Crunchy Seed Braid

I hope you guys are having a great start to your week! I am fresh off of 2 weeks of sleeping in, due to state testing that only the sophomores have to take. Sleeping in every day has been great, to say the least, but it’s not going to be easy going back into my early routine! Thankfully, we have lots of delicious tea and coffee in our house, so I’ll make it through the day.

After trying the Vermont oatmeal honey whole wheat bread, I was hooked on using yeast. I dipped my toe into the sweeter side of yeast doughs with cinnamon rolls, but I really wanted to have an awesome seedy, healthy loaf. I know it may not seem like it because I run a blog dedicated to sweets, but I try to eat pretty healthily most of the time. I couldn’t go too crazy with the seeds on this loaf from King Arthur Flour, because I would have been the only one to eat it! While I do love whole grain bread, I don’t think I could eat an entire loaf. So, I only ended up putting poppy seeds and sesame seeds on this loaf, but I would love to experiment with chia seeds, flax seeds, and wheat germ.

Just a tip for those looking to make this loaf: make all of your loaves the same size! I didn’t read the recipe closely and thought it made 3 mini-loaves instead of one braid, so I didn’t pay too much attention to the size of all of the loaves. Still, this loaf came out hearty and crunchy and a great healthy option to make!

Ingredients:
Dough

  • 10 ounces lukewarm water
  • 1 1/4 ounces vegetable oil
  • 8 1/2 ounces Unbleached Bread Flour
  • 6 ounces Whole Wheat Flour, white wheat preferred
  • 3 ounces assorted nuts and seeds
  • 1 1/2 ounces traditional rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 7/8 ounce sugar
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast

Topping

  • 1 large egg white beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 3 ounces mixed seeds: poppy, sesame, flax, fennel, and anise are all good choices

Directions

  1. Mix all of the dough ingredients, and mix and knead — by hand, stand mixer, or bread machine — to make a smooth, supple dough.
  2. Place the dough in a lightly greased, covered container, and allow it to rise for 60 to 90 minutes. It’ll become quite puffy, though it may not double in bulk.
  3. Gently deflate the dough, and divide it into three pieces. Roll/stretch each piece into a 24″ log.
  4. Brush the logs with the beaten egg white, coating them as well as you can.
  5. Sprinkle with the seeds. Roll them over, brush with egg white, and sprinkle on more seeds. Roll them around a bit, to coat as completely as possible.
  6. Allow the logs to rest for 15 minutes, uncovered.
  7. Squeeze the three logs together at one end. Braid into a braid. When you get to the end, squeeze the three pieces together and tuck them underneath. Transfer the braid to a lightly greased or parchment-lined pan, brush with more egg white, and and sprinkle with any leftover seeds.
  8. Cover the braid, and let it rise for 1 hour, till the braid has become noticeably puffy. Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F.
  9. Bake the bread for 15 minutes. Tent it lightly with foil (to prevent over-browning), reduce the oven temperature to 350°F, and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until the crust is golden and the braid’s internal temperature registers 190°F. Remove it from the oven, and cool on a rack.

Yield: 1 large loaf.
Does anyone want to make me a loaf?

-Rayna 🙂

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