Multigrain bread with home-milled multigrain flour

 

After a mini break from blogging due to the arrival of my sweet little baby daughter, I wanted to share my current go-to sourdough bread recipe with you. This multigrain sourdough bread has been the weekly staple loaf in our house over the last six months. It’s a super easy, yet wholesome and delicious recipe which I found easy to integrate into my new-baby-routine.

As with most sourdough recipes, it’s not difficult to fit the required steps into your day.  A few small steps at a time, 5-10 minutes here or there, is easy to fit around even a newborn baby’s needs.

Multigrain bread
Multigrain bread

Since giving birth, I use my grain mill a lot more. I now just have bags of grains (wheat, spelt, rye, oat, barley) at home and mill to fine flour or more roughly chopped grain mixtures as I see fit. I still need to use white flours as all flours milled by the grain mill are naturally wholegrain.

Multigrain bread recipe

Don’t be put off by the amount of steps needed – you will only need a few minutes at a time to bake this delicious multigrain loaf. This is  a solid loaf of bread full of delicious chopped whole grains and toasted seeds. It tastes delicious with both sweet and savoury toppings.

Multigrain sourdough bread
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Multigrain bread recipe

With my grain mill it's easy to make any combination of multigrain flour, three grain bread, four grain bread etc. This particular five-grain sourdough bread recipe uses a five-grain mix but you could easily use fewer grain varieties to the same effect, according to what you have at home or personal preference. The recipe for this bread is a modified version of the loaf '5-Korn-Kruste' from the book Rustikale Brote in Deutschen Landen.

Ingredients

Multigrain bread ingredients

  • If you are using a mill at home to prepare the flour and chopped grains prepare the various portions as needed on the day.

For the sourdough

For the toasted seed and grain soaker

  • 50 g sunflower seeds
  • 50 g pumpkin seeds
  • 150 g roughly chopped grains a combination of wheat, spelt, rye, oat, barley grain - e.g. 30g each
  • 3 g salt
  • 210 g boiling water

For the main dough

  • 220 g wholemeal wheat flour
  • 80 g wholemeal rye flour
  • 160 g water
  • 13 g salt
  • 1 tbsp malt extract

For the topping

  • A handful of chopped grains

Instructions

How to make multigrain bread

    Day 1

    • Combine the sourdough ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix well and cover. Keep at room temperature for about 16-24 hours.
    • To prepare the toasted seed and grain soaker, toast the seeds in a frying pan (without oil i.e. dry) until they start to release their nutty smell. Take the pan off the heat and add the chopped grains and salt. Mix well, then cover with boiling water. Cover the pan and leave to rest at room temperature for 16 hours.

    Day 2

    • Combine 240g of the refreshed sourdough with the seed and grain soaker and the other main dough ingredients in a large bowl.
    • Knead for 10 minutes, then cover the bowl and leave to rest for about 45 minutes at room temperature.
    • Prepare a bread tin (approximately 23 x 11 x 9.5 cm) and brush with sunflower oil.
    • Knead the dough for another 5 minutes, then shape into an oval to fit into your bread tin.
    • Brush the surface of the bread oval with water before rolling it in roughly chopped grains.
    • Place in the bread tin, cover and proof at room temperature for several hours until it has risen to the top of the bread tin.
    • Preheat the oven to 250C.
    • Bake the loaf on the second lowest oven shelf for 15 minutes at 250C. Turn down the temperature to 180C and bake for a further 45 minutes.
    • For a nice crust take the bread out of the tin at the end and place it back in the oven for another 15 minutes at 180C.
    • Cool on a wire rack.

    Low glycemic index bread: barley flour bread recipe

     

    Although barley is almost exclusively used in the brewing industry on account of its very low gluten content, barley flour is a really nice ingredient to introduce into bread baking. You’ll have even more reason for using barley if you are looking to keep the glycemic index (GI) of your home-baked bread as low as possible. I’ve been baking with barley flour ever since I came across the delicious barley rusks (used to prepare Dakos) hugely popular on the Greek island of Crete and after lots of research and experimentation I’d like to share my barley flour bread recipe with you.

    Dakos
    Dakos – If you’d like to make Greek barley rusks at home try this recipe which uses 44% barley flour… https://akispetretzikis.com/categories/snak-santoyits/kritharokoyloyres

    Firstly though, I want to give you some background on barley flour and the glycemic index GI/ glycemic load GL values of different types of grains.

    Barley flour bread is low GI bread

    I’ve recently looked into low glycemic bread options as I’ve had to ensure my blood sugar levels were as stable as possible throughout the day for health reasons connected to my pregnancy. Out of all the grains, barley seems to come out on top. It contains a soluble fiber called beta-glucan which has been shown to slow glucose absorption and thought to help lower blood cholesterol.

