This turned out so good that even Ben, who usually stays out of my blogging decisions, said that I need to post about this. And I agree. So here it is! Last week I made a similar bread for him, but the main feature of it was that I put beer in the dough but it wasn’t an overnight dough. And it was still really good, but I guess this loaf is much better, according to Ben. I attribute it being better due to the overnight rise at room temperature.
There really isn’t much to it. I felt like I was cheating when I made this, because it’s so simple and basic and doesn’t require a lot of skill to put together, but the results are impressive. If you have the ingredients and the time and just follow the recipe, you’ll get this wonderfully crusty, chewy but not too heavy bread loaf that rivals the store bought kind often sold at triple the price.
seedy rustic bread (based on this recipe from the Washington Post, but amped up with seeds)
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading and dusting
3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
3 tablespoons flaxseeds
3 Tablespoons poppy seeds
1 and 1/3 cups warm water
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon cornmeal
In a large stainless steel or glass bowl, add the water, honey, warm water, and stir until honey is dissolved, then add the yeast and let sit for 5-10 minutes until frothy.
Add the flour, oil, and seeds and stir with a wooden spoon until a sticky dough starts to form and there are no pockets of dry flour underneath or in the middle.
Cover bowl with a greased plastic wrap with the greased side down. Let rise for 12 hours in a room without a draft.
Punch down dough and transfer to a well dusted large piece of parchment paper (can add a sprinkling of the cornmeal here, optional) and tuck in dough underneath to create a very rough sphere of dough. Sprinkle more flour on the top and cover with the same greased piece of plastic and let dough rest for about 30-45 minutes.
Heat oven to 450 degrees F. and place Dutch oven with lid or similarly sized oven safe pot with a lid into the center of the oven for at least 30 minutes at 450 degrees F. prior to the bread being baked.
When ready to be baked, score the top of loaf making a triangle, an x, or 3 or 4 cuts making a triangle or square. Take the Dutch oven out of the oven with oven mitts and quickly but carefully lift the lid off and transfer the bread directly into the Dutch oven including the parchment paper. Place lid back on Dutch oven (use oven mitts!) and place back in center rack of 450 degree oven.
Bake for about 35 minutes with lid on the Dutch oven, then about 15 minutes with the lid removed. Dough should be golden brown, with an internal temperature of about 200 degrees F.
Remove from oven and let cool still in the Dutch oven for about 15 minutes, then remove and cool on a wire rack for at least an hour or longer before slicing and serving.