During this COVID-19 pandemic, bread making has become a thing. I love making bread. It is so satisfying and the epitome of comfort food.
I enjoy the anticipation of whether or not that yeast is alive and working its magic. Nourishing with the comfort of the oven fresh aroma and the whole grain toastiness, make this bread epic. It also looks gorgeous when it comes out of the oven.
Just a side note that this bread, if the yeast is alive, is somewhat foolproof. Be patient with the time to wait for it to rise. Then life is all good. Enjoy!
Multi-Grain Artisan Bread with Sesame, Sunflower, Pumpkin Seeds, Flax and Poppy Seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened whole grain multi-grains (such as 7-grain cereal, steel cut oats, quinoa)
2 cups boiling water
1 envelope dry yeast
4 1/3 cups (about) organic all purpose flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Himalayan sea salt
1 tablespoon poppy seeds, for dough
1 tablespoon raw sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon raw pumpkin seeds
1 to 2 tablespoons onion flakes, optional but real tasty.
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
2 teaspoons flax seeds
2 teaspoons poppy seeds, for topping
2 teaspoons onion flakes
2 cups water, for oven steaming
Place whole grains in large bowl. Pour 2 cups boiling water over. Let stand until mixture cools to between 105°F. and 115°F., about 20 minutes.
Once warm but not hot, sprinkle yeast over whole grains or whole grain cereal.
Add 1 cup of the all purpose flour, oil, sugar and salt and stir until smooth. Gradually mix in enough remaining all purpose flour to form dough.
Cover dough; let rest 15 minutes. Add the poppyseed, raw sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and onion flakes if using. Knead until incorporated.
Turn out dough onto floured surface and continue to knead by hand or in an electric mixer with dough hook attachment until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if sticky, about 10 minutes.
Oil large bowl. Add dough to bowl; turn to coat. Cover bowl with clean kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm area until doubled, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, for topping, mix remaining poppyseed, sesame seeds, and flax seeds in bowl. Put aside.
Punch down dough. Turn out onto lightly oiled surface. Knead briefly.
Shape into 12x4-inch loaf OR shape into a big round and cut evenly to make 10 to 12 buns.
Sprinkle baking sheet with 2 teaspoons of the poppy seeds, sesame seeds, and flax seeds set aside.
Place loaf atop seeds. Cover with towel. Let rise in warm area until almost doubled, about 30 minutes.
Position 1 oven rack in centre and 1 just below centre in oven.
Place baking pan on lower rack and preheat oven to 425°F.
Brush loaf OR buns with water. Sprinkle with remaining seed mixture. Using sharp knife, cut 3 diagonal slashes in surface of loaf.
Place baking sheet with loaf OR buns in oven. Immediately pour 2 cups water into hot pan on lower rack in oven (water will steam).
Bake loaf OR buns until golden and crusty and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes for the large loaf or around 15 minutes for the buns. Tap to see if it sounds hollow.
Transfer to rack and cool.(Can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap in plastic; store at room temperature.)