This weekend I made Nine-Grain Whole Wheat Harvest Bread the next recipe in the Art and Soul of Baking. The recipe calls for 9-grain hot cereal mix. When I went to the local health food store it buy it, I had a choice of 6, 7, 8, or 10-grain cereal mix in addition to the 9-grain. I didn’t even know all these varieties existed. I used the 9-grain which includes: rice, corn, oats, cracked rye, barley, millet, flax, soy and triticale.
The bread came together easily. Not bad! The bread is hearty, but light and mighty tasty. It’s great for sandwiches, toast, or just eating plain.
I also made a Wheat Berry Salad with citrus, toasted pine nuts, feta, and spinach using a recipe from Super Natural Cooking. This was my first time cooking/using wheat berries. The wheat berry is the whole wheat kernel–the bran, germ, and endosperm. Because it has all those parts, it takes about an hour to cook–but it is so worth it!
The salad itself comes together quickly once the wheat berries are cooked. It’s nice eating it when it is still warm, but it is even better waiting for it to cool completely so all the flavors meld together. YUM! I’m definitely going to make this again. I think it would be great for a potluck. Or making my own wheat berry salad using different flavorings like pears, blue cheese, and walnuts or tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella (no surprise there!).
Nine-Grain Whole Wheat Harvest Bread
From the Art and Soul o f Baking
- Make The Cereal Mix: Pour the cereal into the medium bowl. Add the boiling water and stir to blend. Let the mixture sit for 20 minutes or refrigerate overnight (bring the mixture to room temperature before continuing).
- Mix, Rest, And Knead The Dough: Pour the warm water into the bowl of the stand mixer. Add the sugar and yeast and whisk by hand to blend. Let sit for 10 minutes, or until the yeast is activated and foamy or bubbling. Add the cooled cereal, honey, bread flour, whole wheat flour, and salt. Knead the dough on low speed for 2 to 3 minutes. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp lint-free cotton towel and let the dough rest for 20 minutes to allow it to fully hydrate before further kneading. Turn the mixer to medium-low and continue to knead until the dough is firm and elastic, 4 to 7 minutes.
- Rise The Dough (First Rise): Lightly oil the tub or bowl, scrape the dough into the tub, and lightly coat the surface of the dough with a little oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp lint-free cotton towel and let the dough rise until doubled in size, 35 to 45 minutes (longer if the room is cold). If you are using a tub, be sure to make the starting level of the dough with a pencil or piece of table so it’s easy to tell when the dough has doubled.
- Punch Down And Shape The Dough: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Press down on the dough firmly to expel some of the air bubbles, but don’t knead the dough again or it will be too springy and difficult to shape (if this happens, simply cover the dough with plastic wrap or a damp lint-free cotton towl and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes to give the gulten some time to relax.) Shape into a round, taut loaf. If you are using a baking or pizza stone, transfer the loaf to the semolina-dusted pizza peel, or form a makeshift peel by lining the bottom of a baking sheet with parchment paper. If you are not using a baking stone, transfer the loaf to the cetner of a parchment-lined baking pan.
- Proof The Dough (Second Rise): Lightly cover the dough with plastic wrap or a damp lint-free cotton towel and allow to rise until it is almost doubled and looks like it has taken a deep breath, 20 to 30 minutes.
- Prepare The Oven: Place the baking or pizza stone in the oven. Preheat the oven to 400F. Be sure to allow 30 minutes to 1 hour for the stone to fully heat.
- Bake The Loaf: Dust the top lightly with flour – don’t got crazy here or you’ll have a mouthful of flour. Slash a pattern in the top of the dough with a lame, razor blade, or chef’s knife. If the dough is on a pizza peel, transfer to the baking stone; if on a baking sheet, simply set the baking sheet on the baking stone or oven rack. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the loaf is golden brown and the internal temperature registers 190F on an instant-read thermometer. Transfer to a rack and cool completely. Slice with a serrated knife.
Makes 1 Round Loaf
Wheat Berry Salad with Citrus, Toasted Pine Nuts, Feta, and Spinach
Adapted from Super Natural Cooking.
- 2 cups soft wheat berries, rinsed
- 6 cups of water
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Grated zest and juice of one orange
- 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon or more sugar (optional)
- 1 bag of baby spinach
- 1 cup of toasted pine nuts
- 1 /2 cup of crumbled feta cheese
- Combine wheat berries, water, and salt in sauce pan and bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for approximately an hour. The wheat berries will be plump and chewy. Drain and season with salt to taste.
- Meanwhile, combine orange zest and juice, lemon juice, and shallot. Whisk in olive oil. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add sugar if using.
- Toss the hot wheat berries with spinach, citrus dressing, and pine nuts. Top with feta cheese.
Serves 4 to 6.