Easy Seed Bread
I’ve said it before, bread is a weakness of mine. It always brings me undone when I go on one of my “it’s time to give up the carbs” phases. So really I just need to embrace it don’t I? Hence this recipe….
This is a derivative of my Cheats Ciabatta, but is a little more dense because of the addition of seeds and oats. Super easy to make, you just need a sturdy mixer (it will be mixing for upwards of 10 minutes at high speed, so make sure it can cope). As the dough is mixing and gets more elastic, the mixer is going to start jumping around, so make sure you’re there to hold it down (or turn the speed down if necessary), otherwise it WILL leap off the bench (speaking from experience).
Make this, and your family and friends are going to be so darned impressed with you ;)
Easy Seed Bread
makes 1 large loaf
475g lukewarm water
2 tsp instant dried yeast
30g runny honey
500g strong bread flour
30g olive oil
60g rolled oats
30g pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
30g sunflower seeds
In a jug, mix together the water, yeast and honey and allow to sit for 5 minutes to activate the yeast.
In a stand mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook, add the flour, olive oil, salt and the activated yeast mixture. Start mixing on slow speed (so as to avoid a flour cloud!). As the flour becomes incorporated, increase the speed of your mixer. At this point the dough is going to look incredibly wet and sticky, however, do not be tempted to add more flour! Increase the speed of your mixer until it is close to the highest speed. As you are mixing you will see the gluten begin to develop and the dough will eventually start coming away from the sides of the bowl - as if it is ‘cleaning’ the bowl. As the gluten develops however, you are going to find the mixer will start jumping around a bit - if this happens, turn the speed down to a more manageable setting. I find speed 6 or 8 on my KitchenAid works well, but I do have to hold it the mixer down towards the end. With my KitchenAid, I find the whole process takes around 10-15 mins. The dough is ready once it has come away cleanly from the sides of the bowl and you can see the elasticity in the dough. At this point, slowly add the oats and seeds and mix until evenly distributed.
Scrape the dough out (or pour it - it’s very gloopy!) into a well oiled bowl (big enough for the dough to triple in size without overflowing). Cover it with a damp tea towel, or cling film and place in a warm spot for around 1-2 hours (this time will depend on how warm it is in your house - whatever the case, the dough needs to triple in size and it will look very gassy with lots of bubbles on top).
Meanwhile, line a baking tray with baking paper and oil the paper well (oil the entire area - this dough spreads!). When the dough has tripled in size, scrape it out onto the tray and using your well oiled fingers pinch the sides of the dough and pull the sides over towards the centre and kind of cross them over one another. Do the same with the ends. This action just tightens the dough up a bit and also forms the rough shape of your loaf (a rectangle). Now leave it for 30 minutes to proof again.
Whilst your loaf is proofing, preheat your oven to 240C. Once the dough is ready, you will find it has spread considerably again. Using oiled fingers use the same cross over method to just tighten and tidy up the loaf and then straight into the oven for around 40 mins until it is a dark golden brown.
Allow the loaf to cool for at least an hour if you can. This is hard, but very important! The steam needs to dissipate and something called starch retrogradation is taking place. We don’t need to go into what that is here but just trust me - if you cut into it hot, you will risk ending up with a doughy, sticky loaf!