The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Seeds: soaked, roasted, or fresh

The Whole Grain's picture
The Whole Grain

Seeds: soaked, roasted, or fresh


Newbe question, I'm sorry.


I'm about to bake a basic whole grain loaf with added seeds.

Now I've seen a recipe where they soaked the seeds prior to mixing into the dough which just sounds not quite right to me.

I have a seedmix that contains fresh sunflour, pine, and pumpkin seeds.

Do you just mix them in the dough or soak or roast them first?


And what about sesame seeds?


Do you just add seeds, or do you change the amount of water/flour.


Thanks in advance!


The Whole Grain


jmatty's picture

Any seeds, grains, dried fruits, etc... you want to soak overnight in cool water.  If you do not soak the grains, they will absorb moisture from the dough and dry it out.  Also, the "cold soak" as it's called, will activiate the enzymes in the grains and in return enhance the final product.  If you're just garnishing the tops of a loaf, you don't need to soak.

The Whole Grain's picture
The Whole Grain

Oh bummer....

Could not wait for the answer. I already made the loaf, without soaking the seeds, or adding more water. I found the dough quite dry when I kneaded it.

Oh dear. My first brick is in the oven.

Thanks for the explanation!

Better next time.



Loaf turned out quite allright. A tad more compact than usual.

Only 2/3 is left. :) Can't seem to stop myself from attacking a fresh loaf when it comes out of the oven.

Royall Clark's picture
Royall Clark

I was just going to ask the same question! So, while we're at it, does that hold true if you want to add wheat berries to the loaf? Also with a two loaf recipe, what would the rule of thumb be for the amount one would use? I would love to have that bit of "chew" to the multi-grain bread I made.



OurHappyHomestead's picture

We've always slow soaked/cooked our wheatberries in the crockpot for several hours - quite a few at once since when it's baking time we're generally baking 6 - 8 loaves at a shot... plus, the remaining berries are tremendous as cereal with milk, on top of salads, and we even used them as a substitue for couscous with fish.  They're a little bit chewier, but if you're buying grain in bulk it's a fantastic side dish that costs pennies.



The Country Living Mill


jmatty's picture

Yes, the loaf will still come out alright, just not ideal.  The same holds true with any dry garnish added to the dough, with the exception of nuts.  I'm not sure of the exact ratio off the top of my head, but I would add enough water to cover the wheat berries and simply drain off any non-absorbed water before adding to the dough.

dmsnyder's picture

You do not have to soak the types of seeds you mention - sunflower, sesame, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds. In fact, I recommend toasting them first to bring out their flavor. For those seeds, I would roast them in a dry skillet rather than the oven. 

Flax seeds should be soaked to make them digestible. Whole grains or coarsely ground grains will benefit from soaking, generally.

Bottom line: If you used the seeds you mentioned in the OP, you should be fine.