Blizzard conditions? (S)no problem… Stay home and bake.

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Oh the weather outside is frightful
But the fire is so delightful
And since we’ve no place to go
Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

HA. That’s all well and good for romantic winter-istas, who like to imagine beautiful flakes sifting out of a soft evening sky through lantern light.

Or for skiers, snowmobilers, sledders, or snowman-builders.

Or even for those of you with a plow service that comes early in the morning, post-blizzard, to sweep everything out of your driveway, leaving only the brushup work of steps and walks for you to tackle.

Now, I don’t mean to sound like the Grinch Who Stole Winter. But I have to say, after living 52 of my 56 years in New England (and another 3 1/2 in New York), I could do without winter driving. And walking.

Snow on the rooftop? Great; except when it misbehaves and turns into ice dams, it’s the perfect insulator.

Snow in the yard, capping the trees, blanketing the frozen river I cross every morning on the way to work? Beautiful.

But snow under my tires, or icing up under my Crocs? No thanks.

Remember that Paul Simon song, “Slip Slidin’ Away”? At this time of year, that’s the anthem for all of us living north of the Deep South, or east of the Left Coast.

I find myself inadvertently humming that tune as the rear-wheel-drive car in front of me whines and drifts sideways going up the big hill leading into town, causing a chain reaction of slowed-down (and therefore potentially backslipping) cars all the way down to the river.

I hum a little faster when I’m behind a pickup truck on the interstate that decides we’re all scared weenies driving WAY too slowly, so passing us at 55mph is a fine idea – except for that patch of ice, which inspires a graceful 360° across three lanes of traffic and (if the driver’s lucky), a snow-padded crash landing in the median strip.

Let it snow?

Fine. So long as I’m snuggled safe and warm at home, car in the driveway, soup on the stove… and bread in the oven, of course.

Lusty yet light, hearty yet whole-grain healthy, this Crunchy Seed Braid is a wonderful winter loaf. High-rising and soft enough for sandwiches, it also makes tasty toast, perfect alongside soup, salad, or your breakfast eggs.

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Bread flour is the ideal choice for this recipe.

Most yeast breads do just fine with all-purpose flour. But for those including whole-grain flours, and/or added seeds or grains (think rolled oats, cracked wheat, etc.), bread flour’s extra gluten helps “carry the load,” giving these breads the nice rise you’re expecting.

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And speaking of whole grains, here’s my whole wheat flour of choice: our organic white wheat flour. It comes in a user-friendly 2-pound bag, for you occasional whole wheat bakers; as well as the usual 5-pounder.

How do I love organic white wheat? Let me count the ways…  1) It’s milder-flavored than traditional red whole wheat. 2) It’s lighter-colored (read: easier to sneak past fussy eaters) than regular whole wheat flour.

And, 3) The organic version, for whatever reason, bakes a taller loaf of bread than regular whole wheat. My theory is yeast loves whatever it is that distinguishes organic from non-organic flour, be it lack of chemical residue, extra minerals… not sure. Anyone who knows the answer, please enlighten me!

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And here’s our top-selling Harvest Grains Blend, a mixture of seeds and whole grains I first put together many years ago.

What’s in this crunchy blend? Whole oat berries, millet, rye and wheat flakes, and flax, poppy, sesame, and sunflower seeds. A half cup of Harvest Grains Blend in your yeast bread adds welcome body and flavor.

OK, let’s bake bread.

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Place the following in a mixing bowl, or the bucket of your bread machine programmed for the dough cycle:

1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
1 1/2 cups King Arthur Whole Wheat Flour, white wheat preferred
1/2 cup Harvest Grains Blend
1/2 cup traditional rolled oats
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup Baker’s Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
2 teaspoons instant yeast

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Mix till cohesive…

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…then knead till smooth and supple.

Since we’re moving into the very driest part of winter right now, you may find you need to add a couple of tablespoons additional water to make the dough smooth, rather than gnarly.

