Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire

For this baking project, I decided to try Peter Rheinhart's "Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire."  The HB5 bread assignments this time just didn't interest me.

Peter, in his book, "The Bread Baker's Apprentice," said that people really liked this bread.  Since I'd like to add a multigrain sandwich bread to my Farmer's Market menu, I thought I'd try this one.

The dough starts with a "soaker."  I don't know the difference between a soaker and a starter; they are probably the same thing.  This soaker is a combination of coarse cornmeal, wheat bran, rolled oats, and water.  It's a good opportunity to use the freshly-ground cornmeal from the farmer's market the other day.  The bowl is covered with plastic wrap, and left on the counter overnight so the enzymes can start working.

One recipe change was to use only water, instead of the suggested water and milk.  Peter's recipe notes said that makes the loaf chewier, and no crust carmelization.  The finished loaf was definitely chewy!

I didn't have a 9" x 5" loaf pan, so I used two 8.5" x 4.5" pans.  I let them rise a bit longer, so that the loaves would bake taller.

Here are the finished loaves.  They were baked for 20 minutes, and then the loaves were rotated 180 degrees.  Then, they were baked an additional 20 minutes.  They turned out golden brown!

I was hoping that the loaves would come out taller.  I guess that's why a single two pound loaf was suggested in the recipe.

We really enjoyed this bread.  Very tasty.  Even though it's called a multigrain bread, however, it seemed to contain mostly bread flour.  I might experiment with the recipe--to remove some of the white flour and add additional whole grain flours.

Thanks for stopping by and visiting!  I look forward to hearing your comments and seeing your breads.



  1. They look delicious, Judy! This recipe sounds like a great one to try. Thanks for posting it.

  2. Maybe the difference between soaker and starter is the yeast, of lack thereof? Your breads look great. I think it is tough sometimes to get the pan size just right. Good luck with your adaptations to increase the whole grains.