As you can probably tell from looking through my recipes, I’m a big fan of soup. And on a chilly night, nothing complements a steaming bowl of lovely soup more than a full-flavored, crunchy/chewy, densely crumbed hunk of multigrain bread. Rustic and healthy and hearty, a bread like this screams for a little butter (like this: BUTTER!!!!!!!!). and the copious bran in this bread offsets the minor coronary implications of the yellow heaven, right? This is a sticky dough, and though you’ll be tempted to add more flour to make it come together quicker, don’t do it. Just keep kneading, and eventually it will make a nice, firm dough (this is why I like to use the standing mixer.
(makes two 1-1/2 pound boules)
1/2 cup corn meal
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup Fiber One cereal
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 cups boiling water
5 teaspoons yeast
3/4 cup warm water (110º to 115ºF)
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rye flour
1/2 cup flax seed meal
3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
In a medium metal or heat-safe glass bowl, combine corn meal, oats, Fiber One cereal, wheat germ, & boiling water. Stir well to combine. Set aside to cool, stirring occasionally to mix ingredients and hasten cooling.
In a large bowl, whisk yeast & warm water until well combined. Whisk in honey, butter, & salt. Add lukewarm corn meal/oats/cereal mixture, then whole wheat flour, rye flour, & flax seed meal, stirring well after each addition. Add one cup of the all purpose flour, stirring well to combine. Add a second cup of the all purpose flour and stir well. At this point, the mixture should begin to come together into a dough. Turn it out onto a floured surface and add gradually add the third cup of flour, kneading the dough well as you so. Continue kneading the dough until it is smooth and somewhat elastic, about 10 minutes (dough will be fairly sticky). Pat the ball into an oblate spheroid and place in a large oiled bowl; cover and let rise until doubled, about 2 hours.
[Note: I prefer using a standing mixer for the kneading, and if you would like to do it this way, just use the mixing bowl to combine the yeast & warm water, continue with the above instructions, and don't put the bowl into the mixer until you start adding the all purpose flour. At that point, connect the dough hook and continue adding the flour, using slow speed when you first add flour, and increasing the speed as the flour is incorporated. When you have added all of the flour, make sure the hook is gathering & kneading all of the dough, scraping the sides if necessary. Then, just leave it for the 10-minute knead, turning the dough out onto a floured surface and giving it a few quick hand kneads at the end.]
After dough has risen, knock it down, separate it into two pieces, and form into two boules. Place the boules on a lightly oiled cookie sheet, sprinkle with a little whole wheat flour, cover with a towel, and let rise for 1 hour.
Bake on cookie sheet in pre-heated 350º oven for 1 hour. Cool on rack.
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