The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Flax Seed Wheat Bread

Flax Seed Wheat Bread

flax seed wheat bread

I finally got my copy of Dan Lepard's The Handmade Loaf, a book that the Brits on this site have been recommending to me for a while. Occasionally imported copies will show up on Amazon for a reasonable price, but I found it cheaper to order a copy from a bookseller in Ipswich via Abebooks. It is a splendid book, with great photos, easy to follow instructions, and excellent recipes; well worth the cost of admission for a baking fanatic. His website is also worth checking out.

Of the recipes I've baked so far, the Linseed and Wheat Bread has been my favorite. The first loaf I baked we ate in under an hour. I was forced to bake it again the next day. The horror.

The recipe I'm posting below is based on his Linseed and Wheat Bread. I modified it some to match the ingredients I had on hand and my personal taste.

Flax Seed Wheat Bread
makes 1 one pound loaf

200g bread flour
50g whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
100g flax seeds
2 teaspoons malt powder
150 grams water
1 teaspoon instant yeast

Combine the flours, salt, seeds, malt, and yeast in a bowl. Stir in the water and mix until thoroughly combined. This dough is not a terribly moist one: it should be slightly tacky but not sticky. When shaped into a ball it should easily hold its shape.

The seed and bran from the whole wheat prevent a high level of gluten development in this dough, so extensive kneading is not necessary.

Once all of the ingredients are thoroughly combined, place the ball of dough in a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise for an hour to an hour and a half.

Shape the dough into 1 large or two small loaves, cover the loaves with plastic, and give them another hour to rise. In the meantime, preheat the oven and baking stone to 425 degrees.

Brush the top of the loaves with water, score the loaves, and place them in the oven. Bake them at 425 for 20 minutes, rotate them 180 degrees, then bake them another 20 to 25 minutes. When done, they will be nicely browned on the outside, make a hollow sound when tapped upon, and register approximately 205 degrees in the center when measured with an instant read thermometer.

flax seed wheat bread

These loaves remind me of yams.

flax seed wheat bread

Related Recipe: Five Seed French Bread


ryan's picture

I thought this was initally a nice starter dough. Good job. I am suprised that a straight dough can be this nice.


amazonium's picture

I didn't realize that these were the same things! Ha! I learn something new every day. To think that we can bake with it, paint with it, walk on it, and wear it (linen)!!

yoonsy's picture

Do I really need to use Bread Flour? Can unbleached plain flour work?

I am new to bread making.. :( !


Thank you

Floydm's picture

Unbleached all-purpose flour would work fine too.  Good luck!

titus's picture

Is the malt powder essential? I live in Luxembourg and that isn't available here. If it is, what could I substitute for it?

Floydm's picture

No, the malt powder isn't essential. You could substitute in any sweetener... brown sugar, white sugar, molasses, honey, whatever you have in the house.

Paddyscake's picture

Could I use plain Ovaltine ?

Floydm's picture

I have no idea. Certainly worth a try!

Srishti's picture

A friend of mine who is a good baker used to make his own malt I think, by sprouting wheat berries, toating these and then grinding them up!


manxman's picture

Have you tried Horlicks the contents in order of largest is wheat flour, malted barley. dried whey, malt powder and sugar

I sometimes add it to my bread mixes for a different flavour /texture
really I am still experimenting with it so would be interested to hear if anyone has tried it

Paddyscake's picture

Hmm. The Ovaltine is sugar, maltrodextrin, toasted defatted soy
flour, barley malt extract, whey, caramel color, beet extract,
whole milk, non-fat milk, salt, molasses, mono & diglycerides,
natural caramel flavor, vanillan and vitamins & minerals :
tricalcium phosphate, Vitamin C,A,B3,D,B6,B1,B2 & iron.
I dunno..I guess it couldn't hurt to try it.

dasein668's picture

I'd give it a shot: it has malt extract in it already, plus complex sugars (maltodextrin) like you'd find in a malt extract. Nathan Sanborn

cnemmers's picture

Could you please convert grams to laymans terms or measurements of flours/flaxseed and water.
Thanks, Catherine

rmk129's picture

Hi Catherine!

