Nothing beats the smell of freshly baked bread coming out of the oven. This hearty muesli bread is begging to be slathered with some butter and enjoyed warm!
A few weeks ago, we watched the Michael Pollan series on Netflix. I freakin’ adore Michael Pollan. He single-handedly changed my outlook on food back in 2009 when I was on a mission to lose 15-20 pounds, get healthier and start running (you can read all about that journey on my about me page) with his book, In Defense of Food. To this day, I still think his coined phrase “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” is a great one to live by and the simplicity of it all is a refreshing change of pace in this time of crazy detoxes, niche diets and other food fads that pop up seemingly every other day.
Thanks to partner, Bob’s Red Mill for sponsoring this post.
From the buzz I’d heard surrounding the four-part series focusing on the basic cooking techniques of fire, water, air and earth, air was apparently the most inspiring episode. People were all “I’m going to make my own bread every day!” after watching it and of course, being the skeptic I am, I told myself that while I’m sure it would be a great episode, there’s no way I’d fall into that trap.
Well, I was wrong.
It was the one episode Ulysses happened to watch with me and we both were completely inspired after just 60 minutes of talk about real, fermented artisan bread. The kind of bread our ancestors made, not the quick breads of today ready in 30 minutes or the box mixes you add an egg and some oil to. He even turned to me while the credits were rolling to say “I really think you should give this a shot”. In my head the response was “haha, thanks, babe, I’ll just add that to my daily to-do list, no prob” but truthfully, I was interested too.
A few days went by, I googled all the things, talked to a bunch of people and was convinced I was ready to make my own starter from scratch and be the kind of person who has one of those fermented blobs living on her kitchen counter for the sole purpose of baking bread the real way.
But then life kicked in, we went to Florida for a week, schedules got hectic and here we are a month or so later and I still haven’t done it.
To be honest, I’m not sure it’s in the cards. I can barely keep myself together enough to accomplish the work I have in a given day, dedicate 2 hours to the gym, still have time to spend with my husband and sleep a solid 8 hours (I’m not pleasant without at least that much) let alone, deal with bread baking and a living, breathing starter that needs to be “fed” daily. The only person in this world I can promise to feed is myself.
So, I made a compromise. One which involved store bought yeast for this muesli bread. No, it’s not fermented and doesn’t have all those lovely gut-happy probiotics but it’s still fresh bread, from scratch without the crazy ingredient list you find in store-bought loaves and that’s something good enough to consider a win in my book.
There’s really nothing quite as intoxicatingly delicious smelling as freshly baked bread coming out of the oven and when you add a hearty muesli, like Bob’s old country style muesli to said bread, the result is something out of this world addictive.
I dare you to bake this and resist slathering some butter (I’ve had a maple sea salt one from Vermont Creamery hanging out in my fridge for months just waiting for an occasion like this) on a slice immediately. I’m telling you, it’s impossible.
Muesli is basically like oatmeal and granola combined into one amazing cereal mixture and while it’s great eaten hot on its own for breakfast, worked into freshly baked bread, it provides the perfect hearty artisan texture you crave from a scratch made loaf.
- 1 cup warm milk
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 package fast acting yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat white flour + a little more while mixing if needed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup Bob's Red Mill old country style muesli
- Combine the milk, water, yeast and honey in the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir gently and let yeast proof, about 10 minutes.
- Add flours and salt to the mixer bowl and mix with dough hook on low-medium speed.
- Dough will be sticky, use additional flour if needed to pull it together just enough so that you can transfer it to a greased bowl.
- Cover dough in greased bowl, set aside in a warm place and let rise for 1-2 hours until at least doubled in size.
- Remove dough out onto a floured surface, knead the muesli into the dough until well incorporated throughout. Reshape into a loaf and place on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Cover, set aside and let rest for 30-45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Score the top of the dough with a knife and place into the oven to bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown on the outside.
- Remove from oven, transfer to a cooling rack and let rest for a bit before slicing.
- Best served warm with butter.