Monday, April 28, 2008

Multigrain Bread

Have you ever looked at the ingredient list for your standard loaf of bread? If you buy the $4 loaves of bread like Aunt Millie's light five grain that actually have whole grains and fiber it's not horrible. Although I'm curious what "DATEM" is and what exactly "resistant corn starch" is resistant to. If you have a husband like the Brain who is so sweet and actually goes out and buys a loaf of bread when you ask him to, but then doesn't really look at the label but goes for what's cheapest, then you may want to have a stiff drink before you look at the ingredients. He came back with wheat bread (just like I asked). But there was less than 1 gram of fiber per slice. And there were wild and bizarre things in this bread. Things like raisin juice. How exactly do you juice a raisin? And soy fiber which is mighty common in bread actually and makes me think of things like the stalk of the soybean plant. And then there's high fructose corn syrup and the chemicals I can't pronounce.

This has been a long time coming, because I'm a bread junkie and because I'm really trying to get back to eating more natural foods, well less chemicals anyway. We don't have a bakery in our county, or I think the next county up, that makes anything close to artisanal bread and bolstered by the success of the Julia Child French Bread, I've decided to make my own bread. I have to admit though, I sort of cheated on this one. I have a bread machine, which I love. And I have The All-New Ultimate Bread Machine Cookbook, which I also love. Mostly what I like to do is make the dough in the bread machine and then transfer it to a loaf pan and bake it in the oven. It has something to do with being OCD I'm sure, but the idea of bread in those funny bread machine loaves freaks me out. Seriously. It's creepy. The bread machine is a great convenience though. I know that I can throw all the ingredients in it and then find something else to do for 2 hours. Like try to walk around the block. And I can come back and have perfectly made dough. Yummy dough when I use recipes from this book though.

So expect more bread in the future. Don't get excited, I'm not turning into Breadchick Mary, who is awesome and has tons of bread on her site. But on occasion I'll be sharing a loaf or two. I may even get daring and make the sourdough starter Mary posted about. And yeah, they won't all be bread machine recipes. But I promise not to use any resistant corn starch, or soy fiber. Or raisin juice.

And if you're curious, I have decided that the whole scariness of the hard plastic water bottles and chemicals leaching into my water has sufficiently scared me into recycling my beloved Life is Good water bottle and splurging on this beautiful aluminum SIGG bottle. I know, I know, aluminum and Alzheimer's. But this Swiss beauty has a "ground breaking interior liner" that is "100% effective against leaching". Even the paint on the outside of the bottle has been tested. And, though the mouth is much smaller on this bottle, it's surprisingly comfortable to drink from. Hooray!

Multigrain Bread
makes 2 loaves (16 servings)

1 1/4 cup water
1 egg
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
4 Tbsp honey
1/3 cup flax seeds
3 Tbsp yellow cornmeal
3 Tbsp rolled oats
3 cups bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 Tbsp rye flour
1 package (2 1/4 tsp) dry yeast
All ingredients should be at room temperature. Liquid ingredients should be approximately 80 degrees F. Add ingredients in the order specified in your bread machine owner's manual.

Select dough option.

Remove loaf from bread machine after it's second rise. Pat the dough into a rectangle and cut into 2 pieces. Fold the top third of the dough down onto the rectangle. Fold the bottom third up onto remaining dough. Flip the dough so the seam side is on your lightly floured work surface. Tuck the ends of the rectangle under so it will fit in a standard loaf pan. Repeat with the other rectangle. (I only made one loaf and as you can see it's a little on the ridiculously huge side of life.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover the loaves and set in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes. Place the loaves in the oven and bake for 35 minutes. The loaves should be golden brown and have a hollow thumpy sound when tapped on the bottom. Place the loaves on a rack to cool.

Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 154 calories, 5g protein, 27g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 3g fat, 21mg cholesterol, 29mg potassium, 274 mg sodium.


glamah16 said...

I'm all for making my own bread if I had the time. Its hard to buy let alone eat a lot of the C*** out there.Looking forward to seeing more.

Peter M said...

Despite the healthy properties, I find multi-grain breads to taste wonderful...a nice nuttyness if you will.

Deborah said...

I was actually just thinking the other day that I need to start making all of our bread. I found a loaf from the store that had been in the cupboard for probably 3 weeks, and there was no mold on it. Call me crazy, but there's gotta be all kinds of preservatives in a bread that doesn't go moldy after 3 weeks!

Mrs. White said...

I almost bought that very SIGG bottle, but then I was worried it wouldn't fit in a cup holder - which is a necessity for me - so I bought a smaller one instead. Still, I'm jealous. So pretty!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

What a beautiful loaf! Way better than grocery store fodder with mystery ingredients.

breadchick said...


I've been meaning to leave a note and tell you what a fantastic loaf of bread this is and I'm so glad you are enjoying making your own bread! It is the staff of life and the ultimate in stress relievers (kneading that is)

Can't wait to see what loaves come out of your kitchen.