I don't have a kitchen scale yet either ;) I want to make this bread as well, so I just found a great website that allows you to enter specific ingredients and specify what amount and measurement types you want to convert to and from. I always round off the results to the most convenient measures, so these are my *approximate* interpretations of the required amounts for the above recipe. You can check out the website link below if you want mls or more exact measurements :)

Gourmet Sleuth

*APPROXIMATE* equivalents
Bread flour 200g = 1 1/2 cups
Whole wheat flour 50g = 1/2 cup
Flax seeds 100g = 3/4 cup
Water (1 gram of water is always 1 ml) = 2/3 cup

I am going to try to make the bread using these measurements now, so I will see how it works :)

Chrissy's picture


I'm attempting to make this at the moment, but I have a question! is the dough supposed to double in size during the 1 and 1/2 hour rise (as per usual)? My dough doesn't seem to have risen at all... I followed the recipe except that I used 2 tsp of sugar instead of malt, since I didn't have any.


Floydm's picture

It may not quite double, but it certainly should rise noticeably.

Chrissy's picture

ok... It wasn't rising so I stretched it and folded it a few times, then put it back in the bowl and left it for 2 more hours, and it rose much better. :)

Hopefully they still turn out ok!

Chrissy's picture

definitely didn't turn out looking like the one in your picture! a lot smaller and didn't have any oven spring at all. maybe I should have let the shaped bread rise for longer (I got a bit impatient)...

I made it into 2 small bread sticks... nice and crunchy! i really liked the taste of it too :)

Will definitely experiment with this recipe again (I will need to make more bread tomorrow coz this lot all got eaten :P)


Jenm's picture

Very new to bread baking. Ventured out today with this recipe. First 2 tries were whole wheat rolls, edible, but heavy and bland. This recipe is a hit! Used the converted measurements posted and added some sunflower seeds with the flax to make 3/4 cup. Used sugar. Crust was crunchy, flavor excellent. Thanks for the recipe. Great website! Jen

bruc33ef's picture

To get the nutritional benefits of the flax seed, such as the Omega 3 fatty acids, the experts say they have to be ground up or they pass right through you.  But of course then you won't have the aesthetic appeal of the seeds.  Perhaps the solution is to grind most of them and leave some whole for the visual effect.


BreadHound's picture

I grind small amounts of flax seed in my coffee/spice mill just before ready to add to a batter or dough. It's quick, very fresh, and sooo easy.  Usually only need small amounts anyway as you dont want to weigh down the dough or go too heavy on the flax meal.  I also grind up about a half a cup at a time to have on hand for adding to cereals and desserts.  Keep in the fridge.

hearthbakedtunes's picture

To be honest new research shows tha ALA from flax seed is not as well absorbed as EHA from fish and the like. Just wanted you to know about the most recent research. There is a post on this in my blog at

Galamomof1's picture

galabaker: Can you use ovaltine for malt powder? 

 New student of bread baking--

I'm a 63 year old grandmother and a new student to bread making.  I am trying to capture a memory of sitting at my grandmothers tiny table in her even tinier kitchen.  At four years old, I sat at her table two feet from the oven where the smell of fresh yeast biscuits--baking-- filled the kitchen, the house and down the block.  Everyone could smell those fresh yeast, brides biscuits, in the oven.  The next smell that overwhelmed me was the honey suckle vine growing up a trellis outside the screened back door of the kitchen.  Remembering that gift in my head so long ago, has driven me to seek out countless recipes to find one that would begin to match the love and care baked into her hands creations. Expect to see my on line name from time to time. I hang on every word of wisdom I can get from your experiences.  Bread baking is very much hands on.....galabaker

Larry Clark's picture
Larry Clark

would be all that beneficial. Carnation makes a malted drink that's loaded with malt powder; it would probably be better. Others, more knowledgeable than I, can tell you about malt products from healt food stores. I haven't used any malt in my breads.



PaddyL's picture

I've sprouted wheat berries, then toasted/dried them in a very low oven, and ground them in a spice or coffee grinder.  They smell just like Ovaltine and Horlick's.  I add it to baguette dough for a darker crust.