    The table below shows (reasonably) comprehensive information comparing the GI and GL of different grains, flours and one specific brand of bread. Data source: http://www.diogenes-eu.org/GI-Database/Default.htm

    “The Glycemic Index (GI) is a relative ranking of carbohydrate in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels. Carbohydrates with a low GI value are more slowly digested, absorbed and metabolised and cause a lower and slower rise in blood glucose and, therefore usually, insulin levels. Glycemic Load (or GL) combines both the quantity and quality of carbohydrates.  It is also the best way to compare blood glucose values of different types and amounts of foods. The formula for calculating the GL of a particular food or meal is: Glycemic Load = GI x Carbohydrate (g) content per portion ÷ 100.Source: https://www.gisymbol.com/

    The Glycemic Index Foundation suggests that a GI of 45 or less is classified as low GI. For GL, 10 or less qualifies as low GL.

    From the table below, we can see that only barley is low GI and none of the grains or flours listed qualify as low GL. Nonetheless, barley scores well.

    Food name GI value GL
    Pearl barley raw 25 21
    Vogel’s sunflower and barley brown bread 40 16
    Porridge Oats 58 20
    Crispbread rye 64 45
    Bran wheat 70 19
    Wheatgerm 70 31
    Rye bread 70 32
    Wheat flour wholemeal 70 45
    Wheat flour brown 70 48
    Wheat flour white for breadmaking 70 53
    Rye flour  whole 70 53
    Wheat flour white plain 70 54

    My barley bread recipe has taken inspiration from the above-mentioned Vogel’s sunflower and barley brown bread, incorporating both wheat and barley flours as well as sunflower seeds.

    Barley flour bread recipe (sourdough barley bread)

    Opt for barley bread if you are looking for a hearty addition to a low-GI diet. 

    Barley flour bread recipe
    Barley flour bread recipe

    It is best to use barley flour in conjunction with high-gluten flour. My barley flour recipe uses 50% barley flour and 50% wholewheat flour to ensure the bread rises better. By adding at least 50% wheat flour benefits the crumb. In the interest of flavour and extensibility, I wouldn’t recommend to increase the % of barley flour. The higher the percentage of barley in relation to wheat, the less extensible the dough. I increased the dough hydration as well in order to account for the higher water absorption of the flours.

    Barley flour bread low glycemic
    Barley flour bread – low glycemic index bread
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    5 from 1 vote

    Barley flour bread recipe

    Barley flour adds a pronounced sweetness and a suggestion of maltiness to this loaf. This is even more pronounced due to the added barley flake soaker. Add in some pre-boiled barley kernels to make a coarser type of barley bread if you wish.
    Servings 8

    Ingredients

    Ingredients

      Sourdough Ingredients

      • 100 g wheat sourdough starter 100% hydration
      • 50 g wholewheat flour
      • 50 g water lukewarm

      Barley Flake & Sunflower Seed Soaker Ingredients

      • 50 g barley flakes
      • 50 g sunflower seeds
      • 100 g hot water

      Main Dough Ingredients

      • 250 g wholewheat flour
      • 250 g barley flour
      • 10 g salt
      • 320 g water lukewarm
      • 100 g natural yoghurt

      Toppings

      • 1 handful of sunflower seeds
      • 1 handful of barley flakes

      Instructions

      How to make barley flour sourdough bread

        Day 1  - Refresh your sourdough starter & prepare the soaker

        • For the sourdough - 
          In a medium bowl, combine all the sourdough ingredients, cover with a lid and keep at room temperature until the next day.
        • For the soaker - 
          Toast the barley flakes and sunflower seeds in a frying pan (no oil) to release the nutty flavours, then take off the heat, add the boiling water and cover immediately. Set aside at room temperature.

        Day 2 (about 24 hours later) - Prepare the main dough, proof & bake

        • Combine 100g of the refreshed sourdough (the rest goes back into the fridge for future bakes) with all the remaining ingredients (the soaker you prepared the day before and all of the main dough ingredients) and knead for about 10 mins. The dough will be sticky yet pliable.
        • Leave the dough to rest for about an hour.
        • Oil a bread baking tin and distribute a handful of sunflower seeds across the bottom of the tin, covering the surface evenly.
        • Transfer the dough into the oiled and seeded bread baking tin, evenly distribute the barley flakes across the top of the dough and cover with a lid or a polythene bag to keep the moisture in.
        • Rest until fully proofed (this takes a good 4 hours in my cool kitchen) and preheat the oven to 220°C in time.
        • Bake at 220°C for 10 mins, and at 200°C for a further 40 mins.
        • Leave to cool on a wire rack.

