Monday, April 27, 2015

Bread Baking: No-Knead Multi-Grain Bread

This recipe comes from Sonja and Alex of A Couple Cooks, who adapted it from Zoe Francois's cookbook The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.  It is a great find because not only is it delicious, it is incredibly easy to make and it's got some nutritional value.  I stopped buying store-bought bread a while back because of the long list of strange ingredients.  It's nice to be in control of what goes into my least then I know I won't be eating lots of added sugars, preservatives, and flavor enhancers.  Homemade also just tastes better...and it's not too bad to look at on my kitchen counter!
I started by soaking rolled oats, quinoa, and chia seeds in water.  The recipe calls for sunflower seeds instead of chia, but the sunflower seeds in my pantry mysteriously disappeared before I had the chance to use them.  
The dough consists of all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, rye flour, the grains, water, salt, and yeast.  Basically I just threw it all in the mixer bowl and let it go until the dough was just formed.  I was careful not to over-mix so the bread would be tender and fluffy.  It really is the easiest thing in the kneading necessary.  It's a piece of cake!  Easy as pie!  Why are there no bread puns?!  
Here it is after rising for a couple hours.  At this point I covered the bowl in plastic wrap and stuck it in the fridge to be made the next morning.
Peeling it out of the bowl in the morning was quite the tactile experience.  This isn't the typical smooth bread formed lots of tiny air pockets which gave it an interesting stretchy-ness and a sponge-like appearance.
Doesn't it look like a sea sponge?!
I divided the dough in half and formed each loaf by tucking the ragged edges underneath to make a smooth ball.  Onto the corn-mealed baking sheet to rest for an hour.
It has risen!
I floured the tops and cut some slashes with a serrated knife.  Quite artist-ique if I do say so myself.
All finished.  This is a hearty bread but it's not so hearty that it's tough or dense.  It's got a nice soft texture and a crunchy crust.  I eat it with my eggs in the morning, as a sandwich at lunch, and on the side at dinner.  I eat it all day!  It's that good.  Thanks A Couple Cooks!


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