"All over the world bread bears a highly symbolic power: It stands for solidarity as well as the ability to share. As a universal product, found in every civilisation, made out of various types of grain, characterised by the manifold fermentation processes and the different ways of baking, bread - even now in the third millennium - accompanies every meal.
Staple food for some, luxury or modern dietary food for others - bread in itself means so much that it deserves a World Day in its honour! The World Bread Day wants to provide an opportunity to talk about bread and bakers, to find out about their history, their importance as well as their future."
1 cup Bob's Red Mill ten-grain cereal
3 cups water
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon sugar
2 heaping tablesoons molasses
2 teaspoons sea salt, or up to 1 tablespoon if desired
3/4 cup milk
2 packages active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
3 cups Giusto's Organic High Protein Fine 100% Whole Wheat Flour
3 cups Arrowhead Mills Organic Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour
Begin by bringing the 3 cups of water to a boil and stirring in the ten-grain cereal. Lower the heat and whisk occassionally until the cereal has absorbed all the water, about 10 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter, sugar, molassas, salt and milk. Set aside to cool.
In a glass measuring cup, combine the yeast and 1/4 cup warm water and let sit until the yeast softens.
When the cereal mixture has cooled down to a lukewarm temperature, no more than 110 degrees, add the yeast and 2 cups of the flour and mix until well combined.
This is when I begin to use my large stand mixer. With the dough hook attached and running on the number 2 speed, begin adding in the flours, 1 cup at a time, until it's all incorporated. The dough will be stiff but still a bit sticky.
Remove dough to a clean surface to begin kneading. Knead the dough, adding flour by the tablespoon or so, until it no longer sticks to the surface and takes on a satiny sheen, about 12 minutes. If you have an industrial sized stand mixer, it will do this for you.
Butter or spray a large ceramic bowl.
Shape the dough into a ball and place in the bowl, turning it over to coat with the oil.
Cover with a towel and place in a warm place, such as the back of the stove, and allow to rise until doubled in bulk.
After it has risen sufficiently, gently punch the dough down, remove from the bowl, knead a few times and reshape into a ball.
Using a sharp knife or pastry scraper, cut the ball into two equal halves.
Butter or spray two 9"x5" loaf pans.
To shape the loaves, using your hands, flatten each piece into a rectangle slightly longer than the length of the bread pan and 2 or 3 times the width. Beginning with a long side, roll the dough into a cylinder. Pinch the seam closed then tuck each end under and pinch those closed also. When you're finished it should fit nicely, seam side down, into the pan. Cover the pans with the towel and allow to rise in a warm place until almost doubled in size.
Bake in a 350-degree oven for 40 minutes or until golden brown and hollow sounding when rapped with a knuckle.
Immediately turn out onto cooling racks and allow to cool completely.
Copyright © 2005-2007, Christine Cooks. All rights reserved