Which brings up a teaching moment here: don’t be afraid to adjust your yeast bread recipes seasonally. Flour is like a sponge. When the weather is hot and humid, flour absorbs that humidity, and your bread recipes will need less water.

Hot and dry, or dry and cold outside? Your flour will be dry, and your recipe may need more water. Stay focused on your goal – a smooth, supple dough – and become comfortable adjusting the flour/liquid ratio to get there.

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Isn’t this a nice ball of dough? Considering the seeds and grains, it’s very supple.

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Put the dough in a greased bowl, or greased 8-cup measure. I prefer the measuring cup, as I can easily track it as it rises.

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Let the dough rise, covered, for 60 to 90 minutes. It’ll become quite puffy, though it may not double in bulk.

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Here’s a picture taken from above. It continues to look smooth and supple, doesn’t it. Can you tell I just LOVE working with this dough?

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Gently deflate the dough, and divide it into three pieces.

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Roll/stretch each piece into a 24” rope.

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Yes, 24”. That’s quite long, so leave yourself enough counter space to roll.

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Brush the ropes with 1 large egg white beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water, coating them as well as you can.

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Next, get your seeds ready. You’ll want a generous 1/2 cup mixed seeds: poppy, sesame, flax, fennel, and anise are all good choices.

I’ve started here with our artisan bread topping, a blend of flax, toasted sesame, black caraway, midget sunflower, poppy, and anise seeds.

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Then I’ve added a tablespoon of fennel seeds, because I like their size, flavor, and crunch. They’re assertive, and lusty – just the ticket for this crunchy-crust bread.

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Sprinkle the ropes with the seeds.

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Coat them pretty heavily.

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Roll them over, brush with egg white, and sprinkle on more seeds.

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Roll them around a bit, to coat as completely as possible.

Allow the ropes to rest for 15 minutes, uncovered.

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Squeeze the three ropes together at one end.

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Braid into a braid. Outer rope over the top of the middle rope…

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Opposite outer rope over the top of the middle rope…

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…all the way to the end.

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When you get to the end…

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…squeeze the three pieces together… and tuck them underneath.

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…and tuck them underneath.

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Brush with any leftover egg white; this’ll help the seeds adhere, and give the finished loaf a satiny/shiny crust.

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Scrape up any seeds that have fallen off along the way, and plaster them back on.

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Transfer the braid to a lightly greased or parchment-lined pan.

Cover the braid, and let it rise for 1 hour.

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It’ll become noticeably puffy. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F.

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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.

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The braid’s internal temperature should register at least 190°F.

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Cool on a rack.

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Doesn’t that look gorgeous?

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And the swirl of seeds inside is a tasty surprise.

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Bring on the pastrami and Swiss!

As you can see from the greenery in the picture above, I first tested and photographed this recipe last summer. As I type these words, it’s -1°F, and those same trees are blanketed in white. Time to put the soup on…

Read, rate, and review (please!) our recipe for Crunchy Seed Braid.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...

comments

  1. Liz Brooks

    This is absolutely gorgeous. I really need to work to keeping some dried milk on hand in my pantry!

    Liz, it’s an absolute staple for bread. As is potato flour. I use one or the other or both in nearly every yeast loaf I bake… they really do make a difference. Happy Sunday- PJH

    Reply
  2. Kelley

    The dough is rising as I write this! I’m very excited about trying this – I love the artisan bread topping, and the harvest grain blend is so wonderful.

    I keep the bakers dry milk on hand for recipes like this, but when you call for potato flour, is it ok to substitute water that had potatoes boiling in it (with all the starch still in the water) for whatever liquid the recipe calls for instead of using potato flour? I’ve always wondered what the experts say! Whenever I’ve used that substitution, the bread turns out awesome.

