My daughter’s preschool just had a bake sale to raise funds. Everyone was asked to bake a bread of some kind. As a suggestion we were all given the option of quick breads or even packaged breads. Of course I was not going to go that route, right? Last year I made 4 loaves of enriched bread but this year I decided I wanted to make sourdough loaves. And they needed to be the best sourdough loaves I could make. So, I began on Friday morning getting the starters fed. I was planning to make 4-6 loaves to take to our church, where the sale was taking place, on Saturday.
Not quite sure what the breads were going to be just yet I made the starters anyway and had the wheels turning in my mind trying to come up with some ideas. Finally, it hit me! A couple loaves would be a straight country white sourdough but the others would be a seeded bread.
I made 6 loaves total and really wanted to hold one of the seeded loaves back for my family so we could taste it too. However, there were a few misshapen loaves and I really didn’t want to take those to represent my baking. Unfortunately all the best looking loaves were the seeded ones. We didn’t get to try any of them this time but I have made others before that were similar so I am sure they turned out good.
I wanted to share with you how to incorporate this same process into your breads whether it is sourdough or yeasted bread. It does not matter and the process will be the same either way. The only thing to keep in mind is the timing of making what is called a soaker, the seeds with water, and when to incorporate them into the dough. If you are making a sourdough bread mix the soaker at the same time as the starter ferment for 12-18 hours. If you are making a yeasted bread just be sure to make the soaker up to 24 hours in advance. It can be used in as little as 12 hours though.
Most recipes will make 2 loaves of bread so what I will explain below will be great for that amount. you can double or halve it according to your taste.
Begin by mixing
- 1/4 Cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 Cup oatmeal
- about 1/8 Cup sesame seed
Then mix 1 cup of water being sure to mix all the seeds and oats together in the water. The longer is sits the water will get absorbed into the seed mixture.
When you begin mixing the dough, there is one thing to remember when it comes to using seeds or other ingredients such as this. Be sure to get the dough almost all mixed together before adding the seeds. Adding harder ingredients can tear the gluten resulting in a bread that is certainly not satisfactory.
Try adding something like the idea above or try a different combination using pumpkin seeds, or cranberry and walnut.