I’ve taken a bit of a liberty with the name of this recipe, because it’s based on nothing more authentic than the loaf of bread I tried in France this summer. Over there, it is a staple of the Banette brand of bakeries and I found it very delicious as well as belying it’s rustic appearance by being very light in texture.
I picked up an information leaflet about it which helpfully included, amongst a lot of airy-fairyness about taste journeys and Nordic inspiration, a list of ingredients:
- wheat flour
- wheat gluten
- sunflower seeds
- barley flour
- rye products
- toasted malted barley flour
- rye and wheat malt
- barley flakes
- sunflower seeds
- decorticated sesame seeds
- red millet seeds
- brown flax seeds
Fantastic, you’d think – specific guidelines for creating a unique blend of flours, grains and seeds. Well, in theory, yes – but practically… not so much. For a while I toyed with the idea of sourcing toasted malted barley flour, rye and wheat malt, and then experimenting with numerous batches to achieve the perfect combination. But when I read the ingredients list on a pack of Granary bread flour, it was a no-brainer.
Then there was the mix of seeds. Again, I could have spend time researching and experimenting, and to a certain extent I did. Recently, whilst watching Italian chefs make pizza dough, one of them mentioned adding Cuor di Cereali (Heart of Cereal), a seed mixture available in Italy, which sounded perfect. I sourced it online, however, it is available only in Italy, and whilst it could be ordered internationally, the shipping was going to be a killer. So when I saw the range of seeds available in the supermarket, I was like…
I did, however, take the suggestion from the Mulino Caputo website of adding between 10-20% to your dough mix, so it wasn’t a total bust.
This is absolutely customisable to what you have available. I make no apology for simply tipping into a large ziplock bag one packet of each of the seeds available at my local supermarket.
My mix comprised the following:
- 100g golden linseed
- 100g brown linseed
- 100g sunflower seeds
- 100g pumpkin seeds
- 150g chia seeds
- 100g sesame seeds
- 100g poppy seeds
This obviously makes more than is required for the recipe, but I’m confident you’ll be using it all up in no time with batches of these tasty loaves.
400ml tepid water
1 tsp salt
500g granary bread flour
20g fresh yeast, crumbled or 1 sachet fast-action yeast
100g seed mix
additional seed mix for coating
- Put all of the ingredients into your bowl (hand or stand mixer) in the above order, and bring together into a soft dough.
- Knead for 10 minutes – on Low, if you’re using a mixer, followed by 2 minutes on High.
- Cover the bowl with plastic and leave to rise for 1 hour.
- When risen, tip out onto a floured surface and pat gently to deflate.
- Shape into a rectangle, and cut horizontally in two,to give two baton shapes.
- Roll and tuck the edges underneath – you should be aiming for a short, fat baguette shape.
- Take an edged baking sheet and sprinkle over a layer of the seed mix. If you slide the sheet back and forth a couple of times,the seeds will arrange themselves in a neat, thin layer.
- Using a pastry brush dipped in water, dampen the whole of the upper surface of the loaves.
- Apply the seed coating: one by one, picking up the loaves and roll them over the layer of seeds in the tray. The seeds will stick to the damp top surface of the dough and fall away from the dry underside. Set the seeded loaves on their uncoated bases on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Cover lightly and leave to rise for 30 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 200°C, 180°C Fan.
- Bake the loaves for 30-35 minutes until risen and browned, and the base sounds hollow when tapped.
- Cool on a wire rack.