FMM's picture

I'm definitely going to try that.  I'm always a bit disappointed with the slightly anaemic look of my loaves.  This sounds like a good way around that problem without having to add honey.  How much do you let the wheat berries sprout- ie how much of a tail do you let them grow?  Also, how long do you leave them in the oven for?  How much do you add to your dough?


bread101's picture

Great internet response page!   I am interested in healthy recipes and this has sparked a new adventure!  Everyone's responses are greatly appreciated. Thanks for all the new knowledge and I plan to make the Flax Seed Bread soon. Look forward to more inputs.

koneal's picture

Hello,  What is the recommended water temperature for the flaxseed wheat bread? 

 Also, is there any need to toast the flaxseed?  Or does the baking process do that?  Thanks.  K

Beamer's picture

The water Temperature needs to be between 100 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

I don't toast my flaxseeds.


randallflynns's picture

Flax seed meal is easy to mix into things like yogurt and cereal, and it can be added in small amounts to almost any recipe for breads, cakes, cookies, or pancakes. I've had good results with using flax seed meal to replace bread crumbs in meatloaf or meatballs and adding flax seed meal to cookies.


Randall Flynn


Stephmo's picture

We tried this the other day - and used honey instead of malt powder. This was a very hearty bread with an incredibly crunchy crust.

I've been lurking a while and wanted to say "thank you" as I've used a few recipes and hints so far and am getting progressively better thanks to all of the comments I find here!

heavenbound's picture

how can I convert grams to cups?

VladimirsAngel's picture

Thankyou so much for posting this recipe. Made it yesterday. A lovely bread with amazing crust!

teralee's picture

While flax is a wonderfully nutritious addition to any food, keep in mind that the full nutritional value of flax can only be enjoyed in it's raw state (and the oil only if it's cold pressed).

I've made this bread many times, my boyfriend loves it (even the first time I made it and it came out like a brick - he still enjoyed it! Thankfully I've come into baking a bit more, and it turns out much better these days). Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

huggy3kp's picture

Hi I'am New here, and I would love to have this recipe for Flax Seed Wheat Bread, in U.S. Weights & Measures.

Grilling24x7's picture

I tried to substitute ground flax seeds for flax seeds.  It was a disaster.   I had to increase the water just to get a dough ball.  Then there was no rise at all.

I am guessing that the ground flax absorbed most of my water since it was powder like.  I just pulled a solid brick out of my oven.

I'll give it another shot if I ever buy regular flax seed.

catpoz's picture

Nice to hear that all y'all aren't pro bakers out there. *s* 

I think my problem is over-proofing... 

Does humidity have an affect on bread baking? 

Cathy P. in Miami

xipmix's picture

I just mixed this up and found it needed a fair bit more water.

I mixed a double batch of the recipe, with the following changes:

 * 20g gluten flour per 200g plain flour

 * raw sugar instead of malt powder

 * ground linseeds instead of whole (linseed == flax seed)

I found I had to add an extra 50-75ml to the recipe, ie 100-150ml total, and even then it seemed like it could have taken more; I kneaded it a few minutes and as I went it absorbed the moisture, starting out sticky but just fine by the end. The dough was workable but still quite 'solid'. Anyway, it's rising now. We'll see what happens.

xipmix's picture

To follow up - turned out very nicely.

I made it into one large loaf, which rose nicely but not spectacularly. When I slashed it, it seemed quite solid and I was in dread that I'd 'bricked' this recipe. Baked in hot (250+C) oven with steam, turned it down to 200C after the first 10min, then turned it at 20min. Pulled it out 15min later.

It smelled pretty good - we had to leave the house on an errand  to keep from tearing into it right away. When we returned It seemed to have deflated a little but it tastes great and is not heavy at all.

I took a picture of the result:

flaxseed bread, double recipe in one loaf

treasure's picture

 Hi all, I doubled the quantities for all ingredients using the cups conversion posted by rmk:29 on May 28, 2006. So used: Bread flour 3 cups, whole wheat flour 1 cup,  salt 2 tsp, active yeast 2.5 tsp, water 11/3 cup plus about 1/2 of 1/3 cup at room temperature, honey 1 tbsp, flax seeds 3/4 cup

Mixed all ingredients and stir until well mixed. Let it rise 2 hrs. The rise was little. Then I stretched and folded the dough and made boules. Again let it rise for two hours. The rise was not much.