        Grape seed flour bread recipe

         

        I stumbled upon grape seed flour in a small farm shop in Austria and was intrigued by this little known ingredient. Of course, I had to have it to use it in bread baking 🙂 Here are my notes on baking bread with grape seed flour.
        Grape seed flour can be made from any variety of grape, each with its own characteristic taste. When added to bread dough, the resulting loaf benefits from the grape flour’s richness of colour and flavour. I’ve noted down my grape seed flour bread recipe for those of you interested in giving this a go!

        Grape seed bread
        Grape seed bread

        Grape seed flour (which is actually more like a fine powder) is produced from pomace i.e. the skins, seeds and pulp generated during wine-making. Typically, only 80% of the total harvested grape crop is used to make wine, so it’s a nice way of using the ‘waste’ of the wine-making process. The seeds are pressed to extract the oils, and then, along with the grape skins, dried and milled into flour. Grape seeds have long been used to produce grape seed oil, and grape seed flour is just another alternative.

        Grape seed flour bread
        Grape seed flour bread

        How to use grape seed flour

        • Grape seed flour can be added to baked goods. The recommended ‘dosage’ is 5-7% based on the bread’s flour content.
        • Grape seed flour pancakes are another great option. Just use your standard pancake recipe and add a tablespoon of grape seed flour into the batter mixture.
        • It can also be added to yoghurt or smoothies and used to thicken and flavour soups or salad dressings.
        • It adds rich colour and flavour with a slightly astringent yet fruity taste. White wine grapes will lend a tan colour to baked goods, while red wine grapes will add a darker, purple-brown colour to them.
        • Grape seed flour provides a boost of antioxidants and is high in fibre.
        • Finally, it’s a gluten free ingredient.

        Grape Seed Flour Bread Recipe

        Have fun baking with grape seed bread and pairing it with wine. I used grape seed flour from the Urkornhof in Austria, but you can buy grape seed flour online too. The cold-pressed grape seed flour I used combines seeds from both white and red grape varieties into one flour.

        Ingredients

        Sourdough

        Main dough

        • 265g strong white bread flour
        • 35g wholemeal wheat flour
        • 15g grape seed flour
        • 8g salt
        • 180g water

        How to make grape seed flour bread

        1. On the day before baking, refresh your sourdough by combining the sourdough ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix well, cover and keep at room temperature for 12 – 16 hours.
        2. On the day of baking, combine 200g of the refreshed sourdough starter (the rest goes back into the fridge until your next bake) with the main dough ingredients.
        3. Knead for 10 minutes and you should have a smooth dough at this point.
        4. Place the dough back into the bowl, cover and rest for 1 hour or so until visibly risen.
        5. Punch down the dough and, on your work surface, shape it into a boule.
        6. Lightly dust the loaf with flour on all sides, then place it into a suitable proving basket.
        7. Cover the proving basket with a polythene bag (to prevent the dough from drying out), then leave to prove at room temperature for several hours until fully proved.
        8. Preheat the oven and your baking dome (if using) 20 minutes before the bake.
        9. Turn out the dough onto the baking dome plate or a baking tray lined with baking paper. Score a pattern with a scoring knife if you like.
        10. Bake at 180°C for 35 minutes and a further 10 minutes without the baking dome lid (if using) to brown the crust.
        11. Cool on a wire rack.

        Wheatgerm bread

         

        When in Ireland last weekend, I picked up a big bag of wheatgerm – an ingredient found in most well stocked supermarkets over there. I use wheatgerm in this recipe for brown Irish soda bread and in this homemade granola recipe. However, Dan Lepard also features a good-looking wheatgerm bread in his book ‘The Handmade Loaf‘ and here is my version of his wheatgerm bread recipe.

        Wheat Germ Bread
        Wheat Germ Bread

        What is wheat germ?

        • Wheat germ (short for germination) is the small, nutritious centre of a wheat kernel.
        • It’s the part of wheat that sprouts and grows into a new plant and comprises only about 2.5% of the weight of the kernel.
        • Wheat germ is removed during white flour refinement but it is used in whole wheat flour.
        Wheat Germ
        Wheat Germ

        For reference, whole wheat and all other whole grains are made up of three primary components:

        • the bran (outside shell)
        • the germ (the reproductive element)
        • the starchy endosperm (used to mill flour)

        Wheat germ bread recipe

        This is my slightly adjusted version of Dan Lepard’s wheatgerm bread recipe. I use double the amount of whole grains, half the amount of honey and replace orange juice with milk in my recipe version. I also opt for not toasting the wheatgerm due to some nutrients being lost during the toasting process.

