds or until combined. Add about 2 more cups of the wheat flour, the melted butter, and the Bread Helper© and continue kneading for about four minutes at medium speed until the gluten is developed and the dough is elastic. Add more flour as needed until you have a dough that is soft (but not too sticky to handle), smooth, and elastic. The amount of flour will vary by brand and the conditions of your kitchen. Softer dough will rise faster and create a more open crumb.
Place the dough in a large greased bowl and turn once to oil all sides. Let rise until doubled, about one hour. Rise times will vary with conditions, especially temperature—yeast is very sensitive to temperature.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly greased or floured work area. Gently fold and press most of the air from the dough.
- Divide the dough in two with a knife. Using your hands, form a cylinder by pulling the dough around the center and tucking the seams together on the bottom, thus gently stretching the surface of the dough. Pinch the seams together to keep them from opening as the loaf expands. Place seam side down in a prepared pan and repeat with the second loaf. Gently work the dough toward the corners of the pans to create uniform loaves.
Cover lightly with greased plastic wrap and set aside to rise until doubled, about one hour. The dough should be a little higher than the rim of your pans.
While the bread is still rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. When the bread has raised, place the loaves on the center rack of the oven and leave as much room for the air to circulate around the loaves as possible. Bake for 35 minutes or until the bread is done and well-browned. If you have a probe-type thermometer, the internal temperature should reach 190 to 200 degrees. If the bread is browning too rapidly, loosely cover the loaves for the last five minutes with aluminum foil. Once baked, immediately remove the loaves from the pans and cool them on a wire rack. The bread should cool before slicing.
- To put an egg wash on your bread, mix one tablespoon water with one egg white, egg yolk, or whole egg. (An egg white creates a clear wash; an egg yolk creates a bronze wash.) Brush the wash on just before baking with a pastry or silicone brush.
- This bread can be made with different ratios of whole wheat flour to white flour. The original recipe calls for two cups of whole wheat and three of white—a total of five cups. You may make it with as much as four cups of whole wheat or all white. Total flour should be about five cups.