To my dismay, they were exactly like what another reader had posted: tasty, oversized bread sticks. What could have gone wrong?

longhorn's picture

I missed the discussion back in March regarding flax flour. Yes, flax absorbs water like crazy. Try taking flax seed snd soaking them in excess water overnight. You will get a jello of flax seeds and the soluble fiber that leaches out. Ground flax may not absorb more but it does absorb a lot faster.

This is a great looking bread. Glad the thread came back up. I will make it tomorrow with my sourdough levain.


avatrx1's picture

I made this bread yesterday.  It was tasty, but came out like a brick.  I was really surprised at the amount of flax seeds.  I had to add more water as I couldn't get a dough ball with the amount of water in the above recipe.  I weighed everything so that I'd get it right.

It never rose the first time and never rose the 2nd.  I put in a hot oven and thought perhaps the rise would come with oven spring - but nothing.  I have a round brick approx 8" and about 1-1/4" tall.

Any ideas as to what I did wrong?  My yeast is good.  I read in some of the other posts about substituting other things for the flax to come up with 3/4 c.   100 grams of flax seed is alot more than 3/4 cup.  I had printed out the recipe, so I know I read it right. Since I weighed as opposed to measuring I don't know exactly how much it is but it seemed more like 1-1/2 cups.

Help?  I'd really like to try this again.  maybe someone has a version using a 100% starter? I'm not sure how to convert this.

I may try this using the 1-2-3 sourdough recipe but add the seeds and malt to that.  That one always comes out.


beauregard dupree's picture
beauregard dupree

In my quick bread experiments ( still scared to try yeast.. I know. Coward!) Ive noticed that I have to add pure gluten and more liquid for the non wheat flour stuff I put in. I've found that 2 TBSP of gluten per cup of non flour stuff ( chickpea flour, flax seed meal etc) makes my quickbreads come out breadlike rather than bricklike. But I dont know if there is a better way to do it or not. Total newb!



jessibrown's picture

I made this bread for the first time today. I am a novice but have had pretty good success...until this loaf. I weighed everything to the gram. So many flax seeds! The dough was so hard to work with. I'll describe the dough as tough, hard, no elasticity. At first it wouldn't come together completely - so I added more water. Too much water, as it turned out - so I added more flour. Worked it a bit more but it never felt right. Anyway, I turned it into an oiled bowl and let it rise for 90 minutes - it doubled but was heavy. As I lifted it from the bowl, I noticed the dough had become very spongy, lots of little holes. When I punched it down, it seemed to turn into thick leather (literally within two kneads!). Forming two loaves was rather difficult but I did it, covered them with wrap and let them rise for an hour - they doubled again.

After slashing the tops, I baked the loaves for 5 minutes at 500F with steam then 30 minutes more at 425F (turning 180 degrees at the halfway point). The center temp was 208F when I took them out.  They were nicely browned, good crust and had a slightly hollow sound when tapped.  

The resulting bread was very dense. Not a brick, per se, but maybe a styrofoam block. The crust was crunchy and the insides were soft. The picture in the recipe looks as if the bread should have a nice crumb. Mine didn't. Don't get me wrong, it was good...yet dense!  Something went wrong, for sure.  I plan to try the recipe again and will see if I can improve my results a bit.

dunlapjc3's picture

I've just made this bread and also experienced a very dense loaf.  As I'm a beginner and still unfamiliar with how bread dough should "feel,"  my gut was still telling me something was wrong with the recipe.  Here's what I've come up with:

It all has to do with the protein level of the flour.  I use all KA products in my bread baking and after reading several posts commenting on KA products, it seems their flours are generally higher in protein than the competition.  I even heard some say that KA AP flour maybe stronger than other marketed flours labeled as "bread flour."

That being said, the recipe called for "bread flour" and bread flour was what I used:  KA bread flour.  I noticed a difference in dough quality as well when I was baking baguettes.  I made one batch with AP and another with bread flour and noticed, again, that the bread flour dough seemed drier.  Looking more closely at KA's recipe for baguettes, it said to add an extra 2 tbsp of water if using bread flour.