    Kelley – Yes, that is what we recommend. Use the potato water for your liquid for added freshness and goodness. Elisabeth @ KAF

    Reply
  3. ecentipede

    in a pinch baking for new year’s i used dry buttermilk powder instead of baker’s special dry milk–it’s what i had to hand, and the pizza dough would not wait for a shopping trip. and everything was closed. the dough was tasty and behaved just as i thought it should (the recent pizza rolls, which were a humongous hit.)

    so, my question is, can dry buttermilk powder be an acceptable substitution in this recipe as well? i’ve been meaning to place an online order, but the buttermilk is something i always have around, as we make corn bread fairly often, and it’s carried in all of our stores.

    either way, i’ll be making this bread soon, it looks like the perfect fuel to combat winter aches. also the perfect reason for people to come to our house, so we don’t have to go out into the icy wind!

    Dried buttermilk doesn’t do exactly the same thing as the Baker’s Special milk powder – which is specially formulated to disable a protein, protease, that interferes with yeast; thus helping the bread rise higher. That said, dried buttermilk will add tenderness and taste, just like Baker’s Special – so sure, go for it. Enjoy – PJH

    Reply
  4. Marianna

    Today is a cooking and take down the Christmas tree day. I have a pot roast and a pot of split pea and ham soup simmer and IF I had had the Harvest Grains Blend and the Artisan Bread Topping in my cupboard, I would be enjoying this bread today with one of those dishes. Instead, they are in my ever growing shopping cart and I do believe it’s time to hit the “check out” button. :)

    Marianna, wait till tomorrow – I think we have a free shipping offer coming up (with a minimum $75 order, so don’t know if you had that much in your cart… but still, wait till tomorrow.) PJH

    Reply
  5. dan

    This is beautiful. I love making braided loaves, even if I have to look at a cheat-sheet every time because I can never remember how to braid. (And sometimes even then it’s lopsided…)

    Well, Dan, looks are only skin (crust?) deep, right? :) PJH

    Reply
  6. Margy

    We almost never have snow for Christmas in Maryland, this year we were to “treated” to a major snowstorm. Took six hours to shovel 27″ of global warming from my walks and driveway, and I’m in the Balto. ‘burbs–worse farther west. Snow puts me in a cinnamon-y mood, baked several batches of cinnamon rolls and swirl bread, which the nieces/nephews home from school devoured. Want to thank y’all for turning me onto the the Zo–I love that machine, for bread and for making jam in the summer with fresh fruit. I love being able to set it and let it do its thing. No baking for next few weeks–I’m cruising Antarctica (seriously)–dontcha know it’s summer down there?

    Reply
  7. Ricardo Neves Gonzalez- Petrópolis, R.J. - Brazil

    Nice and marvelous braided bread it´s really amazing. I´had baked one loaf here, but substituted some seeds like fennel by quinoa mix of grains ,red, white and black.
    It turned absolutely great. Now, another masterpiece of bread beside Challah and Bostonian Scali!!
    Where´s the Jewish Strudel, P.J.!!!?????
    Thanks for this yummy recipe, and Go on!!!

    Ricardo, patience! I have to spend a LOT of time on the computer and out of the kitchen, unfortunately. But it’s definitely on my list. Actually, I have some overripe bananas… hmmm… let’s see, maybe tomorrow? Now I have to find that picture you sent me. Thanks for yanking my chain! PJH

    Reply
  8. Ricardo Neves Gonzalez- Petrópolis, R.J. - Brazil

    Me again.
    Bake breads is a new interesting thing to do, specially on hot days we have now on tropics. We needs less yeast here! The only problem is that we don´t have the assortment of flours, specially with high protein rates KAF give to all Americans there.
    Brazil is a wide country experiencing a boom on it´s economy, so the KAF´s CEO´s must study and plan how to give to us Brazilians access to your flours and accessories, plus another baker´s goods.
    It deserves a great attention, be sure!!!!

