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Yum! This is a combination of ingredients in bread that I've been wanting to try for some time, and after much trial and error, here's a reliable recipe for a moist, high-rising loaf that keeps well, slices easily and, of course, contains a hefty dose of molasses, as well as much interesting crunch from four kinds of seeds. A great bread with which to expand your toast repertoire (try it in French toast sometime, too, for a more unusual rendition), it's also delicious plain and untoasted. Its rising time is a bit longer than usual for sandwich bread, but don't rush it; the wait is worth the end result, and that's just plain good.
1 1/2 cups warm milk, 105° to 110°F
1 cup warm water, 105° to 110°F
4 tablespoons butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 cups King Arthur 100% White Whole Wheat Flour
4 to 5 cups King Arthur Unbleached Special Bread Flour
1/8 teaspoon ascorbic acid (with so much molasses, this will really help your dough rise)
1 tablespoon instant yeast (first choice) or active dry yeast
1 tablespoon salt
3 tablespoons sunflower seeds
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
3 tablespoons flax seeds
1/2 cup molasses
Blend together the milk, water, melted butter, white wheat flour and 2 cups of the bread flour in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the ascorbic acid, yeast and salt, and beat the mixture for 2 minutes. (If you're using active dry yeast, reserve 1/4 cup of water in which to proof the yeast before adding it.)
Beat in the seeds and molasses. Add the remaining bread flour gradually, beating all the while, until the dough has formed a smooth ball. Knead for 3 to 5 minutes on medium speed.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it briefly; it should be smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning it so the top of the dough is coated with a thin film of oil. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rise until doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Punch down the dough, divide it in half and shape each piece into a loaf. Place the loaves in two lightly greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch bread pans, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until the dough has crowned 1 inch over the top of the pans, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Bake the bread in a preheated 375°F oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the loaves registers 190°F. Turn the loaves out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Yield: 2 loaves, each yielding seventeen 1/2-inch slices.
Nutrition information per serving (1 slice, 57g): 137 cal, 3.2g fat, 4g protein, 20g complex carbohydrates, 3g sugar, 2g dietary fiber, 5mg cholesterol, 209mg sodium, 153mg potassium, 21RE vitamin A, 2mg iron, 88mg calcium, 85mg phosphorus.