A hearty honey 12 grain wheat bread recipe that’s a little bit sweet, super soft, and good for you! A good multigrain bread recipe is hard to come by, and after you try this one, you’ll realize it’s the only bread recipe you will ever need again.
Is it just me, or does it seem like making some kind of baked good with your mother-in-law is a rite of passage? I feel like I always hear people saying, “Well my mother-in-law taught me how to make this,” or “I made the most delicious cake with my mother-in-law last night!” Of course, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this, because I feel that food is a great place to find common ground and bond, and I am sure I’ll be inviting any future daughter-in-law to help me bake in the future (the very far future.)
When we were in North Carolina last month, my mother-in-law taught me how to make the most delicious bread ever. I’ve attempted to make wheat bread in the past, and it always seems to fail. Fruit breads, like banana and pumpkin bread, are a breeze…but I always seemed to come just short when it came to making a bread for every day use. My mother-in-law gave me some great tips, and when the loaves came out of the oven, I was so happy to see that I had successfully made a delicious loaf of bread.
This bread is rather hearty — I mean, it’s made with a 12 grain cereal and whole wheat. However, to make it less dense, just use less wheat flour. I found it to still be extremely slow The only place I’ve been able to find 12 grain cereal is here at BulkFoods.com, and it is a bit pricey to ship. I found it was worth it to buy, because I’ve used it a lot since, and the five pound bag really lasts a long time. But if you aren’t like that, feel free to buy an 8 grain cereal mix instead. In my opinion, the more grains, the better (Dave’s Killer 21 Grain Bread is my favorite EVER — it’s the best store-bought bread I’ve ever had. We go through a couple loaves of this gold a month!)
Now, this recipe I’m going to share with you isn’t exactly how my mother-in-law taught me. You see, when I was looking through the recipe book that she was using, I saw a few other bread recipes that sounded absolutely delicious. Well, when I set out to make the bread again, I started using the wrong recipe! So, in the end, I combined two different recipes. At first, I was SO sad. I was convinced it was going to taste disgusting. On the contrary, it was absolutely delicious. I made four loaves, and ALL of them were gone by the next day. Granted, we had quite a few people come and go during the two days, but everyone had at least two slices (sometimes even more.) The two recipes I combined (a challah recipe and a 9 grain recipe) together to create this recipe come from The Il Fornaio Baking Book: Sweet and Savory Recipes from the Italian Kitchen, which has a lot of amazing bread recipes. I just ordered it and can’t wait to try out the rest!
I used about half wheat, half white flour in this recipe, but you can easily use just wheat if you want it to be even more hearty.
In this recipe, I used King Arthur Flour’s wheat flour, at the suggestion of my mother-in-law. She said that it is the closest flour she has found to being like the kind use in Europe, and it’s really the only kind she uses now. She also told me that the majority of rising for bread takes place outside of the oven, so not to be impatient and put it in too early. For me, patience is a virtue I’m still trying to master, so that actually was hard, but I have noticed a difference when I let it rise just a little bit longer.
This recipe does have a lot of steps, and takes a few hours to complete. But it really isn’t that hard, and is totally worth the effort. Here is a brief reminder of what I think is essential for this (and really, any) bread’s success:
- King Arthur’s Wheat Flour
- King Arthur’s White Bread Flour
- Baking Stone (it is more likely to burn if you use a regular baking sheet)
- 12 grain cereal (though a lesser-grain cereal will be easier to find, and less expensive. Bob’s Red Mill has a great 10 grain cereal that should be available at most stores.)
- Don’t rush the rising!
- Never underestimate the power of a good bread knife. Seriously, it can make all the difference when cutting a nice, warm slice of this bread!
Amazing 12 Grain Wheat Bread
Inspired by Challah Recipe and 9 Grain Bread recipe found in the Ill Fornaio Baking Book ( http://www.amazon.com/dp/0811803236)
- 1/2 cup twelve grain, or less cereal
- 1/2 cup warm water water
- 1/2 teaspoon yeast
- 1 cup wheat flour
- 1 1/2 cup white flour, plus a little extra
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 medium eggs
- 1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 cup oats
- In a small bowl, let the cereal soak in about 1/2 cup cool water for 30 minutes. In another bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water and let it sit until it starts to foam (about 10-15 minutes.)
- In a large mixing bowl, put flour, sugar, and salt and mix well. Using a wooden spoon, make a small well in the center of this mixture. Add the yeast, eggs, oil, and cereal to the well, and stir together until it starts to form into a bowl and becomes too difficult to mix with wooden spoon. At this point, flour your hands and start to knead the dough inside of the bowl. The mixture will be sticky, so add a little bit of extra flour as needed. Fold dough from the sides of the bowl the center, and the flip the dough upside down. Continue doing this until it no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl.
- Flour kneading surface, and put dough ball on it. Knead the bread for about 15-20 minutes, or until it springs back. Add flour as needed until dough is no longer sticky.
- Put a tablespoon of oil in a bowl and rub it around the entire bowl. Place the dough ball into the bowl, and flip a few times to coat in oil. Cover and let rise about 45 minutes in a warm place, or until doubled in size.