    Ricardo, I’m sure that’s true – we’ve never made any inroads in South America. But I’ll pass this along to our flour sales manager, see what he says – PJH

    Reply
  9. Joy

    What you mention about needing to adjust bread recipes based on the humidity is so true. I bought a Zo at your store in the fall when we were living down the road in Wilder for a year. Mastered my basic everyday bread and then moved to VA in the summer. The difference it made was shocking to me. Not a little extra flour was needed, more like a cup or more. It took me a number of loaves to finally figure it out.

    Reply
  10. Erin in PA

    We love baking bread when it’s snowy and cold outside! I used the bake and give star pans ton make sticky buns – which worked great, except for the tiny pinholes in the bottom of the pans – the melted butter started leaking out! I quickly troubleshooted and went the cinnamon bun route with the remaining pans (and attached icing mix packets). My daughter used her sled to carry the presents for our neighbors during the snowy weekend before the holidays – what fun! I agree with Joy that humidity really makes a difference! It’s been SO dry and cold here the past week that when I made my weekly loaf of sandwich bread (your recipe for Dainty Tea Sandwich, BTW) that I had to add a few tablespoons of water to make it “right”! Thanks to your lessons, I did that and it turned out great! Thanks again!

    Thanks for the valuable feedback, Erin – I made dough today and neglected to add a couple of extra tablespoons of water – ick! Dry, didn’t rise well. Tomorrow I’ll remember! PJH

    Reply
  11. Lish

    This smells so wonderful cooling on the table. Gorgeous! And of course the oven warmth keeps the cold weather at bay! I can’t wait to try the loaf. I adore the artisan seed topping and the harvest grains. Two of my favorite products. I use them on many things. This however is one of the prettiest loaves using them that I have made. Thanks for the tutorial and the great recipes.

    Reply
  12. Jennifer

    That looks so good. I’ll have to set aside a day to try it. I just finished a marathon session of making 25 loaves of sourdough over a 2 day period that I need to wait a few days. Though I’m sure this weekend some sort of bread baking will occur.

    Reply
  13. Elaine in MN

    Do you think Spray Shine would be a good substitute for the egg white wash, or would it just make a big mess?
    Hi Elaine,
    Yes, you can use Quick Shine for the egg white to hold the seeds on. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  14. Christina

    That loaf is just beautiful! We are definitely going to have to try that. I’m sure baker-in-training #1 will be thrilled to make some dough snakes/worms too. Baker-in-training #2 isn’t quite ready for making dough worms, but he’ll be into the tasting part for sure.

    Interesting observation on the organic v. non-organic WWW. I’ve been itching to try it, but have been a bit gun shy because of the higher cost. If it’s still on sale at our local store I’ll have to pick some up. :)

    Reply
  15. ellen

    What will be the impact of substituting I use KAF all purpose flour for the bread flour? I only have so much room in my kitchen and so would prefer not buying another flour if possible. And as long as I’m substituting, what if I use 7 grain (or 9 grain) hot cereal (uncooked) for the harvest grain blend?

    Ellen, to substitute AP flour, reduce the water in the recipe by 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons – your bread may not rise quite as high, but it’ll taste fine. I don’t know the makeup of the purchased hot cereal, so can’t comment on that. If it’s chunky rather than fine (e.g., it’ll remain visible, not be absorbed by the dough) – then that should work, too. I understand your need to save money by shopping locally; and I hope you understand our need to sell stuff to support the costs involved in our many free classes, this blog, and our recipes and tips. Good luck – PJH

    Reply
  16. Elle

    I love baking with the Harvest Grains Blend, especially if I am using the 12 grain flour, too. THe mixture of grains and seeds give a wonderful flavor, texture and aroma to the bread. Guess I’ll have to get some Artisan topping after seeing this gorgeous braid!

