In our church, we are encouraged to have a supply of extra food and water in case of hardship. This could be as drastic as a natural disaster, or simply as a reserve to get us by in case of job loss or other unforseen economic struggle.
When I was single, and had a wee bit of money to spare (I was a teacher, and teachers always just have a wee bit of money to spare) I bought a whole year’s supply of food for myself. All of this food was in large cans. The problem is, some of this food doesn’t last forever, so now I find myself trying to use up a few of the items.
While searching through my stash one day, I came upon some nine-grain cereal. I wondered what the heck I was going to do with that. Then it hit me. I should make some of that fancy bread with all the grains that costs so much at the store.
I didn’t use to like fancy bread. When I was a kid, my mom made wheat bread, every week. I honestly don’t remember us ever buying bread from the store. People would come over and say, “You’re so lucky that your mom makes this delicious home made bread.” I did not feel lucky. I wanted Wonder Bread. The white, fluffy, decidedly unhealthy bread that was like eating a cloud.
My best friend across the street had a mom who did not make bread. She bought Wonder Bread. Every time I went over to her house, I asked for a slice of Wonder Bread. I was like Oliver, the famed British street urchin who just wanted a piece of bread. I’m sure he wanted Wonder Bread, too.
But now that I am older, my tastes have matured, and I realize that I really was lucky that my mom made bread for us every week. And now I wouldn’t think of buying Wonder Bread.
For this recipe, I used half white and half whole what flour. Then I added the nine-grain cereal. Then I added other things like ground flax and chia seeds. Because I would also like the birds to be able to eat this bread. Just kidding. Flax and chia are super healthy for you. So, you know, let’s be super healthy.
Speaking of being super healthy, I also have a low-sugar option for you. I have mentioned the alteration in the recipe below. Just ignore the picture of copious amounts of honey being poured on this bread. That is not a low-sugar option.
My husband loves this bread. My kids won’t touch it. That’s how you know it’s really good 🙂
- 2 cups warm water
- 1 Tbsp. yeast
- 1/4 sugar or honey *or 3 Tbsp. xylitol plus 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten optional
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup oil
- 6 cups whole wheat flour divided *or 3 cups whole wheat flour and 3 cups white flour
- 1 cup nine-grain cracked cereal or any combination of cracked grains seeds, and nuts
Add the yeast to the warm water and let proof for about ten minutes. The yeast should be frothy.
In a large mixing bowl or a mixer, add the yeast and water mixture, honey or sugar, wheat gluten (optional), salt, oil, and two cups of the whole wheat flour. Mix well on low speed.
Add the cracked cereal (and seeds and nuts) and mix on high speed for about a minute.
Add two more cups of flour and mix on low speed.
Switch to a dough hook and add 1 1/2 to 2 cups more flour. Just add enough so that the dough doesn't stick to the side of the bowl, but sticks to the bottom a little.
Remove dough from the bowl and form into a ball. Dust the bowl with a little flour and put the dough back in it.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and put in a warm place to rise until doubled in size.
Punch down and shape into two loaves. Place into two greased and floured 9" by 5" bread pans.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap or cover with a clean cloth and let rise until just above the edge of the pans.
Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
Let rest in the pans for 10-15 minutes. Then turn out onto cooling racks or a paper towel or cloth to cool.