A later post suggested adding 40grams of water to this recipe, as it made for a more workable dough, which seems to gel with KA's suggestion with regard to the baguettes.  Maybe the recipe, if you're using KA products, should be made with AP flour instead.  I've also seen other posts on this site recommend a 2-1 mix, AP to bread flour.



jessibrown's picture

I'm back!  I baked this bread again tonight and it turned out much better.  I doubled the recipe.  Also, I increased the water by 40g and reduced the flax seeds by 50g. The dough was tacky (not leathery like my first attempt) and it doubled nicely the first time.  I shaped it into one big loaf.  It doubled during the second rise but it didn't rise up; it rose out.  So, once baked and sliced, it looked more like large biscotti than a loaf of bread.  Kind of strange, but it sure tasted great.  The crumb was perfect and the crust was nice and crunchy.  I baked it for 10 minutes at 475 with steam then 425 for 10 minutes, turned it 180 degrees, and baked it 20 minutes more.  It's internal temperature was 220 (oops!).  I will certainly keep making this bread.  We devoured it this evening with our tuscan bean soup!

sirden1959usa's picture

I am going to try this reciepe but change it by adding some flaxseed meal and reducing the white flour. Been expermenting with differ reciepes. See high flaxseed meal in bread will reduce the carbs assorbed into the blood stream.  ANd this meals lower blood sugars.............. which means diabetic can enjoy bread.

Wish Me luck


subfuscpersona's picture

The flax seed is 40% (bakers percentage) plus it isn't soaked so I would think it would really interfere with gluten development.

I've been researching breads with flax seed and haven't seen any recipe that has flax seed at 40% of total flour weight except this one.

hoping someone sees this & thx in advance if you answer

mrfrost's picture

This is a Dan Lepard recipe. There is a link to his web site in the op. There is a forum there.

Maybe that would be a good place to find out.

PeterPiper's picture

I've been adding more and more flax meal to my breads for the nutty flavor and it works out fine.  I find for a single loaf that up above 50g of flax seed it begins to cut apart the structure of the bread, and 25g gives great flavor and texture without changing the normal workability.  I put up on my blog here a recipe for wheat sandwich bread with one variation for molasses flax.  As commenters above note, unless the seeds are ground you aren't getting any of the benefits.  I've found that toasted wheat germ can be added in tandem with flax seed for even more toasty and nutty flavor.  Happy baking!


RachelJ's picture

Flax seed bread sounds wonderful!!!! Yeah! and healthy!

Breadandwine's picture

I've been adding ground flaxseeds to my bread for a while, now, for the omega 3 content (I'm a vegan) - in the proportion of 60g to 1400g of dough, which makes 12 rolls. This gives 5g of flaxseeds (approx 1 teaspoon) to each roll - which weigh about 100g after baking.

I'm sorry, I have no idea how to convert this to cups! :(

But if you work backwards, and calculate the amount of flaxseeds you need in each serving, say 2 slices of a loaf, it should be possible to work it out.

There's more detail on my blog:

Cheers, Paul

Edit: As soon as I submitted this post last night I remembered I have a set of measuring cups in the cupboard, which I very rarely use.

Checking this morning, I reckon 700g equates to 6 and a quarter cups, roughly (6.19469 to be exact! :) )

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I don't think so.  

Five grams of flax per roll is not worth it for me.  Get brave!  Try a tablespoon per roll!  Splurge a little!  Give that bread some good wholesome fiber before the crushed flax goes rancid!     :)

SCruz's picture

What a delicious loaf of bread with a terrific crust.


tc's picture

Is there some missing directions in the original post? A lot of people get no rise, and/or dense loaf. I made this today and got no rise, no oven spring, and in the end it was inedible. I've made a decent amount of bread before, too.  I found the taste to be really bad. BTW, I'm using all fresh flours and yeast, and filtered water. Something's got to be amiss here for so many people to get the same bad results.

Floydm's picture

It may not be to your liking, but I don't believe anything is amiss.  I see more people saying they've had success with this recipe than have run into trouble, but if it doesn't work for you try another one.

tc's picture

It's not about me liking it or not. I counted quite a few posts about dense loaf, no rise, etc. You have lots of experience in bread making, maybe you could help us out? Is there anything one can do to prevent a dense loaf with no rise? Thanks!

