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Whole Grain Country Bread

Servings: Makes 1 large loaf
The Whole Grain Country Bread Poolish

1 cup of water
1 teaspoon of yeast
1 cup of bread flour
1/2 cup of whole wheat flour
1/2 cup of light honey

* Mix all the ingredients together and let ferment overnight, until the mixture is bubbly and increases in volume.

Note: This bread recipe derives much of its flavor and character from the use of a fermented starter, the poolish. It is one of the keys to classic bread making.

8 cups of bread flour
3 cups of whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons of salt
3 1/2 cups of water
2 teaspoons of yeast
1 cup of 12 grain mix
1/2 cup of sunflower seeds

On a large, clean, dry surface make a pile of the flours and salt. Mix them together briefly, then form a large well in the center of them.
* Pour the water into the ‘well" and sprinkle the yeast over the surface. Add the Poolish and begin gradually combining the flours and liquids together until the whole mixture is cohesive. Begin kneading the mixture.
* Continue kneading the bread for a few minutes then add the mother from a previous batch of bread (if you have one), the 12 grain mix and the sunflower seeds. Continue kneading until all of the grains and ingredients are thoroughly incorporated, if necessary sprinkle a bit of water over the dough to make it easier. Knead until the dough feels strong, smooth and elastic, about 15 minutes.
* Let the dough rest, covered, in a warm dry place until it doubles in volume. Knock it down with your fist and cut it into one pound pieces. Reserve about 8 to 12 ounces of the dough for your next bread batch, the mother*.
* Roll up the dough pieces into tight balls. Let them rest in a warm dry place until they have doubled in volume.
* Gently transfer the dough to a preheated 400 degree oven and bake until the bread is a deep golden brown and sounds hollow when you tap it on the bottom. This will take 30 to 40 minutes.

*Note: Note: The mother allows your bread to become more flavorful. If you make bread frequently allow the mother to ferment in the refrigerator. It may also be frozen and thawed several days before use. Over time the cycle of use will add a great deal of character to your bread.

Note: If you can"t find 12 grain mix any mix of whole grains will work.

Makes 1 large loaf.

Source: Bread Cookbook
Date: October 7, 2002