Homemade Multigrain Bread

bouchon bakery multigrain bread I've decided I need to up my baking game from desserts to something a little more practical---bread. I have a ton of experience baking pastries and cakes and cupcakes, but practically none baking bread. So, this has been quite the adventure!  I love hearty loaves more than plain ones, so I decided to try a multigrain bread.

multigrain loaves

I am quite the amateur breadmaker, so each step included me asking myself "Um, what exactly am I supposed to be doing?!"  This was especially true when it came to making a sourdough starter. I didn't really know what a "starter" was before two weeks ago, but I spent a week "feeding" a combination of flour and water with more flour and water every 12 hours.  I had to discard the first batch because I wasn't sure my sourdough starter was too sour. I'm still not sure.  In any event, I spent another week feeding a starter every 12 hours! I started to feel like I had a pet that I had to take care of.

The "starter"--also known as "liquid levain"

At some point, I just decided to make a go of it!  Mistakes or even total failure are all part of the learning process--especially when trying something new! So, last night, I decided to have a late night baking session and make this bread. It contains seven different grains: quinoa, flax seeds, rolled oats, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, whole wheat flour and rye flour.  All of these grains combined with the sourdough give this bread a lot of flavor!

So many delicious grains!

As difficult as "maintaining" the starter was, dealing with this unfamiliar dough was equally difficult.  It's sticky, and it must be molded several times in different ways. After mixing the flours with the starter and water for 20 minutes, I added the soaked grains and mixed until it was combined, just a few seconds. I then folded the sticky dough like a letter and allowed it to proof in a bowl for one hour.

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After kneading on low for 20 minutes, the dough should be sticky and fully mixed together.

I then removed the dough from the bowl and make it into an oval and allowed it to rest for 15 minutes before shaping it into a longer loaf-like shape.  I then let it proof for another hour. Lastly, I baked it in a very hot oven for 20 minutes, and then allowed it to cool. Sounds simple enough, right?  I'll add the recipe a little later if you guys want it!  But, you can find the recipe I used in the Bouchon Bakery cookbook!

multigrain bread dough

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homemade multigrain bread