Recipe summary

Hands-on time:
20 mins. to 30 mins.
Baking time:
35 mins. to 50 mins.
Total time:
4 hrs 40 mins. to 5 hrs 50 mins.
Yield:
2 large loaves
Jan Brett, a wonderful writer and incredible artist, has been delighting children with her internationally famous picture books for years. We were thrilled to find out that Jan is a baker, too — and that she's posted a recipe for the bread below in her blog. Jan's recipe uses all kinds of King Arthur products; and while we've clarified it slightly, it remains true to its origins, with Jan.

This dark, earthy, whole-grain bread, studded with cranberries and walnuts, makes marvelous sandwiches and toast - perfect for sharing with your young children, along with one of Jan's books.
Volume Ounces Grams

Directions

  1. 1) Whisk together the water, molasses, and egg in a large bowl.
  2. 2) Add the salt, instant yeast, butter, flax, wheat germ, Harvest Grains blend, and 9-Grain Flour Blend, stirring to combine.
  3. 3) Stir in the walnuts, cranberries, and sesame seeds.
  4. 4) Add the bread flour, and mix until cohesive.
  5. 5) Knead the dough for about 7 to 10 minutes (the longer amount of time by hand), to make a dough that feels fairly springy, but will also feel quite sticky.
  6. 6) Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and let the dough rise until it's noticeably expanded, about 2 hours.
  7. 7) Gently deflate the dough, and shape it into two 9" logs. Place the logs in two lightly greased 9" x 5" loaf pans.
  8. 8) Cover the pans, and let the dough rise until the center of each loaf has crested about 1" above the rim of the pan, 1 to 2 hours. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350F.
  9. 9) Bake the bread for 40 to 50 minutes, until the center of a loaf registers 200F on an instant-read thermometer. Tent the loaf lightly with aluminum foil after about 30 minutes, to prevent over-browning.
  10. 10) Remove the bread from the oven, and turn it out of the pans onto a rack to cool. If desired, brush melted butter on the crust for a satiny sheen and buttery flavor.
  11. Yield: 2 large sandwich loaves.

Tips from our bakers

  • Can you substitute whole wheat flour for the 9-Grain Flour Blend? Yes. Can you substitute rolled oats for the Harvest Grains Blend, wheat bran for the wheat germ, flax seed for the milled flax...? In her original recipe, Jan says to use 8 cups of a combination of flours and grains: Harvest Grains Blend, wheat germ, flax meal, 9-Grain Flour Blend, bread flour... We haven't tested every possible combination of ingredients, but suggest you use 4 cups of bread flour; 3 cups of 9-Grain or whole wheat flour; and 3/4 to 1 cup of the seeds and grains of your choice. In addition, feel free to leave out (and/or change) the walnuts and cranberries. Keep in mind, though — the further you stray from the original recipe, the more different from Jan's bread yours will be. Not a problem; just a reminder.
  • Want to use active dry yeast in place of instant? Use 2 packets, dissolving them in the lukewarm water before adding the butter, molasses, salt, and egg.