A Simple, Rustic Loaf

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A Simple, Rustic Loaf

star rating (25) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

Using a sponge (starter) to create this bread increases its flavor and enhances its texture.

1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) cool water
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/2 cups (6 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup (2 ounces) pumpernickel flour

2 teaspoons salt
2 1/4 cups (9 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup (2 3/4 ounces) Harvest Grains Blend or mixed seeds of your choice

To make the sponge: Mix the sponge ingredients together, and let rest at room temperature, covered, for 3 to 4 hours, or overnight.

To make the dough: Stir down the sponge, and add the salt and flour. Mix and knead the dough until it's smooth and elastic. Knead in the Harvest Grains Blend or your choice of seeds. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat its surface with oil. Cover and let rise in a warm spot for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until doubled in size.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased surface, and form it into a ball. Place on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, or into an ovenproof crock. Cover and let rise for about 1 hour. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 450°F.

Gently but firmly slash the dough across the top, then spritz it with water. Bake the bread for 30 to 35 minutes, until it's deep golden brown. Remove it from the oven and place it on a rack to cool. Cool completely before slicing. Yield: 1 loaf.


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  • star rating 12/28/2014
  • Nicole from NY
  • This is some of the best bread I've ever made - and I have made a lot of bread of all kinds. Wow. I have been adding a blend of pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, toasted flax, fennel and caraway seeds, in order of quantity. I let it sit overnight. This is my new daily. The starter is just the perfect level of sour for my family. I cook it in my enameled cast iron baker.
  • star rating 12/09/2014
  • Sophia from Minneapolis, MN
  • *I swapped whole grain rye in for the pumpernickel. *I also added dried cranberries, golden raisins, and toasted walnuts instead of seeds--and lots of them! *I cut the salt almost in half *used some bread flour, too *sprinkled with white flour before slashing the top to make it even more pretty *steam in the oven! *OMG!!! Moist, sliceable, delicious! WOW! I don't even bake that often and it came out really well! note: dough kept getting dry from the flour, then sticky as I continued to knead. I didn't end up add ALL of the flour they called for.
  • star rating 11/27/2014
  • Baking in Boston from KAF Community
  • I used 2 tablespoons cracked wheat (bulger), 2 tablespoons steel cut oats and a quarter cup of 7-grain cereal. It came out great. I didn't have pumpernickel flour, so I used regular rye. Very good keeping bread.
  • star rating 07/31/2014
  • Diana from Iowa
  • Baked today. Made my own seed blend of old-fashioned oats, flax seeds, flax meal and raw pepitas. I cut the flour in the second step to only 2 c, because I knew the oats and flax meal would suck up the available moisture. I mixed in my stand mixer and did add extra water (probably 2-3 Tbsp) to get the dough to come together. Very pleased with the taste and next time I will definitely make the sponge before bed so i don't have to wait all day for this bread!
  • star rating 04/07/2014
  • Michele Lewis from KAF Community
  • I just made this loaf for this first time. Overall it is an excellent loaf with good flavor and texture. My one comment would be that I think 2 tsp salt is too much for a single loaf. I almost cut it back to 1 tsp but I like to make recipes as written the first time I make it then tweak from there. You can really taste the salt in the loaf. My daughter mentioned it and I didn't even tell her anything about the salt. I will definitely be making this again. I love the crunchy crust!
  • star rating 03/29/2014
  • carolsapple from KAF Community
  • Recently made this bread recipe. Loved the crust and the texture. Little chewy which we loved.
  • star rating 10/09/2013
  • Elizabeth from Durham, NC
  • I love this recipe! I tried it using the KAF seed mix and, most recently, substituting all toasted sunflower seeds. Both versions were easy, delicious, and professional-looking. I'll definitely make it again, possibly substituting half the white flour for whole wheat.
  • star rating 06/25/2013
  • Nicole from Peekskill, NY
  • Once again, I am in love with a KAF recipe. Thank you!!!!!! This bread is complex but not too sour with a great texture. It is 90+F and humid so it rose way faster than the prescribed time but it even tastes fantastic in this weather, during which no crust stays crispy for long in our kitchen. (If anyone has a tip about how to get crusts to stay crispy in extreme humidity, I'm all ears) I did use my own seed mix.
  • star rating 05/13/2013
  • member-Wilcom101 from KAF Community
  • This is probably my favorite bread recipe. I always soak the grains (KA Harvest Grains Blend) first...preferably overnight but at least several hours. I use the KA 9 Grain Flour Blend instead of the pumpernickel. Otherwise...I make it to the recipe. It's simple and, I believe, the absolute BEST bread ever for toast. Also, I make two loaves instead of one. It freezes beautifully, too. Thanks, KA, for this very special bread recipe.
  • star rating 03/21/2012
  • geogal34 from KAF Community
  • Simple wonderful--crusty outside and soft and tender on the inside! I've always loved rye and pumpernickel bread and this was my first attempt at making one. I think it could stand some more pumpernickel. Has anyone tried this? Would I just substitute some of the AP in the dough making stage? And would this work as a loaf? I loved this and even my non-rye-loving boyfriend liked it too! Another A+ for KAF!
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