Poster: Hank @ Mon Aug 11, 2008 2:38 pm
Four-Grain Pesticide-Free Bread :
Ingredients (all measurments are approximate):
2 cups very warm filtered water
2 rounded teaspoons dry active yeast
1 tablespoon organic unfiltered molasses
1 tablespoon organic raw agave nectar
2 cups unbleached organic white wheat flour
2 cups organic whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups organic rye flour
1 cup organic hulled whole millet
1/2 cup organic whole soft wheat berries (not hard winter wheat)
1/2 cup organic flax meal
Dash of salt
Teaspoon of organic cornstarch
The evening before baking, separately wash and sort the whole millet and
wheat grains, rinsing them until clean and picking out any nasty bits.
Place the millet in a bowl and add ~3 cups of warm filtered water. Cover
bowl. Choose another bowl, put in wheat berries, and add one cup warm
water; cover bowl. Let these sit out until bedtime, then put them in the
fridge to soak overnight.
Proof the yeast by putting it in a large glass bowl, adding 1/2 cup of warm
water and the molasses, and waiting for it to bubble up to double volume.
After it's proofed to satisfaction, add one cup of warm water, one cup of
the white flour and one cup of the whole wheat flour and mix gently with
hands or a fork until a shaggy, soggy mass is formed. This will become the
'sponge.' Let the sponge sit out until bedtime; if you listen to it, you
should hear the yeast well at work and it should gain considerable volume in
an hour or two. Then cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and leave in
fridge overnight to ferment.
The next evening, take the grains and sponge out of the fridge. The sponge
will have fallen somewhat and should be about 50% bigger than it was at the
very beginning (if it's bigger, no problem). Begin slowly adding the
remainder of the flour and mixing it in with a fork, no more than 1/2 cup at
a time. Add in the remaining cup of warm water at the same time. When all or most of the flour has been added, but before the dough
gets too stiff to work with the fork, stop and let the mixture rest, covered
loosely or with plastic wrap a damp towel, for 20 or 30 minutes to encourage
the gluten. Before the dough gets too stiff to work with the fork, add the
flax meal, the millet, and the wheat berries, and finally the agave nectar
and salt. [Throughout this process, add small amounts of warm water or
flour as needed if the dough seems to be too watery or too stiff at a
particular stage.] All ingredients should be evenly incorporated when dough
is at kneading stiffness. When the dough becomes too stiff to mix with the
fork, transfer it to a floured surface for kneading.
Knead the dough vigorously until the it takes on an elastic character, can
stretch somewhat without breaking, and has a smooth appearance on the
surface (excepting any protruding grains). This will take a fair while due
to the amount of bran present in the dough. Keep the kneading surface
floured and dust the dough with flour as needed.
After the dough has been kneaded to satisfaction, clean the original bowl
and very lightly grease with organic olive oil. Pat dough into a smooth ball
and place in the bowl; turn the dough over so that both sides have a (very)
thin coating of oil. Let dough rise for approximately two hours; it should
be really big after rising. Punch dough down, divide in half, and shape
each half into a moderately thin French bread shape (or other shape of your
preference; adjust cooking time to suit bread shape). If you have a bread
paddle and baking stone, place the loaves on the lightly floured or
cornmealed paddle for rising and then transfer to the stone after they're
risen; otherwise, let loaves rise on a lightly oiled baking sheet.
The loaves should rise until they increase somewhat in volume and look a
little puffy, about 45 minutes. Do not over-rise at the risk of a collapsed
In a small cup or bowl, mix some warm water and a very small amount of
molasses with the cornstarch. This will be used for basting.
Heat oven to 425 Farenheit degrees. Put a Pyrex bowl of filtered water in
oven during warm-up and leave in during baking. Place loaves in oven and
bake until done (inserted toothpick emerges clean / loaves sound hollow when
knocked upon), approximately 25-30 minutes. During baking, lightly baste
with cornstarch mixture every 5 minutes to enhance crust.
When done, remove from oven and cool the loaves well on wire racks. When
cooled sufficiently, slice and enjoy.