The folks at Cook's Illustrated are always coming up with innovative ideas. This time they figured out a way to make multigrain bread that is neither as dense as a brick nor as fluffy as white bread, and all without making you hunt down and purchase lots of weird grains. Instead, they start with multigrain hot cereal mix! They recommend Arrowhead Mills or Bob's Red Mill brands; both are available at my Whole Foods and both are excellent brands. This bread came out great! I was very impressed with myself.
Easy Multigrain Sandwich Bread
1¼ cups 7-grain hot cereal mix
2½ cups boiling water
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1½ cups whole wheat flour
¼ cup honey
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2½ tsp instant yeast
1 Tbsp salt
¾ cup unsalted sunflower seeds
½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats or quick oats
Place cereal mix in bowl of standing mixer and pour boiling water over it; let stand, stirring occasionally, until mixture cools to 100° and resembles thick porridge, about 1 hour. Whisk flours in medium bowl and set aside.
Add honey, butter, and yeast to cereal mixture and stir to combine. With mixer fitted with dough hook and running on low speed, add flours ½ cup at a time, and knead until dough forms a ball, 1½–2 minutes; cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rest 20 minutes.
Add salt and knead on medium-low speed until dough clears sides of bowl, 3–4 minutes. (If dough does not clear the sides, add 2–3 Tbsp additional all-purpose flour and continue mixing—I didn’t need to do this.) Continue to knead dough for 5 more minutes. Add seeds and knead for another 15 seconds.
Transfer dough to floured work surface and knead by hand until seeds are evenly dispersed and dough forms smooth, taut ball. Place dough into large greased bowl; cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled, 45–60 minutes.
Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 375°. Spray two 9x5” loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and pat into 12x9” rectangle; cut dough in half crosswise with knife.
With short side of one dough piece facing you, start at farthest end and roll dough into log. (Oops, I did it the opposite way. No matter!) Keep roll taut by tucking it under itself as you go. Pinch seam gently to seal loaf. Spray loaves lightly with water or nonstick cooking spray. Repeat with other dough piece. Roll each dough log in oats to coat evenly. (Most of my oats fell off.) Place each loaf seam-side down in greased loaf pans, pressing gently into corners. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let rise until almost doubled in size, 30–40 minutes. (Dough should barely spring back when poked with knuckle.)
Bake until internal temperature registers 200° on instant-read thermometer, 35–40 minutes. Remove loaves from pans and cool on wire rack before slicing,
about 3 hours. until you can’t stand it any longer and you slather a slice with lots of butter and eat it standing right there with the knife still in your hand. Makes nice toast too.