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    Four Grain Bread from the Frog Commissary

    I’d never thought of Frog Commissary Cookbook as a bread book. I don’t know why, as I should have realized that they would have had some different recipes.  Well, here’s one that’s worth making.  I have avoided most multi-grain breads for a long time.  I always thought of them as being dense, heavy and difficult to chew and eat.  Sort of like shoe leather.  This one is as unlike my preconception as possible.  The blurb in the book says that they started out to make “a lighter, moister whole grain in contrast to the heavier varieties commonly found.”  Ah Ha!  I thought.  I was right.  But so are they. 

    The book says not to let the second rise go over 20 minutes, as the yeast and the grains seem to interact to make to produce a powerful rise.  This means to have the oven ready to go about halfway through final rise.


    Ingredient US Metric
    Bulgur Wheat 1/3 cup 80 ml
    Oats 3/4 cup 180 ml Old fashioned oats
    Brown sugar 1/4 cup 60 ml
    Shortening 2 Tbsp 30 ml
    Salt 2 tsp 10 ml
    Boiling water 1 cup 240 ml
    Milk 3/4 cup 180 ml
    Dry yeast 1/2 ounce 15 grams 2 packets
    Sesame seeds 1/4 cup 60 ml Toasted
    Poppy seeds 2 Tbsp 30 ml
    Whole wheat flour 3 1/2 oz 100 grams
    Bread Flour 12 oz 340 grams
    egg white 1
    Poppy seeds 1 tsp 5 ml
    Sesame seeds 1 tsp 5 ml

     Note:  I had to add what amounts to 2 ounces of water to my dough to make it work properly.  You may or may not have to add water depending on the moisture content of your bulgur and oats.


    1. Combine the bulgur, oats, brown sugar, shortening and salt in a mixing bowl.  Pour the boiling water over them, stir once or twice and let cool to room temperature.
    2. Heat the milk until a light skin forms.  This is the scalding temperature.  Let cool until lukewarm.
    3. Pour the cooled milk into a bowl and sprinkle the yeast over it.  Let it soften for a minute or two, then stir to dissolve the yeast.
    4. Add the grain mixture, the sesame and poppy seeds (the larger amounts), whole wheat flour and bread flour.
    5. Knead by hand for 10 minutes or using a stand mixer for 3 minutes.  The dough will be soft.
    6. Put in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise 30-40 minutes, until doubled in bulk.
    7. Remove the dough from the bowl and gently knead it for a few seconds to degas it.
    8. Roll the dough into an 8 X 10 inch / 20 x 25 cm rectangle, press out any air bubbles and roll up the dough, starting from one of the shorter sides.
    9. Put the dough in a greased 9 X 5 X 3  inch / 22 X 12 X 7 cm loaf pan.
    10. Heat oven to 350F / 175C.
    11. Cover the dough and let it rise for 20 minutes.
    12. Brush the dough with the egg white  and sprinkle on the poppy and sesame seeds.
    13. Bake for 45-55 minutes, to an internal temperature of 190 – 200F / 88 – 93C.
    14. Immediately remove from pan and cool on a rack.

    My pictures show me making a triple amount of this recipe. Please don’t think you’ll have this much dough making the normal recipe. In particular, pictures 15 through 19 show the gymnastics I had to go through to make this much dough in my mixer. You won’t have anything like this with a single batch of dough.

    <h3>Here we go</h3>

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    The ingredients for the Four Grain Bread all measured out and ready to go.  Mise in Place. I've mixed the bulgur and oats.  Here I'm adding salt to the mix. Pouring boiling water over the dry ingredients. Stirring the boiling water and the oats mix.
    Heating the milk to 170F / 76C. The boiling water mix is now cool and the liquid mostly absorbed. I've added the milk to the water and oats. Adding the seeds to the liquid mix.
    Adidng the whole wheat flour. Mixing a bit to get the whole wheat moistened. All mixed.  Now to add the bread flour. Starting to add bread flourand mix it..
    Continuing to add bread flour and mix.  Still more bread flour work. Mixing the dough using the counter and the mixer. Continuing to add in bread flour..
    Still more large batch mixing. And yet more. Just about all the bread flour is incorporated into the dough. The dough fits into the mixer, but just barely.
    Here's the finished dough, ready to ferment  What a struggle -- hope it's worh the effort. The dough in the fermentation bucket. The dough after bulk fermentation.  That's easily a double. Ready to divide.  If you make a single batch, you won't need to divide the dough
    Divided. And into the pans. Dough after final rise. After brushing with egg white and sprinkling with seeds.
    Into the oven.  This is a dry oven, no water. Here are two finished loaves; one's already gone. The crumb. Close up of the crumb, showing the flecks of seeds.

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