- Once dough has doubled, punch the dough down until most of the air bubbles are out. At this point, pour 1/2 cup of honey on top. The dough will be very sticky, but knead it for about five minutes, until the honey has been incorporated and it is in a nice, round ball again. Cover and let rise until doubled for about 45 minutes.
- Once dough has doubled in size, divide in to two loaves. Spray lightly with water, and roll each loaf in oats. If using bread pans, grease pans lightly and place loaf in the center. If using a stone or other pan, form the dough into desired shape. Cover and let rise another 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 while dough is rising. Lightly mist the oven with water, and then place loaves in. Cook for about 25-35 minutes, or until the crust starts to brown. Because it is wheat bread, it will appear darker than you may expect. However, start checking at about 25 minutes to make sure the bottom isn't too brown.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 2 minutes in pan, and then move to a wired cooling rack.
Can be made using half wheat and half white flour, or all wheat. 12 grain cereal can be substituted with a smaller number of grains. Use King Arthur flour and bread flour for best results.
Katie is a Colorado-native, BYU graduated, and most importantly, wife to one and mother to three beautiful boys. She is passionate about sharing her experiences with others – especially about pregnancy, breastfeeding, cooking, and crafts. She is currently training to be a Certified Lactation Educator. She loves spending time with her family and helping others find joy in family life.
I’ve made this twice, and it hasn’t risen either time. I’ve used the yeast for another recipe since and it worked great. I just can’t seem to get this recipe to work. Baked it anyway into a couple of dense loaves that tasted good, but definitely frustrating to make.
So sorry Dawn! I’ve never been able to figure out why it won’t rise for some people. We never have issues 🙁
I just tried the recipe and the bread was soft but a bit too sweet. The dough didn’t rise much either. I think it might be all the honey. 1/2 cup is a bit much.
After adding it I ended up with a very liquid mixture to which I had to add close to 1 cup of flour. I am planning on trying out with 2 Tbsps instead next time to see if that helps.
Thanks for sharing!
Love this recipe. Truly our favorite bread.
Wow, what a compliment! Thank you for sharing!
I’ve been baking different types of bread for many years. I love grain bread, this is a new recipe for me,trying it now,will follow up on comments after it’s complete.
The recipe sounds delicious 😋
I hope it turns out great for you!
So, are you using the cereal (soaked in water) for the 12 grains? Thanks.
The second ingredient on the list is
1/2 cup warm water water
Obvious typo, just wondering if anyone else noticed?
Have you never heard of water water?! 🙂
I am so new to trying to bake bread it’s pathetic, so my questions here are with all due respect, no ill will intended. In fact despite my pure failure at trying to make this recipe I did learn a lot. Enough where I’m sure I’ll try this one again at least a few more times.
I needed to add quite a bit of flour while mixing to get something I could work with (it was very very runny) thus I mixed it together for what seemed like forever. Let it rise, worked it, let it rise etc. After I baked it I ended up with something that was pretty dense and a little chewy definitely not as light and fluffy as I expected.
2 things –
1) if a person needs to add more flour to a recipe would it make sense to also add more yeast (or possibly baking powder or something similar) to get it to rise up more to make it lighter and less dense? or is this not wise?
2) is possible to over kneed? If so would that cause the bread to become more dense as well?
Just wondering is all, the bread did taste ok, I liked it, definitely not so bad I couldn’t eat it. (I made my own little addition, I buttered the top of the loaf, crushed the oats a little bit, added crushed oregano, a little garlic and dried bread crumbs to the oats on the surface, basically a small Italian twist) but there has to be something more on my end to make this more light and fluffy.
Can you help? Thank you, Kris
Hi, Kris! I hope you didn’t take offense to my last comment 🙂 Anyways, with the flour, you generally don’t need to add more yeast or baking powder. This dough is, in general, quite sticky, so I wouldn’t add flour until the point of where it’s totally dry. That could cause some problems. And yes, very possible to over kneed 🙂
This bread is delicious, but needed 1.5 tsp yeast & a lot more flour. I divided it before adding the honey and used 1/2 for pizza dough, added the honey to the other 1/2 and proceeded with the bread instructions. Truly delicious!
Hello! So I am going to try this recipe on the weekend. It will be my first bread dough! Just curious about the cereal? What would be something to avoid?
I hope it turns out well! The cereal I used was a kind I ordered online. If you can, this is a great brand, and it should be at a lot of stores. But anything of a similar consistency should work well 🙂
I am trying this recipe today. I bake bread about once a week. You call for 1/2 cup of warm water and 1/2 cup cool water to soak the cereal (I used bobs red mill 10 grain). I ended up adding another cup of flour to my dough and it is still pretty sticky. As per one of the other comments I cut the honey in half because I thought it would be too sweet for my taste. I made one big loaf on a cookie sheet and it is currently rising for the third time although I haven’t gotten a huge rise out of this bread. Hopefully it will rise more in the oven. My questions: 1. Am I right that it calls for a cup of water total, 1/2 cool, 1/2 warm? 2. How long in the oven if it is just one big loaf? 3. I’m thinking of using a bit more yeast if I make this bread again, your thoughts?
