Whole Grain Bread

I love nice hearty breads that have whole grains and seeds in them. I have tried several recipes over the years, but didn’t find one that I really liked that much. So, I developed my own recipe. It’s designed to be flexible and allow for a choice of different grains, nuts and seeds to be used, depending on the mood of the baker and the ultimate use for the bread. I also wanted it to have a high percentage of whole grains, plus be tasty and easy to make. Sometimes I get new recipes figured out quickly, but I worked on this one for quite a while before I got it where I was comfortable enough to share it with others.

Split Top loaf of Whole Grain Bread

Split Top loaf of Whole Grain Bread

I’ve made this bread using a wide variety of grains, including uncooked grains like cracked wheat, rolled oats, millet, oat bran, corn meal and a 5 grain rolled cereal. I’ve used several different seeds and nuts, including white and black sesame, sunflower, poppy, and pumpkin seeds as well as walnuts. And I’ve used cooked grains like black or brown rice and quinoa. They’re all good in this bread! Even cocoa nibs work. One recent variation included raisins and chopped walnuts, with a little cinnamon added to the dough. It was a winner too, and it was lovely when toasted.

black rice and millet in dough

black rice and millet in dough

Whole Grain bread with black rice and millet

Whole Grain bread with black rice and millet

This recipe makes a little over two pounds of dough. For a sandwich loaf I bake it in a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan, but it also works well when proofed in a brotform. I have also used my French bread pan to make baguettes. It is a versatile recipe, to say the least. Which is exactly what I was wanting when I set out to create it!

Whole Grain Bread topped with millet and sesame seeds

Whole Grain Bread topped with millet and sesame seeds

Whole Grain seeded baguette

Whole Grain seeded baguette

The below photos shows the dough proofing in a 10 inch brotform, and then after slashing it with a scallop pattern before baking.

dough proofing in 10 inch brotform

dough proofing in 10 inch brotform

dough slashed in scallop pattern and ready for the oven

dough slashed in scallop pattern and ready for the oven

I baked this particular loaf on a pre-heated pizza stone, and used a steam treatment to get a nice hard crust. The finished loaf was both lovely and tasty, if I do say so myself.

Whole Grain boule with scallop scoring

Whole Grain boule with scallop scoring

This recipes uses both yeast and a sourdough starter. If made with a whole grain sourdough starter like I use, this bread winds up containing around 70% whole grains. The sourdough starter not only adds to the taste and leavening power of the bread, but also make it stay fresh longer.

Using a bread machine’s dough cycle is the easiest way to do the kneading and bulk fermenting for this bread. Alternately, I sometimes use my Kitchenaid stand mixer for the kneading and then let the dough rise in a bowl on the counter. This bread usually gets a good oven spring for me, so carefully slashing of the dough just before you put it in the oven will help to keep it from splitting or ‘blowing out’ in unwanted places. For a softer crust, you can brush the top with a little melted butter after baking.

Whole Grain bread with oats, millet, sunflower seeds and walnuts

Whole Grain bread with oats, millet, sunflower seeds and walnuts


Whole Grain BreadPrint This Recipe Print This Recipe
A Happy Acres creation

1 cup bread flour (about 4.25 ounces, plus additional as needed)
2 cups whole wheat flour (8 oz)
2 tbsp vital wheat gluten
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats and millet*
2 tsp instant yeast
1-1/4 cups lukewarm water (10 oz)
2 tbsp honey
1/2 cup recently fed sourdough starter

* use any mix of grains, seeds and nuts to equal 2/3 cup total

Mixing Instructions:

1. Combine all dry ingredients in mixing bowl; mix well.
2. Add sourdough starter and honey to water; stir until well mixed.

Bread Machine Instructions:

1. If using bread machine, place wet and dry mixes in machine and start dough cycle. Add additional flour if necessary. When cycle is complete, proceed to shaping and final proofing instructions.

Stand Mixer Instructions:

1. Add wet mixed ingredients to dry ingredients in mixing bowl. Stir until well combined. Cover and let sit for 20 minutes (autolyse period).
2. Knead using dough hook for 8-10 minutes, using 2nd lowest speed of mixer (for a Kitchenaid). Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of additional bread flour as necessary to keep dough from being sticky.
3. Place dough in greased bowl, and cover and let rise for 45-90 minutes, until dough has doubled.

Shaping and Final Proofing instructions:

1. Remove dough to floured surface or silicone baking mat. Punch down to remove any air bubbles. Form into desired shape.
2. Proof in 9″ x 5″ loaf pan, baguette pan, brotform or other container, until dough has doubled.
3. Right before baking, slash loaf with sharp knife or bread knife to prevent from splitting.

Baking Instructions:

1. Bake in 425°F oven 30-35 minutes, or until done. Temperature in center should register 180° for a soft, sandwich type loaf, or 200°F for a crusty loaf.
2. Remove from oven, cool on wire rack until thoroughly cooled before slicing (if you can wait that long!)

Servings: 16

Nutrition Facts (if made with millet and rolled oats for grains)
Nutrition (per serving): 128 calories, 7 calories from fat, <1g total fat, 0mg
cholesterol, 147.6mg sodium, 101.2mg potassium, 26g carbohydrates, 3.1g
fiber, 2.3g sugar, 5.1g protein, 10.8mg calcium, <1g saturated fat.

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8 Responses to Whole Grain Bread

  1. Karen Faivre says:

    I can’t wait to make a loaf of that bread. I have a starter and I’m always looking for ways to use it. Love the versatility of changing out the grains. Exciting recipe!!!
    Karen Faivre recently posted…Bake awesome artisan bread in La Cloche Brick OvenMy Profile

    • Dave says:

      I’d love to hear how the recipe does for you. And I’m anxious to see your potato sourdough recipe. That loaf you made had me drooling!

  2. elizabeth says:

    I’d like to try your baguette, I’ll have to get a pan.
    This is my favorite multi grain/seed bread, http://www.northwestsourdough.com/discover/?p=1347

  3. You’re inspiring me to make bread even though we try to limit our intake of things like bread and rice. The loaves you made look absolutely delicious!
    foodgardenkitchen recently posted…Preserving Garlic – Food Preservation SeriesMy Profile

  4. elizabeth says:

    Is the bread too dense with only starter, is that why you also add dry yeast?

  5. elizabeth says:

    I think I’ve made English muffins with a combo of dry yeast and sourdough starter, but I usually just use one or the other. I’ve got the dough rising for this loaf right now, I’ll let you know how it turns out at 6000ft. Thanks.

  6. Pingback: Multi-Grain Seeded Dinner Rolls | Our Happy Acres

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