However, I thought I was ordering something else. What I wanted was the Ancient Grains Flour Blend which includes amaranth, millet, sorghum and quinoa flours.
But I didn't realize my error right away. I stashed the bag in the fridge until I wanted to bake with it. I opened the bag expecting to see a flour, but instead, it looked like birdseed.
Harvest Grains Blend includes whole oat berries, millet, rye flakes, wheat flakes, flax seeds, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, and midget sunflower seeds.
It looked a little crunchier than I wanted, but the bag was open, so I figured that I'd give it a try. It's an interesting combination of nuts and seeds, and it's all whole grains.
I put a cup of the mix in a bowl, added a cup of hot water, covered it with plastic wrap and let it sit overnight. I figured that would soften the grains that could soften, and it wouldn't hurt the rest.
Harvest Grains Loaf
1 cup hot water
1/2 cup lukewarm water
2 1/4 tablespoons yeast
1 tablespoon demerara sugar
2 cups bread flour
1/4 cup semolina flour
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Put 1 cup Harvest Grains Blend and one cup hot water into the bowl of your stand mixer, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit overnight.
The grains will absorb quite a bit of the water overnight.
The next day, add the 1/2 cup of lukewarm water, yeast, and sugar. Stir to combine and let it sit for about five minutes to make sure it gets foamy and frothy.
Add the rest of the ingredients and knead with the dough hook until the dough comes together in a ball and becomes elastic.
The dough was still sticky after it was elastic and it seemed about as firm as I wanted it to be. It's common for some doughs to be sticky even after they're properly kneaded, so I wasn't worried about that, but it did make handling a little messier.
To form it into a ball, I floured the counter top and gave the dough little bit of hand-kneading, then formed a ball, put it back in the bowl, drizzled with a little olive oil to coat the ball.
I covered it with plastic wrap, let it rise until it was doubled in size, then took it out of the bowl and reformed it into a ball and put it back into the bowl for a second rise.
After the second rise, I formed it into a ball again, then sprinkled some cornmeal at the bottom of my cast iron dutch oven, and put the ball into the dutch oven and put the cover on. After 20 minutes, it had started to rise nicely.
I put the pot into a cold oven, set it for 400 degrees, and set the timer for 60 minutes. When time was up, it wasn't quite brown enough, so I uncovered it and let it bake for another 10 minutes.
I took it out of the pot and let it cool completely on a rack.
The bread was a pale brown with a nutty taste from the sunflower seeds, and some texture, but it wasn't overly crunchy or dense. With lots of fiber from all those whole grains.
So I guess overall, it was a good mistake to make. I think that I might try it next time as-is, then another time cook it before adding it to the dough, and then grind it into a flour for a final version. This should be fun.