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

    1. Combine the sourdough ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix well and cover. Keep at room temperature for about 16-24 hours.
    2. 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

    1. Combine 240g of the refreshed sourdough with the seed and grain soaker and the other main dough ingredients in a large bowl.
    2. Knead for 10 minutes, then cover the bowl and leave to rest for about 45 minutes at room temperature.
    3. Prepare a bread tin (approximately 23 x 11 x 9.5 cm) and brush with sunflower oil.
    4. Knead the dough for another 5 minutes, then shape into an oval to fit into your bread tin.
    5. Brush the surface of the bread oval with water before rolling it in roughly chopped grains.
    6. 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.
    7. Preheat the oven to 250C.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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 nameGI valueGL
    Pearl barley raw2521
    Vogel’s sunflower and barley brown bread4016
    Porridge Oats5820
    Crispbread rye6445
    Bran wheat7019
    Wheatgerm7031
    Rye bread7032
    Wheat flour wholemeal7045
    Wheat flour brown7048
    Wheat flour white for breadmaking7053
    Rye flour  whole7053
    Wheat flour white plain7054

    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
    Barley bread recipe
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    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

        1. In a medium bowl, combine all the sourdough ingredients, cover with a lid and keep at room temperature until the next day.

        2. 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

        1. 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.

        2. Leave the dough to rest for about an hour.

        3. Oil a bread baking tin and distribute a handful of sunflower seeds across the bottom of the tin, covering the surface evenly.

        4. 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.

        5. Rest until fully proofed (this takes a good 4 hours in my cool kitchen) and preheat the oven to 220°C in time.

        6. Bake at 220°C for 10 mins, and at 200°C for a further 40 mins.
        7. Leave to cool on a wire rack.