As I post bread recipes from now on, I’m going to try to explain this in the recipe better. I pulled out a few cookbooks to check my penciled-in notes, and it seems that I nearly always use less than the recipe calls for, so I’m going to suggest the amount I actually used and then write (or more as needed). I hope this covers everyone’s various conditions adequately!
I’d love to have 100% whole-wheat bread always, but it’s a bit heavy. I’ve been experimenting with different quantities of white and whole wheat flour to lighten the texture, and the sweet spot seems to be about 1/3 white and 2/3 whole wheat, but if you want to make this with whole wheat flour, increase the vital wheat gluten to 1/4 cup.
This is rapidly becoming our favorite bread to have with soup. The millet gives it an amazing, crunchy texture, and the roasted pepitas warm up the flavor perfectly.
Pepitas are shelled pumpkin seeds. If these aren’t handy, sunflower seeds would make a good stand-in.
1-3/4 cup warm water, about 105 F
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1-1/2 cups white flour
3/4 cup millet
1/4 cup roasted, unsalted pepitas
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons agave nectar
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
2-1/2 cups whole wheat flour (or more as needed)
In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together water, yeast and white flour with a fork. Cover and let stand for 45 minutes to 1 hour. This sponge will bubble up and double in volume.
Add millet, pepitas, oil, agave nectar, salt and vital wheat gluten and mix into the sponge with a fork. If you’re using a stand mixer with dough hooks to knead, turn it on now. Work the whole wheat flour into the rest of the ingredients. You may have to stop your mixer and work the last of the flour in with a fork or wooden spoon.
Knead with a mixer on low for 5 minutes or turn dough out on a floured surface and knead by hand for 10 minutes. If your dough is too sticky to work with, add more whole wheat flour a tablespoon or two at a time. When the dough has been kneaded enough it will not stick to your hands and will spring back when touched.
Place dough in an oiled bowl and cover loosely with a clean dishcloth or paper towel. Set aside to rise until dough doubles in size, about 1 hour. Shape into a rectangle and press into a large 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Cover again and set aside to rise until doubled, about 30 – 40 minutes.
Heat oven to 350 F. Bake for 35-40 minutes. To test for doneness, turn bread loaf out of the pan and rap on the bottom with your knuckles. If it makes a sound, the bread is done.