    Reply
  17. Marianna

    THANKS PJ!! Something made me come back to this blog entry before I placed my order. I didn’t want to forget to order the ingredients needed to make this loaf. I really appreciate the heads up on the free shipping promotion. You kinda saved me $24.50. I say “kinda” because I then decided to put one of those 8 cup acrylic measuring cups into my cart! LOL It’s all good. I love to shop your catalogue and I am glad it helps to support all the great things KA has going on! :)

    And thanks for shopping, Marianna – all 167 of us employee-owners appreciate your business! And you’ll love the 8-cup measure; it’s just so cool to actually track where the dough is in its rising process, rather than trying to eyeball it… PJH

    Reply
  18. angela

    Thankyou for this lovely recipie. I would like to make it in my bread machine. Is this recipie for 1 kilo loaf?

    While your having cold weather, we in Australia are having a heat wave!

    Thanks Angela

    Angela, this makes about a 2-lb. loaf, which is a bit less than 1 kilo. You could definitely make the dough in your bread machine; just take it out, shape, and bake in the oven. And – happy summer. I’d say “happy baking,” but I might be referring to your weather, not your bread! – PJH

    Reply
  19. Katie

    Yum! I can’t wait to make this bread. I live on the West Coast, so we aren’t suffering the trials and tribulations of your winter grip, but we have the high winds and rain. Definitely time to bake some more bread. I just made my traditional french bread using unbleached KAF. Best flour in the world. No comparison anywhere. I tried a new ingredient in my bread – 1 cup quinoa flour. Smells nuttier, rises great. I’ll let you all know how it tastes when we cut into it. I bake and freeze my loaves as I cannot eat the store-bought. Too many ingredients I cannot identify, cannot digest or refuse to eat. HFCS, added wheat gluten, partially-hydrogenated soybean oil, MSG… That type of junk. I am glad to see there is a note regarding adjusting the water in the recipe.

    Thanks for sharing the quinoa tip! Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  20. Courtney

    Can this bread be made and baked in a bread machine?
    You might consider making the dough in your machine, then remove to shape and proof. Bake in the oven. Happy Baking! Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  21. Lesley

    Could you please define the technical term gnarly? I’ve come across it in other recipes and I’m just not sure what is meant. Thanks – this blog has taken me from a never baked anything except banana bread or box brownies to weekly homemade pizza, baguettes, hard rolls, kaiser rolls, dumplings and scratch chocolate cake! My husband thanks you, my son thanks you, my neighbors thank you and I thank you. :-)

    Great question! Gnarly means twisted or knotted or like a knot on a tree branch. In terms of yeast dough, this means you want the dough to be smooth – soft and supple – not lumpy (gnarly). We could also apply the current vernacular gnarly to be good, terrific, nifty, cool – then oops, we’d be dating ourselves! Happy Baking! Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  22. Valerie Eberhart

    I look forward to trying this bread, but I am concerned about the high altitude and extreme lack of humidity (today is is 34%, but it can be as low as 7-10%) on the high plaines. How do I adjust any of your baking recipes for the elevation of 5280 feet above sea level? We have some high altitude tips here. On the really low humidity days, you may need to increase your liquid even more. Mary@KAF

    Reply
  23. Denise (OH)

    Oh, this looks SO good and I’m sure my family will love it. I’ll have to order some harvest grain blend and artsian bread topping.

    I do have a storage question for you. I love all your different flours, toppings, etc but I don’t bake as often as I’d like to use them up quickly. What would you recommend as the best way to store them? Should I freeze the harvest grain blend and artsain breading topping (along with the everything bagel topping I got for Christmas!!)? What about the different flours? I love to play around with these but don’t always order them for fear of it going bad before I can use it up.

    Thanks again for all that you do!!

    Hi Denise – Yes, we recommend freezing any whole grains or seeds that you aren’t going to use within a couple of months; which would be whole-grain (whole wheat) flours, Harvest Grains Blend, and Artisan Bread Topping, of the ones you mention. There’s no need to freeze all-purpose or any “white” flours (e.g., bread flour Italian-style flour, high-gluten flour, etc.). Hope this helps – PJH

    Reply
  24. Kimberly D

    When I use to bake bread I used powdered milk, and it made a difference. In this recipe can you use regular store powdered milk?

    Absolutely. Just look for non-fat dry milk. Frank @ KAF.

