Multi-grain bread (Mehrkornbrot) Christmas Baking with SusieJ

Measurements [metric]

  • 1 1/2 c warm water
  • 2 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 pkg dry yeast
  • 1 Tbs vital wheat gluten
  • 1 1/4 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 c bread flour
  • 1 c rye flour
  • 1/2 c KAF whole grains mix + 1/2 Tbs for top

Into a large (1 quart or larger) container with a lid or that is easy to seal, pour the warm water and stir in the salt and yeast until dissolved. Stir in the wheat gluten and flours until a sticky dough forms; make sure there is no unincorporated flour at the bottom.

Let rise for an hour at room temperature, and then refrigerate until the dough has risen as high as it can, and the top has flattened out. Alternately, refrigerate overnight. The dough is easiest to work with when chilled.

When ready to bake, grease a 9-inchx5-inchx3-inch loaf pan; set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, punch down and briefly knead the dough until it is just springy. Flatten into an 8-inch wide oval, and roll the oval into a log. Place the log seam-side-down into the prepared pan. Let rise for 1 1/2 hours.

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F and continue letting the dough rise.

When the oven is heated, brush the top of the dough with water and sprinkle with 1/2 Tbs of whole grains. Slash the top of the bread with a lam, razor, or very sharp knife. Bake for about 45 minutes. Cool for ten minutes and gently remove from the pan. Cool to room temperature before slicing. Best sliced on the thinner side because of the dense crumb.

A recreation of the loaf my uncle Ernst called Vogelfutterbrot (bird-seed bread) because of the whole grains and seeds in the bread, which really do look like they fell from the bird feeder. It is delicious for anything from breakfast bread and butter to sandwiches only a hipster could love.

The recipe uses the no-knead technique to give it that old-world, slow rise flavor. The extra wheat gluten keeps the loaf light, rather than dense and heavy.