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As I continue to experiment with my baking, my biggest challenge so far as everyone knows, has been creating beautiful looking bread.  It is simpler to bake white or whole wheat bread. However, when making grain bread, you need a little extra help because the grains tend to make the bread heavier.  This week I have made a 3-grain whole wheat bread with Flax seed, Wheat Germ, Rye and Whole Wheat.  As I mentioned in my post couple weeks ago, with the help of Vital Wheat Gluten, it baked up just beautifully!  As a foundation for all of my breads, I use the recipe that came with my food processor, and tweak it as I go along. (Ignore my slicing skills)…

3-Grain Whole Wheat Bread

1 package active dry yeast
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1/3 cup warm water
1 1/2 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup flax seed (ground)
1/2 cup rye flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 tbsps Vital Wheat Gluten
3 tbsps unsalted butter (cut into small pieces)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt (I use sea salt or kosher)
1 cup warm water
Vegetable oil or cooking spray (to prepare baking pan)

In a 2-cup liquid measure dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let sit until foamy (about 5-7 minutes).

Insert dough blade into food processor.  Add flours, butter and salt and process until combined (about 10 to 15 seconds).

Add cold water to yeast mixture

With machine running, add liquid through feed tube until absorbed by flour.  (You may need to stop and clean the sides of the container).  Dough will clean the sides of the bowl and form a ball.  When this happens, process for about 45 seconds to knead dough. Turn dough out on to a lightly floured, clean surface. Knead dough for about 3 to 5 minutes. This activates the gluten in the flour.

Place dough into a slightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a towel.  Allow to sit in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. (I usually place it in the oven, in the off position).

Spray or flour an 8×4 inch loaf pans. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and punch down.  Knead dough for about 1 minute, roll into a rectangle and beginning with the short end, roll up the dough jelly-roll fashion.  pinch the seam and ends tightly to seal.  Place dough into greased pan and cover with plastic wrap or towel.  Let rise until dough is just above the tops of the pans, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F for about 15 minutes before baking.

Bake until tops are browned and loaf sounds hollow when tapped, about 30 to 35 minutes.  Remove from pans and cool on wire rack.

Makes 1 loaf (can make 2 loaves if dough is divided in half)