I started making multigrain bread from scratch when I went on a vegan diet after reading the book my gastrointestinal doctor recommended I read titled “How Not to Die” by Dr. Michael Greger. 😳 Great book by the way! Anyway, Dr. Greger extols the nutritional virtues of whole grains and seeds among his many other endorsements of whole plant based food in general. He talks about good multigrain bread as a way to ingest a healthy, daily dose of these important and nutritious food. So I started following the advice in his book and amazingly, I lost over 30 pounds in 4 months. I never felt hungry either. One of the foods I learned to love was whole grain bread.
I like to cook, so I decided to learn how to bake bread and I was amazed how simple it really is! You can learn how to make it too and once you do you will never want store bought bread again. Check out the recipe below.
Seed Mixture – You can experiment with other grains, but below you will find a good mix of delicious and nutritious seeds. I find that these make for a nice crunchy bread that is crazy delicious on a sandwich or toasted.
- 1/4 cup – raw sunflower seeds
- 1/8 cup – raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- 1/4 cup – rolled oats
- 1/8 cup – whole flax seeds
- 1/4 cup – sesame/chia/hemp seed mix re
- 1/4 cup – chopped walnuts
- 1 3/4 cups – whole wheat flour
- 2 cups of white flour
- 1 packet of quick acting yeast
- 1/4 cup of honey or black strap molasses (I mix both together)
- 1 1/2 tsp of salt
- 1 1/2 cups of water between 100-110℉
- Add the ingredients in the seed mixture together in a 1 cup liquid measuring cup or large coffee mug. Add warm water to the mixture until the liquid and seeds fill the 1 cup mark. Let sit for at least 2 hours.
- AFTER the seed mixture has been sitting for at least 2 hours, get a small bowl and add 1 1/2 cups of hot water. Using a meat thermometer make sure the water is between 100-110 degrees. Too high and you will kill the yeast which is a live organism. Too low and the yeast will not become active enough to cause the bread to rise. Mix in one packet of fast acting dry yeast and stir until dissolved. Add the honey or black strap molasses and mix thoroughly until dissolved. Let sit for 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl add the white flour, whole wheat flour, and salt, along with around 3/4 cup of the seed mixture (reserving the remaining seed mixture for later). Add the yeast water mixture to the bowl and mix. Now, mixing can be accomplished by using your hands, using an electric mixer with a dough hook attachment, or using a food processor/mixer like the Ninja that comes with a dough attachment. I use the Ninja and I love it! But if you don’t have anything like that, you can do it the old fashioned way…use your fingers. Mix/kneed thoroughly. Add a bit of whole wheat flour 1/4 cup at a time and kneed until the bread no longer sticks to your fingers.
- Once the bread dough is thoroughly mixed, place in a greased bowl (cooking spray or oil wiped sides) and cover with a clean hand towel in a warm place for 2 hours to let the dough rise.
- Grease the sides of your bread loaf pan. I like to use cooking spray, but you can also use a paper towel to wipe vegetable oil on the sides.
- After the dough has risen for two hours, punch down through the center of the dough to release some of the gas the yeast has released. Kneed the dough in the bowl adding small amounts of flour as needed in order to make the dough not stick to your hands. Form the dough into a loaf and place into your bread loaf pan.
- Preheat oven to 425℉. Arrange oven racks so that you have space at the top for the bread loaf pan and the rising bread. In a lower rack place a deep, metal frying pan. More on this later.
- Let the bread dough rise a bit in the bread loaf pan. Maybe 20-30 minutes (optional)
- Using a very sharp knife, cut slits into the top of the bread loaf at least 1/2″ deep. This will allow the bread to expand out into a beautiful texture when it cooks and rises. If you have challenges finding a good sharp knife, you can skip this.
- Take the remaining seed mixture and using your fingers spread it onto the top of the loaf as if it were icing on a cake. This mixture becomes browned and crunchy and altogether delicious after the bread is baked. This is where your artistry comes out. Have fun with different seed mixtures.
- Once the oven has reached 425℉ place the bread loaf pan with the dough in it onto the top rack of the oven. Pour a cup of water into the frying pan on the lower rack to create steam and a humid heat in the oven. Close the oven and bake for 40 minutes (check periodically after 30 minutes to make sure it isn’t burning as ovens can vary in accuracy of temperature). Once fully baked the crust should have toasted edges and be slightly browned.
- Remove the baked bread from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes in the pan. The best thing to do is to take the bread out and cool on a metal baking rack if you have one.
- Once cooled, slice the bread and enjoy!