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!
- 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.