    Reply
  25. angela

    Thankyou for you prompt response. This is such a great site I have emailed this site to my friends in Australia.

    Just another quick question, can the dough me made a day in advance or frozen. Is it like the 5 min bread?

    Also what does the potato or milk powder do?

    Thanks so much and yes happy baking in the kitchen and outside :)

    Potato will add tenderness and moisture. Dry milk powder will add protein and contribute to a better rise as well as a rich brown crust. Frank @ KAF.

    Reply
  26. Elizabeth Heironimus

    Beautiful, beautiful bread! Mine looks JUST like your photos and my family loves it.

    I don’t have bread flour so I used a couple heaping tablespoons of gluten with the regular KA white flour. And I concocted my own seed-grain blend, with crushed sunflower seeds, toasted millet, and poppy seeds. Crunchy good!

    Reply
  27. Janine Kramer

    My husband does not like seeds in/on his bread. I loved the look of this bread, but in reality I realize I would never make it with the seeds. How does it turn out without them? I like the combination of flours that you use, so I think I may give it a go. Any changes needed if I leave off the seeds?
    Yes you may make this without the seeds just keep an eye on your dough consistency. Too bad you can not convert him to enjoying seeds. Joan D @bakershotline

    Reply
  28. Melyn Bellatti

    I noticed you use a instant read Thermapen. Do you use it for all of your bread recipes? And if so what should the internal temp. be?
    We do check our breads with thermometers here in the kitchen. Sandwich style breads should read 190°F, more rustic breads and sourdoughs should read 200-205°F. It’s a great way to be sure your breads are baked through.
    ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  29. Ann Shewcraft

    Does anyone have the recipe for an Artisan Bread, where you use ice water to mix it, store in the refrigerator overnight, then let rise and bake the next day? I wrote it down from a book, but lost it before I tried it.

    Thank you for your help!

    Ann

    I haven’t heard of this, Ann. Sounds like it would work; the yeast is challenged, but it’ll grow eventually. And the cold will help develop acetic acid, which gives it a slight (pleasant) tang. Why not just try the method with your favorite artisan-type bread? Let us know how it comes out, if you try it. Good luck – PJH

    Reply
  30. angela

    Can this dough be made days in advance like the 5min bread?

    Well, I haven’t tried it. My guess is it would be OK within about 3 days in the fridge; but with the smaller amount of yeast, it’s not going to keep growing as long, so don’t push it too far. Also, I’m not sure how the whole seeds and cracked grains will do, as far as softening or disintegrating? Sorry I can’t be more help to you here, but this is unknown territory for this particular recipe. If you try aging this dough in the fridge, report back and let us know how it did, OK? Thanks- PJH

    Reply
  31. Judy

    I made this and it came out beautifully! I brought it to a dinner party and everyone was amazed. I mixed my own seed mixture: poppy, sesame and flax.
    I made the dough yesterday, let it rise, then pushed it down, kept it in the fridge overnight. Today the dough was easy to shape out of the fridge, then it rose tremendously well and baked up into a beautiful braided loaf! It was so big, I think that next time I may make 2 loaves from this recipe instead. What a great recipe!

    Judy, thanks so much for sharing your enthusiasm here! PJH

    Reply
  32. sandy

    This was the best! Family is begging for more!
    Topped the bread w/ more of the harvest grain blend- looked beautifula and was delicious! Think I ate1/2 the loaf by myself!!

    Reply
  33. Ruchi

    Lovely bread…tasty, healthy and looks amazing.. I made 2 loaves from the recipe, and gave one to a friend. Will be making another one today. Thanks for the step-by-step tutorial. That really inspired me to bake this.

    Good show, Ruchi – thanks for sharing your success with us. PJH

    Reply
  34. Jacqueline

    I can’t wait to try this bread. I am a seed lover and always go for breads that have them. Thanks for providing the recipe and great instructions. I’m from North Florida and though we don’t expect blizzard conditions it can get quite cold. I love this time of year so I can bake, make soup, and feel cozy.

