For this tri-seed rustic loaf I used one of my favorite [quick] rustic bread recipes by the lovely BrightEyedBaker. I made some changes and incorporated about 1/4 cup sunflower seeds in the mix, as well as 1 clove of finely chopped garlic & some fresh sage. Highly recommend this version because it gives that extra somethin somethin.
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 3 cups unbleached white flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely diced
- Mix of seeds- I used poppy, sunflower & pumpkin
This loaf takes about 3 hours start to finish including rising times. Although I love a good no-knead loaf for it's airy center and delicious flavor, sometimes I just want a crusty loaf as soon as possible. I don't know about you, but I'm not always best at planning ahead.
Start off by mixing together your 1 1/2 cups of warm water and honey until dissolved. Add your yeast and gently stir and then leave alone on your counter for about 10 minutes. OR you can be like me and leave it alone for almost an hour while you trudge through the pouring rain to visit your local goodwill looking for a cooking rack, with no such luck. Once your yeast mix is nice & foamy, measure out your remaining ingredients into the bowl of your kitchen aid mixer : white flour, wheat flour, salt and then toss in those extra sunflower seeds, garlic and sage. Mix using a dough hook on a low speed until everything is combined. I usually add a couple extra splashes of water if necessary so I don't have a little pool of extra flour in the bottom of my bowl.
Remove from bowl and on a floury surface, (I use whole wheat) fold each edge on top of each other attempting to create a perfect round shape. As BrightEyedBaker suggests: "Cup dough with palms and gently rotate while pulling outer edges underneath in order to ensure round is tight."
Place dough in a large bowl that is lightly greased with olive oil. Cover with a damp paper towel and a cloth napkin and let rise in a warm place for up to 2 hours, until your bread has doubled in size.
Once your dough has risen, roll out onto a floured surface and punch it. Yes, just go for it, punch the thing..it'll forgive you. Cup the dough again and gently rotate again and form into a nice tight round. At this point you can roll your dough in your seed-mix. I poured my seed mix onto a piece of parchment and then sorta forced the seeds to stick in the loaf by pulling the edges of the parchment up and tightly folding the sides over the loaf. You could always use an egg white wash and then sprinkle seeds on top if you'd rather. Personally I wanted the bottom of my loaf to have a nice crispy seedy crust.
Let dough rest for about 30 minutes covered with your cloth napkin while you preheat your oven and dutch oven to 450. Once oven is ready, score your dough with a sharp knife or razor blade or a fancy "bread lame" . For this loaf I chose to score a giant # sign.
Once preheated, remove from oven and roll around a little olive oil in the bottom (be careful) and plop your loaf right in the pot. Cover and return to oven and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes has passed (your home will smell amazing) remove cover and reduce heat to 350. Bake for another 10 minutes or until the top of your loaf is your desired level of brown.
Remove from oven and TRY and let it cool before you smother with butter, cheese or dip in soups/stews. I recommend this loaf be eaten within 3 days for optimal texture/flavor. If you somehow manage to have some left after 2 days, cut into 1 inch pieces, sprinkle with olive oil, salt & pepper and bake/broil until crispy for amazing croutons.