Thursday, February 3, 2011

Bird's Bread--not just for birds!

This three-grain bread recipe isn't for birds, but it's made with millet, a primary component of a lot of bird seeds. But don't worry! You don't need to sort your bird seed to find millet. Look for this ancient grain in the bulk section of health food stores, or near the rice in groceries that don't sell bulk foods. The other grains in this bread, quinoa and barley, add to the birdseed effect.

The grains in this recipe are uncooked and give the finished bread a nice crunch. If you prefer a softer, moister bread, soak the grains overnight or cook them completely before adding them to the bread dough.

Bird's Bread
2 cups bread flour
1 cup stone ground whole wheat flour
1/4 cup barley
1/4 cup millet
1/4 cup quinoa
1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. instant yeast
2 cups water
1 Tbsp. agave or other natural sweetener
1 Tbsp. sunflower oil (you can also use canola oil, peanut oil, or melted butter)
2 tsp. salt

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the bread flour, whole wheat flour, barley, millet, quinoa, and yeast.
  2. Add the water, agave or other sweetener, oil, and salt and mix until a rough, sticky dough forms.
  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured counter top and knead for about 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Add extra flour while kneading, if the dough gets too sticky.
  4. Place dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a plastic bag and allow to rise at room temperature for about two hours, or until doubled in bulk.
  5. After the dough has doubled in size, punch it down gently and divide it into two parts. Form each part into a loaf shape and transfer each loaf to a lightly oiled loaf pan or baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap or a plastic bag and let rise again for 45-60 minutes. Dough will rise about one inch and will spring back slowly when touched.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake loaves in the center rack of the oven for 35-40 minutes or until their internal temperature read 190 degrees. Loaves will sound hollow when tapped and have a golden brown color.
  7. Remove loaves from their pans and cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container or freeze for later use. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. As long as you're creative enough on your baking skills, then you can do away with any ingredients.