Healthy Hearty Bread

1 cup cooked whole grain hot cereal *
1 cup chopped nuts and seeds
2 cups warm water (100° - 110°F)
2 (1/4 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 cups whole wheat flour, divided
2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
1 cup 2 percent milk, room temperature
1/2 cup soybean oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup nonfat dry milk powder
3 - 3 1/2 cups bread flour

* Hot cereal i.e.: 5-grain hot cereal, steel-cut oats, oat bran, or grain blend of your choice

  1. Cook cereal according to package instructions, omitting salt. Let cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread nuts and seeds on ungreased baking sheet; toast 5 to 10 minutes or until golden brown, stirring often; let cool. 
  3. In mixer bowl, add warm water, yeast and brown sugar; let stand 10 minutes. Stir in 3 cups whole wheat flour and wheat gluten. Beat 2 minutes on medium speed. Cover; let sit 30 to 60 minutes.
  4. Add cereal, milk, oil, salt, dry milk and remaining 1 cup whole wheat flour; mix 2 minutes. Stir in nuts and seeds and enough bread flour to make a soft dough.
  5. Knead dough 10 to 12 minutes, keeping dough moist. Put dough in greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover; let rise in a warm place until double. 
  6. Punch down dough; scale dough into three portions. Cover; let rest 10 minutes. Shape into loaves; place in greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pans. Cover with damp cloth, let rise until double. 
  7. Bake loaves in preheated 375°F oven 30 to 35 minutes, tenting with foil after 20 minutes. Remove bread and cool on racks.

Makes 3 loaves, 12 slices each.

Nutrition information per serving: Once slice provides approximately 174 calories; 6 g protein; 26 g carbohydrate;
2 g dietary fiber; 6 g fat (1 g saturated); 1 mg cholesterol; 33 mcg folate;1 mg iron and 182 mg sodium.