Old World Whole Grain Bread

Old World Whole Grain Bread

Makes 1 loaf. Recipe is by Ann Jennings, Baton Rouge.

Whole wheat, oats and flax combine to make a loaf reminiscent of what was common in Europe centuries ago (but this one is much more tender).

1/4 cup wheat bran

1/4 steel cut oats

31/2 cups whole wheat flour, divided

11/2 cups warm water, divided

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup honey

41/2 tsps. yeast

1/4 cup flax meal (or grind your own whole flax seeds)

11/2 tsps. salt

1. In a medium bowl, combine bran, oats, 1 cup flour and 1 cup warm water. Cover and let stand 1 hour.

2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, add remaining 1/2 cup warm water, olive oil, honey, and yeast and allow to stand 5 minutes.

3. Add bran mixture to yeast mixture, along with remaining 2 1/2 cups flour, flax meal, and salt. Using a bread hook, mix on low speed 7 minutes. Form dough into a ball, place in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to sit in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.

4. Punch dough down and remove from bowl. Knead lightly and shape dough into a loaf. Place in a greased 9-inch loaf pan, cover lightly with a clean dish towel, and let rise until bread rises about 1 inch above pan rim, about 30 minutes.

5. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 350 F. Bake bread until dark brown, about 30-35 minutes. Remove from pan immediately and allow to cool at least 30 minutes before slicing.