I tried a new bread recipe today… ‘Many-Seed Bread’ from Peter Reinhart’s “Artisan Breads Every Day” book that I bought myself for Christmas.
Well, okay, day after Christmas my 16 year old dragged me to the mall and the saving grace of it was that I spent 2 hours in Barnes & Noble. I love Barnes & Noble (plus it spared me from stabbing myself repeatedly with something sharp inside of Forever 21… and getting escorted from the mall).
A link to the book on Amazon shows that I could have purchased it much cheaper online (especially since I am a prime member), but at the end of the day, I’m happy to help Barnes & Noble so that wonderful stores like that do continue to exist (and I don’t get arrested causing disturbances at the mall). It’s a public service really.
I do have to say, many breadmaking books (well, the good ones anyway) can be difficult to follow–or way too much work. I want artisan bread but I also have a life. There wasn’t a photo of this bread, but here is mine. This is a 2-day bread… make the dough the night before and you can actually keep it in the fridge up to 5 days.
This made one substantial loaf and 5 rolls–the book has excellent direction on the shapes and size pans and how much dough (in weight) you need to make each shape. This is important because the amount of dough will determine how long to bake it. You don’t want to do all that work and then undercook it.
Many-Seeded Loaf of Bread
- 4.5 cups flour ((King Arthur))
- 2/3 cup whole wheat flour ((King Arthur))
- 1/2 cup sesame seeds (honey colored/with husks)
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds (lightly toasted)
- 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds (lightly toasted)
- 3 tbsp flaxseeds
- 2 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tbsp instant yeast (or 2 1/4 tbsp. active dry yeast)
- 3 tbsp honey (or 1/4 cup brown sugar)
- 1 1/2 cup water (lukewarm (~95 degrees F))
- 3/4 cup buttermilk (or regular milk)
Prepare the night before:
- Because I used active dry yeast, I had to hydrate it first. I sprinkled the yeast in the lukewarm water and stirred, leaving it for about 5 minutes. I then added the buttermilk, brown sugar and seeds and slowly added the flour. I didn’t add the salt until I had 3 cups of flour in it (that’s just me, I don’t like to add the salt to very wet dough–salt retards yeast and this dough was like a lump I secretly thought would be a rock). And this is a tough dough to combine by spoon, so after the 4th cup, I turned it out on my marble slab and gently worked the 5th cup in. Dough will be sticky, coarse and shaggy–actually working with it, it seemed to come apart (I was worried, LOL), seemed like there were more seeds than dough. Cover and let rest 5 minutes (read: silent prayer over this mess).
- Knead for about 7 minutes, or until it comes together in a soft and slightly sticky dough (LOL, very sticky dough and it falls apart as much as comes together) and shape into a ball (while hitting all the seeds falling out). Place the dough ball in a bowl (much larger than the ball–it will rise) that has a bit of olive oil in it and cover it completely with oil and then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and store overnight in the refrigerator. From what i gleaned from the book, the dough needs to be sticky not dry, so that the seeds hydrate overnight from the excess moisture in the dough. I think this is important he noted that.
The next day
- In the morning, I took it out and just because I am me and don’t follow directions well (ex. the book said to just shape it into a loaf and let rise to bake), I kneeded it with warm hands for about 3 minutes and put it in a room temperature bowl (with oil again) and let it sit for about an hour. It was still chilly, but not terribly cold.
- I used a Pampered Chef stoneware loaf pan and I could tell that this was too much dough for one loaf but not enough for two. His book gave the proper weight for the size loaves or rolls you wanted to make–priceless! In my Pampered Chef loaf pan, I used a little over 2 lbs. of the dough (a little more than recommended) and also had enough for 5 rolls (each ~2.3 oz dough). I let this rise for about 1 1/2 hours. It rose beautifully!
- After shaping the loaf and the rolls, I brushed the top with egg white mixed with water and sprinkled (the loaf) with the sunflower seeds and just touched the top of the rolls into a bowl of the sunflower seeds. You can use water, but the egg whites make them stick better.
- I preheated my oven to 350°. I do put a small cast iron pan with water at the bottom of the oven–a small amount of water so that it boils off and creates steam for the first 15 minutes or so). Then I baked it for 30 minutes, rotated, and baked for 25 minutes more. There was no missing it, the top was golden brown, and the biggest issue was getting the family to leave it alone for an hour before cutting it.
It was wonderfully soft and there was bread (and not an excess of seeds in the bread like I was afraid of). The steam at the beginning of the baking (I believe) helped the outside to be crunchy while the inside was soft. Oh my gosh, I love plain white bread, but this tastes amazing!