A few months ago I made my very first homemade hand kneaded bread. I've made bread in a bread maker, and I've made "no knead" breads too, all with pretty good success. But after reading an article in Countryside Magazine (see above link) I decided to try it out. It's a fair amount of work (although there are recipes that take less work than the Countryside article), but it turned out pretty darn good. But as it turned out it was a little too much work for me to do on an absolute regular basis. However, when I came accross the Planner Perfect Meal recipe, I was inspired to try it out. With adaptations... and combining steps from the two breads, it turned out pretty darn awesome. At least the Husband & I think so.
1 1/4 cups 7 grain cereal
2 1/2 cups boiling water
4 tbsp. honey
4 tbsp. melted butter
2 1/2 tsp. yeast
4 1/2 cups flour (combo of all purpose & wheat, though I imagine you could use all white or all wheat)
1/2 tbsp to 1 tbsp. salt
3/4 cup unsalted pumpkin or sunflower seeds
additional butter for coating bowl/bread
rolled oats or quick oats
- Place cereal in your mixing bowl. (you will be adding bowling water so I recommend a sturdy bowl) I recommend using a stand mixer with a dough hook to start with at least, it saves you some kneading.
- Boil water and then add to cereal mixture, stir and let cool until it is 100 degrees F or cooler.
- Mix together flour & salt.
- Activate yeast by warming a couple tablespoons of water to about 100 degrees F adding the yeast and leaving it sit for a few minutes. (possibly an unnecessary step but I do it anyway)
- Add honey, melted butter and yeast to the cereal mixture when it is the right temp and stir.
- Add flour mixture to cereal mixture while stand mixer is on a low speed kneading.
- Continue adding flour and kneading until dough ball forms.
- Once dough ball forms continue kneading in stand mixer for about 10-15 minutes or at this point you could remove dough ball from mixer bowl onto lightly floured surface or into a bigger bowl to do the 10- 15 minutes of kneading.
- If you are adding any seeds to your bread (hand) knead them in at this time as well.
- Grease bowl lightly with butter and turn dough once to lightly coat dough ball with butter.
- Place on counter or table uncovered for a "long cool" rise between 1 hour & 1.5 hours. (dough should be doubled at this point)
- Punch down (aka flatten) dough and allow to rise a second time for about 45 minutes to 1.25 hours. (again dough should double in size)
- During this second rise grease or spray two 9x5 loaf pans
- When second rise is complete, remove from bowl and shape into two "logs" rub with butter and roll in oats.
- Turn oven on to 350 degrees F.
- Place loaves in pans and allow to rise another 30 - 50 minutes (again until doubled in size).
- Bake for 30 - 40 minutes.
- Cool for just a few minutes in pan then remove to wire rack.
Okay so some "notes" about this recipe... First of all I failed at finding the correct 7 grain mixture and ended up using Bob's Red Mill Muesli and picking out most of the dried fruit and then putting it in the food processor to make the dried fruit that I missed, smaller (the muesli already had sunflower seeds in it so I got to skip the kneading in of the seeds).
Second, (and I know there might be some cringes on this- but) I used margarine.
Also I used 1/2 tbsp salt though the original recipe (both of them actually) called for more salt.
And for flour I used more wheat than white, though I can't tell you my exact ratios. I actually used fine wheat flour, all purpose flour and a minor amount of course wheat flour.
And really the bread was awesome even with all the odd tweaks. I'm one of those bread bakers that will cut into it when it's just cool enough to cut a piece off. I had to restrain myself from eating the whole loaf!