Kitchen science could be as labyrinthine as any other, if not more. Persnickety recipes that are so exacting in their requirements that they throw cold water on the cook who dares to substitute an ingredient or take a wee shortcut in technique. Fall short of a measly egg-white and the soufflé sulks in the oven; forget the cup count while measuring the water for rice and you have on your hands a morbid mush instead of a perky pulao. A minute nixed in the frying of onions results in a lackluster curry, missing that distinctive bhuna flavor and golden brown hue. Even in the most organized of kitchens, there are times when one discovers that the last of the flour on the shelf does not size up to the 3 cups one was hoping for, or that the expensive nuts bought for a special dessert have turned rancid lying in the back of a cupboard.
Amidst all these small and big disasters, it is a relief to have a Multigrain Bread recipe that can be tuned up to the contents or lack thereof, at the Tadka kitchens. Bread flour can go in for the all-purpose, whole-wheat can be replaced with atta. The rye, corn meal and besan can be replaced with other healthful flours that have earned their spot in the pantry – whether milled from Soya, Ragi, Bajra, Buckwheat, Sorghum, Brown Rice or evenUrad Dal. With a cup of whole wheat flour adding to the fiber content, the goodness of oats and the palatable notes from an entire cast of supporting grains, this is a recipe that we turn to often, and hope that you will too.
(Makes 1 hearty loaf)
- 1 Cup (+ 2-3 Tablespoons) lukewarm water (approx)
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 2 Teaspoons active dry yeast
- ¼ Cup milk powder
- 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
- 1½ Cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Cup whole-wheat flour
- ½ Cup oats
- ¼ Cup rye flour
- ¼ Cup corn meal or makki-ka-atta
- ¼ Cup besan(chickpea flour)
- 1½ Teaspoons salt
- ½ Cup finely chopped walnuts (optional)
Dissolve the active dry yeast in 1 cup of the warm water and wait for it to froth up, before combining with the remaining ingredients in a large bowl, and mix well with a sturdy wooden spoon. Cover the shaggy mass and allow it to rest for 15 minutes, this will hydrate the flours and give a head start to the kneading. Knead for about 10 minutes, adding more water if the dough is dry. While kneading, fold the dough over and push away with the heel of your hand, turn and repeat. The dough should become smoother and bounce back slightly when prodded. Finally knead in the walnuts, if using. Roll the dough into a ball, place in a lightly greased bowl, cover and let it rise for 1 hour.
Gently flatten the dough, and fold it over like a letter, one fold overlapping another, fashion it into a loaf shape with a smooth top. Place the log in a well-greased 9” x 5” loaf pan. Cover with greased plastic wrap, and let it rest for about 60-90 minutes in a warm place, or until almost 1″ above the rim of the pan. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush the loaf with milk and sprinkle some oats or cracked grains on top. Bake the bread for 35 to 40 minutes. If the top appears to be browning up too quickly, make a tent-like cover with aluminum foil over the pan for the last 10 minutes of baking. Once its done, transfer to a baking rack, and brush the hot loaf with a little butter if desired, for a softer crust. Cool the bread completely before slicing in.
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