        Wheat Germ Bread Dan Lepard
        My Wheat Germ Bread Based On Dan Lepard’s Recipe

        Dan Lepard’s tip: “In an act of breadmaking heresy, this bread doesn’t really have an initial fermentation. After kneading, the dough is left for 10 minutes before being shaped and placed in the tin, so most of the fermentation occurs once the dough is in its final shape. Breadmaking flour has a lot of strong gluten, but it is contained within the endosperm. In white flour, all that remains is the milled endosperm; in wholewheat flour this is a smaller percentage of the dry matter. Wholewheat flours should therefore be treated as if they contain less gluten, which means you need to handle the dough les and give it a shorter initial rise. This bread has an extra 25% wheatgerm, which lowers the gluten content further. Be gentle with the kneading, as the bran will tear the gluten if the dough is subjected to a rigorous and extended mixing. ”

        Wheatgerm Bread
        Wheatgerm Bread

        Ingredients

        • 80g whole grains – you can e.g. use whole wheat, rye, spelt or Grünkern as I have used
        • 100g wheatgerm
        • 400g strong wholewheat flour
        • 5g dried yeast
        • 5g salt
        • 340g water
        • 20g honey
        • 60g milk, lukewarm

        How to make wheatgerm bread

        1. Place the whole grains in a small saucepan, cover with water and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Ensure the grains remain covered with water at all times.
        2. Remove from the heat, add cold water to the pan so the grains become lukewarm, then drain.
        3. In a small bowl, combine the water and honey and warm up slightly (not too much) to thoroughly mix the two liquids.
        4. In a large bowl, combine the wholewheat flour, wheatgerm, cooked whole grains, dried yeast, salt, the water and honey mixture and the milk.
        5. Form a dough and knead briefly. When evenly combined, cover the bowl and leave to rest for 5 minutes.
        6. Use this time to grease a 9 x 24 cm loaf tin (I used rapeseed oil and a silicone pastry brush to do this).
        7. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead for 10 seconds.
        8. Shape the dough back into a ball, return it to the bowl and cover.
        9. Leave for 5 minutes and repeat steps 9 and 10 twice more.
        10. Leave for 10 minutes.
        11. On a lightly floured work surface, pat the dough into a flat rectangle measuring roughly 25 cm left-to-right by 20 cm top-to-bottom.
        12. Roll the dough inward, starting at the end furthest from you, rolling it tightly.
        13. Roll the dough gently on the work surface, then pat the ends inward so that it will drop neatly into the prepared tin. Lightly flour the dough’s top surface.
        14. Cover the tin with a polythene bag and leave to rise at room temperature for approx. 1 – 1.5 hours, until it has risen about 1 cm over the top of the tin. Ensure to preheat the oven to 220°C about 20 minutes before this time.
        15. Place the tin in the centre of the oven and bake for 40 minutes.
        16. Remove from the oven and, after 5 minutes, remove the loaf from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack.
        Wheat Germ Bread Recipe
        Wheat Germ Bread Recipe

        Homemade seeded sourdough bread recipe

         

        Why make a plain loaf if you can make it so much more interesting with seeds! This seeded sourdough bread recipe uses a mix of sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and linseed – a loaf packed with nutrients, protein and minerals.

        Homemade seeded sourdough
        Homemade seeded sourdough

        Seeded sourdough bread recipe

        This recipe uses both rye and wheat flours as well as a tablespoon of malt extract. A tremendous flavour combination, enhanced further by the delicious seed mix.

        Seeded sourdough bread
        Seeded sourdough bread

        Ingredients

        Sourdough

        Seed mix

        • 60g sunflower seeds
        • 40g sesame seeds
        • 40g linseed
        • 150g hot water

        Main dough

        • 40g rye flour
        • 260g white bread flour
        • 200g wholemeal bread flour
        • 195g water
        • 12g salt
        • 1 tbsp malt extract
        Seeded sourdough
        Seeded sourdough

        How to make homemade seeded sourdough bread

        Day 1

        1. Combine the sourdough ingredients in a medium bowl, cover and keep at room temperature for approx. 16 hours.
        2. Dry roast the seeds in a frying pan (no oil!) and toast the mixed seeds for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Place in a bowl, pour over the hot water, cover and keep at room temperature for approx. 16 hours.

        Day 2

        1. Combine 300g of the sourdough (the rest goes back into the fridge for your next bake), the seed mix soaker and the main dough ingredients in a large bowl to form a rough dough.
        2. Knead for 10 minutes.
        3. Cover and leave to rest in a warm place for 1 hour.
        4. Butter a lidded pullman loaf tin, then move the dough from the bowl into the tin. Squash the dough in quite firmly and evenly.
        5. Cover the tin with the lid and place in the fridge overnight or approx. 12 – 16 hours. It should have risen significantly during this time.

        Day 3

        1. Take the pullman loaf tin out of the fridge and  preheat the oven to 190°C for 20 minutes.
        2. Bake at 190°C for 1 hour. Remove the bread from the tin approx. 15 minutes before the hour is up and put back into the oven – the bread will get a much better crust that way.
        3. Remove from the loaf pan and leave to cool on a wire rack.

