Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, calcium and fibre, chia seeds are all the nutritious rage at the moment. I’ve been crunchifying chia seeds in my home-baked granola for a while – the best breakfast! – and recently also started working on a chia seed bread recipe. Using chia seeds in baking is a great way of integrating these little nutri-bombs into your diet and while the seeds won’t add much in terms of taste, your breakfast slice of high-energy chia bread will certainly keep you going for longer.
My picks of the best chia bread recipes
Here are the top 5 recipes from across the web for using chia seeds in bread baking.
My recipe adds chia seeds into the bread dough by preparing a chia gel (combining chia seeds and water). This chia gel retains water and keeps the bread nice and moist once baked.
Chia bread ingredients
275gwhite bread flour
175gwholemeal rye flour
75grye flakesyou can also use oat flakes, toasted
415gwater300g to make the chia gel and the remaining 115g to be added to the main dough
How to make chia bread
In a medium bowl, combine 300g of the water with the chia seeds and stir. Immediately, the chia seeds will start absorbing the liquid and within 30 minutes you will have a thick gelatinous liquid. This chia gel will help keep the bread moist.
While the chia gel is maturing, combine the flours, rye flakes, salt and yeast in a large bowl.
Add the chia gel and the remaining water (115g).
Knead for 10 minutes.
Place the dough back into the bowl and cover with a lid. Rest for about an hour at room temperature.
Deflate the dough and shape into a round loaf on a lightly floured work surface.
Prepare a proofing basket and place the loaf into the floured basket for its second rise. Cover with a polythene bag to keep the moisture in. Depending on the temperature in your room, the second proof may take approx. 1 or 2 hours. The fully proofed loaf will have expanded significantly.
Preheat the oven to 220°C for about 20 minutes.
Turn out the loaf onto a baking tray lined with baking paper or onto the preheated La Cloche baking dome (as I did for the loaf in my photo).
Bake for 10 minutes at 220°C before decreasing the temperature to 200°C and bake for another 45 minutes.
A month ago, I visited the Zillertal in Austria for a few days of skiing on the Hintertuxer Gletscher. The weather wasn’t as good as we’d hoped for, so we visited the village of Mayrhofen, and more specifically the Erlebnis-Sennerei Zillertal on the way there. It’s a great place to pick up some local cheeses and other dairy produce. I also picked up a new type of bread – “Schüttelbrot” – which isn’t very common in my neck of the woods in the North of Austria but what a revelation!
Eisacktaler Schüttelbrot from the Bäckerei Überbacher in Southern Tyrol
Schüttelbrot is the smaller, harder and more durable relation of Vinschgerl. Traditionally, Schüttelbrot has been popular on Alpine Tyrolean farms where using fresh produce wasn’t really a viable option.
The name ‘shake bread’ makes reference to shaking during the baking process which loosens and flattens the bread. The flat shape ensures the bread hardens quickly which in turn makes it very durable. The flatbreads need to be stored in an airy, dry space. They taste great with cold cuts of meat and cheese.
Here is my own Schüttelbrot –
Day 1 – Prepare the sourdough
25g sourdough starter
125g dark wholemeal rye flour
Combine the sourdough starter, rye flour and water in a bowl, cover and rest for 16-24 hours.
Day 2 – Prepare the final dough
250g rye flour
125g strong white wheat flour
3g dried yeast
2.5g caraway seeds
2.5g blue fenugreek
How to make Schüttelbrot
Combine all ingredients including the sourdough starter from the day before.
Cover and rest for 1/2 hour.
Cover a baking tray with baking paper.
Using a dough scraper and take out dough at approximately 150g for each Schüttelbrot piece.
The dough is quite sticky and therefore it can’t be rolled out. The dough parts are therefore placed in a baking tray then shaken until each piece has been shaped into a round, flat form a couple of millimeters thick.
This recipe produces dough which is even stickier than shown in the videos. By way of cheating, I have been using a silicone spatula to flatten the dough pieces into the appropriate shape! This works really quite well, so for those of us who aren’t quite mastering the art of ‘Schütteln’, this is a good workaround.
Bake the shaken dough pieces at 210 °C for approx. 25 mins.
This German sunflower seed bread recipe makes a delicious loaf of rye-based bread which is infused with the earthy flavour of dry-roasted sunflower seeds. The recipe is inspired by Gerhard Kellner’s “Rustikale Brote aus deutschen Landen“. A great way to use sunflower seeds in bread baking!
German sunflower seed bread recipe
On the day before baking
Prepare the sourdough
90g cracked rye
100g wholemeal rye flour
30g rye sourdough starter
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix thoroughly, cover and keep at room temperature for 16 to 18 hours.
Prepare the sunflower seed soaker
100g sunflower seeds
Dry-roast the sunflower seeds in a frying pan, then finely chop the seeds in a food processor. In a bowl, combine the chopped seeds with the water and cover for 16 to 18 hours.
On the day of baking
Sunflower seed soaker
165g wholemeal rye flour
135g wholemeal wheat flour
70g white strong bread flour
For the tin: 1 tsp olive oil
Combine all ingredients (except the oil) and knead for a few minutes.
A new favourite! This rye bread with sunflower seeds is amazing – rye sourdough, malt and toasted sunflower seeds give this bread its delicious flavour. While sunflower seeds usually only have a very mild taste, toasting them evokes a wonderfully nutty flavour. Additionally, they are a great source of Vitamin E, copper, vitamin B1, magnesium and selenium.
Focaccia is a flattish rustic Italian bread with an open, irregular crumb structure. I love focaccia when it’s moist and chewy without being too oily, when it’s kept simple, with an emphasis on fresh herbs and olive oil flavours.
