While most mothers don’t usually cook meals for 10 or more people, that is the regular setting at Tiffany Moen’s dinner table. Inspired by her eight children—five who were adopted from various countries—and a stressful time when her husband was unemployed, The Spices of My Life (BQB Publishing, 2012) is the story of Moen’s diverse family and her experience incorporating her children’s varied ethnic heritage to “stretch the dollars, feed the stomachs and rejuvenate family meals.” Dot this Four-Grain Seed Bread with poppy seeds or sunflower seeds—either one would be delicious! This excerpt is taken from the section “Breads.”
You can purchase this book from the Mother Earth Living store: The Spices of My Life.
This bread is styled after German loaves, full of hearty ingredients. My long-time friend, Claudia, came for a visit to southern Florida. She brought with her a gift—a cherished European bread-making book, knowing how much I love to bake bread. After I converted ounces to tablespoons and cups, I launched out on my first recipe. Not having the same flours as required in the recipe, and wanting to add my own flair with coconut and such, I created this.
Four-Grain Seed Bread Recipe
• 10 ounces tepid water
• 1 cup whole wheat flour
• 1 tablespoon yeast
• 6 ounces warmed milk
• 3 cups white flour
• 1/4 cup flax seed flour
• 1/2 cup coconut
• 1/4 cup cornmeal
• 1/2 cup barley flour
• 2 tablespoons old-fashioned oats
• 1 tablespoon salt
• 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
• Extra white flour for kneading
• Canola oil (to oil the bowl)
• Milk for brushing
• 2 teaspoons poppy seeds or sunflower seeds to sprinkle on the loaves
1. In a large mixing bowl, add the water, flour, and yeast. Stir well. Add the milk and all the ingredients listed up to and including the caraway seeds: milk, white flour, flax seed flour, coconut, cornmeal, barley flour, oats, salt, and caraway. If you have a mixer (such as a KitchenAid), use the bread hook to knead for 8 minutes. If not, after the ingredients are stirred in the bowl, sprinkle your table with additional flour and knead the dough for at least 5 minutes You’ll find this is a great way to work out some stress!
2. Oil the bowl, put the dough into it, and turn the dough once to oil both sides. Cover the bowl with a thin, damp dish towel, and allow the dough to rise. I have found that in the wintertime, it’s helpful to warm the oven for a few minutes, turn it off, and place the bowl in the oven for the dough to rise. The rising will take about an hour. Then punch the loaf down, and divide it into two batches.
3. Spray a baking sheet with oil. Form two loaves into nice ovals, with a bit of a point at each end. Place the loaves far enough apart to prepare for expansion. Cover the loaves with a damp cloth, allowing the loaves to double in size, about 45 minutes.
4. With a sharp knife, make a 1/4-inch slit down the center of each loaf lengthwise. Then brush the loaves with milk. Sprinkle poppy seeds or sunflower seeds on the loaves. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, and cook the bread for 30 minutes. Test for doneness by turning each loaf over and “knocking” on its bottom. If it is done, it will sound hollow.
5. These loaves are terrific served with soup or dinner. Four-Grain Seed Bread recipe makes 2 loaves.
More Bread Recipes from The Spices of My Life
This excerpt has been reprinted with permission from The Spices of My Life: A Culinary Collection of Recipes, Memories and More, published by BQB Publishing, 2012. Buy this book from our store: The Spices of My Life. To learn more about Tiffany Moen and her book, visit tiffanymoen.com or BQB Publishing.