        Einkorn Sourdough Bread Recipe

         

        Einkorn (triticum monococcum) is the ancient precursor of wheat, the original wheat that grew in the area known as the Fertile Crescent in present-day Iraq and Syria. The grains are not very different from those harvested and eaten about 18,000 years ago and cultivated from about 10,00o BC. Einkorn moved from the Fertile Crescent area all the way to the Italian Alps where it was found in 1991 with the frozen remains of Ötzi the Iceman. They examined his last meal and it contained meat, roots, berries and Einkorn wheat. Even in the UK, grains of Einkorn have been discovered at an underwater archaeological site on the Isle of Wight where it was cultivated around 6,000 BC, when Britain was still connected by land to Europe.

        Einkorn has an ability to survive on poor soil and in adverse conditions; however, as time went on, other varieties of wheat became more popular due to bigger yield and easier processing. Here is my Einkorn sourdough bread recipe, made with 100% wholemeal Einkorn flour. A beautifully golden loaf, with a deliciously creamy texture.

        Einkorn sourdough bread
        Einkorn sourdough bread

        After all of this time, Einkorn has remained a pure wheat that has not been hybridized. It aptly translates into “one grain” in German as it has a single grain attached to its stem, while other modern varieties have groups of four grains. All varieties of wheat we know today are descendants of wild Einkorn.

        Baking with Einkorn

        Einkorn is ground into a soft and golden flour. As the gluten is weaker than standard wheat flour gluten, it requires a shorter mixing and kneading cycle than with regular bread flour. The dough can become sticky with excessive kneading and the slightly sticky gluten produces loaves of smaller volume than modern flours.

        Einkorn flour absorbs less liquid than other wholemeal flours. As a general rule, the hydration amount should be reduced by 15% for standard wholewheat Einkorn flour. Resist the temptation to add more flour to lessen the dough’s sticky texture as it will end up drying up and baking dense later. Try to keep your dough wet and sticky.

        Finally, don’t let it proof to the same degree as you would with normal wheat doughs. If Einkorn dough rises too much, it will deflate in the oven. Make sure the dough springs back when you press on it with your finger. It is better to under-proof than over-proof with Einkorn.

        Where to buy Einkorn flour

        Production today is limited and isolated, yet in the UK, Einkorn flour is available from Doves Farm and Shipton Mill.

        Einkorn Sourdough Recipe

        Bake a rustic sourdough bread with golden Einkorn flour. Light and creamy in colour with a rich flavour.

        Einkorn bread
        Einkorn bread

        Ingredients

        Sourdough

        • 50g wheat sourdough starter
        • 75g Einkorn flour
        • 75g water

        Main dough

        • 500g Einkorn flour
        • 8g salt
        • 400g water

        Dusting

        • Some extra flour (I use rice flour)

        How to make Einkorn sourdough bread

        1. Combine the sourdough ingredients in a medium bowl, cover and set aside at room temperature for 12 hours.
        2. On the second day, combine all main dough ingredients with 150g of the refreshed sourdough starter (the rest should be set aside for your next bake) in a large bowl.
        3. Mix until all ingredients are well combined but avoid kneading the dough. The dough will be sticky, so work with your dough scraper to make things easier.
        4. Shape into a ball and place back into the bowl.
        5. Cover and leave to rest for about an hour at room temperature.
        6. Deflate the dough and shape into a boule, cover with (rice) flour and place into lightly floured proofing basket.
        7. Cover with a polythene bag to protect the moisture and proof at room temperature. For me, in my Edinburgh kitchen, this process takes a good 6 or 7 hours. However, if your kitchen is warmer, the process may be much shorter, perhaps only 2 hours or so.
        8. Preheat the oven to 220°C and preheat your baking dome or Dutch oven at the same time.
        9. Turn out the loaf onto the baking dome or Dutch oven (or otherwise a baking stone or baking tray lined with baking paper).
        10. Score the top with a pattern of your choice. Use a scoring knife for best results.
        11. Bake at 220°C for 10 minutes and at 200°C for a further 40 minutes.
        12. Take off the lid of your baking dome or Dutch oven for the last 10 minutes if using to firm up the crust.
        13. Cool on a wire rack.
        14. Enjoy an beautiful Neolithic loaf of sourdough bread 🙂

        Healthy whole grain bread recipe

         

        New Year’s resolutions abound and healthier living and eating aspirations are plentiful with the beginning of the New Year. I’m hoping that for many, a healthier bread diet constitutes part of their New Year’s resolutions. For you special people, I have put together a healthy bread recipe to get you on the right track. If you are in an energetic, I-will-eat-better-in-2017 phase right now, give it a go!