    Jacqueline, I was in Gainesville with my mom first week in January, and it was in the 20s at night… yes, you DO get some chilly weather! Though most of the time it felt like the ideal New England fall day – perfectly lovely. PJH

    Reply
  35. Robert Shumake

    Hey, I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say GREAT blog!…..I”ll be checking in on a regularly now….Keep up the good work! :)

    -Robert Shumake Paul Nicoletti

    Thanks so much, Robert – and YOU keep up the good work, too! (I checked out your blog…) PJH

    Reply
  36. Holly

    This blog is amazing and I really want to try this recipe. One question I have as a bread baking beginner is why this recipe calls for dry milk and water instead of just liquid milk? Is there a reason why dry milk is better?

    Holly, our dry milk is specially treated to include enzymes that help the yeast grow. Regular nonfat dry milk won’t work quite as well; and liquid milk less well. Dry milk has more concentrated protein, which seems to help with structure. Contrary to popular belief, you no longer have to “scald” liquid milk to use it in bread-baking. But you should warm it to lukewarm, at least, so it doesn’t slow down the yeast. Hope this helps – PJH

    Reply
  37. sue epstein

    I must have missed it…. what is the purpose of adding potato flour to your bread recipes? Do you add it to all bread recipes and if so, how much.

    Thanks,
    Potato flour absorbs and retains moisture in the dough. You can add it to any bread recipe you’d like to have a softer texture. Molly @ KAF

    Reply
  38. Great-grandma B.

    Wa-a-y back in the early 50′s, I did all the baking in my parents’ restaurant. I used ice water when making the dough for next day’s rolls. By morning, the dough rose nicely in the fridge and the slow rise developed a wonderful flavor for the clover rolls.

    Quick method for shaping any size balls for rolls: Take a look at your hand when you make a fist. See the hole made by your thumb and the curl of the index finger? The smaller the hole, the smaller the ball (clover roll). Big hole, hamburger bun. Lightly coat the palm of your hand with a dab of oil, butter, or shortening. Take a fistfull of dough, fold it over to present a smooth surface and squeeze your fingers together to force the dough through that hole. Keep squeezing ’till the ball is the size you want. Twist off with the other hand. The twisted side will be rough. Fold over the remaining dough in your hand and squeeze out another ball. Plunk three small balls in a muffin cup for clovers. Sometimes just for fun, I’d have the three rough sides up . . . clovers-in-the-rough. Re-grease your squeezing hand if the dough starts to stick. Beats rolling a ball on the bench or between the hands.

    Giggling re: the comment of shoveling the “global warming.”

    Envying the trip to Antartica.

    Blessed day to all.

    Great-grandma B.

    GG, thanks for staying connected here – always a pleasure reading your stories of “back in the day…” :) PJH

    Reply
  39. cjwzephyr

    This recipe looks fabulous and I’m anxious to give it a try this week (I found it only after I had already made some bread). But I’m wondering if you recommend kneading by hand or by machine – or some combination thereof. There’s something satisfying about kneading by hand, but does the trusty Kitchenaid simply do the job better?

    In general, unless you’re a really expert kneader, the KA will produce higher-rising bread; and a Zo bread machine, even higher rising than a stand mixer. But, with long enough rising times, bread kneaded by hand usually does catch up in the end. So use whichever method you prefer; I agree, hand-kneading can be a relaxing, satisfying process. Don’t deny yourself the pleasure just to save time, right? :) PJH

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  40. Lynda P

    Hello there. I’m new to this site and plan to make this bread. Can this bread be made as a simple loaf? What size loaf pan would be needed? Great blog and comments!!!
    Welcome to our site, Lynda! Yes, you may turn this into a loaf and bake in a pan (standard 8 1/2 x 4 1/2). But, as written, it may be too large of a batch. I would cut the recipe down by 25%. Have fun with this one and on our site. Elisabeth

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