My friend Kyra Effren has been baking since she was old enough to hold a wooden spoon. This type of bread is wildly popular in South Africa, where Kyra grew up. The seed bread makes wonderful morning toast and is very happy under a coat of butter. This is a batter bread and goes right into the pan after mixing.
Makes one 9-inch loaf
1 1/4 cups warm tap water, about 100˚F
3 teaspoons fine granulated active dry or instant yeast
2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour (spoon flour into dry-measure cup and level off)
1/2 cup unbleached bread flour (spoon flour into dry-measure cup and level off)
1/4 cup wheat or oat bran
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup white sesame seeds
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup honey or malt syrup
2 tablespoons mild flavored vegetable oil, such as safflower or canola
One 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan, oiled or sprayed
- In a small bowl, whisk the water and yeast together; set aside
- Combine the whole wheat flour, bread flour, bran, seeds, and salt in a large mixing bowl; stir well to mix.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the yeast mixture, honey, and oil. Use a large rubber spatula to stir everything smoothly together. Cover the bowl and let the batter rest for 10 minutes.
- Beat the batter for about 1 minute to make it slightly smoother, then scrape it into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Cover with oiled or sprayed plastic wrap and let the batter rise until it reaches the top of the pan, about 1 hour.
- About 30 minutes after you place the batter in the pan, set a rack in the middle level of the oven and preheat to 375˚F.
- Once the batter is fully risen, bake the bread until it is firm and has an internal temperature of 200˚F, about 45 minutes.
- Unmold, set the loaf on its side on a rack, and cool completely. Wrap and keep until the next day before serving—both the texture and flavor improve with a day’s rest.