I think I’ve found a new favorite bread dough recipe! I’ve been looking for a multigrain blend in the bulk section of the supermarket, but without success. I decided to give this pre-packaged blend a try. It’s called Bob’s Red Mill Organic Whole Grain Right Stuff 6 Grain. It contains whole grain wheat, whole grain rye, corn, whole grain oats, whole grain spelt, whole kamut grain and flaxseed. I’m glad I gave it a try… it produced an excellent flavor and texture.
I also wanted to do a different shape for my bread. I needed a change from the usual boule shape I’ve been doing, so I decided to do a braided bread because I love the way the finished product looks!
Braided Six Grain Bread
1 cup 6 grain blend
3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup olive oil
1/1/4 cups plus 1/4 cup tepid water
2 teaspoons salt
1 rounded tablespoon active dry yeast
cornmeal for dusting pizza peel
1) Place yeast in a large bowl and pour 1/4 cup tepid water over the yeast; let sit until it becomes foamy (about 5 minutes)
2) In a seperate bowl mix together the flour, 6 grain blend and salt
3) Add olive oil and remaining 1 1/4 cups tepid water to the yeast
4) Slowly add the flour mix to the yeast while using your free hand to incorporate the flour and yeast
5) Place the dough on a floured surface and knead for 10 to 12 minutes (add more flour a little bit at a time if dough is too sticky)
6) Form dough into a ball and place back into the large bowl (dust the bottom of the bowl before placing dough into it); dust top of dough ball and cover bowl w/ plastic wrap (I use a shower cap that I got from a hotel – it fits snugly over the bowl)
7) Let dough ferment for 1 1/2 hours at room temperature (if your kitchen is too cold, place bowl in unlit oven w/ the light on – the temperature is usually 70 degrees F). The dough should have at least doubled in size when ready to shape
8) Remove dough from bowl and split into 3 even pieces (I use a scale to weigh out the dough)
9) Meanwhile, preheat oven and pizza stone to 450 degrees F
10) Roll pieces of dough into strands that are tapered and long enough to braid
11) Braid the dough, carefully transfer to a pizza peel dusted w/ corn meal, dust top of dough w/ flour and loosely cover w/ a plastic bag, then let it rise for 45 minutes
12) Carefully slide braid onto pizza stone, then mist sides of oven w/ water (I use a spray bottle); for the first 2 minutes of baking, mist the sides of the oven every 30 seconds – this delays crust formation and allows the bread to rise rapidly and evenly
13) After 20 minutes reduce temperature to 375 degrees F and rotate bread front to back for even baking; bake for another 10 minutes
14) Remove bread from oven and tap the bottom; if it make a hollow sound it’s ready!
15) Allow bread to cool completely on a cooling rack before slicing
Baker’s notes: This bread is delicious!! The crust has a nice crunch and the crumb is light and airy. Feel free to substitute the all purpose flour w/ bread flour if you desire.