I realized late one evening that I had nothing in the house for breakfast. No eggs, no bread, no cereal and no dosai maavu. I was low on flour too, whole wheat, all-purpose. What I did have was a Multigrain Flour that my friend had given me which she said she would never use. So I made a slow rise “Bloomer” Multigrain Bread that was ready to bake in the morning.
You are going, “Why did you just not step out and buy a loaf?” The reason is that there are days when you just want to get your hands dirty and wade elbow deep into flour and water. There is really nothing more satisfying than kneading dough for bread. The scintillating smell of bread baking in the oven just fills you with peace and a sense of accomplishment. Try your hand at making any type of bread and you will understand.
This recipe had been adapted from the one for white bread (Bloomer bread recipe by Paul Hollywood) which I tweaked. . .
- Replaced bread flour with multigrain flour equally
- Added 2 teaspoons of vital wheat gluten and 6 tablespoons extra water for every cup of flour to give the finished product a stronger structure and higher rise.
The resulting bread is lovely, dense with a tight crumb and texture. I think it will make an excellent sandwich bread.
What is Vital Wheat Gluten?
It is wheat flour that has been hydrated to concentrate and activate the gluten, then processed by removing everything but the gluten. In simple terms, Vital Wheat Gluten is “Pure Gluten”. Very useful for making bread with low protein flours like whole wheat and multigrain, rye to name a few which have low capacity to develop gluten.
I use it in making my pizza dough too with 00 flour for that delicious extra stretch and chewiness.
What should the finished “Bloomer” Multigrain Bread look like?
- It should be a lovely dark brown color
- When you lift the bread off the sheet pan from the oven and turn it upside down, tap on the bottom of the bread, it should sound hollow.
Things to remember when baking the “Bloomer” Multigrain Bread
- Make sure the dough is wet and sticky before you knead it. Multigrain flour absorbs a lot of water. You will get a good texture with a wetter dough.
- Keep kneading the dough till it is smooth. One way to ensure this especially if you are a beginner is to wash and dry your hands each time you think you are not able to handle the sticky dough. Rub some olive oil on your hands before you knead.
- I like Paul Hollywoods advice to not dump salt and yeast on top of each other. The salt will slow down the action of the yeast. Put them on opposite ends of the bowl with the flour and then mix together with water.
- When baking especially, I have discovered that using a measuring scale will give the closest to accurate results. The kitchen scale that I use is Ozeri ZK14-S Pronto Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale
- Don’t open the oven door till the last 5-10 minutes to check or you will let out all that lovely steamy heat and the bread will deflate and become dry and hard.
- Cool the bread all the way. The bread is still cooking even when you take it from the oven. You don’t want all your lovely effort to be a waste if you cut into it too quickly.
Where to find the ingredients?!!!
- Multigrain Flour – You will find this at specialty stores Indian Grocery Stores or even at Costco and ofcourse on Amazon. I like to use the following brands
- Organic Multigrain flour – Tattva brand (can’t find a link for this for some reason) – available at Indian specialty grocery stores and Bay Area Costco.
- Mantra Organic Multigrain Flour – available at Indian Grocery Stores.
- Vital Wheat Gluten – I currently use Bob’s Red Mill brand but I also like the King Arthur brand. It’s available most grocery stores like Safeway, Trader Joe’s, Wholefoods.
The links above show you what the product looks like. It is more economical to buy it off the shelf at stores than at Amazon.
Other Bread recipes to try from the Blog
- Focaccia – An Italian bread that is Chewy, Salty Deliciousness
- Traditional Challah – the Jewish Sabbath bread
- Whole Wheat Honey Bread – healthy, wholesome and simply awesome!
What to make with “Bloomer” Multigrain Bread?
A healthy and lovely, dense bread with a tight crumb and texture. I think it will make an excellent sandwich bread.
Mix all the dry ingredients and oil taking care not to have the salt and yeast touching. Add 340 ml Water and slowly wet the dry ingredients with your fingers.
Add the remaining 95 ml gradually till you can gather it into a dough meaning when all the flour sticks together and leaves the sides of the bowl.
Now comes the elbow grease where you get a good arm workout. Oil your hands and surface of the counter. Turn the dough out onto to the counter and knead for 10 minutes by turning the dough half onto itself and pressing with the heel of your palm. Shape it into a ball. The finished dough should be smooth.
Now transfer the dough into an oiled bowl that is twice as big as the dough. Let it rise at room temperature for 2 hours or until it's doubled in size.
Take it out of the bowl and place in on the counter. Knock out all the air with your knuckles and folding in half till all the air has been knocked out. Flatten it into a rectangle and bring both ends of the long sides to the middle and seal the seam. Roll it gently to shape into a rectangular boule.
Place the dough seam side down on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Cover with the bowl and let it rise again for two hours or you can at this point leave it to rise in the refrigerator for a slow rise. It should again be double the size.
Preheat the oven to 425ºF/220ºC. Place a baking tray (like a lasagna pan) filled with water on the bottom shelf of the oven - this will create steam when the loaf is baking.
Lightly spray the shaped, risen dough with water and dust with a little flour covering the top and sides. Be gentle, don't deflate the dough. Make four diagonal slashes 1/4 inch thick using a sharp knife across the top.
Place the loaf on the middle shelf and bake for 25 minutes. Then lower the heat to 400ºF/200ºC and bake for a further 10 -15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.