No-Knead Honey Seed Bread
I’ve been inspired by The Gourmet Traveller’s blog about a no-knead bread to post my own recipe, from my book “Entertaining Vegetarians” (”Party Food for Vegetarians” in paperback. This photo by Jan Baldwin is from the book.) Gourmet Traveller aka @jswching has given a fabulous pictorial of her bread making procedure - check it out! Hers is for a lovely, spongey-looking white loaf - but you’ll need to plan 24 hours ahead. (I too had read about this recipe in the New York Times. Mine is based on an old English farmhouse recipe.) My honey seed loaf is a quickie - about 2 hours start to finish. Not that instant gratification is always best in cooking, but if you are a bread-making virgin, this is a good start.
The melting cheesey thing in the background of the photo is a perfect accompaniment…read on.
No-Knead Honey Seed Bread with Hot Brie Fondue
If you love bread with a granular texture, you’ll love it even more having made it yourself. To make this sturdy loaf, you will have to get your hands stuck in, but very little elbow grease is required. Seek out hemp seeds—available at health food shops—they have a wonderful nutty crunch, a bit like popcorn.
300ml / 10 fl. oz. / 1 ¼ cups hand-hot water
2 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
300g / 11 oz. / 2 cups wholemeal bread flour
200g / 7 oz. / 1 ½ cups strong white bread flour
2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. hulled pumpkin seeds
2 Tbsp. hulled sunflower seeds
2 Tbsp. hemp seeds
milk for brushing
1 Tbsp. poppy seeds for sprinkling
In a small bowl or jug, dissolve the honey in the warm water. Whisk in the yeast and leave in a warm place for about 15 minutes, until frothy.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the two flours. Using a wooden spoon, stir in salt and pumpkin, sunflower and hemp seeds. Gradually add yeasty water and mix to a dough. As the dough draws together, put the spoon aside and start using one hand to press the dough into a ball, the other hand to turn the bowl, incorporating everything into a soft, pliable mass which leaves the sides of the bowl fairly clean. If the mixture is very sticky, sprinkle in flour bit by bit until a soft dough forms; if it seems too dry, sprinkle in a few drops of water and work it through until the flour disappears.
Grease a baking tray. Place the dough on it and form into a tapered “eye” shape—or whatever shape you fancy. Dust with flour and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave to rise in a warm place for about an hour, until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 200 C / 400 F / Gas 6. Use scissors to make decorative snips down the middle of the bread. If desired, brush all over with milk and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake the loaf for 30-40 minutes, until golden, firm, and hollow sounding when tapped. Cool on a wire rack.
Hot Brie Fondue
If you’re fortunate enough to have access to a serious cheese shop, ask for the “Vacherin du Mont d’Or Sancey Richard”, which is perfect for this treatment. The same method will work with any soft, mature cheese with a washed rind, ideally in a box. If there’s no box, you can still wrap the cheese itself in foil—the objective is a hot package of sinfully creamy goo to dip the bread in.
a little white wine
mature soft cheese in a box
Preheat the oven to 200 C / 400 F / Gas 6. Take the lid off the cheese and dribble a bit of white wine over the rind. Replace the lid and wrap the cheese in its box in foil. Place in the oven on the middle rack for 15-20 minutes, after which time the cheese should be liquified right through. Unwrap and dig in to the runny cheese, using slices of honey seed bread as a vehicle to the mouth.