The Fresh Loaf

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How to get seed toppings to stay on my loaf?

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Agamemnonsmom's picture
Agamemnonsmom

How to get seed toppings to stay on my loaf?

I'm having trouble getting my seed toppings to stay on my bread once it's baked. When it's ready to bake, I sprayed my loaf with oil, put the seeds on lightly pressing the seeds, then sprayed again hoping they would stick. What's the trick to getting them to stay on?


 


 

mcs's picture
mcs

Brush an egg wash on right before it goes in the oven, sprinkle seeds, then score.  The seeds will be stuck on like 40 grit sandpaper.


-Mark


http://TheBackHomeBakery.com

Grr82cu2's picture
Grr82cu2

Couldn't find a way to post this as a seperate answer so hope this is o.k. and helpful:

Take a cookie sheet (with sides), lay a thin kitchen dish towel in it and pour just enough water in the tray to wet the towel (just enough to keep the cloth well moistened but not so much as to have the water in the tray amount to anything near a 1/4". You only want enough water in the tray to keep the dish towel wetted.

When your loaf is formed (before proofing if you do that step and also before scoring) place the loaf top down on the wet dish towel and roll a half-roll right, center, and a half-roll left to wet the top half of the loaf.

Next - transfer the wetted top of the loaf to the DRY toppings (in another flat tray) and repeat the half-roll both ways to coat, remove, proof it (again if that's the next step you take) and bake.

This is a "no-fail" solution (you may have to experiement a time or two on the amount of water poured into the dish towel tray to get the consistency you desire for topping adhesion).

Good baking !

sewcial's picture
sewcial

I am having the same problem. I hate to waste all those lovely seeds just to have them fall off of the baked loaf. I know about egg wash, but I have hesitated to use it because I thought it would keep the crust from being crunchy crispy? I do love the crunch of a good crust.


Catherine

Caltrain's picture
Caltrain

Egg washes gives you a harder, crispier, not to mention shinier, crust. You can also seal the the crust with a second wash about 5 minutes before the loaf comes out of the oven.


I like to beat an egg white with a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of water. It's worked great for bagels topped with anything from poppy seeds to mounds of chopped onions.

BobS's picture
BobS

I spray with water once, roll the loaf in the seeds, then spray again. Works for me.


 


Hamelman suggests rolling the loaf in a damp tea towel, then in the seeds.


 


 

dghdctr's picture
dghdctr

Both can work well, but, as Caltrain mentioned, you'll also get a more noticeable shine with the egg.


Using water gives you less shine, but it is less expensive, it can be faster (when rolling on a wet towel), no worries about salmonella on your counter, and vegetarians might prefer it.


For just one or two loaves, the difference in speed between brushing and rolling is negligible.  When baking in quantity, the difference is huge.


--Dan DiMuzio

sewcial's picture
sewcial

I use water, but they don't stick well after the loaf bakes, especially while slicing. Some seeds stay on, but a huge amount come off. Egg wash, in my experience, keeps the crust softer and I'm not sure the shine is what I want on my rustic breads. I guess I have used the egg mostly on sweet doughs, though, so, I'll give it a try once on less enriched dough and see how the crust is.


Catherine

dghdctr's picture
dghdctr

When you proof your loaves, do you cover first with a lightly floured towel and then with plastic of some sort to keep a hard sking from forming?


If a hard skin forms, the starches on the surface won't mix easily with the water to form the glue that holds on to seeds.


But seeds are oily, and that can sometimes make holding on to them difficult under any circumstance.  Losing some seeds from the surface of a loaf is normal when slicing or bagging a loaf.  But you shouldn't lose most of them.


I guess if you're still not seeing success, you could make a wash from flour and water, which would help adhesion somewhat.


--Dan DiMuzio

yozzause's picture
yozzause

I use a paste which is made from either cornflour starch or arrow root powder, just 1/2 a teaspoon in a cup of water and bring to the boil it thickens to a paste.


when it has cooled a little brush onto the loaf top and sprinkle seeds or what ever. can be brushed onto a loaf without seed prior to baking it helps with oven spring as it keeps the outside skin moist for the short period of time that expansion takes place.


regards yozza

mcs's picture
mcs

One more thought (by me anyway) about the eggwash.  As mentioned above, an eggwash will create a shiny loaf - however if you steam it in addition to eggwash, it'll dull the shine. 


-Mark

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I have never had any trouble by spraying with water, sprinkling the seeds, pat lightly and cover for as long as possible with plastic wrap. The seeds help to prevent sticking but you can dust the plastic lightly with oil to eliminate any sticking.


If you are making a rustic loaf, you can proof top side up so this works well. After the loaf has sat for 30-45 minutes with the seeds on, slash and bake. The seeds are on to stay.


Eric

SourdoughBaker's picture
SourdoughBaker

My goodness! So much complexity for something so simple! 


Put seeds in a bowl.


Spray or wipe the dough with water (till it shines). Turn upside down and dip in the bowl of seeds. Keep dunking till it's covered. Place dough, right way up on the baking sheet or tin. Proof as usual. bake.


Done. Works every time, has done for 20 years, hundreds of thousands of loaves. Simple!


 


Cheers! Hope this helps! 

redden's picture
redden

Yes, it can be done as mentioned here, quickly and easily. As soon as the bread is shaped use a pastry brush to brush a beaten egg wash on three sides of the dough. Then invert it in a deep pan full of the seeds, pressing them in as you do so.  Invert the dough into the pan and let proof as usual.  The egg wash is delicious and the seeds toast when baked and subsequently toasted.

enaid's picture
enaid

I brush or spray my loaves with water and then sprinkle the seeds on, just before putting them in the oven.  A few always fall off when cutting the loaves, of course, but most stay on with no problem. Surely it's not a major calamity.  There's all sorts of alternative toppings if you're not happy with seeds.  I often make my bread with no topping, just spritz with water or milk.  The bread tastes just as good.  If you really want seeds, put them in the dough instead of on the top and enjoy seed bread! Why not!

Caltrain's picture
Caltrain

Because a seed on the crust is worth two in the dough. ;)


IMO, seeds influence taste more on top than in the dough. There's nothing wrong with seeded bread, but the taste is just not the same!

Dough Nut's picture
Dough Nut

Pollyanna, thanks for bringing that up. I was reading through all these comments hoping someone would mention putting the seeds inside. My question is, do your add the seeds early in the game, or do you work them in once you are hand kneading the dough on the floured board. Any pros or cons on the timing of adding the seeds? I'm using sunflower and pumpkin.


Would welcome all comments on this. thanks everybody!


Dough Nut

enaid's picture
enaid

This is not my posting.  Is someone else using the user name pollyanna?

Jamesfs912's picture
Jamesfs912

First have a bowl about halfway full with the seeds of your choice, spray the top of loaf with water then "dunk" loaf in seeds with mild pressure. Works every time

Jamesfs912's picture
Jamesfs912

We actually make a bread with pumpkin, sunflower and millet. I always have added them in early plus we dunk them in pumpkin seeds before making. Makes a beautiful and tasty bread!

marils's picture
marils

There is a product by King Arthur Flour company called Quick Shine.  It is specifically made for making bread appear shiny and making seeds stick to your loaves.  Just spray it on.  No brushing or cracking of eggs required.  The product is a bit pricey (just over ($11), but a can lasts a very long time, and it is extremely convenient to use.  Hope this helps.