It’s been a while since I shared a no-knead bread recipe here. I’ve been experimenting with whole grain flours and seeds, and finding that some of them create a much stickier, slacker dough than I’m used to handling – so it took me a while to come up with a multigrain recipe that I was happy with. On my first try, I mixed everything, including the seeds together, and found the seeds interfered with the gluten development and rise of the loaf. The second time, I mixed the seeds in after the first rise, and found putting the seeds in dry meant giving up some of the flavour from the first loaf. This time, by adding a simple soak to both my flours and seeds, I found both the rise and the flavour to my liking.
I’d read a few articles about soaking whole grain flours to increase their nutritional value as well as the rise of the dough, and being someone who enjoys experimenting, I thought I’d give it a try. I don’t know about nutrition, but the loaf seemed to spring higher than it did in my previous attempts, and the flavour is rich and nutty from the whole grain flours and seeds.
Multigrain & Seed No-Knead Loaf
1 1/4 cup bread flour
1/8 cup red fife flour
1/8 cup whole wheat flour
1/8 cup buckwheat flour
1/8 cup pearl barley
1 tsp malt vinegar
3/4 cup warm water
Combine flours, barley, vinegar and warm water in a large bowl, cover with cling wrap or a damp towel, and leave to soak for 12 hours, or overnight. (Note: soaking the flours is not an essential part of the process, but the barley must be soaked overnight, so you might as well just go ahead and soak everything!)
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp (warm water + 1 large egg, whisked lightly)
1/4 tsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup bread flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp chia seeds
Combine water, egg, yeast and sugar with the soaked flour and barley mixture. Add flour, salt and chia seeds and mix well. Cover and allow to rise for approximately 12 hours. While the dough is rising:
1/4 cup warm water
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp poppy seeds
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp flax seeds
1 tbsp sunflower seeds
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
Combine seeds and water in a small bowl and cover.
After the dough has completed its first rise, turn it out onto a floured surface and fold the seeds into the dough. I would say “knead”, but as I mentioned, it’s a very sticky dough, so a couple folds and turns will do – just enough to distribute the seeds.
Allow the dough to rise for another 6 hours in a bowl coated with a tablespoon of olive oil.
1 tsp each sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and mustard seeds
1 tbsp hot water
Place a dutch oven (the one I use is 2.25 qts) or other heavy lidded pot in the oven, and preheat to 475F. While the oven and pot are preheating, soak the seeds in water to prevent them from burning during baking.
Turn the dough out into the pot and spread the soaked seeds on top.
Bake, covered, for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.