This mixture of seeds is not only beautiful and delicious; it's healthy, too.
INGREDIENTS | YIELDS 1 LOAF
- 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- 1 tablespoon flax seeds
- 1 cup warm milk
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1¾ teaspoons active dry yeast (1 package)
- ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon plus 1 pinch kosher salt
- 2–3 cups bread flour
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon cream
Combine sesame, fennel, poppy and flax seeds. Set aside 2 tablespoons of seeds for garnishing the top of the loaf. In a large dry sauté pan over high heat, toast remaining seeds until fragrant, about 30–60 seconds. Remove immediately from the hot pan and cool. Pulse in a coffee grinder to a fine powder. Set aside.
In a large bowl stir together milk, honey, and yeast. Set aside at room temperature until foamy, about 10 minutes.
Stir in butter, whole wheat flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and ground seeds. Add enough bread flour to create a firm dough. Add flour only to reduce stickiness. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead 8–10 minutes. Return to bowl, dust the top with flour, and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap. Rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 1½ hours.
Line a baking sheet with parchment. Turn risen dough onto a floured surface and divide into 3 equal portions. Shape each into a tight rope, no longer than 12″, and form a 3-strand braid. Place onto prepared pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and set aside to proof for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°F.
Whisk together egg, cream, and a pinch of salt, and brush gently onto the top of the risen loaf. Sprinkle with remaining whole seeds, and bake until golden brown and hollow sounding, about 30–40 minutes. Cool completely on a rack before serving.
Seeds contain a variety of nutrients important for a healthy diet. This mixture contains important omega-3 fatty acids, cholesterol-reducing dietary fiber, vitamins including E and B1, and important minerals such as calcium, copper, zinc, iron, and manganese.