This great-looking bread, with a variety of seeds scattered over its crunchy top, is a good choice for showcasing your skill as an artisan baker
2 medium loaves
Total Timeunder 4 hours
Dietary Considerationegg-free, halal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian
Type of Dishbread, yeast bread
- 2 tablespoons (2 packets) active dry yeast
- 2½ cups lukewarm water
- ½ cup nonfat dry milk powder
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ cup wheat germ
- 3 tablespoons sunflower seeds
- 3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
- 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 2 cups unbleached white flour
- 4-6 cups whole wheat flour
- 1-2 tablespoons cornmeal for the baking sheet
- Extra seeds to sprinkle on loaves
Place the yeast, water, milk powder, honey, oil, and salt in a dishpan or large bowl and stir with a wooden spoon. Add the wheat germ, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, white flour, and 1 cup of whole wheat flour. Beat with the spoon until well blended.
Add 2 more cups of whole wheat flour, then squeeze the mixture with your hands until the flour disappears. If it is too wet to pick up, add a little more flour. As soon as you can handle the dough, sprinkle with a bit more flour and begin to knead directly in the bowl (or on a floured board), adding more flour as necessary. Knead for about 10 minutes, or until the dough leaves the sides of the bowl, is easy to handle, and elastic. Shape into a ball.
Spread a little oil on the bottom and sides of the bowl. Add the ball of dough, then turn it over, oiled side up. Cover and set in a warm spot for about an hour, or until the dough doubles in bulk. Lightly sprinkle a large baking sheet with cornmeal and set aside.
Punch down the risen dough, knead for a minute, and form into a ball. Cut in half, and shape each half into a round loaf. Place the loaves on the prepared baking sheet, leaving enough space between them to allow for expansion. Cut a ½-inch-deep cross on top of each loaf, spray or brush with cold water, and sprinkle with a mixture of seeds. Cover and let rise about 10 minutes.
Spray the loaves with cold water again. Place in a preheated 400°F oven, and set a pan of very hot water on the bottom rack (to create steam as the bread bakes). After 10 minutes, spray the loaves with cold water once again. Continue baking for another 30 minutes, or until the loaves are very brown and hollow-sounding when rapped on the bottom with your knuckle. Cool on a wire rack before serving.
2007 Bernice Hunt