Focaccia dough is fairly wet and sticky, but the addition of olive oil means it’s still pliable, soft and easy to work with. Additionally, I’ve added a bit of semolina and rye flour to give the bread more character.
Ingredients (to make 2 focaccia breads) –
The day before baking…
Combine 50g 100% hydration active sourdough starter with 100g water and 100g wholemeal flour.
Give it 12 to 16 hours to ripen.
On the day of baking, you’ll need the following dough ingredients…
285g strong white bread flour
285g Italian 00 flour
80g rye flour
7g dry yeast
11g sea salt
90g olive oil
380g warm water
4 tbsp olive oil + some more for brushing
How to make the focaccias
Combine the prepared sourdough with the dough ingredients in a large bowl.
Tip out onto a clean work surface and knead for approx. 10 minutes.
Shape the wettish dough into a round by folding the edges into the centre.
Cover the dough with the bowl (moisten the bowl’s sides and edges before you place it over the dough).
Leave the dough to prove for approx. 1.5 hours.
Prepare two round cake tins (approx. 23 cm in diameter) and wrap tin foil around the outside of the tin to prevent any oil from leaking.
Put 2 tbsp of olive oil into each cake tin and use a brush to make sure the whole bottom of the pan is evenly coated.
Lightly dust a free space on the work surface with flour.
Carefully move the dough over onto the floured surface, taking care not to deflate the dough too much in the process.
Divide the dough into two equal segments.
Fold the edges into the centre, then place the dough parts into the cake tins, seam-side down.
Drizzle with a little olive oil.
Very gently pull, push and prod from the centre towards the edges to obtain a roundish shape.
Cover the pans with a clean dishcloth and set aside at room temperature for about 30 – 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 220°C
Use your fingers to push the rosemary into the dough, distributing it evenly. Push ever so slightly outward, towards the edge of the pan. You’ll dimple the dough at the same time, giving the bread its characteristic indentations.
Evenly sprinkle over the sea salt.
Place the focaccias on the center rack of the oven and bake until crisp and golden-brown, for approx. 25 minutes.
Remove the focaccias from the pan onto a wire rack.
Finally, brush the surface of the breads with olive oil while hot to give it a nice glossy finish.
Packed with great tasting flax seeds, this flaxseed bread recipe is one of my current favourites. I love baking with rye and use both wholemeal rye flour as well as whole wheat and white wheat flour in the recipe. The result – a robust loaf of wholesome brown bread filled with crunchy seeds. Delicious with butter and jam for breakfasts or as a side to creamy vegetable soups.
Thanks to the way the seeds are soaked, the bread will stay extra-moist for days after baking. It also tastes delicious when toasted as the heat will bring out the nutty flavour of the seeds. Give it a go – you’ll love it!
The mighty flaxseed…
There are two basic varieties of flax seeds: brown and yellow/golden. Nutritionally, they are very similar; both types are a great source of dietary fibre, antioxidants and a type of omega-3 fat.
It’s important to soak the seeds before baking (see another example of this technique in my Kamut flour bread recipe). If flax seeds are not soaked, they absorb moisture from the bread and dry out the crumb quickly.
Prepare the sourdough by combining 30g sourdough starter, 50g dark rye flour, 50g wholewheat flour and 100g water in a medium bowl. Mix well then cover with a lid. Leave to rest at room temperature for 16 – 24 hours.
For the flaxseed soaker, combine 90g flax seeds with 200g cold water in a small bowl. Cover and set aside until needed.
Combine all ingredients: 200g of the sourdough (rest goes back into the fridge for your next bake), 125g dark rye flour, 50g whole wheat flour, 175g strong white flour, 130g water, the flaxseed soaker, salt and dried yeast in a large bowl.
Knead for 10 minutes. Have some extra water ready as you might need to wet your hands and the worktop a few times depending on the dough’s consistency. You should end up with a soft, slightly sticky dough.
Shape the dough into a ball, place it into a bowl and keep it covered for 1 or 2 hours – it should have quite visibly risen by then.
Give the dough a quick 10 second knead, lightly flour the dough surface all over and place it into a lightly floured proving basket.
Cover with a polythene bag and keep in a warm place for another hour or more until it has expanded significantly and is fully proved.
Just a quick post to share the recipe for light rye bread (also referred to as Jewish-style rye bread) I baked at the weekend. This light but fragrant rye bread was perfect for the delicious salt beef sandwiches we served at my friend Mariel’s baby shower.
Light rye bread is made with white high-gluten wheat flour and rye flour. There are a lot of different recipes out there using anything between 15% and 50% rye flour, but I found that 25% gives enough rye flavour and colour to the bread without making it too heavy. Whole caraway seeds worked into the dough give this Jewish-style rye bread its unique flavour.
This is a recipe my aunt from Höhnhart, Upper Austria shared with me (thank you Berta :-)). Berta and I are connected by our passion for bread and while she has been a master for years, I’m just at the beginning of my bread journey!
This bread is super-delicious with just butter and cheese. Add carrots, celery and some chutney and you have a perfect afternoon snack!
If you are using fresh yeast, mix the yeast with 200g lukewarm water. (With dry yeast, simply add all ingredients together in one go.)
In a separate bowl, mix the flours and salt with a balloon whisk.
Add the dissolved yeast and water, olive oil and the mixed nuts to the flour bowl.
Use the dough hooks of your hand mixer and knead the dough until smooth. Alternatively, hand-knead for 5 minutes or so. I added a little bit more water to get the right hydration as the rye flour I used was very coarse.
Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and leave to rest in a warm place for 45 minutes until the dough has doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (gas mark 4).
Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead for a minute.
Divide the dough into two parts.
Roll out each part to reach 25cm in length. You can work with a rolling pin or just work the dough into a round or oval shape with your hands.