Multigrain Cereal and Pumpkin Harvest Bread – Bread, Toast, Crumbs

I’m excited today! I’m excited as a baker and as a friend.   I’ve been looking forward to the release of Bread, Toast, Crumbs for over a year now. The author, Alexandra Stafford, is a fantastic baker, cook, and friend. I first “met” her through her blog Alexandra’s Kitchen when I would write her with questions regarding recipes – usually pie crust. Normally, asking a question out into the ethers of the internet will get you nowhere and then you need to Google your question. But not Ali. Ali is someone who truly wants you to succeed in the kitchen. That pie crust question that introduced me to her? I can now make delicious pie crusts – and much easier than how they’re normally made. There’s not one aspect of cookery that stymies her. She’s been to cooking school, worked in restaurants, and has done the hard work. She shares it all with her readers. She makes us better cooks.

It was through our chatting about recipes that she asked me if I would test a few for her book. “Heck yeah!” was my response.   Ali is known for her peasant bread, which is actually her mom, Elizabeth Lowry’s, recipe.   But, as any Yale graduate who goes off to cooking school tends to do, Alexandra took the recipe in many delicious directions. There’s now a peasant bread to suite every mood, every whim, every diet, and every season.

When I was testing these loaves my mother in law was in town and she ate an entire loaf on her own. It’s very easy to do! And now that she’s returning to visit I’m making them again. It’s one of the few things she requested of me.  They really are that good.

My mother in law loves the Multigrain Cereal Bread with it’s light but substantial crumb.  It’s really really good.  But, my favorite loaf so far is the Pumpkin Harvest Bread.  It’s just so damn good.  Pumpkin, dates, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pecans…… so many of my favorite things.  How do I stay away from this loaf?  I can’t.

To make Ali’s peasant bread, you will need a mixing bowl – a 4 quart works nicely and two 1 quart oven safe bowls to bake them in.   These are the ones I use. It’s also best to weigh your ingredients instead of using volume because one person’s dip into a flour bag can scoop much more flour than another’s.  This is the scale I’m currently using.  But, if you’re really weight adverse, Ali provides both volume and weight measurements in her book.

Pumpkin Harvest Bread rising

Multigrain Cereal Bread rising

Multigrain Cereal Bread rising

Did you see where I missed greasing the bowl with butter? Woops! Still delicious. Leaves little schnibbles for the chef.

I hope you all checkout Alexandra’s good cooking at Alexandra’s Kitchen or over at her column A Bushel and A Peck on Food 52. You’ll learn great cooking and baking tips, weeknight dinner inspiration (and she has saved me many a time with this), and how to make the most of seasonal produce.

  

To Mrs. Lowry, thank you so much for sharing your original recipe! It’s magnificent and so is Ali!  I hope you share many more of your recipes.  I know Ali takes after you because she’s so fabulous.

So, without further ado, I’d like to present my mother in law’s favorite recipe and my favorite recipe from Bread, Toast, Crumbs by Alexandra Stafford.

 

Notes: 

  • If you are using active-dry yeast: In a medium, wide-mouth bowl, combine the cereal, boiling water and maple syrup. Let stand 10 minutes. Add 1 cup of water and stir to combine. Sprinkle the yeast over top. There is no need to stir it up. Let it stand for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the mixture is foamy. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the flours and salt. When the yeast mixture is foamy, stir it up, and add it to the flour bowl. Using a rubber spatula, mix until the flour is absorbed and the ingredients form a sticky dough ball. Proceed with recipe.
  • To make foolproof lukewarm water, combine 1½ cups cold water with ½ cup boiling water.
  • To create a warm spot for your bread to rise: Turn your oven on for one minute, then turn it off. You should be able to touch your hands to the grates without burning them.

