I laughed when this bread came out of the oven – I imagined that a little alien had hatched (from Alien vs. Predator), escaped from my oven, and was wreaking terror around my house. Although it’s more likely, about to wreak terror on me.
Comparing this bread to an alien egg is an unappetizing analogy because this bread is phenomenal. I have a soft spot for multi-grain bread/crackers (I must have been a squirrel in my past life), so imagine my delight when I saw all the nuts and seeds piled on this bread. I may have added a little extra because I got carried away. This recipe makes the cutest and tastiest loaf of bread that is perfect for…one greedy person. What’s even better is that there is no yeast so for those bread lovers who shy away from yeast, fear not.
The bread is best eaten after fresh baked but can also be frozen and toasted. I enjoy the bread with a few slices of avocado, drizzled with olive oil, and a sprinkle of sea salt.
- 2 1/2 tablespoons EACH sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds,
poppy seeds, flax seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 3/4 cup / 9 oz / 250 g spelt flour (I used whole wheat)
- 2 cups / 9 oz / 250 g unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 1 3/4 cup / 14 oz / 400 ml buttermilk
- a bit of extra buttermilk/milk
Preheat your oven to 400F / 205C. Place a rack in the center of the oven. In a small bowl combine all the seeds and set aside.
Sift the flours, baking soda, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Stir in all but 2 tablespoons of the seeds. Make a well in the flour, pour in the buttermilk, and stir until the dough just comes together. If you need to add an extra splash of buttermilk because the dough is too dry, you can. As Hugh says, “Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly for about a minute, just long enough to pull it together into a loose ball but no longer – you need to get it into the oven while the baking soda is still doing its stuff.”
Place the dough on a lightly floured baking sheet and mark it with a deep cross across the top, cutting two-thirds of the way through the loaf with a serrated knife. Brush with buttermilk and sprinkle with the remaining seeds, making sure plenty of seeds make it down into the cracks.
Bake for 35 – 40 minutes, or until the bread is golden crusted on top and bottom (you may want to move the oven rack up for the last 15 minute if you need more color on the top of the loaf). Cool on a wire rack.
Makes a single loaf.