I love this bread. I'm not sure how to describe this bread but it is really really tasty. It's really simple to make, if you use a mixer, and it beats the socks off of any store bought 7,8, or 9 grain bread. If you buy the nine grain bread from Bountiful Baskets this is even better than that bread. My kids love it. I never add the sunflower kernels since my kids don't like crunchy things in their bread but add them if you prefer them. Comments from the judges were the bread was very fluffy for having so much grain in it and the taste was out of this world. One comment even asked to have the recipe emailed to her. This bread freezes well but I never get around to freezing it. Also I've taken to doing the work through step 2 and then refrigerating the dough overnight and then continuing the next day. It adds a little more depth to the flavor that you may really like.
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen Magazine:
makes 2 9 by 5 inch loaves
1 1/4 cups 9 grain (you can use 7 or 8 grain too) hot cereal mix NOTE: don't confuse this with breakfast cereal. Bob's Red Mill and Arrowhead Mills are two easy to find brands of this cereal mix. I've seen/bought them at Harmon's, Smiths and Winegar's.
2 1/2 cup boiling water
3 cups unbleached all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting surface
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
4 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 tablespoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted pumpkin or sunflower seeds (you don't have to add these, I've made the bread with and without and its fine either way)
1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats or quick oats
Place cereal mix in a bowl of standing mixer and pour boiling water over it; let stand, stirring occasionally, until mixture cools to 100 degrees and resembles thick porridge, about 1 hour. Whisk flours in medium bowl.
Once grain mixture has cooled, add honey, melted butter, and yeast and stir to combine. Attach bowl to standing mixer fitted with dough hook. With mixer running on low speed, add flours 1/2 cup at a time, and knead until dough ball forms, 1 to 2 minutes; cover bowl with plastic and let dough rest 20 minutes. Add salt and knead on medium low speed until dough clears side of bowl, 3 to 4 minutes (if it does not clear sides, add 2 to 3 tablespoons additional flour and continue mixing); continue to knead for 5 more minutes. Add seeds and knead another 15 seconds. Transfer dough to floured work surface and knead by hand until seeds are evenly dispersed and dough forms smooth taunt ball. Place dough into greased container with a 4 quart capacity; cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled, 45 to 60 minutes.
Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 2 9 by 5 inch loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and pat into 12 by 9 rectangle; cut dough in half crosswise with knife or bench scraper. Shape loaves and roll loaves in oats to coat and place in pans. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until double in size 30-40 minutes. Dough should barely spring back when poked with knuckle. Bake until internal temperature registers 200 degrees on instant read thermometer, 35-40 minutes. Remove loaves from pans and cool on wire rack before slicing, about 3 hours.
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