        Healthy Bread Recipe
        Healthy Bread Recipe

        What constitutes healthy bread?

        Here is my checklist for the make-up of a healthy bread.

        • Organic ingredients

          As beautifully described by Andrew Whitley in the book Bread Matters (see page 43), “when we choose a loaf of bread,… we can also choose how its basic ingredient is grown. We can opt for bread made with organic flour, milled from wheat grown in soil kept fertile by compost, crop rotation and green manures… Bread’s roots are in the soil.”

        “In bread we gain access to the vitality of the seed.”
        Andrew Whitley

        • Naturally leavened

          The process of slow fermentation and using sourdough makes the nutrients in wheat flour more available for digestion and the simple sugars less available, which helps with blood sugar control, particularly for people with Diabetes.

        • Wholemeal flour

          White flour is made from heavily refined and processed wheat grains, while wholemeal flour is made from grains that have not undergone heavy processing. Wholemeal and white flours differ in their nutritional value, with wholemeal containing additional fibre and vitamin content as well as a lower GI (Glycaemic Index) value.

        • Whole grains

          For the same reasons, I like to add whole grains to my healthy bread recipes. While wholemeal flour undergoes some processing, whole grains are as good as it gets when it comes to adding cereal into your bread; they come with lots of fibre, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.

        • Seeds

          Seeds contain protein, essential fats, dietary fibre and micronutrients and I particularly like adding sunflower seeds to bread. Toasted, they taste amazing and add significant amounts of vitamin E, magnesium and selenium.

        • Spices

          Bread spices such as fennel, coriander, caraway and anise seeds provide properties which are beneficial to the digestive system and plenty of flavour. Take a look at my post on bread spices and prepare a batch for your next bake.

        • No sugar

          Baking breads at home allows you to avoid hidden sugars found in some shop-bought loaves. Read my post about sugar-free baking for additional information.

        • DOn’t let ‘Gluten-free’ deceive you

          Gluten-free bread isn’t ‘a healthier option’ if you don’t suffer from coeliac disease or other gluten-related disorders. The majority of flours and starches used to make gluten-free breads are high glycaemic with little fibre. Shop-bought varieties often contain certain industrial type binders such as xanthan gum which is highly processed and far away from the basic ingredients (flour, water, salt) of bread. If there is no medical reason for eating gluten-free, I would discourage you from seeking gluten-free bread options for health reasons. Healthy bread is based on natural ingredients and slow fermentation – rarely something connected to gluten-free nor supermarket-bought breads.

        Baking Sourdough Bread: The Traditional Art of Sourdough
        Source: Fix.com Blog

        Healthy bread recipe

        Here’s my healthy bread recipe for your new healthier lifestyle! As per my notes above, use organic ingredients throughout.

        Healthy Bread
        Healthy Bread

        First of all, a summary of all ingredients for my healthy bread recipe:

        • 50g rye sourdough starter (make from scratch or use a starter you have previously prepared)
        • 250g wholemeal wheat flour
        • 50g cracked rye kernels
        • 175g wholemeal rye flour
        • 100g sunflower seeds
        • 10g salt
        • 1 tsp coriander seeds and 1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
        • 415g water
        • A splash of sunflower oil
        Healthy whole grain bread
        Healthy whole grain bread

        How to bake my healthy whole grain bread

        If you don’t already have a sourdough starter, start by preparing this from scratch. Follow my guide to make a rye sourdough starter – with all organic ingredients. You’ll only need to complete this process once, so don’t be put off by it taking a few days to complete. It’s worth it! I’ve had my starter since January 2012 and have not looked back since.

        Day 1

        Step 1 – Refresh your sourdough starter

        • In a medium bowl, combine 50g of your rye sourdough starter with 50g wholemeal wheat flour, 50g cracked rye kernels and 100g water.
        • Cover with a lid or plastic foil and leave to stand at room temperature for 12 to 14 hours.

        Step 2 – Prepare the seed and grain soaker

        • Dry roast 100g sunflower seeds in a frying pan releasing the wonderful nutty flavours.
        • Place the toasted seeds in a bowl and cover with 125g boiling water.
        • Cover and leave to rest at room temperature for 12 to 14 hours.

        Day 2

        Step 3 – Prepare the production dough

        Combine the following ingredients in a large bowl and form into a dough

        • 200g of your refreshed starter mixture from day 1 (the rest goes back into the fridge for your next bake)
        • The sunflower seed soaker from day 1
        • 200g wholemeal wheat flour
        • 175g wholemeal rye flour
        • 160g water
        • 10g salt
        • 1 tsp coriander seeds and 1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed

        Knead for 10 minutes, then place the dough back into the large bowl, cover with a lid and leave to rest for about an 1 hour at room temperature.