Floydm's picture

I'm not sure... I still think a good part of the issue is that many folks simply have the wrong expectation on this one.  It has a tight crumb even when successful.  You can see that even the folks who are happy with it refer to it as "hearty".  If folks are expecting something with the consistency of sandwich bread or French bread, they are going to be sadly disappointed with it.

That said, if your loaves are coming out too dense for your taste boosting the amount of yeast (try doubling it) or allowing longer rise times certainly can help.  If you house is cool, let the loaf rise in a warm location and give it an extra 10... 20... 30 minutes.  Even an hour, if it is just being sluggish.  

You mention using "all fresh flours".  Does that mean "home-milled" or "recently purchased"?  Because home-milled flour definitely performs differently in ways I'm not entirely familiar with.

Are you making any adjustments to the recipe already?  Using more whole wheat flour or ground flax seeds would be likely to reduce the rise and increase the density.  Inversely, reducing the whole wheat flour or the quantity of flax seeds would likely lighten it.

Looking back at the other comments, I see a lot of people who succeed with this one.  There are a number who don't succeed also.  I'm getting the sense that many of the folks who've run into issues on this one are folks who are into flax seed for dietary reasons and not particularly experienced bakers (most of them haven't commented on other thread here, for example).  This certainly isn't a "can't fail" recipe and isn't one I'd recommend to folks without a pretty solid grasp of the bread making process.

trangler2's picture

the input from you experts is greatly appreciated by this wannabe baker. This recipe looks like what I want to make, but some replies mentioned STEAMING the bread for some time before the regular baking. The original recipe called for baking on a stone. How do I steam bread? I thought that was done when making it in a dutch oven. Help appreciated :)


Floydm's picture

A couple of steaming techniques are discussed here:

Other folks use cast iron pans that they toss ice cubes into.

Steaming improves the quality of crust but without a doubt voids your oven's warranty and can be hazardous to life or property, so use these techniques at your own discretion.  

Sammysmum's picture

I'm going to give it a try. Looks great. Like Floyd said, you can tweak and take out a few of the flax seeds to lighten it up a bit. 

A wonderful website with a wealth of information. You have to be brave and try out some recipes. I am a home baker, but am very into 

trying new bread recipes now. The aroma in the house when baking bread is second to none and the family are getting thoroughly spoilt now by my efforts. 

ar2ak's picture

This loaf turned out a little too dense for my taste but with that being said I will try it again another day perhaps and tweak it just a little. Thanks for the great recipe.

neellavathi's picture

Hi! My hubby loves breads. He wants a mixture of bread flour which is white and also whole wheat flour. He wants the crust to be thick and soft inside. Is there a recipe for it? I am very new for bread baking. I used to bake cakes only. He is fed up with the commercial breads available. Please help. I have a cata brand oven at home.


kalee's picture

Has anyone baked this bread in the dutch oven?  Or made it slow rise?  If yes, what preportions/yeast?

Just getting into this baking again and just started to use the instant yeast.


Xenophon's picture

Baked this yesterday after reading through the thread and wondering about the different outcomes people had using the apparent same method.  I tweaked the recipe somewhat because I was intimidated by the extreme proportion of flax seeds and I did't think the dough had enough hydration.

Here's my adapted ingredient list/recipe, makes 2 loaves of about 500 g each (1lb).

-  White bread flour 475 grams (I used Pillsbury bread flour simply because that's the only one that's available)

- Wholewheat flour 100 grams (Hovis brand from the UK)

- Wheat gluten 20 grams

- Flax seeds 150 grams

- Butter 25 grams

- Salt 10 grams

- Instant active dry yeast 12 grams

- Water 335 grams

As you see, I reduced the flax seeds by 25%, was just too intimidated by the prospect of adding 200 grams to my dough although in retrospect I think it would have worked out just fine.  That being said, I don't think there's much t b gained in look/texture/taste by adding in the last 50 grams.

I reduced the white flour a bit and added vital wheat gluten to compensate, didn't bother with diastatic malt.  Added 35 ml of extra water because I felt the dough would be a tad dry else.  Added the 25 grams of butter because it tenderizes the crumb and improves keeping quality (small household of 2 expats with irregular working hours so limited ingredient availability makes that we often freeze bread after cooling/cutting it.


