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.
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.
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.
Multigrain bread ingredients
If you are using a mill at home to prepare the flour and chopped grainsprepare the various portions as needed on the day.
150groughly chopped grainsa combination of wheat, spelt, rye, oat, barley grain - e.g. 30g each
For the main dough
220gwholemeal wheat flour
80gwholemeal rye flour
For the topping
Ahandful ofchopped grains
How to make multigrain bread
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.
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.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been experimenting with a new flour – semolina. Its characteristics make it the perfect bread ingredient for a coarser, more textured bread. Semolina bread is a robust accompaniment for soups and salads – just in time for the spring greens entering my kitchen. My semolina bread recipe uses small amounts of wholegrain flour to enhance the flavour profile as well as toasted sesame seeds.
What is semolina flour?
Semolina is a type of flour made from durum wheat (triticum turgidum l. var. durum) i.e. it’s the ground endosperm of durum wheat. Durum wheat’s particular quality is that the floury material in the middle of the grain does not immediately reduce to a powder when milled; it holds together in granular lumps of sandy coarseness. This can be further milled to a fine flour, but is often used as it comes.
It is pale yellow in colour.
Semolina is grainier than standard wheat flour. Semolina is available as coarse, medium or fine flour, based on the size of the grains.
Semolina flour is a high-gluten / high-protein flour as durum wheat has more protein than any other kind of wheat. “Protein is important because of its relationship to gluten. The more protein there is in a wheat, the more gluten there will be in a dough made from it.” Andrew Whitley, Bread Matters
Fine semolina flour is used to make pasta. Noodles made from semolina hold their shape well, and have a firm texture. Dough made with semolina is coherent but not very stretchy.
Coarse semolina is also used to make couscous.
In South India, semolina is used to make foods like dosa and upma.
In Germany and Austria semolina is known as Grieß.
Semolina and polenta – though similar in texture – are quite different. The former is derived from the wheat berry, and the latter from cornmeal.
Semolina For Bread Making
As a rule of thumb, fine semolina flour is preferred over coarse semolina for bread making. The coarse grains in semolina have a puncturing effect on the dough, adversely affecting dough strength and bread volume. However, it can produce a surprisingly smooth and extensible dough.
A high percentage of semolina flour gives bread a soft golden colour.
Semolina (farina di semola rimacinata) is an essential ingredient in Italian-Sicilian bread baking and also used frequently in Moroccan bread baking e.g. for khobz dyal smida or pan-fried harcha bread.
Where to buy semolina
You will find semolina in most well-stocked supermarkets or health food stores. My online store of choice here in the UK is BuyWholefoodsOnline.co.uk.
Semolina bread recipe
How to make semolina bread
My semolina bread recipe below uses my existing sourdough starter to raise the bread.
I’ve combined fine semolina flour with portions of wholegrain wheat and wholegrain rye flour to enhance the overall flavour profile.
Fennel seeds are often used in semolina bread baking, as are sesame seeds and I’ve decided to add sesame seeds into my recipe. A light toasting of the seeds adds even more flavour.