The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Coating with sesame seeds

enchant's picture
enchant

Coating with sesame seeds

I've got an Italian bread recipe that's been one of our favorites for a while.  I was thinking that I'd like to coat it with sesame seeds, but I'm not sure how.  My process is:

Create dough

Final rise in banneton basket

Upside down into LL combo cooker

Score

Mist with water

Cover and bake

I can visualize a couple ways to get the seeds on there, but I see perils in any case.  If I want a nice dense coating of seeds, I should coat the dough with water and dip it into a dish full of seeds.  The problem here is that this dough seems to be fragile and it doesn't take a lot for it to puddle out and I don't get a nicely shaped loaf.

Perhaps I can sprinkle the seeds onto it, but I have to believe that most are going to just bounce off and sit in the combo cooker where they'll smoke heavily.

Is simple water the best thing to put on the dough to make the seeds stick to it?  How is this normally done?

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

and then drop the loaf into it. The only negative is that you don’t get seeds all around the loaf, they tend to be mostly on the top depending the shape of your banneton. I have gently lifted the sides of the loaf and dropped more seeds to cover the sides but it doesn’t result in a very even coating if that’s what you are looking for. 

I have read that you can roll the loaf in a wet towel and then into the seeds but that is a lot of handling and for me, extra dishes and messes to deal with. 

MontBaybaker's picture
MontBaybaker

I think it was on TFL several months ago that someone posted a recipe for a "glue".  Now my copy is not where it should be, so I need it again.  You briefly pre-cook a cornstarch (maybe pototato) starch & water slurr, let it cool, then lightly paint the dough surface and apply seeds.  I tried it on a batch of bagels and it seemed to work well, better than just dipping the boiled bagels in seeds.  Can't recall if I picked up any taste from the slurry after baking.  Maybe someone can post it (not in my bookmarks).

isand66's picture
isand66

I usually do what Danni does and I gently roll the dough from side to side in the banneton.  You can also take a lint free towel, spray it with water, pour seeds over it and roll the dough on the towel rocking back and forth gently then flip into your banneton.

enchant's picture
enchant

 Ok, so it wasn't as obvious a solution as I thought it might be.  I'll work over them and see if I can get something that works for me.  Thanks for the good ideas, folks!

TopBun's picture
TopBun

By far this is the easiest method for me: I densely sprinkle the sesame seeds on the counter and then gently roll the shaped loaf in them. I work with slightly wet dough so adhering is no problem (you could mist yours if it's dry). I get a lovely, even coating all over the loaf.  Just sprinkle them as densely as you can on the counter, because as the loaf inflates during the proof, the seeds will move apart.

This method is easier for oblong loaves but perfectly possible for round ones if you are gentle.

enchant's picture
enchant

I like this idea.  I thought of doing something like this, but I was concerned that the moist dough would stick to the basket.  But I suppose if you do a good job of coating it with seeds, they should act as good insulation.  My dough is a touch dry for the seeds to stick on their own, but I'll try misting first.

TopBun's picture
TopBun

I forgot to mention that a dense coating of seeds actually helps release the proofed loaf from the banneton - although I also flour the banneton pretty well, as insurance.  I don't use a cloth liner. Even my really sticky doughs, rolled well in sesame seeds, release easily from the banneton.  Hope it works for you too. I just love the flavor of toasted sesame seeds all over the loaf. Heaven.