Too Many Bits Bread

My youngest son, Sawyer, doesn’t like ‘bits’ in bread. Anything with seeds, nuts, flecks of onion, olives, and so on – he won’t touch. So, this is pretty much the anti-Sawyer bread, made with nine different seeds.

In all honesty, this recipe was a mini-quest to see if it is possible to put too many seeds in a recipe. The answer is yes – I had put 2 tablespoons of sesame, hemp, and flax instead of the 1 tablespoon indicated in the recipe. It was perhaps just a bit too much. Get it? Too much of the bits? I slay myself.

When I make this bread again, I will most likely leave out the pepitas and possibly the sunflower seeds. After a day or two, they get a little rubbery.

A note about bits…

In my experience, some seeds are great for adding texture, but aren’t powerfully flavorful (chia, flax, pepitas, poppy and hemp). While others add a strong flavor as well as texture (coriander, nigella, sesame, and sunflower). If you like a less savory bread, ditch the nigella seeds and coriander.

Here is a completely useless breakdown of seeds by flavor and texture intensity…

Seeds by flavor intensity (less to more)

chia hemp flax poppy pepitas sunflower sesame coriander nigella

Seeds by texture intensity (less to more)

chia hemp poppy flax sesame nigella coriander sunflower pepitas

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Too Many Bits Bread

My youngest son, Sawyer, doesn't like 'bits' in bread. Anything I make with seeds, nuts, flecks of onion, olives, and so on - he won't touch. So, this is pretty much the anti-Sawyer bread, made with nine different seeds.

Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 1 boule
Author Mark Oppenneer

Ingredients

  • 1 scant tablespoon (or one ¼-ounce package) active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ cup warm water about 110 degrees
  • cup warm water about 110 degrees
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seed
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
  • 1 tablespoon nigella seeds
  • 1 tablespoon pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 4-5 cups unbleached flour

Instructions

  1. <strong>Note: this recipe uses a bread cloche.</strong>

  2. In a small bowl, stir yeast and sugar into ¼ cup water to soften.

  3. Toast all of the seeds until fragrant (hard to see when dark seeds are done toasting). Spread on a plate to cool.

  4. Combine flour, salt, and seeds in a large bowl.

  5. Add the yeast mixture and the rest of the water. Mix well adding more flour or water as necessary.

  6. Turn dough out onto a floured work surface. Knead until you have a smooth, elastic dough.

  7. Transfer the dough to a large oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand in a draft-free spot until the dough is doubled in size, 1½ to 2 hours.

  8. Remove from the bowl and knead it a few times. Let the dough rest on the counter for about 5 minutes and then shape into a ball.

  9. Place the dough in a parchment-lined proofing basket, cover with the cloche lid or tightly woven towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.

  10. About 30 minutes before baking, place the cloche base in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.

  11. When ready to bake, take the cloche base out of the oven and place it on the stove. Sprinkle the cloche base with corn meal or semolina flour. Gently turn the dough onto the cloche base and score the top of the loaf in fancy patterns with a sharp knife.

  12. Cover with the cloche lid and place into the oven. Bake for 15 minutes and then turn the temperature down to 400 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

  13. Remove the cloche lid for the last 5-10 minutes of baking. The internal temperature of the loaf should be about 190 degrees. Immediately remove bread from the cloche base and cool on a rack.

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