Tuesday, January 10, 2012

11 grain Molasses Sandwich Bread

This post has been a long time coming. For those who don't know, I joined a fitness challenge last month. Smack-in-the-crack-dab-middle of the month of December. Yikes. Who does that? Well...I did. I've had a great time getting rid of some of my pet habits and eating more whole grain. If that's at all possible for me to eat more whole grain...but indeed I've cut out all white flour. That's been crazy cool. I haven't missed it. A while ago I introduced you to my 9 grain ciabatta. That glorious-love-fest of a bread is made with whole cracked pieces of grain. I'm freakishly in love with the blending of flavors in the   Nine Grain Cracked Cereal Mix that hard red wheat, soft white wheat, barley, rye, oats, corn, millet, buckwheat and flax seeds...
Well. My friends at Honeyville Farms asked me to try a new flour they came out with that essentially is made from the 9 grain cereal mix. I got free whole grain flour and got to play. Um...would I ever turn that down?!.  In the process of using the flour I got to come up with some recipes they will be using in  their stores and company cookbook. Flattery. Big time! Plus, who offers a whole grain chef the chance to play with flour without said chef just about popping?! I had a smile on my face for a week. {As if that is new.} When the package arrived, I'm not going to lie,  I was swirling with ideas. I was also a little nervous. What if I didn't like the flour at all? I have to be impartial even when faced with a gig.  Well, that was not the case. I fell in love.

  Baking thoughts started  dancing and swirling in my head of what I would do with this beautiful flour. The flavor was perfect and I was very happy with the  cakes, cookies and crackers that were  now suddenly more whole grain and fabulous!  Is that possible?! What I loved most was the unassuming flavor. It wasn't overly "wheaty"...and it was nutty enough to add a good depth and dimension. It's about the same protein content as a cake flour...just a little stronger. It's actually perfect for most of my baking needs. However the protein did need a little boost for bread.  I decided to add the powerful punch of another grain to my bread as well. Teff. 
Teff is a nutritional wonder-seed  from Ethiopia...
Whole Teff close up shot. If it looks small, it's because it is small. 150 seeds of Teff will be about the size of ONE grain of wheat! This writing is small. I guess that's fitting for Teff comments I have huh?

Next I decided to add the protein boost of some Kamut (R) flour. Kamut (R) is basically the  Semolina of ancient Egypt...and as such, has a really high protein content. It makes amazing bread on it's own (and pasta). 
 I'm in heaven. This is my recipe for the 11 grain sandwich bread. Actually it's one I developed for myself and haven't even shared yet! How fun is that?! That being said,
there's nothing like a soft and smooth slice of slightly nutty whole grain bread nestling tangy cheese, sweet garden tomatoes and crispy lettuce to make you want to have whole grain every single day! Well, here's a loaf that makes a perfect addition to your lunch, brunch or dinner. The flavor of the grain is lightly sweetened by the kiss of molasses  and will make this a favorite loaf to have often.

Chef Tess 11 Grain Molasses Sandwich Bread
yield 4 loaves

6 cups Honeyville 9 grain flour  (Plus 1 cup extra for kneading if you need more flour)
6 Cups Honeyville Kamut (R)  flour
1/2 cup Whole Teff seed 
2 tsp salt
1/4 cup  Honeyville vital wheat gluten powder
2 tsp active dry yeast 
5 1/2  cups water, cool 100 degrees or less 
1 cup Xylitol natural sweetener or 1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses 

  •  Combine the yeast, water, molasses,  and xylitol (our brown sugar if you use it)  in a large 2 gallon bowl or bucket. Set aside and let the yeast activate.
  •  In a separate bowl, combine flours, Teff, salt,  and vital wheat gluten.  
  •  Add the flour mixture to the water mixture and stir until well combined. Allow to rest 10 minutes to absorb moisture. This step will help your bread to be moist and tender.Dough will be slightly sticky but begin to knead after the ten minute rest for 5 minutes by mixer (medium speed) or 600 turns by hand until dough is soft and supple. 
  • Roll into a ball and place in an un-oiled bowl or covered bucket until doubled in size (about 2 hours in a room around 77 degrees). 
  • Punch down the dough and remove from the bowl. Divide into two pieces on a counter top lightly misted with water or a very very fine dusting of flour. Do not add much flour to the work surface and do not oil the work surface. I generally will mist the surface lightly with water and it keeps from sticking. 
  •  Form each piece of dough into a loaf by patting out into a rectangle 8 inches by 18 inches. Fold the rectangle in thirds, like a travel brochure, leaving the 8 inch width. Roll the dough into a loaf and pinch the ends and seams well. (For more on my loaf molding technique and a picture tutorial go here
  •  Place seam side down into an 8 inch by 4 inch greased loaf pan. Repeat and form your remaining loaves.
  •  Place loves in a draft free area covered loosely with a piece of plastic or a large plastic tub. Allow to raise 1 hour or more, until doubled in size.
  •  Pre-heat oven to 425 degree. Place loaves in HOT oven and close. Bake 15 minutes at this high temperature. Open oven. Lower temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking 20-25 minutes until done (internal temperature of 170 degrees or more). Remove from pans and allow to cool before slicing. Store in a tightly sealed bag to retain moisture.
There you go! Happy New Year!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess


Sassy said...

HOLY COW!!!! I have got to stop reading your blog.....now I need to buy other ingredients too...plus I am NOW hungry at 5:57 in the morning......I AM DONE!!!! I TELL YA!!! This bread looks de-lish!!!!!!!!

Chef Tess said...

Grin. Ya know, I've been playing with this dough all week and I'm so happy!! It's just super versatile.