Sometimes a bread just comes out RIGHT. I had this idea to add a bunch of different seeds to this loaf, threw in 20% rye flour for fun, added some molasses, and then tried my hand at coating the entire outside with black and white sesame seeds. It turned out rich, nutty, and the seeds on the outside became perfectly toasted to give this chewy, caramel-like bread a crispy, toothsome exterior. I'm glad I wrote this one down, because I will be making it again and again!
The technique is very straightforward and similar to my weekly 100% whole wheat sourdough. To try to let the flavor of the seeds shine, I used the more neutral hard white spring wheat for 80% of the flour, and added in 20% rye. I knew I was adding caraway seeds to the bread, and rye and caraway is a classic flavor combination. Coating the outside is simple when you use the technique outlined below.
100g fed sourdough starter
400g whole wheat flour (I used freshly milled hard white wheat)
100g rye flour (I used freshly milled rye)
20g sunflower seeds
8g poppy seeds
6g caraway seeds
Black sesame and/or white sesame seeds to coat
Whisk together the sourdough starter, water, and molasses in a large mixing bowl.
Add the flours, salt, and seeds (not including the sesame seeds) to the bowl. Use a spatula to mix until well combined and a dough is formed. Let the dough rest for about 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, perform a series of coil folds. Wait another 30 minutes, then repeat the coil folds.
After the second round of coil folds, let the dough bulk rise at room temperature for about 12 hours (I usually do this step overnight).
After the bulk rise, prepare a clean kitchen towel larger than the size of your loaf on the counter. Pour a generous layer of black and white sesame seeds onto the towel, spreading it with your fingers so that the seeds cover an area just larger than the size that your loaf will be.
Pour your dough onto a floured work surface. Shape the dough into your desired shape based on your baking vessel. Prepare your proofing basket.
Briefly flip the dough, seam side down, onto your floured work surface, so that the outside of the dough is facing up. Use a spray bottle to spray the entire top of the loaf lightly with water. This helps the seeds to stick.
Pick up your loaf and flip it onto the sesame seeds, seam side up. Use your hands to roll the loaf gently around in the seeds to coat the entire outer surface.
Pick up the loaf and place, seeds down (seam side up), into your proofing basket. Proof the bread for about 1.5 hours at room temperature, or 8-12 hours in the refrigerator.
About 30 minutes before the proof is over, preheat your oven with your baking vessel inside to 500 F.
Remove the preheated baking vessel from the oven. Flip the loaf from the proofing basket into the baking vessel. Score the bread however you desire.
Place the covered baking vessel into the oven. Bake for 15 minutes at 500 F, then reduce the heat to 450 F. Bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Remove the lid from the baking vessel, and bake your loaf uncovered for an additional 12-15 minutes, until the crust has reached your desired color.
Cool the loaf completely on a wire rack before slicing.