Dakota Bread

From Cook's Country | April/May 2013

Why this recipe works:

This hearty loaf from the breadbasket of America can contain a daunting number of flours and seeds. We rely on seven-grain cereal mix to shorten the ingredient list while still providing hearty texture and complex flavor. Starting the bread in a hot oven creates an initial “spring,” and… read more

This hearty loaf from the breadbasket of America can contain a daunting number of flours and seeds. We rely on seven-grain cereal mix to shorten the ingredient list while still providing hearty texture and complex flavor. Starting the bread in a hot oven creates an initial “spring,” and lowering the temperature later prevents the seeds from burning. Bread flour gave us the gluten development necessary to make our loaf rise high, and a pan of water in the oven prevents the crust from setting before the bread is fully risen.

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Makes one 10-inch loaf

In step 2, if the dough is still sticking to the sides of the mixing bowl after 2 minutes, add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time, up to 3 tablespoons. Be sure to use hot cereal mix, not boxed cold breakfast cereals, which may also be labeled “seven-grain.”

Ingredients

  • 2 cups warm water (110 degrees)
  • 1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) seven-grain hot cereal mix
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 1/2 cups (19 1/4 ounces) bread flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 3 tablespoons raw, unsalted pepitas
  • 3 tablespoons raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Instructions

  1. 1. Grease large bowl. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In bowl of stand mixer, combine water, cereal, honey, and oil and let sit for 10 minutes.

    2. Add flour, salt, and yeast to cereal mixture. Fit stand mixer with dough hook and knead on low speed until dough is smooth and elastic, 4 to 6 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons pepitas and 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds to dough and knead for 1 minute longer. Turn out dough onto lightly floured counter and knead until seeds are evenly distributed, about 2 minutes.

    3. Transfer dough to greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rise at room temperature until almost doubled in size and fingertip depression in dough springs back slowly, 60 to 90 minutes.

    4. Gently press down on center of dough to deflate. Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and shape into tight round ball. Place dough on prepared sheet. Cover dough loosely with plastic and let rise at room temperature until almost doubled in size, 60 to 90 minutes.

    5. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lowest positions and heat oven to 425 degrees. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon pepitas, remaining 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds in small bowl. Using sharp knife, make ¼-inch-deep cross, 5 inches long, on top of loaf. Brush loaf with egg and sprinkle seed mixture evenly over top.

    6. Place 8½ by 4½-inch loaf pan on lowest oven rack and fill with 1 cup boiling water. Place baking sheet with dough on upper-middle rack and reduce oven to 375 degrees. Bake until crust is dark brown and bread registers 200 degrees, 40 to 50 minutes. Transfer loaf to wire rack and let cool completely, about 2 hours. Serve.

The Right Mix

Our Dakota Bread recipe calls for bread flour (for an appropriately chewy texture) supplemented with seven-grain hot cereal mix, which provides the bread with nutty depth. Don’t confuse seven-grain hot cereal with seven-grain cold cereal; the latter will harm the texture of the loaf.

HOT TO TROT: Seven-grain hot cereal.

Making a Round Loaf

On a lightly floured counter, shape the loaf by pulling and pinching the dough and tucking it under until it forms a smooth, taut ball. After it’s shaped, the dough rises for the second and final time. (In French, this shape is known as a boule.)

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