For the past few months, I’ve been trying to devote a portion of every Sunday to one or more cooking projects. Yogurt, ravioli, fresh fruit popsicles, Thai curry pastes…these are all things that I enjoy making on a Sunday afternoon. But, my favorite Sunday project is homemade bread. I really think Sundays were meant for baking bread. I’ve gotten pretty good at making’s Daily Bread so, this Sunday, I decided it was time to branch out and try something new: Multigrain Struan. I don’t know what a struan is, but the photos of this bread looked so good that I couldn’t resist trying it. Plus, I liked the fact that it was chock full of whole grains. If you go overboard snacking on this bread, you don’t have to feel bad about it!

There isn’t anything too complicated about this recipe; you just need to plan ahead a little bit. The day before you plan to bake the bread, you mix up a batch of sturdy whole wheat dough and place it in the refrigerator to rest overnight. You also make a sort of porridge out of milk, flour and mixed whole grains (both cooked and uncooked.) The porridge is left out at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours (I made mine right after I made the dough and let both sit overnight.) The next day, you combine the dough and the porridge together with a few other ingredients and, from that point on, the process is no different than it is for regular bread (knead, rise, shape, rise again and bake.)

I’m always a little leery about bread recipes that call for only whole wheat flour because they have a tendency to turn out rather dense. In this recipe, I used whole wheat flour whenever it was called for except in the step where you combine the dough and porridge and are told to add extra flour to achieve the right consistency. At that point, I switched to all-purpose flour. In the end, I probably used about 2.5 cups of whole wheat flour and 1 cup of all-purpose flour. For the whole grains, I cooked up some wild rice along with the remnants of a bag of Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Medley which contains brown rice, black barley and daikon radish seeds. For the uncooked grains, I used coarse polenta and red quinoa. The colorful seeds and grains sprinkled throughout made this a very pretty dough. For added texture, I topped my loaf off with a smattering of poppyseeds.

The bread turned out delicious! It smelled and tasted just like a really good, whole-grain bread should. It was slightly sweet with a crisp crust and a soft, moist interior. My only complaint is that the overall texture wasn’t as uniform as I would have liked. The bread was a bit denser toward the bottom of the loaf. I’m thinking that, since is shaped and baked in a pan, maybe the bottom didn’t have enough room to expand. Next time, I will try making it into a couple of small free-form loaves instead. This recipe would also make excellent dinner rolls. This is the perfect bread for two of my favorite indulgences: havarti cheese, sweet onion and avocado sandwiches and toast slathered with good, crunchy peanut butter.

1 Comment »

  1. Looks wonderful! Wish me luck on my first sourdough on Wednesday. I’m pretty sure the starter is ready.

    Comment by Katie — June 24, 2008 @ 7:31 am

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