The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Great whole grain cereal loaf!

clazar123's picture

Great whole grain cereal loaf!

After After reading the post about "troubleshooting a multigrain loaf" I thought I'd try my hand at developing a recipe I'd like. It still needs a little tweaking (and I made it a hybrid sourdough) but it turned out absolutely wonderful in terms of texture and grain flavor. The one complaint I have is that I used 100% white whole wheat, which I find rather bland. I'm used to the grassy,sweet flavor of home-ground red spring wheat.I think one of the tweaks will be to use a combination of flours-either red WW, spelt or even some kamut or rye.  Hmmm.....rye would be very interesting.

Multigrain Bread

1 tbsp brown rice

1 tbsp pearled barley

1 tbsp wheat berries

1 cup mix of any rolled grains-I used rye,triticale,spelt,kamut,oats,wheat

Bring 1 1/2 c water to a boil and add the whole grains (rice,barely and wheat berries) and simmer for 15 min,covered. Then add the rolled grains,cook for 1-2 minutes and turn off, cover and cool (yields a total of 2 cups cooked whole grain)

I'm sure you could use any of the multigrain cereal blends from Bob's Red Mill or Hodgson Mill.

This really softens the rice,barley and wheat berries so they don't break your teeth in the final loaf.

In a mixing bowl:

4 1/2 c white whole wheat

1/4 c ground flax seed

1/2 c milk/kefir or buttermilk (I used kefir)

1 cup active starter (prob 100% hydration)

1 tsp instant yeast

2 tbsp oil

2 tsp salt

4 tbsp honey

1 egg

About 1/4 c AP flour to bring dough to correct consistency

I mixed in a stand mixer and because of the substantial amount of cooked grains, you have to mix a while to develop the gluten.If you don't, I suspect you will end up with a gooey,dense loaf. I actually mixed a few minutes and let it set for 30 minutes to give the whole wheat a chance to hydrate,then continued mixing about 5 minutes more to develop the gluten.Pay attention to this part.

Because of the cooked grains, this is a very sticky dough-no amount of flour will change that.I found that damp hands and a bench scraper were beneficial, as well as a couple stretch and folds.

When I was happy with the gluten development, I flattened the dough out and distributed the pumpkin seed by hand throughout the dough with some hand kneading.

3/4 c pumpkin seeds (more to cover the tops)

Rise til double-gently shape-proof-bake with steam at 450 for 10 min then 375 for about 40 minutes.

This recipe is still in development but I thought it was a really good first try at a multigrain.I pretty much just dumped,mixed and paused. I'm sure it could be improved with a longer rise,autolyse and perhaps smaller amounts of yeast. I also think either using red,spring wheat or a mix of flours would also improve the blandness of the flavor.

This actually made 2 6"x8" loaves and 5 bread thins (I use for sandwiches)

Enjoy! Glad I finally figured out the picture thing again-it is really a pretty looking and wonderful smelling loaf!


wassisname's picture

That is some beautiful bread, inside and out.  And pretty much a meal in itself!  The pumpkin seeds on top are a very nice touch.


BNLeuck's picture

That looks like it would be amazing toasted and smeared with goat cheese. Yummmmmmm.

clazar123's picture

I brought the loaf to work and asked for a few comments. They were pretty consistent with my observations. The texture is wonderful,as is the mouth feel and the pumpkin seeds add such a nice crunch. But the white whole wheat is bland and it could use a little more salt.

I had already increased the salt (I put in about 1 1/4 teaspoons) so the above 2 tsp can stand.

I still think adding some of the flour as rye or red would be good.

The sandwich flats were great in my lunches all week. A shmear of goat cheese would be wonderful!

Eventually I'll weigh everything.

clazar123's picture

The comments I got for the loaf above were constructive and I changed the recipe to address the comments. I came out with a totally different (but delicious) loaf.


1.Too bland-I concurred with this and I believe it was a function of the dough flavor rather than the salt content. I changed the flour to a mix of red and white whole wheat and added a small amount of rye. I also added an autolyse and retarded the dough over night in the refrigerator.

2. The whole grains (wheat berries,rice and barley) were good but they seemed accidental rather than planned so either there needed to be more of the texture or none. I decided none for the next round-I just to used the rolled whole grain.

3.Crumb texture and crust was excellent.


Turns out it was not an ideal day to run an experimental recipe but I didn't know that til I was well into it. Some unexpected interruptions occurred.

So heres the new recipe with the weights!


(1560 g total dough/3#7oz or 55 ounces weight)

1 c (103g) mixed,rolled grains (kamut,spelt rye,barley triticale,oats)

1 c (231g) water

Bring water to boil,add rolled grain and cook 3-5 minutes-cool to lukewarm

2 c (270g) white whole wheat flour

1/2 c (65 g) red,whole wheat flour

1/2 c (58g) rye flour **all flours are whole grain and homeground

1/2 c (119g) milk,kefir,buttermilk **I used kefir the first time and milk this time.Kefir definitely fluffs a loaf but I'm uncertain of using it as the liquid for an autolyse.

1/2 c (107 g) water ** I aim to reduce/eliminate this

Mix cooked grains,flour and milk together briefly and let sit for 30-45 minutes**I would prob not autolyse the entire amount of flour next time-it was too dry and I ended up adding more water.Novice error.

Then mix in:

1/4 c (23 g) ground flax seed

1-2 tsp (13 g) salt

1/4 c (81 g) honey

1 c (290g) active starter

1 egg (50g)

2 tbsp (23 g) oil

1 tsp instant yeast **my insecurity and time constraints

1 1/4 c (186 g) AP flour **(used bread flour the first time and would probably do the same next go-around-I was just out)(I use AP/bread flour at the end of mixing to bring the dough to a good handling consistency-hydrates faster.

I used a stand mixer and mixed very well to develop gluten. This is a sticky dough! Handle with either wet or oiled hands.Let it rest and did 2 stretch and folds before putting it in the refrig.

Place in an oiled plastic container and put in refrig overnight.It doubles by morning,usually. Next day, let dough sit for about 1 hour to warm up,shape,proof and bake.

I use the overnight rise in the refrig often for my whole wheat loaves-it started out of necessity but the loaves were noticeably better so I often do it deliberately.

Comments on loaf:

Much better flavor!!Great flavor!From autolyse or flour combination?(Rye is great flavor enhancer).Or overnight rise?

 Soft texture but crumb more dense-like a soft rye. Prob from a combo of the no kefir and using AP rather than bread flour. The rye may have contributed to the change in texture. You'd never know this is a multigrain loaf.


1.How much of the flour do I need to autolyse in a given recipe in order to develop reasonable flavor?

I have a lot of white whole wheat that is rather flavorless to me but has great handling characteristics.I would like to be able to develop the flavor in those loaves without using other flours,if possible. Would an autolyse accomplish this?

2.Which direction next on this recipe?

USe all white whole wheat and autolyse a portion of it, thus reducing the amount of extra water and white flour?

Try just the overnight refrig rise?

Definitely continue to weigh ingredients! Easy to see inconsistencies in the measured by volume numbers (1 cup water is not double the 1/2 c in the liquids above!)