There is nothing like waking up, popping a big slice of homemade hearty grain bread in the toaster, and starting the day off right. What is it about homemade bread? The texture, flavor, and appearance are the complete opposite from those varieties sold in pre-packaged bags at the grocery store.
The smell alone that bread baking emits is a treat. And the thought of that puts me in the perfect mood to whip up my own loaf. Ok, I’ll admit: this does make my life sound a little boring. But I do find excitement in the most simple items. Maybe you’re like me, and the simple act of making homemade bread is uber satisfying. I mean, sure, baking is trendy again. Take a look at Instagram and you’ll see everyone rolling out artisan-style sourdough loaves and testing their own hand at creating the perfect crusty top.
I admit that I’ve been on this bandwagon myself. I have a sourdough starter that I’ve been nursing through thick and thin for the past three years. And I just very well may or may not call it my baby. Seriously, with me, it’s the most simple thing. It really does make the most beautiful loaves of bread, though. Just sayin’…
But what about the normal homey-style breads? You know what I mean: the ones made in an 8 ½ x 4 ½ inch loaf pan? You or your parents probably have at least one collecting dust somewhere.
Enter my hearty grain bread recipe. This is definitely a step up from the honey oat bread I shared a few years ago. No, it’s not necessarily better, just heartier and well, more adult. If that honey oat bread is my comfort food, this hearty grain version is my spirit animal. It delivers the perfect bread texture with whole wheat flour, chopped walnuts, oats, and a slight sweetness from the added molasses.
Bread sometimes seems overwhelming because of the idea of spending hours waiting for the dough to rise. I mean, who has the time? That’s why I only use instant active dry yeast. Instant yeast doesn’t need to be bloomed in water first because… it’s instant!
As this bread rises, it grows a large dome that turns a deep amber brown color. Sometimes the slices are so large they can hardly fit in a normal-sized toaster. I love this style of homemade bread. It’s not perfect looking. It doesn’t have designs on the top. But it has
This is the go-to bread I keep in my freezer all year long. When it’s cold outside (like it is right now as I write this post!), I bake up a few batches and store them for the months to come. When slices of this bread are toasted, the options really are endless:
- The classic combination of salted butter with homemade jam.
- Mashed avocado with pepper and some (optional) sriracha. But is it really optional? You know you want a little spice.
- An egg fried right into the middle of the toast.
- Spread with peanut butter and bananas. Didn’t everyone grow up eating toast this way?!
- Greek yogurt topped with raspberries and a drizzle of honey.
Watch how to make this hearty grain bread:
Hearty Grain Bread
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tbsp instant active dry yeast
- ¾ cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 ⅓ cups warm water (110-115°F)
- ⅓ cup dry milk
- 2 tbsp toasted wheat germ
- 2 tbsp ground toasted flax seed
- 4 tbsp chopped toasted walnuts
- 4 tbsp grapeseed oil
- 4 tbsp molasses
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- ⅓ cup rye flour
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the whole wheat flour and yeast. Add the water, oats, dry milk, wheat germ, ground flaxseed, walnuts, oil, molasses, and salt. Mix on medium speed until a wet, shaggy dough forms.
- Turn the mixer off and add the rye flour and 2 cups of the all-purpose flour. Turn the mixer back to medium for 5 minutes. At this point, check the dough. If it is still sticking to the sides of the bowl, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough becomes a cohesive ball and cleans the side of the bowl.
- Grease a large bowl and place the dough in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Once risen, fold the dough to release air, and form into a loaf.
- Grease an 8 ½ x 4 ½ inch loaf pan and place dough inside. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until doubled and domed above the loaf pan, about 45 minutes.
- While rising, preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Once risen, place in the preheated oven and bake until dark brown, about 55-70 minutes. The bread should register 200°F on an instant-read thermometer when inserted into the center of the bread.
- Remove from the oven and cool for 15 minutes in the pan.
- Remove from the pan and cool four hours before slicing.