beautiful breads. Maybe I overworked it, or maybe the little tray of hot water (to get the gorgeous crust) did it in. Well, I'm never buying tabletop ovens again.
But for those of you who still have proper and REAL ovens, bake away! One of my favourite breads from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day is not in the book. It's my own experiment at customising the basic recipe that worked!
Linseed and Sunflower Seed Bread. Nothing too complicated really. I just added half a cup of linseed and sunflower seeds to the basic boule recipe.
It's like a rustic bread with nutty flavours but not too heavily "multigrain". We just couldn't stop eating this. I almost like this better than the Sundried Tomato and Cheese Bread I showed you earlier.
This recipe is enough for four 1-pound loaves, but you can halve or double it easily:
3 cups lukewarm water
1.5 tbsp granulated yeast (I use instant)
1.5 tbsp kosher or other coarse salt
6.5 cups unsifted, all-purpose flour
Half cup linseed (available from Cold Storage or organic stores)
Half cup sunflower seeds (deshelled, of course)
Cornmeal for dusting (optional)
Rolled oats for topping (optional)
- Make sure water is slightly warmer than body temperature. This helps initial rise to be just 2hrs instead of 3 or 4.
- Add yeast and salt to the water in a 5-quart/litre bowl or plastic food container. Don't worry about dissolving it.
- Mix in the flour - no kneading necessary. Dough should be uniformly moist.
- Cover with lid (not airtight) and allow to rise (about 2hrs). Longer periods are OK too.
- You can use a portion of the dough after this, but fully refrigerated dough is less sticky and easier to shape.
On baking day...
- Dust the surface of the dough in the container with flour and cut off about a grapefruit size. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball (stretch surface of dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating as you go). You can make little rolls too if you like.
- Allow to rest an hour. The book calls for a pizza peel and baking stone (hence the cornmeal for dusting the pizza peel), but it's fine to just use a parchment-lined baking tray.
- Preheat your oven 20 minutes before baking to 450°F/230°C
- Before placing the bread (on baking tray) into the oven, you can scatter some flour onto the bread for a nice flour-dusted effect. And you can use a serrated knife to make some slashes (lines or cross) for patterns. Totally optional.
- Pour one cup of hot water into a small tray or metal container and put that into the oven as well (but note that tabletop ovens may not be able to handle this extra steaming). I put it on the oven floor, which I was recently told is not advisable (try the lowest rack instead). Or you can use a broiler tray that does not interfere with rising of bread.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until deeply browned and firm.
- Allow to cool before slicing or eating. Yes, we all want to carve right into warm bread fresh out of the oven, but let it cool first, or the inside may still be partly gummy.
How I love the crispy crust! Even if it ruined my oven.
Now does anyone have a spare oven just lying around, unused, and won't be missed?