Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Bread with ancient grains

No, I don't mean that I found some really old grains in the back of my pantry. We're talking about the heritage of the grains themselves, not how long they've been stored.

You see, I'm always on the lookout for interesting ingredients to use in bread, so when I found a flour blend called "ancient grains" I figured it was worth a try. The blend is 30 percent each of amaranth, millet, and sorghum flours and the final 10 percent is quinoa flour.

I usually don't buy blends, whether they're spice blends or baking mixes or ... well, anything, really. I have a well-stocked kitchen and pantry, and I usually don't see the point in stocking a bunch of mixed things that I could just as easily combine when I need to.

There are exceptions. There are some spice blends that I like a lot, and it's easier to add a teaspoon of a blend than it is to pull out six jars and add a shake of each. And some blends include ingredients that I would never use individually or would have a hard time finding.

When I looked at the ingredient list on the ancient grains bag, I figured it would be easier to buy the blend than to hope to find all four flours locally. The flour is all whole-grain but it was a fine-ground flour - not like whole wheat where you can see the bits in it - but in the dough it felt sort of gritty - like there were bits of sand. To compensate for the gluten-lacking flours, I added some vital wheat gluten to the mix. It's probably not essential, but it's useful for a bread like this.

The bread reminded me of a light rye, with a slightly chewy texture and depth of flavor that you don't get in an all-white loaf. However, there weren't particularly strong flavors, so this wouldn't conflict with anything you might be serving.

Ancient Grains Bread

1 cup (4 1/2 ounces) ancient grains flour
2 1/4 cups (10 1/4 ounces) bread flour
1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten
1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

Combine the flours, gluten, water, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixed. Knead with the dough hook until you have an elastic dough. Add the salt and olive oil and continue kneading until both are fully incorporated.

Form the dough into a ball, drizzle with additional olive oil, and return the dough to the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside until doubled in size - about an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and sprinkle cornmeal on a baking sheet. Sprinkle some flour on your work surface and turn out the dough.

Knead the dough briefly, then shape it into a ball. Place it, seam-side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until doubled in size - about 40 minutes.

Slash the loaf as desired, then bake until nicely browned, about 35 minutes.

Remove the loaf to a rack to cool completely before slicing.

This has been submitted to Yeastspotting.

This post is part of Food Network's #pullupachair Thanksgiving event, where they invited bloggers to submit links and join a "communal table" for Thanksgiving dinner. These are the folks who pulled up chairs at a table with me:

Cocktails, Appetizers, Soups and Salads:
Eat Be Mary: She's Mulling It Over Wine

Celebrity Chefs and Their Gardens: The American Hotel Peconic Clam Chowder
Picky Eater Blog: Butternut Squash Soup With Thyme and Parmesan
Good Food Good Friends: Mushroom Soup

The Macaron Queen: Macaron Tower
Poet In The Pantry: Amaretto Apple Crisp
Farm Girl Gourmet: Pumpkin Coconut Panna Cotta
That's Forking Good: Cinnamon Chip Pumpkin Blondies
Out of the Box Food: Out of the Box Food Maple Pumpkin Pie
Cake Baker 35: Orange Spiced Pumpkin Pie
Lisa Michele: Pumpkin, Pecan, Cheesecake Pie
Food For My Family: Buttermilk Custard Pear Pie
Simple Bites: Black-Bottom Maple Pumpkin Pie
A Cooks Nook: Swedish Apple Pie
Yakima Herald: Pretzel Jell-O Salad
How Does She: Three of Our Favorite Desserts
Dollhouse Bake Shoppe: Thanksgiving Candy Bar Name Plates
Sweet Fry: Pumpkin Latte
Tasty Trials: Spiced Apple Panna Cotta With Caramelized Apples and Caramel Sauce
An Uneducated Palate: Puff Pastry Apple Tart
Frugal Front Porch: Mini Cheaty Cheesecakes

Even more:
Kitchen Courses: Thanksgiving for Six People Under $60
A Curious Palate: The Communal Table


Yuri - Chef Pandita said...

That is one beautiful loaf of bread,Donna :)

The Poet Herself said...

Gorgeous loaf! I can never get my slits in bread to look that nice. I'm jealous! I've seen the ancient grains blend before, but never have baked with it. Now you have me wondering about it.

Anonymous said...

*YUM* - - what a beautiful bread; it looks so crusty and inviting!!

Rachael from KitchenCourses.com said...

What delicious looking bread! Glad to be at your virtual thanksgiving table! :)

Themacaronqueen said...

This bread will go with any gravy..yummm

Stefanie said...

I like to beak bread with ancient grains, this one looks very delicious!

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