Adding seeds and grains to dough is a great way of enhancing the taste, texture and nutritional value of an otherwise plain loaf of bread. Here is a recipe for a multi seed and grain bread using three different seeds (sunflower, pumpkin and sesame) as well as chopped rye grains. Dry-roasting the seeds first gives the bread a lovely nutty flavour.
I decided to bake this loaf in my 24 cm enameled Le Creuset cast-iron casserole. It gives the bread a perfectly round shape as the dough’s expansion is restricted by the pot size. As I put the lid on for most of the baking process, the closed casserole traps moisture and creates stream for a crispy crust. At the same time, cooking on a thick, hot surface gives the loaf a nice and even bake all round.
I have recently also invested in a stainless steel replacement knob for my Le Creuset casserole which allows oven safe use at a higher temperature (260°C) than the standard fitted knob.
Ingredients (for 1 loaf in a 24 cm round Le Creuset casserole dish)
- 400g wholewheat flour
- 65g bread flour
- 165g rye flour
- 50g cracked rye grains
- 50g sunflower seeds
- 50g pumpkin seeds
- 50g sesame seeds
- 5g bread spices
- 9g salt
- 3g dried yeast
- 525g water, lukewarm
How to bake it
- Dry-roast the sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds in a non-stick pan until they are nicely toasted and their nutty flavours are released.
- Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and knead for 10 mins.
- Place the dough back in the bowl and cover the bowl with clingfilm.
- Leave to rest for an hour at room temperature.
- Prepare your Le Creuset casserole dish by lining it with baking paper.
- Give the dough another quick knead, shape it into a round loaf and place it on a piece of baking paper.
- Dust the loaf with flour.
- Cover it with a kitchen towel and prove the loaf for 1.5 hours at room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C at least 20 mins before baking and preheat the casserole dish (including lid) at the same time.
- Score the dough by making a few incisions with a sharp knife.
- Carefully place the loaf in the casserole dish by lifting it up with the baking paper and lowering it in very cautiously.
- Place the lid on the casserole dish and put in the oven.
- Bake for 15 mins, then lower the heat to 200°C.
- Bake for another 30 mins, then take off the lid for another 15 mins.
- Turn the bread out of the dish and leave to cool on a wire rack.