My daughter and I recently discovered what is now our family’s favorite bread recipe while watching America’s Test Kitchen (by Cook’s Illustrated). As a Food Scientist by training, I LOVE Cook’s Illustrated magazine. It is by far the BEST food magazine on the market (in my opinion). As soon as the episode was finished we located the recipe online and immediately went on a hunt for the ingredients that were needed. We’ve been baking this bread ever since, thoroughly enjoying every bite.
1.25 cups 7-Grain Hot Cereal Mix (Arrowhead Mills)*
2.5 cups Boiling Water
3 cups Bread Flour (or All-Purpose)
1.5 cups Whole Wheat Flour (or Whole Wheat Pastry Flour)
4 TBSP Honey
4 TBSP Unsalted Butter, melted
2.5 TSP Instant Yeast
1 TBSP Salt
0.75 cup Pumpkin Seeds or Sunflower Seeds (unsalted) (Optional)
1 Sprig Fresh Rosemary, destemmed and ground (Optional)
0.5 cup Rolled Oats or Quick Oats
*If you cannot find the 7-Grain Cereal, you can mix one package of Bob’s Red Mill 5-Grain Hot Cereal and one package of Cracked Oats. It will work as a suitable replacement. Sometimes I use the 8-Grain Cereal mix by itself.
1. Place cereal mix in bowl and pour boiling water over it; let stand, stirring occasionally, until mixture cools to 100F (~1 hour). Wisk flours in a separate bowl.
2. Once grain mixture has cooled, add honey, melted butter, and yeast and stir to combine. Attach bowl to standing mixer fitted with dough hook. With mixer running on low speed, add flours, 0.5 cup at a time, and knead until dough forms ball, 1.5 to 2 minutes; cover bowl with plastic and let dough rest 20 minutes. Add salt, rosemary and seeds. Knead on medium-low speed until dough clears sides of bowl, 7 to 8 minutes. Add seeds and knead for another 15 seconds. Transfer dough to floured work surface and knead by hand until seeds are dispersed evenly and dough forms smooth, taut ball. place dough into greased container with 4-quart capacity; cover with plastic and wrap and allow to rise until doubled, 45 to 60 minutes. (Note: I do all rises in the microwave. I first bring 2 cups of water to boil in the microwave and then add the rising dough, close the microwave and set the timer. If dough is not rising in a timely manner I remove the dough, heat the water and then put the dough back into the microwave.)
3. Spray two 9×5-inch loaf pans or four 5×3-inch mini loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray and sprinkle oats along surface. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and pat into a circle or rectangle; cut dough in half crosswise (for 2 loaves) or in fourths (for 4 mini loaves) with knife or pizza cutter. Knead dough for each loaf and place in pan. Spray non-stick spray on top of the dough and sprinkle oats on top. Allow to rise for 30-45 minutes just like step 2.
4. Bake loaves at 375F until internal temperature reaches 200F. 9×5-inch loaves take approximately 40 minutes and 5×3-inch loaves take approximately 24 minutes.
5. Allow loaves to cool on a baking rack for 3 hours before slicing. We enjoy our bread with jam, olive oil and cracked pepper or olive oil and parmesan garlic crumbs.
View the original recipe here.