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Red River Whole Wheat Bread New Updated Recipe
Red River is a Canadian made cereal from Manitoba. I enjoyed it served hot on snowy mornings when I was growing up. It is full of flax seed, and I tried to make a bread with it in place of flour, but it was "too hearty". Then I came across the recipe for Cracked Whole Wheat in the older Joy of Cooking (ISBN 0-672-51831-7). I substituted Red River Cereal, and the results were superb. In my experience this is the best whole wheat bread ever.
This recipe makes two very large loaves. Kneading this much dough is quite a workout. You may want to try halving the recipe.
Because of the rapid rising time, this recipe can be made from start to fully baked loaves in two to two and a half hours.
2 packages yeast (4 -1/2 teaspoons)
1/2 cup water at 105° to 115° F
2 cups pure Canadian glacier water (or tap water)
1 cup Red River Cereal (1/4 cup grain cooked in 1 cup water)
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon salt
3 tablespoons honey or sugar (more or less)
1 tablespoon molasses (more or less)
3 cups unbleached white bread flour (or all-purpose). Robin Hood Homestyle White is by far the best bread flour I have ever used.
3 cups whole wheat bread flour
3 tablespoons buttermilk powder
Proof the yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water. Leave it sit while you prepare the other ingredients. It should bubble and smell very yeasty.
Cook the Red River cereal to a boil
in the 1 cups boiling water.
While cooling add the butter, salt, honey and molasses.
Mix together the white and wheat flours and the buttermilk powder (if using real buttermilk reduce the water by 1 cup and substitute 1 cup buttermilk.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and dump in the warm liquid ingredients. Mix this up a little. Once you are sure that the mixture isn't too hot for the yeast, dump in the yeast mixture.
Stir this heavy dough as best you can. Once the dough is one mass, dump it out on a floured board and need it for ten minutes until it doesn't stick to your hand and it holds its form well. Add white flour as necessary.
Place the dough in a bowl (I just use the same bowl I mixed it in without even cleaning or greasing it), cover with a dry towel and place in a warm place.
DO NOT OVERPROOF.
This seems to be the other important factor. The yeast in this warm, whole wheat environment will go crazy and the recipe will double in volume very quickly. Maybe only 35 or 45 minutes.
As soon as it has doubled, remove it and knead it. Cut it in two and form two loaves. Place them in greased loaf pans, cover with a dry cloth and repeat the rising process. Again this may only take 45 minutes to double.
Once doubled, pre-heat an oven to 350 degrees and pop them in for 45 minutes.
Heat oven to 350° F and cook for 35 to 45 minutes or until done. When removed, place on racks to cool or tilt them on their sides so that moisture doesn't accumulate on the bottom.
As with all breads, they should be cooled for 15 minutes before being cut. There is still stuff happening in there, though it is a mighty temptation to try it immediately.