Straightdough method:  combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer, mix for 5 minutes at speed 1 or 2 using the hook until combined.  Let rest for 5 minutes.

Then give it a good kneading (manual) for 15 minutes.  I disagree with the OP who mentions only a short knead because the presence of the wholewheat flour would interfere with gluten development anyway:  there's not nearly enough whole wheat flour to do that imho.  If you'd run into trouble with gluten development it would be due to the flaxseeds.   

After kneading you'll end up with a supple dough ball that still feels just a tad on the dry side compared to what I usually make but as there's no tearing during the knead I just let it be.  Covered and put in my oven with only the pilot light on so that temperature was about 26 centigrade.

Bulk fermentation: total of 1 hour 45 minutes, after 1 hour I gave it 2 folds then placed it back.  At the end of the bulk fermentation period the dough had risen to twice the original volume.

I divided it in 2 parts of about 500 grams each, gave an extra fold and rounded/shaped the pieces into 2 batard-style loaves.

Covered with a damp towel and back they went for a 60 minute second rise.

After 45 minutes I pulled them from the oven (still at 26 centigrade), put the baking tray on the countertop and fired up my oven to 230 centigrade.  At 60 minutes the oven was on temperature and by tht tme I had sprayed some water on the loaves (which had doubled in volume) and covered one of them with sesame seeds, the other with poppy seeds.  Scored the loves and in they went.

Initial temperature was 230 centigrade, which I reduced to 205, heating was a combo of underneath heat and forced air circulation to keep a nice, uniform temperature.  For the first 10 minutes of the bake I steamed using a cast iron pan and hot water.  The loaves were removed after 37 minutes and left to cool on a rack.

Results (apologies for the low picture quality):

The resulting breads had a light but very crisp/crunchy crust and a chewy but soft, airy crumb.  Not heavy at all and the look/texture/taste were excellent.

All things considered a very tasty bread indeed and easy to make.  A keeper.  Will consider getting Dan Lepard's book althous as per usual the emphasis seems to lie on sourdough breads and the bulding of starters, which I'm not too big a fan of.  



kalee's picture

I readjusted ingredients again today. 

400g bread flour

100g whole wheat flour

50 grams flax seed

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon instant yeast

385 g ice water

I thought the crumb was too tight and dry before so this time I left it very wet. 

Rise in refrigerator overnight+ about 16 hours.  Just folded the edges over.  Rose at room temperature about 2 hours.  Still quite small.

Baked in covered cast iron pot at 425 F for 20 minutes then removed cover and baked 20 more.

Looser crumb, finally, but quite bland. 

If I increased the salt, wouldn't that inhibit the rise?  It alread didn't rise too much.




Xenophon's picture

Regarding the rise, what temperature is your refrigerator set at?  If too low (< 10 centigrade or so) it will slow fermentation to an almost indiscernible crawl.  When you take it out of the fridge the dough will also take some time to attain proper fermentation temperature so maybe your 2 hour rise after taking it out amounts to 15 minutes rise time at room temperature, which obviously won't do the job.  

More salt will inhibit fermentation but my gut feeling tells me that with the quantities you're using, this factor will take the back seat compared to the temperature factor.

The above are just some thoughts.  What I'd do in your place is first use your formula but as a straight dough process at room temperatures or slightly above.  See if that works, it should. Forget about rise times, just keep an eye on dough volume and use that as a yardstick.   After, I'd try a poolish or biga, let that ripen overnight (but not refrigerated, depending on room temperture where you place the preferment) and add to the rest of the ingredients.  That'll both inject a lot of flavour and jump-start fermentation.


Let us know how things turn out and all the best!

Desiderio's picture

I made this great recipe using the spent grains from beer making (Grand Rapids has a lot of brewery) in the same amount of flax seed. Really really good. Thank you for this recipe, 

Salvi's picture


I am quit new to making bread, this is my 7th so far. I really liked how the bread turned out! Started the dough yesterday evening, let it overnight in the refrigerator and took it out this morning so i could bake it when i got home the same morning.

And already half of it is gone... the crust and taste is amazing!