The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Adding seeds to breads.

sitkafisher's picture
sitkafisher

Adding seeds to breads.

sitkafisher's picture
sitkafisher

What determines the amount of seeds of different kinds that you can add to your bread recipes? Dry, soaked, what's best?

suminandi's picture
suminandi

most seeds are oily, and i find toasting them ( then allowing to cool) before mixing into the dough brings out their flavor. I don’t soak them, but mostly add them to wetter dough. For lean and dry dough, soaking them when still warm from toasting would make them easier to mix in. My family loves “four seed mix”- sunflower, pumpkin, flax, sesame 2:2:1:1. Total weight of seeds 1/5 of the flour. 

sitkafisher's picture
sitkafisher

I'm sorry, I don't understand 2:21:1. could you please explain this. I got the rest and thank you, 20% of the flour weight.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

2:2:1:1   add up to 6   so.... divide the weight of seeds by 6 and multiply in the order given.   

Say the seeds add up to 200g  or 1/5 of 1000g total flour.  Divide 200 by 6  and get 33.3

then sunflower (2 parts) is 67g  so are pumpkin.  Flax and sesame are 33g each.

suminandi's picture
suminandi

thank you for explaining that, Mini Oven

AndyPanda's picture
AndyPanda

I've been putting Pumpkin, Sunflower, Flax, Sesame in my bread for ages (great minds think alike?) and it's just fantastic. But I've never toasted them ... I'll have to give that a try next time. I like to put them in whole ... or sometimes I pulse the flaxseeds in a blender to break them up a little (it's easier to get the nutrition from them - they are so small that they tend to pass right through you without being digested unless you crack them open first). I usually wait until just before I shape my loaf to add the seeds. I want to develop the gluten and texture of the dough first and then add the seeds.

Here's a pic of my 100% whole wheat (milled at home) with the seeds:

suminandi's picture
suminandi

Andy,

that looks beautiful. I agree that cracking the flax makes it more digestible ( though less pretty). The toasting is an extra step, but you won’t go back once you try it. 

I’m lazy and mix the seeds in when I add the salt and levain in, but your bread has a better crumb, so, once again, extra fuss pays off. 

 

AndyPanda's picture
AndyPanda

How do you toast? In a pan over a burner? Or on a cookie sheet in the oven? or?

I have roasted almonds in an air popper before (You can only do a handful - but that's the perfect amount for me) and it gives them a nice even toast really quickly with minimal fuss. But the flax and sesame seeds would be way too small for the popper method. :)

suminandi's picture
suminandi

on the stove at low heat, put all the seeds in there. Stir occasionally. Wait for them to slightly brown. I think it usually takes 5-7 min. I’ve also put them in a pie tin in at 350 degrees for about 15 mins, stir once. 

Vimfuego's picture
Vimfuego

Some good tips here, thanks. I'd like to start adding seeds to my recipes. When you (suminandi and Mini Oven) say 20% of the flour, you mean in addition to the flour not instead of?

So for example:

1000g flour

200g seeds

Do you need any extra water to compensate? I'd worry that things like flax or chia will soak up a load of liquid.

I've also tried adding sunflower seeds to the top of my loaf whilst baking. I use the dutch oven method (Roberston, Forkish) but then find that the seeds burn during the final stages of the bake. Any tips?

Thanks in advance

 

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

but yes, it is in addition to the flour, not instead of. 

As to the extra water, it depends on whether you toast the seeds or not. Flax and chia seeds will soak up a huge amount of water if they are not toasted. They will sometimes release some of that water back to the flour so it can get a bit tricky. I avoided chia seeds in my breads for that very reason until Bread1965 posted a recipe that included toasted chia seeds and flax, and he did not seem to add extra water to his recipe. I tried it and it worked perfectly. I did not need to add more water than I would normally need. Plus the toasting of the seeds adds an amazing flavour dimension. 

A bread baking class I took suggested to soak the seeds and then squeeze the water out of them before including them in the dough. Might be something you may want to try. 

Last but not least, the burning of the seeds on top of the loaf could be caused by a number of things. Here are some ideas to try: Use non toasted seeds, lower the temperature of your oven for the last part of the bake, make sure that the broil element doesn’t come on ( lowering the heat will help with that), and if the above doesn’t help, you could put some loose tin foil on top of the loaf to protect it from the heat, or keep the lid on longer and remove it only during the last few minutes of baking. 

Vimfuego's picture
Vimfuego

thanks, great advice. I'm going to try