Homemade bread is a pure joy, and when it's made even more nutritious by the addition of nuts and seeds, it's something we could see ourselves making regularly. (Well, maybe.) This rendition of Dakota bread from Cook's Country uses hot cereal to make it a bit less time-consuming to prepare, without any decline in flavor.
Makes one 10-inch loaf
2 cups warm water (110 degrees)
1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) seven-grain hot cereal mix (not cold cereal!)
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 1/2 cups (19 1/4 ounces) bread flour
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
3 tablespoons raw, unsalted pepitas
3 tablespoons raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Grease large bowl. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In bowl of stand mixer, combine water, cereal, honey, and oil and let sit for 10 minutes.
Add flour, salt, and yeast to cereal mixture. Fit stand mixer with dough hook and knead on low speed until dough is smooth and elastic, 4 to 6 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons pepitas and 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds to dough and knead for 1 minute longer. Turn out dough onto lightly floured counter and knead until seeds are evenly distributed, about 2 minutes.
Transfer dough to greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rise at room temperature until almost doubled in size and fingertip depression in dough springs back slowly, 60 to 90 minutes.
Gently press down on center of dough to deflate. Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and shape into tight round ball. Place dough on prepared sheet. Cover dough loosely with plastic and let rise at room temperature until almost doubled in size, 60 to 90 minutes.
Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lowest positions and heat oven to 425 degrees. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon pepitas, remaining 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds in small bowl. Using sharp knife, make ¼-inch-deep cross, 5 inches long, on top of loaf. Brush loaf with egg and sprinkle seed mixture evenly over top.
Place 8½ by 4½-inch loaf pan on lowest oven rack and fill with 1 cup boiling water. Place baking sheet with dough on upper-middle rack and reduce oven to 375 degrees. Bake until crust is dark brown and bread registers 200 degrees, 40 to 50 minutes. Transfer loaf to wire rack and let cool completely, about 2 hours. Serve.
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