So I’m a little behind the eight-ball with this post as I first made this bread last weekend, but I’ve got another batch rising as I type! I wanted to experiment with something a little different so I went perusing through my Mom’s wealth of bread books and happened upon a flax and sunflower seed bread in the Tartine #3 book. Amazing book, but fairly daunting bread recipes even for me.
Instead, I’ve taken my basic No Knead Spelt Bread recipe, tweaked the amounts of flour a little and added lots of flax and sunflower seeds.
Don’t tell the other breads I’ve made, but I like this one the best! So moist (even when I ate the little last crust piece four days later) and the seeds give the bread this extra punch of flavour. Best with butter of course. 😀
If you liked this recipe you are going to love these ones!
Update March 30, 2022: This blog post was long overdue for updated photos and recipe as I have tweaked my process over the years. Note there is no longer honey in the dough (you may include it if you wish) and I have provided instructions for both a second rise in a banneton basket as well as a bowl.
Sunflower Flax Seed No Knead Spelt Bread
- 56 g flax seeds
- 72 ml hot water
- 56 g sunflower seeds toasted
- 100 g organic whole spelt flour
- 300 g organic all purpose, unbleached spelt flour also called white spelt flour
- 1 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp instant yeast
- 300 ml room temperature water assuming room temperature of 21 degrees Celsius
- flax and sunflower seeds for coating optional
In a small bowl, mix the flax seeds with the hot water. Stir to combine. Set aside to cool. Spread sunflower seeds on a large baking sheet and toast in the oven at 350 degrees F for 5-8 minutes or until lightly toasted. Set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and yeast. Add the water to the dry ingredients then add the flax and sunflower seeds. Swirl the flax seeds in the water to disburse them and then mix the dough until it is completely incorporated and it sticks to your fingers. Cover the bowl with a clean dish towel and let the dough rest for 20 minutes so the flour can absorb the water. After the rest, stretch and fold the dough by grabbing a piece of it from the outside edge then gently lift and fold that piece of dough over to the other side. Continue around the dough in a clock-wise fashion until the dough has tightened.
Cover the bowl again and let it sit at room temperature until the surface is dotted with bubbles and the dough has doubled in size (approximately 7-8 hours depending on your room temperature, see note 1)
When the first rise is complete, place your heavy cast iron pot and lid into the oven and pre-heat the oven to 475 degrees F. Position the rack in the lower third of the oven. The pot needs to pre-heat for at least 30 minutes.
Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the dough out of the bowl in one piece. Using lightly floured hands gently pat the dough out into a rectangle. Fold one short side of the dough into the middle and then fold the other short side on top. Then fold the dough in half the other direction. Dust lightly with flour, gently cover with the kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let rest for 5 minutes. While you are waiting, lightly flour a banneton basket or crumple a square piece of parchment paper, flatten it out again and line a medium sized bowl with it. Use your fist to push the paper down into the bowl and your other hand to smooth the creases of the paper around the inside and top edge of the bowl. Repeat the folding process outlined above a second time or shape into a boule.
With lightly floured hands, lift the dough and place it seam side up in the banneton basket or seam side down in the parchment lined bowl. Cover and place on the counter next to the stove for 20 minutes for the second rise. To test if the dough is ready, press, do not poke, the tip of one floured finger quickly and lightly, about half an inch, slightly off center, into the crown of the dough. If the indentation remains but springs back slightly, the dough is ready for the oven. If the dent fills in, give the dough another 5-10 minutes to rise and re-test.
Remove the pot from the oven and remove the lid.
If using a banneton basket, place a square piece of parchment paper on the counter and gently flip the dough on to it. Score the dough using a lame (or use a sharp pair of scissors to make 3-4 shallow cuts at a 45 degree angle along the center line of the dough) to assist in "oven spring". Lift the dough by holding the corners of the parchment paper and lower it into the pot.
If using a bowl, first lift the dough out of the bowl by holding all corners of the parchment paper and lower it into the pot. Spray the top of the dough with water and sprinkle some seeds on top (optional). Then dust the top of the bread with flour using a small sieve (also optional). Then use a lame and score the dough (or use a sharp pair of scissors to make 3-4 shallow cuts at a 45 degree angle along the center line of the dough) to assist in "oven spring".
Cover the pot with the lid and put it back into the oven. Reduce the heat to 450 degrees F and bake for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove the lid and continue baking for another 10 minutes until the bread is a lovely chestnut brown. Remove from the oven, carefully lift the bread out of the hot pot and place it on a rack to cool thoroughly. If you have an instant read thermometer, the bread is done when the internal temperature is 190-200 degrees F.
- I am assuming a room temperature of 21 degrees C here. If your room temperature is higher your dough will take less time to rise, if you room temperature is lower your dough will take more time to rise. At this point you can also place the covered dough in the fridge to slow down the fermentation process. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap or a plastic bag and large rubber band before placing in the fridge. Bring the dough back to room temperature and ensure it has doubled in size and the surface is dotted with bubble before continuing.
- Unless you will consume all the bread within 2-3 days, cut it in half after it has cooled. Keep one half at room temperature and put the other half in the freezer. When you are ready for another half loaf, run it quickly under water to moisten the outside crust and place in pre-heated 350 degree F oven. Bake for 8 minutes or until the crust is hard to the touch, remove and let it finish thawing in the center. It will taste like freshly baked bread!