        Step 4 – Prove the dough

        • Once rested, give the dough another quick knead.
        • Prepare a loaf tin for baking and lightly oil the tin using sunflower oil and a baking brush.
        • Prove for several hours at room temperature until the loaf has risen well.

        Step 5 – Bake

        • Preheat the oven to 220°C.
        • Bake for 10 minutes at 220°C and a further 40 minutes at 180°C.
        • Cool on a wire rack.

        I’m in good company with my healthy whole grain bread recipe this month. Check out the healthy breads that my fellow #BreadBakers have baked:

        #BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page.

        We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

        BreadBakers

        Grünkern (green spelt) bread recipe

         

        Browsing the local delights of the organic grocery store in my home town in Austria, I picked up a bag of Grünkern. The greenish grains looked pretty and unique on the shelf! Grünkern grains are unripe spelt kernels cultivated predominantly in Southern Germany. Although mainly used for soups and vegetarian burgers, I wanted to incorporate some of this unique green spelt grain in a sourdough Grünkern bread.

        Grünkern sourdough
        Grünkern sourdough bread

        What is Grünkern?

        Grünkern (German for ‘green kernel’) is spelt, harvested when green, in the dough stage of ripening, and then dried. Historically, harvesting spelt so early and before it reaches its full ripeness was a reaction to periods of adverse weather, which destroyed crops and resulted in poor harvests. It was a way to prevent crop failure.

        Grünkern
        Grünkern

        The green spelt grains are harvested when the starch isn’t fully developed and the kernels are still soft and juicy at about 50% moisture content. Grains are dried over a beechwood fire or in hot air dryers – right down to a moisture content of 10 to 13%. Once dried, the outer husk is removed. Have a look at gruenkern.de for more information around the harvesting process, then and now.

        The dried green spelt kernels smell aromatic and a little bit like fresh hay. The aroma remains uniquely pleasant and hearty when cooked with water, so it became a tradition to harvest a portion of the spelt as Grünkern. Grünkern doesn’t tend to be milled and is typically available as whole grains or chopped grains.

        If this sounds similar to another grain, Freekeh, then you are right. Freekeh is also harvested green, then roasted. The difference? Freekeh is made from green unripe durum wheat and dates back to the ancient regions of Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria while Grünkern is made from spelt and is still mainly produced in Germany.

        How Grünkern was made

        Watch these videos showcasing the Grünkern harvest back in the 1970s in Germany.

        Where to buy Grünkern in the UK?

        I’ve only seen Grünkern on Amazon in the UK. Unfortunately, other probable places such as Real Foods or Buy Whole Foods Online don’t seem to stock it.

        Grünkern bread recipe

        This recipe adds Grünkern to a wholemeal spelt sourdough loaf. Adding black treacle enhances the flavours, but you can easily leave out the treacle if you would like to taste the pure Grünkern flavours.

        Grünkern bread
        Grünkern bread

        Ingredients

        For the sourdough

        For the Grünkern soaker

        • 175g Grünkern
        • 350g water

        For the main dough

        • 220g spelt flour
        • 50g water
        • 14g salt
        • 1 tbsp malt extract

        How to bake Grünkern bread

        Day 1

        • Prepare the sourdough by combining your spelt starter with the spelt flour and water. Mix well in a bowl, cover with a lid and leave to stand at room temperature for 16 – 24 hours.
        • Combine Grünkern and water in a pan, cover and leave to soak overnight.

        Day 2

        • Drain the Grünkern and bring to a boil in a pan with 350g water. Simmer over a low heat for about 15 minutes. Drain any remaining water.
        • In a large bowl, combine 440g of the sourdough (the remaining 25g go back into the fridge for your next bake) with the main dough ingredients.
        • Form a dough and knead for 10 minutes.
        • Add the Grünkern to the dough and knead until evenly distributed.
        • Place the dough back into the bowl, cover and leave to rest for 1 hour at room temperature.
        • Prepare a baking tin (23 x 11 x 9.5 cm) by lightly oiling it. I use a silicone brush to do that.
        • Place the dough into the tin and prove for 2 – 4 hours depending on the temperature in your room. The dough should rise visibly, filling the tin to the top.
        • Preheat the oven to 250°C.
        • Place the baking tin on the second layer from bottom up and bake for 15 minutes, then bake for a further 25 minutes at 180°C and a final 10 minutes outside the tin at 180°C.
        • Cool on a wire rack.
        Grünkern spelt bread
        Grünkern spelt bread

        Sourdough Pita Bread Recipe (Wholemeal)

         

        I’ve been making pita breads with yeast for a while now. Last weekend, I attempted my first sourdough pita breads. Part of me thought that sourdough wasn’t powerful enough to make the dough puff. I should of course know better by now. Sourdough pita bread (without the addition of yeast) works really well and tastes even better!

