I recently started experimenting with sourdough instead of yeast and found a recipe collection blog from Canada called Nana’s Best Recipes, a name pretty similar to Gran’s Best. Nana has emboldened me to try making bread without any yeast. I was surprised to see that many sourdough bread recipes do include yeast “just in case”. We adapted Nana’s Multigrain Sourdough Bread and upsized it to make this wholegrain bread. The sourdough starter is fed with white flour so it isn’t 100% whole-grain.
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill 10-Grain Cereal
1 1/4 cup boiling hot water
5 tablespoons butter
3 cups sourdough starter
3 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup brown sugar or 3 tablespoons honey
1 cup liquid whey (a byproduct of making Greek yogurt, not the protein powder) or milk
2/3 cup ground flax seed, brown or golden
1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oatmeal
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
4 teaspoons polenta
1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill Hemp Hearts
4 1/2 – 5 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup white or black sesame seeds
In bowl of stand mixer, place cereal and butter. Pour hot water over. Mix well and let sit till cooled to lukewarm.
Once cereal mixture is lukewarm, add sourdough starter, salt, sugar or honey, and milk or whey. Coarsely grind 1/2 cup flax seed in coffee grinder to get 2/3 cup of ground flax seed. Add to bowl along with the oatmeal, sunflower seeds, cornmeal, and hemp hearts. Turn on mixer to blend everything together.
Add whole wheat flour until the dough pulls away from the bowl and is stiff. It should feel a little tacky but not sticky. (Remember that the whole grains continue to take up some of the moisture as the dough rises.)
Knead dough for 10 to 12 minutes using mixer (if you have an Ankarsrum mixer) or by hand.
Turn into large greased bowl, loosely cover with plastic wrap, and allow dough to rise about 2-3 hours, until about doubled.
Punch down dough and shape into loaves. This dough makes three 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaves. Place into well-greased bread pans, cover, and let rise again until doubled. This rise will take another 2-3 hours.
If you like, brush tops with egg white and sprinkle tops of loaves with sesame seeds or another seed mix.
Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 30 minutes. Loaves should sound hollow when tapped on bottom. Cool on rack. To store, slice and freeze in plastic bags.
Some mixer brands are prone to overheating when they try to knead stiff grainy dough like this one. I burned out a KitchenAid early in my baking career, and my 7-quart Cuisinart mixer used to overheat while kneading similar doughs. If you don’t have an Ankarsrum mixer (I am a fan), you may have to take over from the machine and knead this dough by hand to finish the 10-12 minutes.