We all know whole grain bread is loaded with fiber and nutrients. In fact, whole grains are a good source of B vitamins, Vitamin E, magnesium, and iron as well as other valuable antioxidants not found in some fruits and vegetables. Most of these antioxidants and vitamins are found in the germ and the bran of the grain. To receive benefit from the wholesomeness of wheat it is important to eat products made from whole wheat flour rather than those that are refined and stripped of their natural goodness.
I have baked bread for over 30 years, and although I follow some basic measurements, I tweak it according to what ingredients I have on hand. Today’s bread is loaded with various grains and seeds…oatmeal, 7-grain cereal, ground flax seed and chia seed.
Begin by bringing 4 c. water to boil in saucepan. Remove from heat and add 1 c. 7 grain cereal, 1 c. oatmeal, 1/4 c. chia seed, 1/4 c. ground flax seed, 1/2 c. date syrup, 1/2 c. oil and 1 T. salt. Stir and let set until lukewarm.
Date syrup is the thick, rich nectar taken from the fruit of the date palm tree. It is a great substitution to processed sugar plus dates have more potassium ounce for ounce then a banana as well as a great source of iron and magnesium. www.organicsareforeveryone.comAbout once a week I grind flax seed and keep the meal in the fridge. Because of the high oil content, it can go rancid quickly. We add ground flax seed to our cereal and smoothies as well as using it in muffins, pancakes and cookies.
I use a coffee bean grinder for my flax seed and do not use it for anything else because I don’t want to mix any flavors!
When grain mixture has cooled to a lukewarm, pour it into your mixer and add 2 c. of warm water.
Add 1/2 c. potato flour and 1/4 c. dough enhancer. Potato flour creates a dense, moist crumb in baked goods. Dough enhancers can improve the texture, taste and crust of the bread. Most of them also act as preservatives which helps keep your bread fresher long. Best of all they are natural and are perfectly safe to add to your bread. Unbleached white whole wheat flour has all the fiber and nutrition of whole wheat, with a milder flavor and lighter color. Add 1 c. whole wheat flour and turn mixer on low. Add 3 T. yeast. (I use Saf yeast) Continue adding flour while mixer is on low. I used about 3 c. of unbleached white flour as well as the whole wheat flour. The amount of flour depends on your grains & seeds used, the humidity of your home and the type of flour. I usually figure with 6 c. of water I will use between 10-14 c. flour.
When the dough begins to clean the sides of the bowl, I stop adding flour and continue to knead on low for 8-10 minutes. This will release the natural gluten and your dough will become smooth and stretchy. Remove from bowl and place on oiled counter. Let rest for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile spray 6 bread pans with oil. With oiled hands divide dough into 6 equal parts. Form into loaves and place in pans.
Place in oven and turn on until coils just begin to turn red. Turn oven off.
Let rise until bread reaches the top of the pan. (about 15-20 minutes)
Turn oven to 350 and bake for 22-25 minutes. Remove from pans and place on rack to cool.
You will be tempted to slice a piece right out of the oven, but give it at least 10-15 minutes to cool before you indulge.
I must confess, there are few things better in life than a slice of fresh bread out of the oven with soft butter and slathered with jelly. I always purchase jams and jellies made without any processed sugar, just loaded with fruit! I opened a new jar of jelly today and it was a winner!
7 Grain Bread with Flax and Chia Seeds
6 c. water
1/2 c. date syrup
1/2 c. oil
1 T. salt
1 c. 7 grain cereal
1 c. oatmeal
1/4 c. chia seeds
1/4 c. ground flax seed
1/2 c. potato flour
1/4 c. dough enhancer
whole wheat flour
3 T. yeast
Bring 4 c. water to boil in sauce pan. Remove from heat and add salt, oil, oatmeal, date syrup, 7 grain cereal, flax seed and chia seed. Let set until lukewarm. Place mixture into mixer and 2 c. warm water. With mixer on low (using dough hooks) add 1 c. flour and 3 T. yeast. Proceed to add flour and dough enhancer until dough begins to clean the sides of the bowl. (10-14 c. flour, depending on conditions and ingredients) Remove from mixer and place on oiled counter. Let rest for 5 minutes. Spray 6 loaf pans. Divide dough into 6 parts and form into loaves. Place in oiled pans and into oven. Turn oven on until coils just start to turn red. TURN OVEN OFF. Let rise until dough reaches top of pans. Turn oven on to 350 and bake for 22-25 minutes. Remove from oven and pans and place on cooling racks.