My favorite smell is bread baking. So naturally, I make it at home all the time.
Making bread is something that’s pretty new to me, actually. I grew up with lots of fresh baked buns, but they were made in my Nanny’s bread maker and she never really shared the recipe (side note: she still makes these buns, and they’re still delicious).
So, obsessed with home baked bread, I got busy over the years. Recently, I’ve been making it once a week on Saturday’s and this recipe I have for you today is one of my favorites (as in, this is one of the best recipes I’ve ever made)!
This bread is a classic artisan recipe made with oats, ground flax seeds, and honey. I topped it off with a mixture of my favorite seeds, baked it in a dutch oven for a crusty outside and drizzled even more honey over top.
Trust me when I say all this bread needs is some butter. But if you haaaaaaave to, it makes a mean sandwich bread too.
- 1 cup bread flour
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 2 tsp active dry yeast
- 3 tbsp liquid honey, plus more for drizzling
- 1 1/2 cups warm water, divided
- 1 cup large flake oats
- 3 tbsp ground flax seeds
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups bread flour, plus more for kneading
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 egg, beaten
- 7 tbsp of mixed seeds (pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and flax seeds), divided
- The night before baking the bread make the preferment. In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix together the flour, water and yeast until a smooth small dough forms. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to sit at room temperature overnight. The preferment will double in size by morning.
- The next day, measure out 1/4 cup of warm water in a glass measuring cup. Add the yeast and honey. Mix to combine and then allow the mixture to sit, undisturbed for 5 minutes or until the mixture is foamy on top. At the same time, add the remaining 1 1/4 cups of warm water to a bowl. Add the oats and flax and allow this mixture to sit for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, add both the yeast mixture and the oat mixture to the bowl with the preferment from the night before. Add the flours and salt. Using the dough hook on your stand mixer, mix the dough on medium speed for 4-6 minutes. If the dough seems sticky, add extra flour 1 tablespoon at a time until it looks the way you would like (but a little sticky is good!). Add in 3 tablespoons of the mixed seeds and mix until combined.
- Grease the bowl you mixed the dough in and place the dough back in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place (or in the oven with the light on) for at least 2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, preheat oven 450 degrees F. Place a large dutch oven with the lid on in the oven on the centre rack. You may also use a pizza stone (or baking sheet) if that's all you have.
- Punch the dough down with your fist and then place it onto a floured work surface. Knead the dough a few times with your hands and then form the dough into a rough oval shape (if needed, you can divide the dough in half and make two loafs). Place the dough on a parchment lined baking sheet and cover with a damp kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, brush the dough with the beaten egg and then sprinkle with the remaining 4 tablespoons of mixed seeds. Using a sharp knife, gently make a small slit down the center of the loaf. Drizzle the the seeds with a little liquid honey.
- Carefully remove the hot dutch oven from the oven and remove the lid. Very carefully, pick the dough up by the parchment paper and lift it into the hot dutch oven (parchment and all). Place the hot lid back on the pot and return to the oven.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375 degrees F. Using oven mitts, remove the hot lid and continue baking until the bread is a deep, golden brown, about 15-20 minutes more. Remove from the oven. Carefully lift the bread out of the pot and place it on a wire rack to cool completely, about 2 hours (the bread continues to cook as it cools).
- Once cooled, slice and enjoy.
Recipe adapted from Half Baked Harvest