I love a good piece of artisan harvest grains bread. A dear friend of mine, my fiddle instructor and my knitting buddy for many years, showed me her favorite snack when I was a teenager spending my summers weekending at her tiny cabin: a thick-sliced piece of whole grain bread, crusty and hearty, with a piece of cheese melted over the top. I look forward to that gooey snack every time I buy a bakery loaf like this, which is not very often. In an effort to make and eat more whole foods I’ve added bread to my weekly baking list and when I searched for the seedy, dense loaf of my dreams I came up nearly empty-handed. I wanted a bread that had bran, seeds, oatmeal; ALL the good stuff! Many of the nut and seed breads I found on Pinterest are gluten-free, which isn’t a dietary requirement in our home. So I’ve referenced literally dozens of baking guides and put together three recipes, used separately or in combination, that will change the way you bake bread forever.
Happiness is the smell of freshly baked bread.Anonymous
The first I would like to share is a blend of whole grains that you can add to any bread recipe whether it be made by hand or bread machine. It’s chock full of delicious, chewy seeds and healthy grains that will produce a thick and luxurious loaf just begging to be slathered with butter and taken with coffee or tea.
You might be surprised to see chia seeds included in this recipe but if you’ve never baked with them you’re missing out! They completely disappear into the dough and give it an extra bit of moistness and chew due to the gelatinous quality they take on after a good soak.
Next I have thrown together a menagerie of seeds to make a delightfully complex and crunchy topping that again can be used with any bread recipe. This proverbial cherry on top is what absolutely made my perfect loaf come to life!
Finally, if you’re looking for a basic bread recipe to use these amazing harvest grains in, I’ve listed my favorite whole wheat bread recipe. While it’s great on its own, it’s heavenly with the addition of these two pre-made mixes.
Whole Grain Bread Mix
- 2 c oat bran
- 2 c wheat bran
- 1/2 c rolled oats old fashioned
- 1/2 c quick oats or instant
- 1/2 c whole wheat berries
- 1/2 c whole oat berries
- 1/2 c sunflower seeds
- 1/4 c flax seeds
- 1/4 c chia seeds
- 1/4 c millet food grade
- 1/4 c sesame seeds
- Combine all ingredients in a resealable container. Add 2/3 cup of whole grain mix per one-pound of bread dough. This recipe can easily be doubled or halved.
Super Seeds Bread Topping
- food processor or blender
- 2 c pumpkin seeds shelled
- 2 c sunflower meats raw unsalted
- 1/2 c rolled oats old fashioned
- 1/2 c flax seeds
- 1/2 c poppy seeds
- 1/2 c sesame seeds
- Measure out the pumpkin seeds, sunflower meats, and oatmeal into separate containers. Slightly chop each ingredient in a food processor or blender. You are now ready to combine all ingredients into the storage container of your choice.
- Use by the tablespoon to garnish any loaf of homemade bread prior to baking. It is recommended that an egg wash is used to help the seed mix stick to the bread. This will give you a beautifully browned and garnished crust.
Honey Wheat Homemade Bread
- 2 c all-purpose flour
- 1 c whole wheat flour
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 c whole milk
- 1/4 c warm water
- 2 tbsp avocado oil or olive oil
- 1/4 c honey
- In a small bowl place the milk and butter. Heat at thirty-second intervals until the milk is hot enough to start the butter melting. Stir until the butter is completely melted and let cool to lukewarm.
- In a large mixing bowl or in a stand mixer combine the flours, yeast and salt.
- Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients, mixing by hand or with a dough hook until it just comes together. It will be very sticky but should pull away from the sides of the bowl. Knead for 7-10 minutes, adding flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking to your hands too badly.
- Lightly grease a mixing bowl and turn the dough into it for the first rise, folding and pinching the underside to form a large ball. Cover and leave until it has doubled in size, or 30 to 60 minutes depending on the temperature of your home. You can place the dough into an oven without turning it on, using only the oven light to heat it throughout the rise.
- Following the first rise, punch the dough down, tuck the edges under again and allow to double in size once more.
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and shape it for your desired baking method. You can re-form the ball and place it in a proofing basket, roll it up and place in a greased loaf pan, or shape an artisan loaf to be cooked in a dutch oven. After you have shaped and placed your dough, cover and let rest for another 30 minutes before placing in the oven.
- Bake for 40-60 minutes. The bread will have a deep golden brown crust, will sound hollow when tapped, and will have reached an internal temperature of at least 190°. Immediately turn onto a cooling rack.
- It's always best to leave your bread whole and only cut what you need for each serving, so avoid slicing the entire loaf unless you plan to freeze it. Store in a cool dry place in a breathable container or bag.