Oh Peter Reinhart, you are a bread god. Thank you for this multigrain bread.
Besides the taste, texture, healthfulness and cool speckly appearance of this bread, the best part is that the it requires no pre-ferment, only a soaker. All you have to do is mix up some various grains and water the night before. Many of the grains are ones you probably have in your house any way, and if they're not, give them a shot. It's fun to find new ways to use cornmeal, quinoa, millet, oats, wheat bran, etc in every day meals.
I made a few adjustments to the recipe, based on need and preference. I love, love, love the way it turned out.
Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire, from the Bread Baker's Apprentice
3 T cornmeal (polenta), millet, quinoa or amaranth (I used cornmeal and quinoa)
3 T rolled oats or wheat, buckwheat or triticale flakes (I used the rolled oats)
2 T wheat bran (I used wheat germ and bulgar wheat)
(also consider: Steel cut oats, wheat germ, bulgar wheat and others)
1/4 cup water
3 cups bread flour
2 T brown sugar (I used 1 T white sugar and 1 T molasses)
1 1/2 t salt
1 T instant yeast
3 T cooked brown rice (I used black rice that they happened to have at the restaurant)
1 1/2 T honey
1/2 cup buttermilk or milk (I used half and half)
3/4 cup water
On the day before, make the soaker. Combining the grains with the water activates the enzymes which will improve the bread flavor and behavior. Cover the bowl and leave it at room temperature overnight.
To make the dough, stir the flour, brown sugar, salt and yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer, or in a large mixing bowl. Add the soaker, rice, honey, buttermilk and water. Stir (or mix with the paddle attachment) until the ingredients form a ball. Knead on a floured surface for 12 minutes, or mix with the dough hook for 8-10 minutes on med-low speed). The dough should be soft and homogenous, but not sticky. When you pull a bit of the dough out into a square between your fingers, it should form a thin, translucent "windowpane" instead of tearing. Thats when you'll know that the gluten has sufficiently developed. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature for about an hour and a half, until the dough has doubled in size.
When the dough has risen, its time to shape it. You can either form a loaf and bake in a loaf pan, or you can form a round "boule" like I have in the above picture. In either case it's important to have enough surface tension that the bread can rise in a nice shape, so pull around the edges of the dough and tuck them into the middle of the loaf. Place your loaves in or on the thing they will be baked in or on, and let them proof, or rise again, for another 90 minutes.
Towards the end of this rise, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Then when it's time, bake the loaves for 20 minutes (small loaves should be done), then rotate (for larger loaves) and bake for 15 minutes more. If the inside is tested with a thermometer, it should register 185-190 degrees.
When the loaves are down baking, remove them from their pans and let cool for an hour or two before slicing in. The cooling completes the baking process.
Take note of the delicious specks of grains! This bread tastes fab with butter and jam, and could be a great sandwich bread.