These bars are that something.
I based this recipe slightly off of my recipe for Whole Wheat English Muffins, meaning, its somewhat of the same technique and amounts of ingredients.
I started with all of the ingredients in one large bowl.
Raisin Apple Walnut Bars
1 C warm water
1 package active dry yeast
2 C whole wheat flour
1/2 C bread flour
1/4 C wheat germ
1/4 C wheat bran
1 T vital wheat gluten
3 T honey
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 C walnuts, chopped
1/4 C raisins
1/4 C apple, peeled and cubed (such as gala or granny smith)
In a large bowl, combine warm water and yeast. Let sit and allow the yeast to foam for about 5 minutes. Add all ingredients into the water/yeast mixture. You can leave out or swap any of the last 3 items if you don't care for nuts or raisins. You can also use just wheat germ or just wheat bran if you only have one or the other(just increase to 1/2 C).
*Vital Wheat Gluten is an important part of this recipe because it helps doughs made with whole wheat flour not come out like a brick. It will lighten the mixture and give the bread a chewier, softer texture. You can find it at any natural foods store, but I bought mine in the regular old supermarket.
Using your hands, mix all ingredients together and begin to knead the dough in the bowl until it starts to become smooth and elastic. Pour a T of olive oil over the dough and turn to coat it in the bowl. Cover and leave in a warm, dry place to rise for one hour.
Cut the dough in half. On a cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper, spread a bit of flour and shape each half of the dough into a log. You want to shape it smaller than the desired size as it will rise slightly again when left to rest. Using a sharp knife, make a slice (but not all the way through) in the center of each log. Then make another slice in the center of each half you created, so you end up with 3 slices on each log and 4 bars, for a total of 8 bars. Cover and let rest and rise again for half an hour.
Preheat the oven to 375.
Bake the bars for 18-20 minutes. Let cool and then either break or finish cutting each bar from the log.
You can slice them in half to toast, or just eat them whole. Either way, they are packed with wholesome energy to get your morning started off right! They will stay fresher longer if you freeze them and take them out to thaw before you eat or if you refrigerate them.