I think I may be the only bread baker I know who hasn’t been baking sourdough in quarantine! I’ve made a few loaves, but something about the wait times and planning hasn’t been working for me. I’ve been much more consistent with yeasted loaves, which I can make and bake within a few hours, on a whim if need be. I shared my favorite white sandwich bread a while back, a sweet maple oat bread, and I’m following up today with an easy vegan multigrain loaf.
The multiple grains here come from King Arthur’s six-grain blend, which I’ve enjoyed for a while now as a hot cereal that isn’t oatmeal (not that I don’t love oatmeal, but I crave variety sometimes!). The King Arthur website tends to be the place that I go for bread recipe inspiration: I don’t always follow the recipes precisely, but I can usually rest assured that the proportions and formulas will work, and work well.
As I was poking around one day, I saw this recipe. It seemed like a perfect opportunity to create the multigrain bread that I’ve been dreaming of, and also to put my grain blend to good use. The KAF blend that I use has barley flakes, rolled oats, rye chops, malted wheat flakes, rye flakes, millet, and quinoa flakes—in other words, a lot of my favorite grains. But you can use another grain blend, too. There are many hot breakfast cereal blends that have some combination of wheat, barley, millet, flax, and so on. Bob’s Red Mill makes a few, and Trader Joe’s makes one, too.
The beauty of the bread, once it’s baked, is the balance. It’s got texture, but it’s still tender and soft. It’s mildly sweet, but only mildly. It smells a little nutty as it bakes, but when you cut it open, it has that faintly buttery smell that a regular white loaf has. And it’s perfect for sandwiches. I’ve been using it for one particular sandwich often in the last few weeks, and I’ll share that recipe soon.
I use instant yeast for my yeasted breads, but regular yeast will also work. I give instructions for activating it at the end of the recipe, if needed. And while I admit to only using my stand mixer for kneading lately, you don’t need one to make the recipe! I love kneading bread, and once I do it, I’m always glad I did. But my cooking all throughout the last three months has been about letting things be easier and faster when they can be.
Here’s the recipe.
I’m always in the mood for homemade bread, and that has felt especially true during the Covid-19 crisis, and the yearning for comfort and normalcy that it creates. For me, the unrest in the world right now makes something homemade and soothing even more welcome.
And there’s something symbolically appropriate about bread now, too. Much of the conversation being had about race asks white people to acknowledge our privilege, to listen, and to offer reparation. “Breaking bread” can be a literal description of a shared meal, but it also denotes a gesture of sharing. May we all find ways to do more of that: to acknowledge, to listen, and to repair.
Enjoy this lovely loaf. I’ll be back later this week with a quick little lunch salad that I’ve been making often these days!
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Do you use all the vegan butter on greasing the pan or do you use some in the loaf?
Good question! The 3 tablespoons are all for the bread. It’s extra for greasing. I updated the recipe to reflect that 🙂
Thank you. I made a loaf tonight. So hard to wait for it to cool down. It smells so good!
I hope you enjoy it, Edain!
Brilliant bread recipe. Makes the best bread I’ve ever made. Even better than sourdough. I sub the butter for olive oil. I’ve not bought shop bread since finding this recipe. The taste is something else and it works every time!
Hello, question about the flours. Can we just use three cups of something like an oat flour? Thank you.
Hi there! Oat flour won’t work in this recipe, I’m afraid—as written, it needs gluten to turn out correctly. Glad you asked 🙂
I made this bread today and it is delicious. I used unbleached all purpose flour and whole wheat flour. However, I didn’t have multigrain flour so I ground some organic oatmeal in my little Ninja blender and used one cup of that to substitute. Also added a sprinkling of flax meal and about 1 Tb of wheat germ.
While the loaf didn’t rise in the pan as it should have – possibly the yeast was old – the result was still amazing.
Would really like to make this for my grandson but he is not suppose to have salt in his diet because he’s a 9 month old. Is it ok to leave out the salt totally? Thks
Understood. The recipe may still work, but without the salt, the bread may be drier and flatter (salt strengthens the gluten structure and volume of the bread). It will also taste different. I think you could safely reduce to 1 teaspoon, but I can’t vouch for how it’ll turn out without any added salt at all!
I tried it last week, because of this situation, I have a lot of time in the kitchen. my children really like it
Wow–I can’t wait to make this bread! And I hear you on the sourdough thing. My starter has mainly been going into waffles and pizza dough, and I’m baking yeasted breads instead.
I love to bake from KAF’s website too and always buy their flour when I’m stateside (trying not to think of when I might get my next bag). One thing I learned from their blog is you really don’t have to dissolve active dry yeast anymore if you don’t want to! You can pretty much use it like instant yeast:
I usually have instant on hand but have done this a couple of times in the past when only active dry was available, and it worked fine. Kinda cool!
Wow, that’s so good to know! I’ve always assumed regular yeast had to be activated with liquid ingredients first. Thanks for this tip! Much appreciated.
Glad you found it interesting too!
Back to say I made the loaf and it’s wonderful–a definite keeper. Am making another one today. It’s a fast and high riser, especially in this hotter weather we’ve been having. Your advice to start preheating the oven 15 minutes into the second rise was spot-on.
Awesome, Lucy! So glad you enjoyed it as much as I have been 🙂
How do you think this will work with all white whole wheat?
What about using just oats instead of the grain mix? Any ideas on how much to use if I try to make my own grain mix?
Hi Chana! I think it will probably work, it may just be a little denser than what you see here. And yes, 1 cup of rolled oats is a perfect substitute 🙂 I haven’t checked, but I’m guessing there are some good recipes online for 5 or 6 grain hot cereal mixes, and if you make one of those, that’ll work, too!
Thanks gena!! I really enjoy your blog.
Stay well and safe.
I enjoy having your presence here 🙂 Thank you.