        To add another layer of complexity and nutritional value, the recipe below uses 100% whole wheat flour. The sourdough whole-wheat pitas puff brilliantly. Make sure not to over-bake them and I promise you that they will turn out soft, moist and light.

        Whole wheat sourdough pita breads
        Whole wheat sourdough pita breads

        Recipe for sourdough pita bread

        Wholemeal sourdough pita breads
        Wholemeal sourdough pita breads

        Ingredients for 6 wholemeal sourdough pita breads

        • 30g sourdough starter
        • 450g whole wheat flour
        • 300g water, lukewarm
        • 1 ¼  tsp salt
        • 1 tbsp olive oil or rapeseed oil

        How to make sourdough pita bread

        Day 1

        Refresh sourdough: In a small bowl, combine 30g sourdough starter with 100g whole wheat flour and 100g water. Mix well, cover and leave at room temperature for 16 – 24 hours.

        Day 2

        • Combine 200g of the refreshed sourdough starter (rest goes back into the fridge) with 350g whole wheat flour, 200g water, 1 1/4 tsp salt and 1 tbsp oil in a medium bowl.
        • Knead for about 10 minutes, then place the dough back into the bowl.
        • Cover and leave to rise in a warm spot until it has significantly expanded in size, approximately 2 hours (depending on the temperature in your room, this could take longer).
        • Punch down the dough and shape into a log.
        • Use a dough scraper to divide into 6 equal pieces and shape each dough part into a firm little ball.
        • Dust the balls with flour, cover with a teatowel and leave to rest for 20 minutes (you’ll be able to shape the dough much easier after this time).
        • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 250ºC / 300ºC – the highest setting you have. If you are not using a baking stone, leave the baking tray in the oven to heat up – you want your pitas baked directly on a hot surface.
        • Carefully shape each dough piece by hand to a disc shape, then roll each dough disc into circle or oval, about 4 mm in thickness.
        • Place each pita bread onto baking paper (to fit onto your baking tray). You may have to bake in batches depending on the size of your baking tray.
        • Cover with a teatowel and leave to proof for about 30 minutes.
        • Take the hot baking tray out of the oven, carefully move the baking paper with the pita breads onto it and bake on the lowest shelf until the pitas puff up, have lightly browned and fully ballooned, circa 4-5 minutes.
        • Turn the pitas and bake for one more minute.
        • Don’t over-bake them as they should come out still soft, not with a hardened shell.
        Wholemeal sourdough pita bread pocket
        Wholemeal sourdough pita bread pocket

        If you’d like to try another sourdough flatbread recipe, give this teff sourdough flatbread from Ethiopia (injera) a go!

        German Sunflower Seed Bread Recipe

         

        This German sunflower seed bread recipe makes a delicious loaf of rye-based bread which is infused with the earthy flavour of dry-roasted sunflower seeds. The recipe is inspired by Gerhard Kellner’s “Rustikale Brote aus deutschen Landen“. A great way to use sunflower seeds in bread baking!

        German sunflower seed bread
        German sunflower seed bread with Scottish smoked salmon

        German sunflower seed bread recipe

        On the day before baking

        Prepare the sourdough

        • 90g cracked rye
        • 100g wholemeal rye flour
        • 290g water
        • 30g rye sourdough starter

        Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix thoroughly, cover and keep at room temperature for 16 to 18 hours.

        Prepare the sunflower seed soaker

        • 100g sunflower seeds
        • 100g water

        Dry-roast the sunflower seeds in a frying pan, then finely chop the seeds in a food processor. In a bowl, combine the chopped seeds with the water and cover for 16 to 18 hours.

        On the day of baking

        • 480g sourdough
        • Sunflower seed soaker
        • 165g wholemeal rye flour
        • 135g wholemeal wheat flour
        • 70g white strong bread flour
        • 13g salt
        • For the tin: 1 tsp olive oil
        1. Combine all ingredients (except the oil) and knead for a few minutes.
        2. Place the dough into a bowl and cover.
        3. Keep at room temperature for about an hour.
        4. Grease a 30 cm loaf tin.
        5. Put the dough in the baking tin; use wet hands to distribute the dough evenly.
        6. Depending on the temperature in the room, the proofing process will take between four and ten hours (the warmer the room, the quicker the proofing).
        7. Preheat the oven to 250°C.
        8. Bake for 15 mins at 250°C, then reduce the heat to 180°C and bake for a further 40 minutes.
        9. Cool bread on a wire rack.

        Delicious with smoked salmon and salads, enjoy!

        A shout-out at this point also to Roland and Romana, loyal readers of TheBreadSheBakes  – thanks for your support!

        German sunflower seed bread with salmon
        German seed bread with rye flour and sunflower seeds