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100% Whole Wheat Black and White Sesame Seed Sourdough Hokkaido Milk Bread

Benito's picture

100% Whole Wheat Black and White Sesame Seed Sourdough Hokkaido Milk Bread

We are visiting my in-laws for Christmas, it has been so long since we’ve done this, and we have to bring bread right? A baker cannot arrive empty handed. So with my sister in law’s taste in mind I had to bake a sandwich bread. She practically lives on buttered toast. To try to make a variation on my other whole wheat Hokkaido loaves I decided to add my favourite seeds to this loaf, black and white sesame seeds. I realized it has been ages since I’ve added seeds to my breads so it was long overdue. I reduce the dough weight a bit to compensate for the addition of the seeds. I added the seeds after the dough was moderately developed. The rest is my usual MO.

Recipe for a 9”x4”x4” pullman pan

Sweet Stiff Levain
• 53g whole wheat flour
• 24g water
• 18g light brown sugar
• 18g sourdough starter ~100% hydration
1:1.33:2.9:1 starter:water:flour:sugar

Tangzhong 1:5 ratio
• 18g Whole Wheat flour
• 89g milk

Dough Dry Ingredients
• 8 g vital wheat gluten
· 400 g whole wheat
• 30 g sugar
• 7g salt 1.6%

Dough Wet Ingredients
• 191g milk
• 50g egg (about 1 lg egg)
• 60g butter

60 g of mixed black and white sesame seeds

Pre-bake Wash
• 1 egg beaten
• 1 Tbsp milk

Mix the levain ingredients in a jar or pyrex container with space for at least 300% growth.
Press down with your knuckles to create a uniform surface and to push out air.
At a temperature of 76ºF, it typically takes up to 10-12 hours for this sweet stiff levain to be at peak.

In a sauce pan set on med-low heat, whisk the milk and flour until blended. Then cook for several minutes until thickened, stirring regularly with a spoon or heat-resistant spatula. Let cool in the pan or, for faster results, in a new bowl. Theoretically it should reach 65ºC (149ºF) but I don’t find I need to measure the temperature as this gelatinizes at this temperature.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the milk, egg, tangzhong, salt, sugar and levain. Mix and then break up the levain into smaller pieces. Next add the flour and vital wheat gluten. Mix on low speed and drizzle in the melted butter. Once incorporated increase the speed gradually to medium. Mix at medium until the gluten is moderately well developed, approximately 10 mins. Add the sesame seeds gradually and then continue to mix until the dough is fully developed about 10 mins. You should be able to pull a good windowpane, not quite as good as a white flour because the bran will interrupt the windowpane somewhat.

Shape the dough into a tight ball, cover in the bowl and ferment for 2.5 - 3.5 hours at 82ºF. There may be some rise visible at this stage.
You can next place the dough into the fridge to chill the dough for about 1.5 hours, this makes rolling the dough easier, remember if you do so they final proof will take longer. Alternatively, you can do a cold retard in the fridge overnight.

Prepare your pans by greasing them or line with parchment paper.
Scrape the dough out onto a clean counter top. Lightly flour the bench. Transfer the dough onto the bench and divide it into four. I like to weigh them to have equal sized lobes. Shape each tightly into a boule, allow to rest 5 mins. Using a rolling pin roll each ball out and then letterfold. Turn 90* and using a rolling pin roll each out to at least 8”. Letterfold again from the sides so you have a long narrow dough. Then using a rolling pin, roll flatter but keeping the dough relatively narrow.  The reason to so this extra letterfold is that the shorter fatter rolls when placed in the pan will not touch the sides of the pan.  This allows the swirled ends to rise during final proof.  Next roll each into a tight roll with some tension. Arrange the rolls of dough inside your lined pan alternating the direction of the swirls. This should allow a greater rise during proof and in the oven.

Cover and let proof for 6-8 hours, longer time if you chilled your dough for shaping. I proof until the top of the dough comes to within 1 cm of the top edge of the pan.

Preheat the oven to 350F and brush the dough with the egg-milk wash. Just prior to baking brush with the egg-milk wash again.

Bake the loaves for 50 minutes or until the internal temperature is at least 190ºF, rotating as needed to get even browning. Shield your loaf if it gets brown early in the baking process. After 50 mins remove the bread from the pan and bake a further 10 mins by placing the loaf directly in the oven on the rack with the oven turned down to 325ºF. You can brush the top of the loaf with butter if you wish at this point while the bread is still hot to keep the top crust soft.

Enjoy the beautiful scent of this bread with hints of toasted sesame seeds.


SusanMcKennaGrant's picture

Beautiful Benny,  I don't have a mixer but tempted to try mixing by hand. A ww sesame Hokkaido loaf sounds awesome.  Hope your family enjoys it!


Benito's picture

Thank you very much Susan.  Apparently my mixer isn’t dying the quick early death that I initially thought, however, when I had decided that it was dying I was mixing this and French Folding it to develop the dough.  You definitely don’t want to melt the butter to add, however, if you make a mash of the room temperature butter with an equal weight of flour, taken from the total flour, then that can be added late in the dough development.  

Happy Holidays.


SusanMcKennaGrant's picture

Thanks Benny!

HeiHei29er's picture

Looks great Benny and I'm sure you're SIL will like that one!  Have a Happy Holiday season!

Benito's picture

Thank you Troy, I hope you and your family enjoy your Christmas.