Sprouted Finger Millet and Chocolate Bread

Ragi breads are most often eaten in their flatbread avatar, but the Sprouted Finger Millet flour works beautifully in combination with the Seven Grain flour to produce a moreish loaf of bread that is truly multigrain, devoid of additives such as added gluten. Throw in a liberal handful of chocolate chips and nuts, and you have a winner bread that looks artisanal, ticks the nutrition boxes, and appeals to all ages! Arm yourself with a large quantity of butter—you have been warned!

Ingredients:

  • 20 grams fresh or instant yeast
  • 5 grams sugar/honey
  • 180 milliliters lukewarm water (plus more as required)
  • 150 grams Seven Grain Flour
  • 50 grams Sprouted Finger Millet Flour
  • 25 grams coarsely ground breakfast oats
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate chips
  • 60 grams wheat bran
  • 5 grams salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • A little extra flour for dusting

Method:

  1. Mix the yeast and sugar with the lukewarm water and keep aside until frothy.
  2. Place the flours, ground oats, and bran in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the frothed yeast mixture to the flours and bring the dough together using a firm hand, adding more water, a little at a time to make a soft dough, the approximate consistency of a chapatti dough.
  4. Tip onto a work surface and knead for four-five minutes, using the heel of your palm to push the dough further away from you before bringing it back. This will help elongate the gluten strands.
  5. Rub the salt and butter together on a work surface until the butter feels light. If you’re using oil, simply mix the two together.
  6. Knead the dough into the fat and salt mixture to incorporate. Knead for three-four minutes, until both the work surface and your hands look clean (indicating that the fat has been absorbed) and the dough feels springy to touch.
  7. Return to the mixing bowl, cover with a plastic wrap or damp kitchen towel and leave to rise in a warm spot for forty minutes to an hour. The dough will rise considerably but not quite double in size. However, if you have the time, make the dough and refrigerate overnight or for at least 8-10 hours. Due to enhanced yeast activity, this will help yield an airier crumb.
  8. If you have refrigerated the dough, bring it to room temperature by placing it for about two hours on the countertop before proceeding with the recipe.
  9. Punch the dough to degas it and knead briefly on a lightly floured work surface. Flatten the dough slightly and sprinkle the chocolate chips and walnuts all over. Fold and knead briefly to incorporate the chocolate chips in the dough.
  10. Shape the dough into a ball, rolling it on the counter with gentle pressure to achieve a taut surface, tucking and turning as you go.
  11. Place on a lightly greased and floured baking sheet and leave to rise again for 30-40 minutes, misting the top lightly with water to prevent drying.
  12. Just before baking, dust the top of the dough with flour. Using a razor blade or a very sharp knife dipped in flour, make a quick, shallow, cross-shaped incision on the top of the dough.
  13. Bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees centigrade until well-browned on top and hollow when tapped.
  14. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

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