My wife requested a sandwich bread that “was healthy, with lots of walnuts, sunflower seeds, and fiber.” I was hesitant to include walnuts in a sandwich bread – they just tend to creep me out for some reason. I think the texture and flavor just don’t say “sandwich bread” to me.
I still wanted to embrace her challenge, so I modified a King Arthur Flour recipe that used walnuts and sunflower seeds. I turned instead to a blend of grains and seeds. (To make your own combine flax, poppy, sesame and sunflower seeds.) Then I tweaked the recipe some more, adding extra nutrition in the form of oat and wheat bran.
I had no idea how the bread would turn out, and I was prepared for a dense loaf that wouldn’t rise very much. To my pleasant surprise, I was completely wrong. When I checked on the bread halfway through its baking, it had risen much higher than I would have expected. This turned into one of my highest rising breads ever! Not only that, but after I let the bread cool and sliced it, I saw that the crumb was perfectly uniform through the entire loaf.
This 100 percent whole wheat bread with extra seeds and goodies completely exceeded my expectations. I’ll definitely be making it again.
- 3 1/2 cups (17.5 ounces) white whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten (optional, but helps this dense bread rise)
- 3/4 cup mixed seeds (I used KAF’s harvest grains blend)
- 2 tablespoons wheat bran
- 2 tablespoons oat bran
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 5 tablespoons honey
Step 1. Combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Combine the wet ingredients, stir together, then add to the dry. Mix just until the wet and dry ingredients have been incorporated. Then let sit for 20 minutes.
Step 2. Knead for 10 minutes on medium-low speed. You’ll notice the consistency of the bread change dramatically as the gluten develops and it begins sticking together. The dough will be a fairly dry but stretchy.
Step 3. Let the dough rise for 1 hour, then dump it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Stretch the dough into a rectangle, then fold it into thirds. Shape this folded dough to fit into a 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch greased loaf pan. Cover the dough with plastic wrap.
Step 4. Let the dough rise in the pan between 60 and 90 minutes. It should crest 2 inches above the lip of the pan. At about the hour mark, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the bread uncovered for 25 minutes, then tent with aluminum foil and bake for another 20.