I have been baking up a storm during this Pandemic, especially all types of bread. I have finally perfected my sourdough loaves and am really thrilled that they are turning out so well. Although I have baked bread in the past, unless I have lots of time on my hands, it really doesn’t pay to make bread at home. Here in Michigan, I can buy wonderful artisan whole grain bread hot from the oven. In Italy, fresh bread is so inexpensive it really doesn’t pay to make it at home.
Being quarantined at home for weeks was a perfect excuse to get busy and improve my bread making skills. I must say that baking bread can become addictive, and I started baking so much bread every week, that my husband finally begged me to stop. There are only two of us at home, and although my daughter lives down the street and I can send her any extra baked goods, one can only consume so much bread!
As well as my sourdough, I have also made several whole-grain loaves of bread. I have had lots of luck baking no-knead bread in the past, as they are almost full proof and always turn out great. This bread uses rolled oats and a variety of seeds. If you have a seed mix sold at some specialty kitchen stores, you can use that. I simply used what I had on hand, which included flax seeds, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds. This bread is best baked over two days, which improves both flavor and texture. By using a ceramic or cast-iron Dutch oven, you can also develop a great chewy crust. I only use SAF yeast for all of my bread and pizza, as it is an instant yeast that doesn’t require proofing it first.
Deborah Mele 2020
- 6 Cups Bread Flour
- 1 1/2 Cups Old Fashioned Oats
- 2 Tablespoons Honey
- 3 Tablespoons Flax Seeds
- 1/3 Cup Sunflower Seeds
- 2 Tablespoons Sesame Seeds
- 2 Teaspoons Sea Salt
- 3 Teaspoons Instant Dry Yeast (See Notes Above)
- 3 + Cups Warm Water
- 1/4 Cup Rolled Oats
- 2 Tablespoons Each White & Black Sesame Seeds
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, seeds, salt, and yeast and stir to mix.
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add half the water and honey.
- Use a large wooden spoon, and begin to stir the water into the flour, adding additional water as you go.
- The dough should be a little shaggy but no flour should be visible.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to sit for an hour in a warm spot in your kitchen.
- Punch down the dough, then refrigerate overnight.
The next day take the bowl from the refrigerator and let warm to room temperature for about 3 hours.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees and place the Dutch oven inside.
- Let the oven preheat for 30 minutes.
- Lay a piece of parchment paper on the counter and lightly dust with flour.
- Shape the dough into a tight ball by folding edges under.
- Cover with a kitchen towel until the oven has preheated.
- Use a sharp knife or lame and cut two slits over the top of the dough ball.
- Brush the top of the bread with water and then sprinkle the oats and seed topping over the top and sides.
- Remove the hot Dutch oven, and carefully pick up the dough using the parchment paper and place inside the Dutch oven.
- Cover the Dutch oven with the lid, then return to the oven.
- Bake covered for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and bake another 20 minutes or so or until the bread is a deep golden brown. (The internal temperature of the bread should be 210 degrees F.)
- Turn oven off, open the oven door halfway and let the bread sit inside the oven for another 20 minutes. (This ensures that you will have a good chewy crust.)
- Remove bread from Dutch oven and cool completely before slicing.
Adapted from The Cafe Sucre Farine Seeded Oat Bread.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 419Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 684mgCarbohydrates: 75gFiber: 5gSugar: 4gProtein: 14g