Hi, Lucille, sorry I’m just now getting to you – yes, the dough is very sticky. Yes, you are correct with the water amounts. I’m not entirely sure how long for the one loaf (I’ve only ever done two.) I’m assuming you’ve already baked the bread, but I would love to hear how it turned out. You could certainly try more yeast. I never had issues with it not rising before, but I will definitely try this recipe again soon to make sure all the measurements are correct! Thanks for taking the time to comment!
I tried this recipe (currently in the oven) but it didn’t rise hardly at all. I even turned the oven on and heated up the kitchen way early so the air would be warm but it didn’t appear to rise. I’m anticipating some very dense bread…
Suggestions? I followed directions to a tee.
Hmm that is strange! I’ve made it many times, and it’s always risen. Are you cooking at a high altitude? What temperature of water did you put the yeast in? Is the yeast fresh?
Chelsea Moberg says
I live in the midwest so altitude isn’t the cause.
The water I used for the yeast was warm, but not hot. I didn’t use a thermometer so I don’t have an exact answer.
What was it supposed to look like while soaking? I don’t know that ever foamed. Suggestions for getting that to happen?
Sort of? I’ve had it for maybe 4-5 months (in a jar) but I used it successfully on Sunday with no issue.
Paul Giardini says
When you say white flour is that bread flour or all- purpose flour?
Valerie V says
I made this bread last night and fell in love with it,. i love making bread, it is relaxing to me. i did the process in my mixer and it worked great, love the flavour of this bread, toasted or plain with butter, my new go to bread recipe for sure thank you for sharing i am glad i found it on Pinterest
Thank you so much for your comment! This is one of my favorite recipes. I’m so glad you loved it as well!
I made this last Thanksgiving and it was amazing!! Delicious the next day too!
Thanks so much for letting me know! I always love hearing success stories 🙂
The bread came out wonderful ! BUT, the dough was wayyyy too wet (actually it was more like batter). I had to add approximately 3/4 cup more white flour to it and heck I added the whole 1 cup of oats too !! I reduced the honey to 1/4 cup, increased the salt and yeast to 1 tsp. I made 1one loaf in the breadmaker. If anyone wants to try in the breadmader its super easy. Just add your soaked grain when you add your flours; just be sure its NOT touching the yeast. Good thing I didnt add 1/2 cup honey, it would have been too sweet for my taste buds and more doughy.
Thanks for sharing your recipe ! I’ll play around with it some more soon !! 🙂
Thanks for your input! The dough is definitely stickier whenever I make it, though I’d imagine it could be even more so depending on your humidity. I love that it’s easy to customize this bread. I’m glad it turned out well for you!
Ooooo, heading downstairs to the kitchen and trying it now ! Gonna make in the breadmaiker though. Will keep you posted !
Good luck! Let me know how you like it 🙂
I too am concerned about the quantity of the yeast, I make a recipe that makes 2 loaves and uses 2 TBS of yeast, so 1/2 tsp. for 2 seems insufficient, would hate to ruin a batch of dough.
Hi there! It’s definitely understandable to be a little bit concerned about the yeast. I’ve made this bread many times though, and it turns out perfect every time. I did go look at the cook book where I combined two recipes from to make this one, and one of the recipes called for 1/2 teaspoon yeast, and the other calls for 3/4 teaspoons. I always use the 1/2 teaspoon, but feel free to up it to 3/4! Let me know if you try it!
The first time i made this recipe, I had an idea to add a few things. I added quinoa, flax seed, millet and sunflower seeds, two tablespoons each. I soaked the quinoa with the cereal and added the other 3 items in the mixing/kneading process. I would imagine the bread would be delightful without the addition of the other “chunks”, but it came out just great and had a nice tooth to it.
That’s a great idea! I might have to try that next time around. I always love having a little crunch to my bread. Thanks for the great ideas! I’m glad the bread turned out well for you.
Can this dough be kneaded/risen with a bread machine? Anyone tried it?
I’ve never tried doing it in a bread machine — I’m sorry! I would imagine you could though. Let me ask around. 🙂
Brenna @ Life After Laundry says
I haven’t made it, but I would believe you would need at least a tsp of yeast, instead of the half.
Yvonne @ Tried and Tasty says
We buy and love Dave’s too! This looks so good – definitely pinning to try later!
I’m always so happy when I hear other people love Dave’s. It’s our favorite!
nice and healthy
Thanks for the recipe ~ I love 12 grain breads. Curious how much salt to add as you don’t list in the quantities . Also 2 1/2 cups flour doesn’t seem a lot even with the 1/2 c of cereal, for two loaves?
No problem! It’s a 1/2 teaspoon salt, and yes, just 2 1/2 cups, but if it is too sticky to knead, add more flour, 1/4 at a time 🙂
This looks SO good! I am gonna have to try to make this sometime. Thanks so much for the great post and new food idea!
You are too kind! Thank you! I hope you’ll try it. Definitely let me know how it turns out 🙂