I was originally going to write about these really chocolatey streusel squares i made the other day. But after tasting a slice of this loaf of bread, this post jumped right ahead of the drafts queue just like that. It’s that good.
This loaf of bread really should be named the Miracle Loaf. In spite all that started and went wrong with it- and trust me, there were plenty like discovering half my soaker had been fed to my little parrot and kneading the dough for almost fifteen minutes before realizing the very wet glob of dough i had on my hands wasn’t gonna miraculously firm up without some help- and all the substitutions i made, it turned out really well. I ended up using whatever was left of the soaker which thankfully was quite a bit since the grains had really expanded, working an additional cup of flour into the dough before it even resembled a slightly firm dough, kneading as i went along for almost half an hour in total.
As always, my dough doubled its size really quickly, in less than half the time the recipe estimates. It’s probably due to our warm, humid weather but since i’ve read that bread dough heavily benefits from a slow first rise- better flavour and a higher second rise, since the second rises never rises as high as the first- i think i’ll start putting the dough in the fridge to slow down the rising process.
Having said all that, this was hands down the finest bread to ever come out of my oven. I really loved the flavour in this bread, in all its wholesomeness. The red rice, which i substituted for brown rice, didn’t quite blend in with the dough so it added quite a nice crunch to the otherwise soft and slightly chewy crumb.
And as i found out this morning, this loaf makes for really good thick toast, especially with a generous slather of smooth peanut butter and honey. It looks like there’s no two ways about it- this bread is gonna be a regular in this household.
Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire [adapted from Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice]
3 cups bread flour
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp instant yeast
3 tbsp cooked red rice
1 1/2 tbsp honey
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup water at room tempature
2 tbsp oat bran
2 tbsp rolled oats
2 tbsp bulgar
1/4 cup water, at room temperature
- To make the soaker Combine oat bran, rolled oats, bulgar (or any combination of grains you have on hand) and water in a small bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it stand at room temperature overnight.
- In a large bowl, whisk flour, salt, brown sugar and yeast together. Add the honey, milk, soaker, rice and water in. Stir well till a ball form, adding more flour or water if neccesary.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 12 minutes. The dough should be smooth and slightly shiny. Lightly oil a clean bowl, place dough in it, cover in plastic wrap and let it ferment at room temperature till dough doubles in size.
- Turn dough out and using your hands, gently press dough out into a rectangle and form a roll. Set it gently into a lightly greased 9″ by 5″ loaf. Cover with plastic wrap and let it ferment at room temperature once again till dough rises about an inch above the pan.
- Preheat the oven at 175C. Bake the dough at the centre of the oven for about 50 minutes, rotating the pan halfway. The bread should be golden brown and register about 185F in the centre.
- Remove the bread from the pan immediately and let the bread cool completely before slicing. Makes 1 huge loaf