I haven’t been eating a lot of bread recently and had almost forgotten how therapeutic making it can be. The more stressed you are the better it will probably be as you can take it all out on the dough. Which, quite apart from how good homemade bread tastes, is a great reason for making it, I think.
You can of course buy bread flour with seeds in but sometimes it is good to add your own mix. This bread has quite a high proportion of seeds along with wholemeal flour and for those reasons is quite a filling, dense bread. I have been eating it either first thing in the morning, toasted, with rhubarb jam, or for lunch with cheese. I have used pumpkin, sunflower and poppy seeds but you could substitute mixed seeds if you prefer.
I wasn’t really sure whether to add the seeds at the very beginning of the recipe or at the end of the first rise. I thought that right at the start might be too soon and the end of the first rise might be too late: either the seeds would not get properly distributed or I would end up kneading the risen dough too much. Eventually I decided to knead the dough for about five minutes before adding the seeds and continuing to knead it until it was ready for the first rise. Which may or may not have been the right thing to do but it seemed to give a good result.
250g wholemeal bread flour
250g white bread flour
15g fresh yeast / 7.5g fast action dried yeast
100g pumpkin seeds
75g sunflower seeds
50g poppy seeds
Put the flours into a large bowl and add the yeast. Stir in the dried yeast or rub in the fresh.
Add the salt and the water and mix to a dough.
Tip out onto a surface and knead for around five minutes, until the dough starts to come together.
Spread the dough out flat and cover the top of it with the seeds.
Continue to knead until all the seeds are evenly distributed and the dough feels smooth and silky.
Put into an oiled bowl and cover with oiled clingfilm or a tea towel. Leave to rise until at least doubled in size.
When the dough is ready tip out onto a floured surface.
Knead briefly and shape into a loaf. Put on an oiled tray and slash the top with a serrated knife.
Cover with a tea towel or some oiled clingfilm and allow to rise again, until about doubled in size again.
Set the oven to 220ºC.
When the dough is ready bake for around 35-40 minutes, until well risen and browned and the base sounds hollow when tapped.
Allow to cool on a wire rack.