There really is nothing that beats the smell of freshly baked bread. Making your own loaf is such a therapeutic and rewarding experience. When your bread rises and you get the golden crackly crust- it truly feels like an amazing accomplishment.
I am not always so lucky- I have found that the quality of your yeast really does make a difference, as does the moisture content of your dough- too wet and you don’t get a good rise. Too dry and your bread becomes a dense rock. Still satisfying but a bit of a let-down I’ll admit.
I like to use the jars of yeast or packages – I find buying in bulk diminishes the quality of yeast and rise of the bread.
ABOUT THIS LOAF: Nutty and delicious, whole wheat flour pairs with flax, sesame, chia and sunflower seeds to give you a deliciously fragrant bread that is both wholesome and beautiful. The different seeds create a dramatic combination that looks and tastes hearty and healthy.
If you want a different variation – try a classic white loaf without the seeds, or a rosemary-sesame loaf.
Whole-Wheat Seed BreadPrint Recipe
- 2 1/ 2 cups whole wheat flour (or whole wheat bread flour)
- ¼-1/2 cup gluten flour (use all purpose to make up to ½ cup→ i.e. if you use ¼ cup, use ¼ cup all purpose to make up ½ cup)
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp AD yeast
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
- Soak (at least 1 hour in a 2 cup liquid measuring cup):
- Lukewarm water – Enough to cover the seeds in the bowl
- 3 tbsp sesame seeds
- 3 tbsp flax seeds
- 3 tbsp chia seeds
Place all the ingredients minus the warm water in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment OR alternatively use a large mixing bowl and wooden spoon if mixing by hand.
Using the paddle attachment, mix the dough on low and add the water slowly until the flour is incorporated. Switch to the dough hook and mix on low for ~ 5 minutes (the dough should pull away from the sides but stick slightly to the bottom). If necessary, add water (if the dough is too dry) or flour (if the dough is too wet) 1 tbsp at a time
1st Rise:Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise overnight for ~ 12 hours on the counter. When the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured counter and gently form into a uniform ball of dough.
2nd Rise:Place the ball on a lightly floured Piece of parchment (use enough that you can pick up the loaf by holding the parchment- this is how you will place it into the dutch-oven). Sprinkle the top of the dough with flour. Use a cloth and roll it into a rope. Place the rope around the dough to help it rise straight up and cover it with a second cloth. Let it rise for ~ 1 hour in a warm spot.
Bake: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F with the dutch oven IN THE OVEN (with the lid on)- very important.
Once the oven is heated, you can slash the top of the bread (I used 3 diagonal slashes).
Remove the pot from the oven and remove the lid. Pick up the bread using the parchment and place it GENTLY into the pot (parchment and all!). Quickly cover the pot and bake covered for 25 minutes before removing the lid and cooking for another 10 minutes.
The bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped and registers 180-200 degrees F when poked with an instant read thermometer. Let the bread cool on a wire rack before slicing into it. Enjoy!
* after the nuts have soaked - add enough hot water to get 1 1/2 cups, let cool to lukewarm (no warmer than 110 degrees F) before adding to the dry ingredients