I think this may be the very first healthy recipe on this blog. I mean, this is a dessert blog so you better not be coming here looking for any healthy recipes in the first place, but it's nice to be surprised once in a while. This bread is a hearty loaf filled with all kinds of seeds and oats. There is a ton of texture in this bread, along with a nutty flavour from the toasted white sesame seeds. This bread would be wonderful alongside a big winter stew or topped with a fried egg or even just slathered with some good quality butter.
I haven't shared a bread recipe in a while, but don't be fooled into thinking I've given up bread. I still bake a couple loaves every weekend, if I have the time. I usually slice one of the loaves up and pop it into the freezer so if I don't have time to make a new loaf on the weekend, I can still have great toast.
My dad was the one who bought the book that this bread is adapted from (Flour Water Salt Yeast) and that kick started my love for making bread at home. I try to bring fresh bread over to my dad's place whenever I go round for dinner, or at least give him a sample of any new breads that I make. His favourite bread that I've ever made used to be the Sage and Walnut Bread that I made using fresh sage from his garden, but I am happy to say that this seeded loaf has replaced it as his new favourite! While my favourite will always be the good ol' Overnight White Bread, it's nice to branch out sometimes and try something new for a change.
Multigrain Seeded Bread
Recipe adapted from Flour Water Salt Yeast
60 g toasted white sesame seeds
60 g black sesame seeds
60 g quinoa
60 g flax seeds
60 g rolled oats
60 g steel cut oats
60 g sunflower seeds
60 g pumpkin seeds
500 g water
750 g all-purpose flour
50 g dark rye flour
200 g whole wheat flour
700 g water, 90 to 95 F/ 32 to 35 C
22 g fine sea salt
0.8 g instant dried yeast
Combine all the ingredients for the soaker in a large bowl and mix to combine. Cover with a kitchen towel and let sit at room temperature for an hour.
Combine the flours and water in a 12 quart (or equivalent) tub. Mix by hand until just incorporated. Cover and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
Sprinkle the 22 g of salt and the 0.8 g of yeast evenly over the top of the dough. Mix by hand, wetting your working hand before mixing so the dough doesn't stick to you. Reach underneath the dough and grab about one-quarter of the dough and gently stretch and fold it over the top to the other side. Repeat three more times with the remaining dough, until the salt and yeast are fully enclosed.
Use the pincer method (described in the 80% Biga Bread) to fully integrate the ingredients. Fold the dough over itself a few times, then repeat, alternately cutting and folding until all the ingredients are fully integrated and the dough has some tension in it. Let the dough rest for a few minutes. Add the soaker and then fold for another few minutes. The target dough temperature at the end of the mix is 77 to 78 F/ 25 to 26 C. Cover the tub and let the dough rise for 12 to 14 hours.
The dough needs two or three folds, preferably within the first hour and a half after mixing. This is best for maximum gas retention and volume in the finished loaf.
In the morning, moderately flour a work surface about 2 feet wide. Flour your hands and sprinkle a bit of flour around the edges of the tub. Tip the tub slightly and gently work your floured hand beneath the dough to loosen it form the bottom of the tub. Gently ease the dough out onto the work surface without pulling or tearing it.
With floured hands, pick up the dough and ease it back down onto the work surface in a somewhat even shape. Dust the area in the middle where you'll cut the dough with a bit of flour. Cut the dough into 2 equal size pieces.
Dust two proofing baskets (or equivalent) with flour. Shape each piece of dough into a medium-tight ball (described in the 80% Biga Bread). Place each seam side down in its proofing basket. Lightly flour the tops of the loaves, set them side by side, and cover them with a kitchen towel.
Let them proof for about 1 1/4 hours, assuming your kitchen temperature is around 70 F/21 C. If your kitchen is warmer, the loaves will proof faster. Preheat the oven at this time, 475 F. Place your Dutch Oven on the middle rack with the lid on while the oven is preheating.
Use the finger dent test (in my basic bread dough recipe) to test if the loaves are proofed. If you only have one Dutch oven, put the second loaf in the fridge 20 minutes before you bake the first one.
Be very careful with the extremely hot dutch oven in this next step. Invert the proofed loaf onto a lightly floured countertop, keeping in mind that the top of the loaf will the side that was facing down while it was rising - the seam side. Remove the preheated Dutch oven from the oven, remove the lid, and carefully place the loaf in the Dutch oven seam side up. Cover and bake for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and continue to bake for a further 20 to 30 minutes, until at least medium dark brown around all the loaf. Check after 15 minutes of baking uncovered in case your oven runs hot.
Remove the Dutch oven and carefully tilt it to turn the loaf out. Place on a wire rack to let it cool, about 20 minutes. Put the Dutch oven back in the oven for 5 minutes to preheat it, then bake the second loaf in the same way.