This easy Multigrain Bread is packed with good for you whole grains, seeds and whole wheat with just a touch of sweetness. Vegan.
Mmmmmm can you smell it?
Fresh-baked homemade, vegan multigrain bread. I don’t do it often enough. But when I do, oh my goodness.
I usually start my day with a green smoothie. But, when there’s fresh baked bread in the house, I have my green smoothie, and a slice. Or two.
I am a bread hound and am sort-of particular about it. I like bread to be firmer than not, yet with a soft texture, and have lots of seeds and grains. This is from what I call quicker bread, because it only takes a few hours to make and it’s made with a quick yeast rather than a sourdough starter.
For artisan bread, or sourdough, I like a crusty texture with a chewy crumb. Of course sourdough takes many more hours to make, yet with great benefit. I will be posting about sourdough at some point, but for now, let’s make bread that we can make within a morning or afternoon.
I dinked around quite a bit with this recipe before deciding I was ready to share it. I changed the flour up a few times, made a loaf with way too many seeds and grains, then one with not enough and finally baked one far too long trying to achieve a darker crust. I also tried incorporating sesame seeds and while I love sesame seeds, their flavor was just too strong for this recipe. We ate each loaf, but this is the loaf I saved for you.
What I love most about this bread is that it is sturdy; it makes an excellent vehicle for creamy condiments and crunchy veggies.
This bread also had to pass the toast test. I think this is my favorite way to eat it, toasted, with the topping du jour.
Multigrain Bread makes over-the-top delicious croutons for salads too.
If you’ve never made bread before, this loaf is a good introduction into bread making. It comes together with ease, and shaping it is quite forgiving.
Making yeast bread does require a bit of a time commitment. However, for this bread, hands on time is short while hands off time is much longer for fermentation, proofing and baking. I make this on a day I know I’ll be home for the morning or afternoon.
The time commitment is worth it.
For the Soaker:
- 1/4 C 10 Grain Cereal *See Note 40g
- 2 Tbs Thick Rolled Oats 18g
- 2 Tbs Quinoa 24g
- 2 Tbs Flax Seed 26g
- 2 Tbs Sunflower Seeds 22g
- 1/3 C Water 79g
For the Dough:
- 1/2 C Almond Milk + 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar 142g, whole milk will work here too
- 1 1/2 C White Unbleached Bread Flour 264g
- 1 1/2 C Whole Wheat Bread Flour **See Note 258g
- 3 Tbs Brown Sugar 46g
- 1 1/2 tsp Sea Salt 10g
- 1 Tbs Quick Rise Yeast 6g
- 3 Tbs Cooked Brown Rice ***See Note 44g
- 1 1/2 Tbs Maple Syrup
- 3/4 C Water room temperature (178g)
- in Coconut oil for coating bowl and pan. Spray or solid will work here just make sure the bread pan it is spread in evenly and the corners are covered well.
- 1 Tbs Rolled Oats 9g
- Bread flour for dusting.
For the Soaker:
- The day before making the bread, prepare the soaker by placing the cereal, rolled oats, quinoa, flax, sunflower seeds and water into a small bowl. Leave out at room temperature overnight.
For the Dough:
- Coat the inside of a large bowl and a 9x5" loaf pan with coconut oil. Set aside.
- Mix the almond milk and apple cider vinegar together. Whisk vigorously. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add both flours, sugar, salt, and yeast. Mix for 10 seconds. With the mixer off, add the soaker, brown rice, syrup, almond milk mixture, and water. Mix on speed 4 just until the dough comes together, and is hydrated. A chunky ball should form (if not, add a Tbs of water and mix just until a dough forms). Switch to the dough hook. Mix on speed 4 for 9-10 minutes, stopping occasionally to push the dough back down into the bowl. If the dough feels a bit too dry, add 1 Tbs of water, if too wet, a few pinches of flour (don't worry, this dough is very forgiving. I've made this bread many times and the hydration fluctuates and is dependent on many variables). The dough is ready to remove from the mixer when it is more tacky, than sticky and registers 77F-81F (25C-27C) on a thermometer (very important temperature to abide by!). Finish the dough by kneading it on a lightly floured work surface for 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle with a bit of flour if needed. *If kneading by hand, knead for about 12 minutes on a lightly floured work surface.
- Tuck the dough into a ball, making sure the surface is taught. Transfer the dough to the oiled bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. *Coconut oil sometimes solidifies in the bowl (unless you use coconut pan spray), depending on the temperature of the bowl. If that's the case for you, just melt a bit of coconut oil and lightly coat the top of the dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Set a timer for 90 minutes to allow the dough to ferment. It should double in size. If the dough is rising too fast, pop it in the fridge to cool it down for 10-15 minutes or set it in a cooler area of the house. It may take longer to rise, but we don't want it to rise too fast, as this is where flavor development occurs. The goal is not for it to rise in 90 minutes. The goal is for the dough to double in size. 90 minutes is only a guide.
- To shape the dough, remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a lightly floured work surface. Use the illustrations above as a guide to shape the dough. Press the dough into a rough rectangle about 3/4" thick, 6" wide and 8-10" long. Fold the dough lengthwise 2/3 over onto itself and crease it firmly using the pinky side of your hand. Fold the 1/3 piece left towards the crease and pinch the seam closed. Fold in the ends, coming in about an 1" and pinch the seam closed. Turn the bread over and rock it back and fourth a bit and gently fluff the ends in a bit. Gently place the loaf, seam side down into the prepared loaf pan. Lightly spray or brush with water and sprinkle 1 Tbs of Rolled oats over the top. Cover with plastic wrap. Set the timer for 90 minutes and proof until the dough nearly doubles in size. I've had this dough take longer and much shorter to rise than 90 minutes (It's also risen right on time before too!). The amount of time will vary depending on the temperature of its surroundings. Just keep an eye on it and look for it to almost double in size or rise about 1.1/4" above the lip of the pan at the center.
- Preheat the oven to 350F (176C) with the oven rack in the center. Bake for 20 minutes, rotate the pan and continue baking for another 30-40 minutes or until the bread reaches an internal temperature of 185F-190F (85C-87C), and is golden brown.
- Remove the bread from the loaf pan immediately and allow to cool on a cooling rack for a least 2 hours. If the bread is cut before it's cool it will be gummy inside (a practice in patience for sure!).
- Store cut side down on a cutting board, for a few hours of storage. For longer storage, store in a plastic bag for up to 5 days. It freezes beautifully too, if you want to save 1/2 for next week.
Recipe Notes*If 10 grain cereal is not accessible, polenta, millet, quinoa or amaranth can be used.
**If whole wheat bread flour is unavailable this recipe will also work using whole wheat flour with similar results or all unbleached bread flour can be used. Texture and flavor will vary if using all unbleached bread flour.
***For the cooked brown rice, I pull it from a batch when I'm making it for something else. Trying to cook 3 Tbs of rice is cumbersome. The rice can be frozen and thawed for use when ready to make bread.
Total time listed above does not include the amount of time it takes for fermentation and proofing which takes three hours.
Adapted from Peter Reinhart's Multigrain Bread.
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