Sunday, July 19, 2015

8 Grain Bread - a Farmstand #SundaySupper Staple!

I don't think there can be a shopping experience quite as inspiring for a foodie as a trip to the local farmer's market. I can't even begin to think of all the meals, snacks and desserts I've come up with after visiting one of my local haunts and picking up everything from gourmet mushrooms to just-picked berries, juicy peaches, sweet corn and peppers and even local eggs, dairy and meat. Sampling is always encouraged, and families get into the experience of tasting unfamiliar produce together - something that has caused more than one child I know to fall in love with a fruit or vegetable!

One of the stalls I always make sure to scope out is the bakery outlet, which in the early morning boasts still-warm loaves and muffins packed with seasonal produce and locally farmed grains, and by lunchtime barely has a roll left. I troll the stalls regularly, not always buying (sorry!) but always investigating the flavour combinations so that I can recreate the loaves at home. Over the years, I've churned out my share of breads inspired by the local bakers - sweet and hearty Multigrain Spelt and Blueberry Sourdough that my mom devoured with an array of homemade Toast Toppers, tangy Bauernbrot (which made an appearance on the menu for both Christmas and birthday menus) and a savoury Olive Semi - Sourdough Boule packed with sun-dried olives and whole grain flour. My latest journey to the farmer's market resulted in not only the purchase of freshly milled Red Fife flour and a small bag of maple sugar, but the mental image of a dense, grain-packed cranberry loaf with a rich colour and aroma.

Once back in my home kitchen (and armed with the new oven!), I set about creating this loaf - adding a touch of sourdough, multigrain cereal and cocoa to the body of the dough along with the slight sweetness of maple sugar and an almond-flavoured stevia. Instead of a boule, I picked a more traditional "panned" loaf which could fit in the toaster slots - a call for a slathering of Purely Peach Jam or Blueberry Pomegranate Butter if there ever was one! 

This week #SundaySupper is celebrating the farmer's markets and farmstands with fare inspired - or fueled by the local bounty. This event is being hosted by Colleen of Foodie Tots with help from DB aka Foodie Stuntman at Crazy Foodie Stunts - thanks guys!

Appetizers, Sides and Salads


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8-Grain Bread

8 Grain Bread
Adapted from Secrets of a Jewish Baker
Makes 1 loaf, 16 slices
1 cup 8 grain hot cereal (such as Bob's Red Mill)
¼ cup dried cranberries
hot water, to cover
3 cups Red Fife or whole wheat bread flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp maple sugar
2 tsp salt
½ tbsp instant yeast
1 cup recently fed sourdough (100% hydration)
1 - 1 ¼ cups warm water
½ tsp almond flavoured liquid stevia (or plain stevia or 2 tbsp sugar with a dash of almond extract)
  1. Place the cereal and cranberries in a bowl and cover with hot water. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 12-24 hours.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine flour, cocoa, sugar, salt and yeast.
  3. Add the starter, 1 cup of the water, the stevia and soaked cereal-cranberry mixture and mix on low speed for 12 minutes. Add water as necessary - the dough should be soft but not overly sticky.
  4. Place in an oiled bowl, cover and let rise 1 hour.
  5. Punch down and place in a greased 9x5" loaf pan.
  6. Cover and let rise until dough rises just above the rim of the pan.
  7. Heat the oven to 380F. Slash the top of the loaf with a sharp knife and place in the oven.
  8. Bake 40 minutes, until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 136.7
Total Fat: 1.2 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 292.2 mg
Total Carbs: 28.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 5.0 g
Protein: 5.0 g

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