Hello my friend, I’ve missed you. It’s been two months since I’ve eaten bread and I have to say it’s made me a bit sad. It was helpful to take some time off to refocus our diets and experiment with other ways to create our meals. But I have been craving the ability to have a tartine or a bit of toast with some freshly made jam.
I am a strong advocate of not putting restrictions on what I eat. In a healthy and sustainable diet, there should be space for a little bit of everything. Eating intuitively and avoiding overly processed foods has been the way I have shaped the way I eat. I try not to buy into trendy diets because I find them difficult to stick to and I spent the first 35 years of my life on a diet. I am not a vegan but love vegetables and have a son with a severe dairy allergy. When I do eat meat, I try to source local and organic products whenever possible, and vegetables are always the star of our plates.
We’ve been getting a little weary of bowls so I thought I’d try to experiment with my favorite no-knead bread recipe and see if I could inject some nutritional benefits into it with the addition of my favorite nuts and seeds. I experimented a lot with this loaf. I made five or six different versions before I settled on this one. I settled on a combination of white and spelt bread flour. When I made it with all spelt the loaf was much heavier and slightly bitter. I still want to experiment with adding some oat flour but that will come on another day. The seeds impart a great texture and nutrition level thanks to the addition of chia, hemp, sunflower and sesame seeds.
Most of this recipe is hands off so all you need is a little patience and a lot of time to let the yeast do its bidding. You just mix all the ingredients together add the water and maple syrup and then you wait. A quick shape is all it takes, no kneading required and the true trick to this loaf is that it’s baked in a pre-heated dutch oven with the lid on. The steam that is released results in a perfectly crispy exterior perfect for slathering with butter or jam.
Here is a quick video of the process. Super simple, just takes patience!
- 2 cups white spelt flour
- 1 cup bread flour
- ½ cup hazelnut flour
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon yeast
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 cups water
- In a large bowl combine the spelt flour, bread flour, hazelnut flour, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, kosher salt and yeast and stir well to combine. Add the maple syrup to the water and stir well. Add the liquid to the dry mixture and mix well until sticky dough forms. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a dry, warm spot for 8 hours or overnight.
- The next day pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees and heat a large dutch oven or cast iron saucepan in the oven for 30 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of floured parchment paper, dust the dough with a bit of flour ad fold the sides in towards each other. Flip the loaf over and shape into a circle. Pick up the parchment and place the dough back in the bowl, cover with a towel and let sit for 30 minutes. Carefully remove the pan from the oven, pick up the parchment paper and lower into the pan. Cover with the lid and bake the loaf for 45-50 minutes until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when you tap it on the bottom. Let cool slightly and then serve with butter or jam.