How to Bake an Organic Multigrain Bread
Ever passed by a bakery and smelled the scent of a freshly baked bread? OMG, to me that’s addictive. Especially for breakfast, it’s a real treat. Unfortunately, the closest international bakery is over 10 miles away and I am not a fan of white bread, which is sold in many bakeries.
Therefore every so often I have the desire to bake my multigrain bread. All year round we buy bread in the supermarket, although sprouted organic bread, but it’s not the same.
The fewer ingredients the better the bread
I have a habit of reading the ingredient label of almost anything I buy and that includes multigrain bread. If I see words I can’t even pronounce I will put it right back on the shelf. I know it’s weird, but that’s me.
You might say I used a lot of ingredients in my bread. While that is true they are actually very healthy additions.
Which ingredients are better?
Regular or whole wheat flour?
Organic versus conventionally grown flour?
Organic or regular seeds?
Bleached or unbleached flour?
There are so many questions, that most people become confused or frustrated. Then there is the price issue. Organic flour and seeds are much more expensive than conventionally grown.
Hold your horses…
What are the benefits of whole wheat flour?
According to Organic Facts, whole wheat has an enormous amount of benefits to our health. It’s loaded with B-vitamins and minerals.
Organic flour vs regular conventional flour
I prefer to use organic ingredients for my multigrain bread. Not only is the end product better, it is also far more superior as it tastes better. But don’t take my word for it. Go out and buy organic and conventional grown flour and create two batches of bread loaves.
That said, to fair, you must use the same type of flour. Since all flours are measured by their protein and ashes as well as their enrichment. Once you have identified the same flours compare which batch feels better and which one bakes better. I found that bread made with organic flour feels better and taster better.
Here is why:
Organic grains must be grown without the use of synthetic pesticides and must be free of artificial food additives.
Conventionally grown wheat, on the other hand, has been crossbreed for decades now. It is not the same grain we used to eat a century ago. So while you might think there is no difference in taste between the two flours, rest assured that you are getting a dose of pesticides with your bread made with conventional flour.
For years I have eaten bread made with conventional flour until I learned more about the facts. I am not a fan of putting one ingredient down for an organic one. It’s just preference or maybe I am just a bit paranoid when it comes to non-organic ingredients.
However, should you go with regular flour than buy unbleached flour.
This multigrain recipe, which I’ve used for years, I have used a 6 qt KitchenAid mixer with a kneading hook. If you are using a smaller 4 or 5 qt bowl or a food processor just make several batches or simply reduce the recipe.
Organic Multi-Grain Bread
Mix yeast and warm water in a bowl. Cover and let sit for 5 min for the yeast to do its job.
Place all other dry ingredients in the mixer bowl. Making sure all ingredients are incorporated. Add the yeast which should have doubled in volume.
Begin mixing ingredients on low-speed and add water to it and mix until it shapes like a ball. Let it rest for 2-3 minutes and knead it again for about a minute. Remove dough from bowl and let rest for a few minutes. Knead the dough again by hand for about 2 minutes, by folding and pressing it down.
Place dough in a container dusted with flour and cover with a clean kitchen towel. I usually place it in my oven, which I had run previously for about 2 minutes just to bring up the temperature to about 90 °F. If you have a sunny spot such as a window board, that would work too. Let dough rise until it doubles in volume or 45-50 minutes.
Now it's time to knead the dough until all air has disappeared. That is usually done in less than 2-3 minutes of kneading. Many bakers let the dough rise again before finally forming it in to shape.So if you have the time let it rise again for another hour, then knead it again and form it into shape. This is done by using both hands rotating the dough circle wise on the table pressing the dough softly between both hands until it takes the shape of a ball. You might have to give it a little break so that you don't overwork the dough.
Now you're ready to shape and fit the dough into the loaf form. You do this by rolling the dough under your hands pressing and rolling it on the table until it gets longer and wider.When placing dough into the greased and flour dusted loaf pan press it down firmly so it fits evenly. If you do not have a loaf pan bake in a shape of a half-size ball about 1 lb each or shape it into rolls as seen in the picture. Then let the dough rise again to the size of what the finished bread would look like.
Preheat oven to about 400°F. Place loaf pans on the center shelf and bake for about 30-35 minutes. One way to find out if the bread is finished is by knocking on the bread if it sounds hollow like someone knocks on a door the bread is ready. Remove the bread from the loaf pans immediately in such a way that it can breathe from all sides so it doesn't sweat.
Once the bread has cooled you may start eating your bread. Try the bread with some freshly made hummus and avocado and a cup of coffee. This bread only stays fresh for about two days, so keep all other loaves in the freezer. Enjoy!
Yeast: You may use active dry yeast or instant yeast. However, active yeast must be dissolved in a liquid to be activated. Instant yeast can be sprinkled into the flour.
Tip: Warm up the loaf pan to about 90-100 °F. That will assure the dough rises quickly. You can give the bread a nice design by slashing it with a very sharp knife. Do this by holding your knife 45 degrees slicing the dough a 1/4 inch deep.
I like to sprinkle some flour on top of the bread which gives it a rustic feel. When placing the multi-grain bread into the oven, be quick and don't drop the loaf pans onto the oven shelf. You don't want the dough to lose its nicely risen shape.
Last but not least, add some steam to the oven. You can do this by pouring some water onto an empty tray below the bread, which has been placed there before the oven was heated up. The steam will assure the crust will get crispy.
Enjoy freshly baked multigrain bread by jazzing it up with avocado and hummus as a delightful vegan breakfast. Enjoy!
What type of bread do you like to bake? What are your experiences? Have you tried this recipe, please let me know your thoughts?