Multigrain Cereal Bread

Yield = 2 loaves

2/3 cup (3¾ oz |106 g) multigrain cereal, such as Bob’s Red Mill 10-Grain Cereal

1 cup boiling water

¼ cup maple syrup

1 cup water, tap or room temperature

2¼ cups (10 1/8 oz | 288 g) all-purpose unbleached white flour

1 cup (4¾ oz | 132 g) spelt or whole wheat flour

2 tsp. salt

2¼ teaspoons instant or active-dry* yeast

softened butter for greasing

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the cereal, boiling water and maple syrup. Let stand 10 minutes. Add the 1 cup of water and stir to combine.
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, salt, and instant yeast. Add the cereal mixture. Using a rubber spatula, mix until the flour is absorbed and the ingredients form a sticky dough ball.
  1. Cover bowl with a damp tea towel or plastic wrap and set aside in a warm spot*** to rise for 1 to 1½ hours or until the dough has doubled in bulk.
  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Grease two oven-safe bowls with the softened butter — be generous. Using two forks, deflate the dough by releasing it from the sides of the bowl and pulling it towards the center. Rotate the bowl quarter turns as you deflate, turning the mass into a rough ball as you bring it towards the center.
  1. Using your two forks and working from the center out, separate the dough into two equal halves. Use the forks to lift each half of dough into the prepared bowls. If the dough is too wet to transfer with forks, lightly grease your hands with butter or oil, then transfer each half to bowls. Let the dough rise for about 20 minutes on the countertop near the oven (or another warm, draft-free spot) or until the dough has risen to the rim of the bowls. Do not cover bowls.
  1. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove bowls from oven and turn loaves out onto cooling racks. If the loaves look a little pale and soft, place the loaves into the oven (outside of their bowls) and let them bake for about 5 minutes longer. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before cutting.

Pumpkin Harvest Bread

Yield = 2 loaves

¼ cup (34 g) raw pumpkin seeds

¼ cup (35 g) raw sunflower seeds

¼ cup (28 g) raw, unsalted pecans, cut into small pieces with a knife

1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)

¼ cup honey

1½ cups boiling water

4 cups (1 lb. 2 oz | 512 g ) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt

2¼ teaspoons instant yeast*

¾ cup dates, preferably Medjool, chopped in ¼-inch pieces

softened butter for greasing

  1. In a large skillet, toast seeds and nuts until beginning to turn golden. Transfer to a plate to cool. In a medium bowl, combine pumpkin, honey and boiling water. Stir until smooth. Set aside until lukewarm.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and yeast. Add the cooled nuts and seeds and the dates to the flour. Toss to combine. Pour the pumpkin mixture over the top. Stir with spatula to combine into a sticky dough ball. Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel or plastic wrap and set aside in a warm spot** to rise for 1 to 1½ hours or until the dough has doubled in bulk.
  1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Grease two 1-qt oven-safe bowls with the softened butter — be generous. Using two forks, deflate the dough by releasing it from the sides of the bowl and pulling it towards the center. Rotate the bowl quarter turns as you deflate, turning the mass into a rough ball as you bring it towards the center.

4. Using your two forks and working from the center out, separate the dough into two equal            halves. Use the forks to lift each half of dough into the prepared bowls. If the dough is too            wet to transfer with forks, lightly grease your hands with butter or oil, then transfer each              half to bowls. Let the dough rise for 15 to 20 minutes on the countertop near the oven (or            other warm, draft-free spot) or until the dough has risen to the rim of the bowls. Do not                cover bowls.

  1. Bake for 35 minutes at 375º. Remove from the oven and turn out the loaves onto a cooling rack. Let rest 30 minutes before cutting.

5 thoughts on “Multigrain Cereal and Pumpkin Harvest Bread – Bread, Toast, Crumbs

    1. Dana Post author

      Lisa, I think you’ll really enjoy it! I’m so happy you’ll give it a try. Let me know how it goes! 🙂

      Reply
  1. Barb

    Looks awesome! Definitely a must for mothers as well as mother-in-laws!
    I can smell it through the pictures. Can’t wait to bake these loaves!

    Reply
  2. Ali

    Dana, thank you for this beautiful post!! You are too kind to say such things. And you were so wonderful to work with while recipe testing—your feedback was so thoughtful and valuable. Sending you lots of love. These loaves are gorgeous!

    Reply
    1. Dana Post author

      I had the best time working with you. It was delicious and a ton of fun! You’re the best, Ali!

      Reply

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