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Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire

  • Author: The Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart



  • 3 tablespoons (1 ounce) cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons (.75 ounces) rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons millet
  • 1/4 cup water, at room temperature



  • 3 cups (13.5 ounces) unbleached bread flour
  • 3 tablespoons (1.5 ounces) brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (.38 ounces) salt
  • 1 tablespoon (.33 ounces) instant yeast
  • 3 tablespoons (1 ounce) cooked brown rice
  • 1 1/2 (1 ounce) honey
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) milk
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) water, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds, for topping (optional)


  1. On the day before making the bread, make the soaker. Combine the cornmeal, oats, and millet with the water in a small bowl. The water will just cover the grain, hydrating it slightly. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it at room temperature overnight to initiate enzyme action.
  2. The next day, make the dough. Stir together the flour, brown sugar, salt, and yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the soaker, rice, honey, milk, and water. Mix on low speed with the paddle attachment until the ingredients form a ball. Add a few drops of water if any flour remains separate.
  3. Switch to the dough hook, and knead for 8-10 minutes on medium-low speed, sprinkling in flour if needed to make dough that is soft and pliable, tacky but not sticky. The individual ingredients will homogenize into the greater dough, disappearing to an extent, and the dough will smooth out and become slightly shiny. Lightly oil a bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
  4. Ferment at room temperature for 90 minutes, or until the dough doubles in size (note: this is where I put my in the refrigerator for 24 hours).
  5. Remove the dough from the bowl and press it by hand into a rectangular about 3/4’ thick, 6 inches wide, and 8-10 inches long. Form in to a loaf, and place in to a lightly oiled 9 by 5 inch loaf pan, or onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper if you are making a freestanding loaf. Mist the top of the dough with water and sprinkle on poppy seeds. Mist again, this time with spray oil, and loosely cover the dough with plastic wrap or a towel.
  6. Proof for approximately 90 minutes, or until the dough nearly doubles in size.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350, with the oven rack on the middle shelf.
  8. Bake for about 20 minutes, rotate the pan 180 degrees and continue baking for another 15 minutes for freestanding loaves and 20-40 minutes for loaf-pan bread. The bread should register at least 185-190 in the center, be golden brown, and make hollow sound when thumped on the bottom.
  9. When the loaves are finished baking, remove them immediately from the pans and cool on a rack for at least 1 hour, preferably 2 hours, before slicing or serving.