Multi-grain Bread with Sesame, Flax and Poppy Seeds

Lately, I've been progressively disappointed with the quality of bread in stores. Given that my family polishes off 2-3 loafs per week and getting to artisan bakeries every few days is not an option, I really would like the boys to have the best bread there is - bread that smells just like out of my childhood, bread that goes stale in 2 days, bread that isn't too airy or too dense, loaded with goodness of whole grains.

Enough said, I decided to give bread-making a shot. I'm a first-time bread maker so I wanted a solid recipe to go by. The multi-grain recipe I got off has great reviews so I gave it a go. I used my dough mixer attachment for all of the kneading work - let me tell you, it makes life so much easier!

As a novice bread-maker I didn't tweak anything in the recipe and followed it to a 't', mostly. What I got was 2 wonderful aromatic multi-grain bread loafs, a bit denser that I expected (probably, due to a lot of whole wheat flour) but absolutely delicious, holding shape well, perfect for school sandwiches. However, I found the process pretty time-consuming - it requires a few steps of adding - mixing - waiting. It took me about 3 hours from the beginning to finish, which is expected with a yeast-based recipe.

What I'd like to do soon enough is to establish a regular bread-making schedule when I can bake a weekly supply, about 4 loaves per week; freeze 2 and keep 2 for eats. Is this too utopian?

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened multi-grain cereal (such as 7-grain)
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 1/2 tsp or 1 envelope dry yeast
  • 4 1/3 cups bread flour
    I used a combination of 60% / 40% of whole wheat / rye flour
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons flax seeds*
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • 2 cups water
  1. Place cereal in large bowl. Pour 2 cups boiling water over. Let stand until mixture cools, about 20 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle yeast over cereal. Add 1 cup bread flour, oil, sugar and salt and stir until smooth. Gradually mix in enough remaining bread flour to form dough. Cover dough; let rest 15 minutes.
  3. Turn out dough onto floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if sticky, about 10 minutes. Oil large bowl. Add dough to bowl; turn to coat. Cover bowl with clean kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm area until doubled, about 1 hour. 
  4. Mix all seeds in bowl. Punch down dough. Turn out onto lightly oiled surface. Knead briefly. Shape into 12x4-inch loaf. 
  5. Sprinkle baking sheet with 2 teaspoons seeds. Place loaf atop seeds. Cover with towel. Let rise in warm area until almost doubled, about 30 minutes.
  6. Position 1 oven rack in center and 1 just below center in oven. Place baking pan on lower rack and preheat oven to 425°F. Brush loaf with water. Sprinkle with remaining seed mixture. Using sharp knife, cut 3 diagonal slashes in surface of loaf. Place baking sheet with loaf in oven. Immediately pour 2 cups water into hot pan on lower rack in oven (water will steam).
  7. Bake loaf until golden and crusty and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool.

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