This makes great bread.
This recipe uses our seven grain cereal mix. You can certainly use other cracked grain mixes or cracked wheat. Because different grain mixes and different grain sizes absorb water differently, be prepared to adjust the water to flour ratio in the recipe. (With our flours and cereal, in our kitchen, this is exactly the right water to flour ratio.)
3/4 cup seven grain cereal or other cereal or cracked wheat
1 1/2 cups hot water
6 tablespoons butter
3 cups good quality bread flour
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons wheat gluten
1 teaspoon dough conditioner
(or use 6 cups plus 2 tablespoons Hi-Country Flour Blend in place of the flours, gluten, and dough conditioner)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup Baker’s High Heat dry milk
1 cup warm water at 105 to 110 degrees
1. Mix the cereal with the 1 1/2 cups hot water. Set aside for two hours to absorb the water and soften.
2. Melt the butter in the microwave and set it aside to cool. With shortening or butter, grease a large bowl for the dough and 2 large loaf pans (9 x 5-inch). If you are going to make hearth loaves, grease a baking sheet and sprinkle it with cornmeal.
3. Measure the flours into a large bowl by whisking the flour so that it’s not packed and then spooning it into the measuring cup followed by leveling the top with a straightedge. Add the gluten and conditioner and stir to combine. Stir in the sugar, salt, and dry milk.
4. Put about 1/3 of the flour mixture in the bowl of your stand type mixer equipped with a dough hook. Add the yeast. Add the 1 cup water at the indicated temperature. With the dough hook, run the machine for thirty seconds to mix the water with the flour to create a slurry. Add cereal and water mixture and the rest of the flour mixture. (The cereal and water mixture should be 105 to 110 degrees. If it has cooled beyond that, reheat it in the microwave.) Add the melted butter.
5. Mix at medium speed for about four minutes or until the gluten has formed and the dough is elastic. The dough should be soft but not too sticky. To reach the right consistency, you may need to dribble a little extra water (maybe one tablespoon) or flour as the dough is kneading. Place the dough in the prepared bowl and cover it to keep the dough from drying while it rises. Let it rise until it doubles.
6. Gently deflate the dough and form two loaves either as free-standing loaves on a baking sheet or sandwich loaves for your bread pans. Cover the loaves and let them rise again until the dough is soft and puffy, about doubled in size.
7. If you are going to make hearth bread with its, chewy, crisp crust, see the direction for baking listed for “EZ Sourdough Bread.” If not, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the bread for about 35 minutes. The time will vary depending on your loaves, the pans, and your oven. The bread should make a hollow sound when thumped on the bottom. The internal temperature of the loaves should be 190 degrees.
Remove the loaves form the pans and let them cool on a wire rack. Cool completely, or nearly so, before slicing.