Opulent Farmer's Bread Recipe

In the Old World, multi-grain, whole-grain breads like our farmer's bread were a dietary mainstay for thousands of years.


| December 2010/January 2011



farmers bread

Farmer's bread, with its combination of whole wheat, rye, and barley flour, is hearty, flavorful, and firm.  

PHOTO: JIM MACKENZIE

I created this farmer’s bread recipe for a hearty, 3-pound loaf from a reference to “opulent farmers” I read in a 1795 British agricultural text. The farmers ate bread consisting of 1 part wheat flour, 1 part rye, and 1 part barley. This dense, whole-grain bread has sweet undertones from the rye, made more complex by the wheat and barley. It was one of the first breads I made with my flour mill. I was amazed! I hadn’t expected the difference between store-bought and freshly ground grain to be so great. This is a good bread no matter the origin of the flour you use, but it’s a memorable bread if made with freshly ground grains.

Like all whole-grain breads that are largely based on grains other than wheat, the Opulent Farmers’ Bread has a sticky crumb until the finished loaf has rested overnight.

This powerful bread goes well with strong flavors, such as a richly flavored stew or aged cheddar and chutney. Breads like this were staples in Europe for thousands of years. It is nutritionally rich, great-tasting, real food.

Ingredients and supplies: 

2 cups whole-wheat flour
2 cups whole-rye flour
2 cups whole-barley flour
1 1⁄8 tsp dried yeast
2 tsp salt
2 3⁄4 cups water
Baking stone or cookie sheet
Pizza peel or heavy piece of cardboard
White flour for dusting formed loaf
 

Note: Sift out larger grains for a slightly lighter loaf. If rehydrating yeast with water, subtract the amount of water you added to the yeast from the 2 3/4 cups in the recipe.





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