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BBA Challenge #20: Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire

Have I really baked twenty breads already for the BBA Challenge? It doesn’t seem possible.

These past few breads have been sandwich breads. Last week I posted to the BBA Challenge Google Group asking if anyone had any tips for slicing sandwich breads, because I have problems slicing them even and thin enough to make good sandwiches. Most of the advice I got back was about getting a better bread knife. I ordered a new one this week and I’m happy that I got it in time for this bread. I think this bread is the first I managed to slice adequately. We made excellent peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with it tonight.

This bread starts with an overnight soaker of cornmeal, oats, and wheat bran with water. I couldn’t find wheat bran at my local grocery store, but I did find Bob’s Red Mill natural raw wheat germ, which the internet assures me could be substituted for wheat bran.

The next day I added my soaker to the dry ingredients:

Soaker and Dry Ingredients

I added the rest of the ingredients, including the one ounce of cooked brown rice that I did indeed just cook for the bread. I made leftovers that I plan to use later in the week, though.

Mixed Up

I started kneading in the KitchenAid and it quickly became apparent that I would need to add more flour.

Needs More Flour

I added more flour, alternating with kneading spurts. Then I took the dough out of the KitchenAid and finished kneading it by hand, adding even more flour. I’m not sure how much I ended up having to add, but it seemed like a lot.

Kneaded

I set it aside to rise.

Ready to Rise

As strange as this may seem, so far in this challenge I had never had to retard the dough in the refrigerator because I needed to go out or do something. I have always been able to work straight through the recipe. But this time, I needed to go out in the middle of the first rise, so I waited until about an hour in and put it in the fridge. It looked like this:

About to Go in the Fridge

It has been cold here this week, so it was taking a while to rise anyway. When I got back, it was definitely risen enough – almost but not quite overproofed. I should probably have put it in even earlier.

Risen

I shaped it while it was still cold, and as a consequence, the second rise took a while.

Shaped

Usually my second rises for the challenge breads have taken much less than Peter Reinhart says they will (probably since we have been baking throughout the summer). But this one took even longer than the full 90 minutes, and probably could have been proofed a little more.

Second Rise

Sliced

This bread tastes very good, and since I’ve gotten a little better at my slicing, makes delicious sandwiches. I think next time I make it I would use part white whole wheat flour, since there are lots of extra “multigrains” but the recipe still uses plain bread flour. I’m also happy it uses honey instead of molasses. For some reason this challenge is turning me off of breads with molasses in them. I might be substituting honey for molasses in the upcoming recipes. This bread gets 4.5 stars.

8 thoughts on “BBA Challenge #20: Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire

  1. Regarding your slicing issues – I just started baking this weekend out of BBA and I took the anadama loaves to the A&P and the awesome bakers in their bakery sliced & bagged the loaves for me! Can’t hurt to ask a grocery store near you.

  2. Very precise slicing! I’m impressed. The bread looks wonderful. I agree this was a great bread. I made it a second time, using 1/3 whole wheat flour and it was great. I sliced the loaf and froze it and use it for amazing toast!

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