Amber Waves of Grain Bread

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Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups (uncooked) stone-ground seven-grain hot cereal (including cracked wheat, flaxseed, oats and other cracked grains)
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1/2 cup wildflower or other pale amber honey
  • 2 tablespoons instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup warm (110 degrees F) water
  • About 4 cups bread flour

Instructions

  1. Put the cereal into a medium bowl, pour the boiling water over it, and set aside to soften for 15 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer or another large bowl, stir together the honey, yeast, salt and warm water with a wooden spoon. Using the paddle attachment or the spoon, beat in 3 cups of the bread flour, then beat in the softened grains, with their liquid, until you have a moist, soft, heavy dough. Switch to the dough hook and knead the dough for 8-10 minutes, adding about 1 cup more flour, until the dough is elastic and no longer sticky. Or turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead by hand. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  3. Grease two 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pans or a large baking sheet and set aside.
  4. Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a floured surface. Knead it a few times. Divide the dough in half. Shape each portion into a regular or round loaf and put in the prepared loaf pans or on the baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  5. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  6. Bake the bread for 40 minutes, or until the loaves are a rich brown on top and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom; an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center should register 190 to 200 degrees F.
  7. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Yield: 2 regular or round loaves

Cook's note: Any good stone-ground, seven-grain cereal will work well in this bread recipe.

Source: Prairie Home Breads: 150 Splendid Recipes from America's Breadbasket by Judith Fertig