Sunday, March 4, 2012

Floating Sesame Loaf

A few weeks ago, Janis and I decided to bake the Floating Sesame Loaf for our 2nd Bread BakeTogether. She blogged about this bread a couple weeks ago. I'm a little late blogging about this bread but better late than never, right? Besides, you really need to know about the unique technique used for this bread. The recipe is from the book Ancient Grains for Modern Meals by Maria Speck. The dough requires minimal kneading and is placed in a pot of cold water for its first rise. Yes, you read it right. You place the ball of dough into cold water, and you'll know when it's done when it floats to the top. I have to admit I was a little skeptic at first. I had never heard of this technique before and just couldn't wait to try it myself. I was giddy with excitement when I saw the dough float. I have proof too! Just keep on reading :o)

Floating "Flax Seed" Loaf :o)



This time I used my KitchenAid mixer instead of the bread machine. I had already dirtied the bowl making banana bread so I quickly rinsed it and made the dough in it (aka laziness kicked in, ha ha). One change I made was to substitute the sesame seeds with half dark and half golden flax seeds since I can't eat sesame seeds.

What does the water do to the dough? Well, according to the author, submerging the dough in water aids in gluten development. Interesting! In addition to the unique technique used, I was also very interested in making this bread because it's made with 100% whole wheat flour. I used White Whole Wheat flour from King Arthur Flour for this and didn't add any of the extra flour suggested in the recipe to keep a soft and somewhat sticky dough. For easy handling of sticky dough, I like to oil my work surface and my hands rather than using extra flour.










Bon appetit!


Final thoughts/tips:

  • This is definitely a hearty bread. Considering this bread is made with 100% whole wheat flour, it was pretty soft. It's by no means as soft and fluffy like white bread, but it definitely wasn't as dense as a 100% whole wheat bread can be.
  • We enjoyed this bread dipped in olive oil and freshly ground black pepper. I loved eating a couple slices of this bread with a bowl of hearty soup.
  • The flax seeds gave the bread a nice crunch and nutty flavor. I'm sure it's equally wonderful with sesame seeds.
  • Don't forget to check out Janis' post. She made this bread using sesame seeds.
  • If you'd like to give this recipe a try, get your hands on a copy of Ancient Grains for Modern Meals by Maria Speck. You can also find the recipe here.
  • I'm submitting this post to Susan's weekly round-up of yeast recipes at YeastSpotting.

17 comments:

  1. You certainly caught my attention to this bread. The dough is put into a pot of cold water for its first rise? First time I've heard of this method and I'm curious to try this! :)
    Lovely loaf of bread, it has a beautiful crust and nice interior! Well done, Hanaa!

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    1. Thanks Joyce. Do try it (there's a link to the recipe in my post). If you do, please do blog about it. Would love to see how yours turns out :o)

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  2. Your sesame loaf turned out amazingly well Hanaa! Look at that crumb! What brand of WWF did you use? Your loaf is much lighter than mine and I know now why mine turned bland....I decided to use our local whole wheat flour (that was a bit coarse) on this loaf and I think it wasn't as good as the imported (bob red mill) whole wheat flour that I usually buy...I'll have to make this again with the other WWF! :-)

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    1. Thanks Janis :o) I like to use the King Arthur Flour brand. I asked the author and she said this method should also work with white flour. Definitely worth trying, I think.

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  3. the water rising method is an old traditional european method for hand made doughs.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Anon. Yes, I read that this method is quite old and is supposed to aid in gluten development.

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  4. I do love the "Ancient Grains" and made many of the recipes - with wonderful results.
    But I was a bit disappointed with this recipe. Like you, I used white whole wheat. I found the hand kneading procedure more awkward than using a mixer - and I'm used to handle very sticky dough, making Peter Reinhart's Pain a l'Ancienne every week.
    Like yours, my bread rose nicely in the water when it was proofed, and baked just fine, but the really disappointing thing was the rather bland taste, in spite of the great nutty crunch of the sesame.
    The whole wheat flour had no time to develop a fuller taste due to the very short preparation time. I think this recipe is more for beginners, the taste taking second place behind the intriguing, interesting method.
    Next time I would definitely work with a soaker instead of mixing it all together without giving the whole wheat time to develop its flavor.

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    1. Karin, the same remark about blandness was made by my fellow project-baker, Janis. Maybe the two of you are on to something. Although I didn't find it bland (not sure if flax seeds had anything to do with it), I have no doubt that the bread would benefit from a longer rising period. Let me know how it turns out if you try it.

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  5. Too bad we can't find white whole wheat here but this method of bread making is on the bucketlist! I've read about it before, never tried it but I love the way yours looks! Really nice.
    I've very interested in the remark about the taste suffering from the short rising period and/or the floating. Intrigued!

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    1. Karen, the recipe says you can use regular/traditional WW flour or White WW flour. I later asked the author if you could sub some of the WW flour with white flour, and she said Yes. Let me know how yours turns out and how you like it.

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  6. I think the flax seeds have a stronger taste than sesame.
    I looked at Wikipedia to see what the difference between regular whole rye and white whole rye is - the white variety has less gluten and a milder taste, anyway.
    But even AP and bread flour doughs benefit taste wise from longer fermentation (like cold overnight rise in the fridge). I will make the bread again and and try it out.
    By the way, Baking Soda, in the original recipe you have a choice between regular whole wheat and white whole wheat. I chose the white one because I know that I don't like the taste of short fermented regular whole wheat.

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    1. Karin, I look forward to hearing about your experiment with longer/slower rising times. Would you still use 100% WW flour or sub some of it with bread flour?

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  7. I tried this method before with bagels but never with bread. This is really an interesting recipe Hanaâ and thanks for sharing it with us. Your loaf looks amazing and I would eat it with some olive oil, just like you, and maybe with a bowl of Bissara lol. Bises
    Cheers

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    1. Oh really? I didn't know bagels were dunked in cold water and then baked. I always thought it was hot water.
      This bread was indeed super tasty with some olive oil. I bet it would be great with Bissara, Argan Oil, or even Amlou :o)

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  8. This is an interesting method and the bread looks wonderful. I am sure flax seeds would have added a nice nutty flavour to the bread.

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    1. Thank you! I hope you give it a try sometime. The flax seeds were really good in this bread :o)

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  9. Hi here I come & I'm not only coming for a visit, I have also become your latest follower!Looks like I pick the right recipe & saw this interesting step, which is to dip the dough in a bowl of water. 1st time of seeing it & the reason behind. I spray the water on the top of the dough & my friend told me that this is to keep the dough moist & it will become softer after baking.

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