Easy Seed and Grain Loaf

by Libby Jennison

     I remember back when I was watching my mother-in-law make Thanksgiving rolls one year.  Her recipe came from something she’d purchased on an infommercial as a newly-wed.  “Speedy Dinner Rolls”, they were called.  I didn’t think that “Speedy” was appropriate, but that was back before I’d even made a loaf of bread or had to wait for anything to rise.  I supposed those truly were speedy, but they lacked texture, character, crunchy crust, complex flavor (really, they lacked everything I hope for in a roll or a piece of bread).

Ever since I began making bread a year or two later, I have always compared how “speedy” my recipes are to my mother-in-law’s.  It seems they are either a wow, but time consuming, or a quick make, but disappointing.  At last, I think that my search is over.

I am not gluten-intolerant, but my husband suspects that his ever-present sniffles have to do with gluten, so we’ve been on a mission to eliminate gluten from our home.  It’s not all been a drag though, as I’ve had a chance to experiment with different flours and grains (and that is right up my ally).

Bob’s Red Mill really hit the nail on the head with their Hearty Whole Grain Bread Mix.  I literally just followed the instructions on the back of the package.  Now, I’m not a huge packaged foods person, so this whole gluten-free thing has my feathers a tad ruffled; I find a lot of joy in measuring out the flours and seeing it all come together.  I would love to eventually make my own version of this flour mixture, but for now I will just say thanks to Bob.  You will too.

This recipe includes using a package of yeast and to that you also add 1 and 3/4 c of warm water, 1/4 c of olive oil, 2 eggs, and 1 tsp. of apple cider vinegar.  Essentially, you allow the yeast to activate in the warm water while combining the eggs, oil, and apple cider vinegar in a bowl.  Then add the yeast/water mixture.  Add the flour mixture into the bowl and stir until combined.  I poured it into a well oiled loaf pan and covered it with a tea towel to let it rise for 45 minutes.  The package says to put it in a warm place, so I thought the oven with the light on was a good option.  When the 45 minute mark came, I peeked at it, took off the tea towel, and preheated the oven to 375 degrees with the pan still in there.  Cooked for an hour exactly and came out beautifully.  Its best when its warm out of the oven and slathered in rich, creamy butter, but still great when covered with cheese and put under the broiler for a bit until flecked with brown.