Saturday, October 3, 2009

Granary Bread

Although I have been baking bread pretty much weekly for a year now, the monkey's requests for a simple granary bread like he could get growing up in the UK had gone unheeded. Partly (OK largely) because I couldn't find a recipe for it, partly because I'm just a sourdough gal, and also because there is a lot of yucky bread out there under the guise of wholemeal or granola or other crunchy-healthy sort of name.

A basic granary loaf has certain richness of flavor that is not generally found in a US whole wheat. It contains a blend of cereals and just the faintest sweet note. It makes terrific toast and sandwiches. It is dense, but doesn't weigh a ton, it never feels gummy, and it doesn't have what appear to be ground chair legs and other distracting bits in it. Just a nice, friendly basic bread. How hard could that be?

Finally I threw caution to the wind (such a daredevil!) and tried my hand at it. I used a 5-grain cereal from Bob's Red Mill for my grains. I am sure could make something similar from scratch, but I am never averse to taking shortcuts when I can....

Woo hoo! Success in one go! I can say definitively that this bread makes good toast, good sandwiches and even tastes good plain. So without further ado, I am pleased to be able to publish a recipe for British Granary Bread. I have no idea how the recipe itself compares to a real recipe, but it passed the monkey test. He's eaten half the loaf already.

One note: this is an overnight recipe, so start it a day ahead of when you want to bake.

Granary Bread
adapted from Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes

makes 1 large loaf

6.4 oz   5 Grain Cereal
8 oz   Bread Flour
6.4 oz   Whole Wheat Flour
1.6 oz Rye Flour
14.4 oz   Water
.4 oz Salt
1 Tbsp   Molasses
1 tsp   Active Dry Yeast

In a small bowl, mix the cereal with 8 oz. water and the salt. Cover and let soak for an hour or more.

Mix all the ingredients on first spped for about 3 minutes, then on second speed for another 4 minutes. The dough will probably still be somewhat shaggy. Place the dough in a lightly oiled container and fold once. Cover and ferment at room temperature for an hour, then fold again.

Place the dough in the refrigerator and continue to ferment overnight. (Mine fermented about 18 hours all told, as I made it mid-day, then baked the next morning). Fold two or three times during fermentation until the dough has firmed up and feels smooth. 

The next day, remove the dough from the refrigerator, shape as desired, cover, then proof for 1 - 1 1/2 hours.  

Bake at 450 degrees and with steam for 10 minutes, then without steam for another 25-30 min. Let cool thoroughly before slicing.

This bread has been submitted for inclusion in YeastSpotting on Wild Yeast Blog. Check out the other delicious and yeasty items featured there every week!


  1. Nice, Linda! I have to admit I've not used any of those multigrain mixes but it seems like a great idea. I'm glad you and your monkey were both happy!

  2. I haven't yet tried any multigrain breads (or mixes), but this looks interesting. Thanks to you and Susan for sharing.

  3. What a nice healthy loaf. It looks really tasty!

  4. I've tried something like this by combining the multi-grain mix after I cooked it like breakfast cereal and let it cool, but this is much simpler and looks wonderful! Thanks for the recipe. Toast, here I come.