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whole food ~ well made

a fresh-baked loaf of no-knead multigrain bread in a cast iron pot at lynnecury.com.

Easiest Multigrain Bread Recipe Takes Away All the Labor of Kneading

Why, you may wonder, would I ever resist a technique that produces wonderful results with the lightest workload?

If I could answer that question, every aspect of my life would immediately improve. Also, I’d  have resumed regular home bread baking sooner than now. As it is, I’ve resorted to buying the best bread around (commerical La Brea loaves) for longer than I ever expected.

Making Peace with No-Knead Bread

Years ago (before kids), I was a committed sourdough bread baker, even entertaining notions of opening an artisan bread bakery.

Having trained in France, I honored the sacrament-like traditions with bread dough and relished all those marvelous shapes–from boules (rounds), bâtards (footballs) and épis (wheat shafts) I had been trained by master bakers to form by hand.

A baked loaf of no-knead multigrain bread at lynnecurry.com.

When the no-knead method came along, I believed in it theoretically, since I had tasted originator Jim Lahey’s spectacular Italian-style breads. And I even understood the basic science of it.

{Skip this unless you’re a food science geek: Gluten, which is formed from glutenin and gliadin in the presence of a liquid to create the network that traps CO2 and rises the bread develops its elasticity in three ways: 1) mechanically (mixing/kneading),2) chemically (oxidizers, like ascorbic acid), or 3) fermentatively, (during rising). Learn more.}

But I wouldn’t try it.

It’s easier to understand how no-knead bread works than to comprehend how long it took me to adopt slow and life-freeing artisan baking.

The way no-knead bread works is that while you’re toiling at the office, blogging, hiking, lying around watching movies, whatever, the dough is doing exactly what it needs to in order to become chewy, crusty bread once baked.

a bowl of dough rising to make no-knead multigrain bread at lynnecurry.com.

The only downside is that the gluten structure is not strong enough to make those eye-catching self-supporting bread shapes.

About his no-knead sourdough, my friend Rob raved about the crust he achieved at last. My friend Cory shared the formula for the dough, which I scribbled down and never looked at again.

But you can’t make shapes, I protested to no one but myself. Was it my education, my ego or brain patterning?

Resistance is a funny thing. Often, it is without reason, only rooted in habit and familiarity. Overcoming it takes a tiny leap of faith, and then comes change.

Simply a miracle.

A baked loaf of no-knead multigrain bread at lynnecurry.com.

After years of following the sacred 8 steps of bread baking, I can’t believe it’s possible to produce a fantastic whole-grain round simply by mixing ingredients in a bowl, letting the dough sit around for a full sleep cycle and then baking it in a hot covered pot.

Yet, it is.

Behold, this multigrain and seedy no-knead loaf. I hope it changes your life the same way it has mine.

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a fresh-baked loaf of no-knead multigrain bread in a cast iron pot at lynnecury.com.
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No-Knead Multigrain Seed Bread

This recipe is my simplified, seedier version (with weights added so there's no need for measuring cups) of Portland baker and food writer Ellen Jackson's Multigrain No-Knead Bread.

Course Breads
Servings 1 round loaf
Author Lynne

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (16 ounces) lukewarm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons honey brown rice syrup or molasses
  • 2 cups (9 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup (3.75 ounces) rye flour
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup (2.5 ounces) raw sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup (1.25 ounces) raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup (1.5 ounces) multigrain cereal, plus additional for coating bowl such as Bob's Red Mill 8-grain cereal
  • 1/4 cup (1.25 ounces) brown or gold flaxseeds
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

Instructions

  1. Stir the water, yeast, honey, flours, salt, cereal and seeds together in a large bowl with a rubber spatula until they combine into a sticky, lumpy dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave to ferment and rise at room temperature for at least 12 and up to 20 hours.

  2. Dust the counter with flour and scrape the dough out onto it. Flour your hands and fold the dough over itself a few times to help develop the gluten and let it rest on the counter for about 15 minutes. 

  3. Meanwhile, line a large bowl about the size of a colander with a linen kitchen towel and sprinkle it thickly flour all the way up the sides followed by the additional multigrain cereal and the pumpkin seeds.

  4. Dust your hands with flour and scoop up the dough, tucking the edges under to form a rough ball. Flip it over, smooth side down into the prepared bowl. Cover the dough with a towel or plastic wrap and let it rise for 1 1/2 hours.
  5. About thirty minutes in advance of baking, center the oven rack and place a 6-8-quart cast-iron or enamel casserole with a lid on it. Preheat the oven to 500°F. 

  6. When the loaf has risen for 1 1/2 hours and feels pillowy, remove the hot casserole from the oven onto a hot pad. Carefully lift off the lid and set it nearby. Lift the dough in the towel from the colander and in one smooth motion, flip the dough seam side down into the hot pot, holding back the towel. If you'd like, score the top of the loaf with a serrated knife or just let the loaf split naturally in the oven. Use potholders to put on the lid and slip it into the oven.

  7. Reduce the heat to 450°F and set the timer for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake the loaf uncovered for 20-30 minutes more until it is darkly browned. Transfer the loaf to a cooling rack and leave it to cool for at least 1 hour before slicing.

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