It’s about time I posted a recipe for bread. I make bread pretty regularly, but I’ve never photographed and recipe-tested it as much as I do for desserts/baked goods. Perhaps it’s because bread is so versatile once you get the hang of it. This recipe, in particular, supports that statement.
I’ve made this muesli bread countless times. The first few times, I followed the recipe as it was, but then I kneaded in other add-ins, and they always work. In this recipe, I give you instructions on how to make the base of the bread – the flour and water and yeast measurements, and the rest is pretty much up to you. It’s like making muesli. You stick to a good ratio, and you can use whatever combination of nuts and seeds and dried fruit as you wish.
I personally would vouch for 1 part seeds, 1 part chopped nuts, and 1 part dried fruit, or to be more specific, 1 part sunflower seeds, 1 part chopped almonds, and 1 part dried cranberries, as stated in the recipe, but really, it’s up to you.
In terms of flour to water ratio, you may need to add a little more flour, or a little more water, as with all bread recipes. Different climate/humidity and the use of different flours can change the state of the dough. However, especially with experience, this isn’t usually too much of an issue.
Note: As I stated above, feel free to use any combination of muesli-like ingredients (seeds/nuts/dried fruit) in place of the pumpkin seeds, almonds, and dried cranberries. Also, I’ve had success working with both regular bread flour and whole wheat bread flour, and I’m sure all-purpose would work as well.
Crusty Muesli Bread
Adapted from Minimalist Baker
Makes 1 loaf
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 3/4 tablespoon yeast
- 3 1/4 cups bread flour
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped
- In a small bowl, stir together the warm water and yeast
- In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, mix the flour and salt. Pour the water mixture in and mix until combined. If you have a stand mixer, let the mixer knead the dough for a few minutes, but if you’re just mixing by hand or using a spatula, then stirring until combined works fine as well. The dough should be sticky.
- Form the dough into a ball and place into an oiled or floured bowl and cover with a clean tea towel. Leave the bowl in a warm place to rest for 1-2 hours, until doubled
- Punch the dough down and transfer onto a floured surface. Using your hands, knead the dough a few times. Press the dough flat and then place the pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, and chopped almonds onto the dough. Fold the dough in half a few times and knead until everything is fully incorporated. Transfer the dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper*. Score the top of the dough with a sharp knife and let rest for at least 20 minutes
- Place a baking sheet/metal pan at the bottom of the oven*, and preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius or 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Transfer the dough into the oven and pour a cup of water into the heated baking sheet/metal pan, causing it to steam, and instantly closing the oven door*. Bake for 50 minutes.
- Remove the bread from the oven. The top should be browned and it should sound hollow when you tap on the bottom of the loaf.
*Alternatively to using this method to create steam, you could also bake the bread in a heavy-bottom iron pot lined with parchment paper with the lid on. It traps the moisture in, and thus, also helps with creating a crusty loaf.