The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Daniel Rennal's picture
Daniel Rennal


I know this has probably been addressed several times here....but just wondering what other people do to get such a nice outer coating of sesame seeds on their loaves, specifically loaves with high hydration levels.   The loaves I've been doing lately are around 82 percent hydration with mostly Heartland MIlls all purpose flour and a bit of king arthur whole wheat.  I usually have no trouble shaping, but recently have been trying to add sesame seeds to the crust with mixed results.  It seems almost impossible to pick up the shaped loaf and roll it on a damp towel and then a bowl of seeds without it losing most of it's structure...maybe I'm just not good enough at shaping yet?   Or maybe with a dough this wet I should just mist it with a spray bottle and sprinkle the seeds on right before baking?

Thanks guys

cerevisiae's picture

With the higher hydration doughs (80%+) I don't bother with the wet towel, since my dough's pretty damp. But yes, otherwise it does require a deft hand to move it from the tray of seeds to the basket carefully.

I usually use the benchscraper to transfer the dough to the seeds, and then use my hands to move it out of the seeds. I also usually sprinkle some of the topping into the (already floured) basket just to ensure a little extra coverage.

Daniel Rennal's picture
Daniel Rennal

Good idea, thanks!  I'm going to try using even less flour on the board while shaping next time so hopefully the moisture that's already on the dough's surface will be enough...

andychrist's picture

You can even roll your dough in seeds before shaping it. Another trick might be to glaze your shaped loaves with an egg wash and sprinkle seeds over that. Great plus is that a pinch of salt or three will greatly enhance the sesame flavor, and the seeds will remain affixed out of the oven. Only trouble with this, you can't bake at high temps or the crust will likely burn before the loaf is baked through, I wouldn't go above 350°F. Perhaps a potato or corn starch glaze would work for NK, DO seeded breads, but AFAIK it would be applied near the end of the bake, once the pot is uncovered. 

PetraR's picture

Egg waish works great:)

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

But could you moisten the seeds as well as the dough to get them to adhere better? My dough seems moist and sticky enough that I could glue seeds, buttons or sticks to it without any difficulty.