It's been a while since I shared a bread that I've made, so here's a great one I made this week. This bread has been on my "to try" list for some time after originally spotting it on Alexandra's Kitchen. As often happens, after I finally get around to trying it, I'm kicking myself for all the months that I wasn't enjoying this bread. This one's a winner and I definitely recommend it for anyone who enjoys a good loaf of homemade bread.
A delicious seed bread recipe, with sesame seeds and millet. Great toasted!
This loaf was my first time adding millet to bread. Honestly, before now, the only exposure I've had to millet was in bird seed (and noticing that it was the only part the birds didn't eat! :) Having tried it now in bread, I'm won over. I love the crunch and flavour it adds.
I also added sesame seeds to my bread, because I love them on bread, so I figured they'd be just as good in it. The beautiful thing about this bread is that it is a wonderful, light sandwich bread, but where it really shines is when it's warmed. It toasts beautifully and it makes a wicked good grilled cheese. I credit both the great texture of the bread and the millet/sesame seeds for making it great bread when toasted or grilled. The millet and sesame seeds get toasted too and add awesome flavour and even more crunch.
For my loaf, I replaced 1 cup of the white all-purpose flour with white whole wheat flour (Robin Hood's NutriBlend flour). As much as I wish I enjoyed a whole wheat bread, the truth is I don't really and I find my family doesn't much either. That said, I've found I can easily add a little more fibre with a bit of white whole wheat flour without compromising the flavour and texture, so that's what I do. You can certainly add more or use a straight whole wheat flour, but I wouldn't recommend replacing any more than 1/2 the all-purpose flour with whole wheat, for best results.
As for the milk powder, for Canadians, I highly recommend picking up some at Bulk Barn, so you don't have to buy a big bag at the grocery store, which is really pricey. (Bulk Barn is also great to pick up the millet and sesame seeds). I picked up the whole milk non-instant powder. My understanding is that non-instant dry milk is preferred for bread-making, as it is heated to a higher temperature, so it's similar to scalded milk (which is desirable in bread making as it destroys certain enzymes that can interfere with yeast activity and gluten development). That said, if you can't easily find non-instant (or you already have instant milk on hand), go ahead and use it. It will be fine.
- 2 cups warm water
- 2 Tbsp. honey or white sugar (I used honey)
- 2 1/2 tsp. instant yeast or active dry yeast
- 2 Tbsp. soft butter, or vegetable oil (I used vegetable oil)
- 1 Tbsp. fine salt
- 6 cups (approx.) unbleached all-purpose flour (I replaced 1 cup of the all-purpose with 1 cup of white whole wheat flour)
- 1/2 cup powdered dry milk (I used non-instant whole milk powder)
- 1/2 cup millet
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- Add the warm water and honey (or sugar) to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a kneading hook. Sprinkle the yeast over the water, stir and let stand 5 minutes.
- To the bowl, add the butter (or oil), the salt, 3 cups of the flour and the dry milk. Mix until well combined. Begin adding more flour first by the 1/2 cup full, then reducing the amount until your dough comes together in to a smooth dough. (You'll use 5 1/2-6 cups total, probably). As your dough begins to reach the right consistency, add the millet and sesame seeds and continue mixing until they are well incorporated in the dough.
- Place dough in a well-greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Prepare two 8 1/2 x 4-inch loaf pans by greasing well. Set aside.
- Once dough has doubled, remove to a lightly floured surface, deflate lightly and divide the dough in to two equal pieces. Roll or press dough in to a rectangle approximately 8 inches wide by 14 inches long. Starting with the short end, roll the dough jelly roll style and pinch together the seam. Place in to prepared loaf pans with the seam down. Be sure that the seam is centred on the bottom of the pan, to avoid a lopsided loaf. Repeat with the other piece of dough.
- Cover loaf pans with plastic wrap that has been sprayed on the underside with cooking spray. Allow to rise until loaves rise above the edge of the pan in the centre by about an inch.
- Preheat oven to 350° F. with rack in centre of oven. When loaves have risen, bake in the pre-heated oven for 30-35 minutes or until browned and hollow-sounding when tapped. Remove from oven the immediately remove loaves from pans and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
Adapted from King Arthur Flour Cookbook and Alexandra's Kithen