Multigrain Wheat Loaf

This bread combines the wholesome goodness of wheat, rye, oats and corn in a hearty, honey-sweetened loaf worthy of centerpiece status. Easier to make than it looks, this eye-catching bread is simply two layers of dough, stacked and snipped at intervals to resemble wheat. Chia, flax and sesame seeds add a nutty, healthy crunch.

Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients

  • 3¾ to 4¼ cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 packages active dry yeast (4½ teaspoons)
  • 1½ cups milk
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 eggs, divided
  • ⅔ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup rye flour
  • ½ cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • ¼ cup toasted wheat germ
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon each: sesame seeds, chia seeds and flaxseeds
  • 1 tablespoon water

Directions

In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of the all-purpose flour and the yeast; set aside. In a medium saucepan, heat and stir milk, honey, butter and salt just until warm (120° to 130°F) and butter almost melts. Add to flour mixture in bowl. Add 2 eggs. Beat with an electric mixer on medium for 30 seconds. Beat on high for 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Using a wooden spoon, stir in whole wheat and rye flours, oats, wheat germ and cornmeal. Stir in as much of the remaining all-purpose flour as you can.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining all-purpose flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total). Shape dough into a ball. Place in a lightly greased large mixing bowl; turn once to grease the surface of the dough. Cover and let rise until double (1 to 1½ hours).

Punch dough down. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly grease a large baking sheet. Using two-thirds of the dough, shape into an 18×4-inch oval. Place on prepared baking sheet.

Using kitchen shears, make slanted cuts about 1 inch deep on both long sides of the oval, creating a feathered look. Shape remaining portion of dough into a 16×3-inch oval. Place on top of slit dough. Make slotted cuts in same fashion.

Cover and let rise until nearly double (30 to 45 minutes). Preheat oven to 375°F. In a small bowl, combine seeds. In a separate bowl, beat remaining egg with water. Brush top of loaf with egg mixture. Sprinkle with seed mixture. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden. Cool on wire rack.