Wednesday, November 10, 2010

no knead multigrain bread

So, I saw this recipe over at our best bites and wanted to try it because I love trying different breads, especially multigrain, and it was made with a different method which I thought would be new and interesting.  This bread was very different to make.  I wasn't too fond of the difference because to me it was hard to do.  I know how to make bread the normal way, and I know how to make bread with a biga and a soaker.  I have both of those methods down and don't have to look at the instructions multiple times, but this I was always looking to see what I had to do next.  It was cute that on the website she had made it a giftable little jar, but I don't think I'd give this to anyone.  It seems like too much work to have to follow.  I'd rather give the loaf already made.  I cook, and I had trouble with this loaf - 2 cups water was too much - I only used 1 3/4 and it was very watery dough - I added 1/4 cup wheat flour and it was still fairly sticky dough.  I don't like a bread that I don't know the texture of the dough.  I probably would have to be shown the right consistency.  My only clue from Our Best Bites was that the book had said stiff.  Even with all of that, I have reserved the book at the library to check it out.  Maybe it can give me more guidance.
The actual bread was pretty good.  I think my crust got a bit overdone because I forgot to turn my oven down 5 degrees when I put my bread in (yet more strange instructions.)  The seeds had a really toasted flavor which added nicely to the bread.
Here is the simplified version of how to make it.  It is still a ton of info.    See Our Best Bites for the details, and how to put it in a jar if you're into that sort of a thing.
I like this particular picture because it shows a couple of things - how dark my bread got, how thick the crust got (both my mistake) and also how crumbly it was.  Partly my fault, and partly because of all of the seeds on the bread.  It did make a mess to cut it.


  • 3 cups unbleached white bread flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour (I ended up using 1/2)
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour (I made this myself - ground brown rice in my wheat grinder.)
  • 2 Tablespoons rolled oats
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons flax seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons cornmeal (accidentally added this to my dough and ended up using 4 Tablespoons oops - like I said, the directions confused me.)
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • scant 2 cups ice water - more like scant 1 3/4 cups for me.
  1. Mix sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and flax seeds together.  Place 1 1/2 Tablespoons in a small bowl and mix with the cornmeal. (Reserve this for tomorrow.)   Place remaining seeds in a large bowl.
  2. Add remaining ingredients to the large bowl and stir or whisk to combine.  Place ice in water at least 30 seconds before measuring to cool.  (Not so sure how important this step is - your going to put it in the fridge.  Next time I'll probably just measure out of the little button on the front of my fridge.  It comes out a bit cold.)  Add enough water to bring all of the dry ingredients together, stirring vigorously and scraping down the sides of the bowl.  The dough should be "stiff"  (I measured out 2 cups and added about 1 3/4.  That made a dough that was too wet for me so I added another 1/4 cup wheat flour.  I'd suggest starting with no more than 1 3/4 cups water to make sure it isn't too wet.  My dough still wasn't particularly "stiff.")  Brush dough with oil and cover with plastic wrap.
  3. Now for the tricky part - the multiple timed rises.  Rise 1
    1. Refrigerate for 3-10 hours
    2. Continue to let rise at room temperature 12-18 hours
  4. Rise 2 - Generously oil a 9 X 5 inch loaf pan.  Sprinkle 1/2 of the cornmeal/seed mixture in the bottom of the pan and gently shake it to coat the bottom and part way up the sides of the pan.  Punch down the bread (or stir with a rubber spatula) and turn into prepared pan.  Brush the top lightly with oil and smooth out into the pan.  Brush with water.  Sprinkle the remaining seeds/cornmeal mixture on top of the bread.  Make a 1/2 inch slash down the center of the bread using an oiled knife.  Allow to rise again using one of the following options -Bread should rise to 1/2 inch above the edge of the pan.
    1. regular rise - 2-4 hours at room temperature
    2. quick rise - 45 min to 2 hour in microwave (boil water in a microwave safe dish until it gets nice and steamy - add the bread - close the door and let the bread rise in the warm, steamy environment.  DO Not turn on the microwave) 
  5. The Baking -  
    1. 15 minutes before baking time, put your oven racks on the 2 lowest positions.  On the bottom one place a broiler pan (or other shallow baking dish)  Preheat oven to 450.
    2. Place bread in oven and reduce heat to 425 (bolded because I missed it and it made my loaf very dark and thick crusted.) Add one cup of water to the broiler pan.  Bake bread on the next rack up for 35-45 minutes or until nicely browned.  (at the higher temp, I did 35 min.)  
    3. Cover with foil and continue baking for 20-25 minutes until a skewer inserted in the thickest part comes out with just slightly moist particles clinging to the bottome portion (or the internal temp registers 204-207.)  (I stuck my thermometer in the bread when I added the foil, and cooked it until it reached 205.  I did lower the temp of the oven at that time, and it took about 15-20 minutes, but that was with my mistakes.)  Remove loaf to a cooling rack.  when cool enough to handle, take out of the pan.

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