Adventures in Bread Making: Multi-grain Dutch Oven Bread

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Fucking-a I love bread.

I love everything about bread.
I love smelling it.
I love looking at it.
I love hearing that sexy crackle the crust makes.
I love buying it from pretentious little hipster markets.
Everything.

I spent a good 1/2 hour taking pictures of this beauty not because I couldn’t get a good shot, but because it was that gorgeous.

Okay enough about bread.  What am I saying?  You can never talk about bread too much.

What inspired this bread?  I don’t know, I like throwing a lot of things together and I hate recipes, hence my Multi-grain bread was born.

Recipe:

1 cups bread flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oats (old fashion)
2 tbsp quinoa
2 tbsp flax
2 tbsp sunflower seeds (raw)
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds (raw)
1 tbsp milk powder (milk powder)
1 1/2 cups water + 1/2 cup for proofing
1 1/2 tsp yeast (active dry)
1 1/4 tsp salt
4 tbsp applesauce (no sugar added)
1 tsp sugar
oil for coating

Lightly process or blend your oats, flax, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin.  Be careful not to turn them into a powder.  You can use any combination of hard grain/seeds you like or have on hand.  These are just the ones that sounded good to me at the time.

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Add your blended mixture to a boil with your quinoa.

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Boil your 1 1/2 cup water and add it to your mixture.  Let sit for about 20 minutes.

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Until it looks like this.

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Now heat your 1/2 cup proofing water to 110° and add it to small bowl with your yeast and 1 tsp of sugar.

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If it doesn’t look like this after a couple minutes I just start over.  You want happy yeast.

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While your yeast is finishing proofing you can start adding the rest of your ingredients to your mixer or a mixing bowl.  Applesauce, salt, flours, milk powder, porridge concoction.  I say milk powder is optional.  I’ve forgotten to add it a couple times to random recipes and I haven’t really noticed a difference, but if you’ve got it why not use it?

Get this started mixing and then add you yeast.

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Make sure they don’t get too happy on you.

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Mix on a lower speed until it just comes together.  This will be a wetter dough because of the porridge business we added.

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Turn out onto your work surface and do the kneading thing.  Again, because this is wetter to start don’t be afraid to add flour during your kneading.  I alternate between bread flour and whole wheat during my kneading if I find I’m using a lot.

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Because there are so many goodies in this dough it’s going to be near impossible to do the window pane test to determine kneading completion.  So just kind of knead it until it becomes a tighter, smoother ball.  As I’ve said before it is ridiculously hard for one to over knead a dough at this stage, so don’t worry about it.  Bread kneads lots of attention at this stage, give it some.  ← Ha!

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Lightly oil this beauty and put it back in your mixing bowl.  Cover in a warm area for 1 hour.

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You know your bread will be good when the dough looks good enough to eat.

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Punch it down.  Punch it down all over.

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Form it back into a ball.  Tucking the sides under and in and smoothing out the top with your hand.  As you would a doughnut or bagel, just a really big one.  Top with some whole wheat flour and place on a sheet of parchment paper.

If you don’t want/can’t make this in a dutch oven just divide the dough in two and make it normally as you would a sandwich loaf.

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Let rise for 1 hour.

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Near the end of your breads rising time preheat your oven to 425° with your dutch oven (and lid) inside.  The dutch oven need to reach 425°, so don’t start preheating too late, about 30 to 40 minutes in.

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Score your bread to encourage even expansion.  You want to make even, clean cuts about 1/4 inch deep.

I found this article on scoring helpful and the bread pictures are pretty.

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When your oven has reached 425° carefully remove it and gently place your bread inside.  Do not drop it in or you’ll partially ruin your rise.

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Bake for about 15 minutes with the lid on.

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Bake for another 15 with the lid removed to darken the crust.

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Allow to cool on rack for 30 minutes (remove paper).

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Enjoy!

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8 thoughts on “Adventures in Bread Making: Multi-grain Dutch Oven Bread

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