Seeds Add Elegance & Taste to Breads

Combined with the depth of sourdough, seeds, nuts, dried fruit, herbs – they can all transform a basic loaf into something undeniably delicious.”

– Amanda from Heartbeet Kitchen

Today as the sun is melting the snow off our roof, it is hard to believe that last week we had a nor’easter that dumped snow all over northern Vermont. My son, Dylan, took the Megabus from Boston the day before the storm. He wanted to spend some time with us before traveling to Indonesia to begin a year of Ph.D. research. While the snow piled outside, my husband and I spent time inside with him chatting, playing Rummy, and sharing meals. We were grateful to learn that he brought his snow boots so we could walk in the crunchy snow and that he was prepared to help us shovel the driveway.

After spending time in the snowy outdoors, it’s always great to come in for warm soup with homemade bread. My husband, son, and I enjoyed such a meal after being outside. I took several slices of my recently made sourdough bread from the freezer and toasted them slightly. This bread was topped with a generous layer of sesame and crushed anise seed. It tapped my baker’s curiosity to hear Dylan say, “Wow, mom, this bread is great! The seeds add so much flavor.”

This affirmation that topping the bread with seeds makes a difference in taste was interesting. I had begun experimenting more with flavorful spicy seeds in my bread baking. This addition seemed to make already delicious artisan bread truly special. Dylan’s compliment confirmed my thinking.

An assortment of seed toppings can add nutrition, crunch, and pizzazz to homemade bread. These include black and white sesame, fennel, flaxseed, sunflower, pepitas, anise (my favorite), poppy, and caraway. Topping bread with seeds is very easy. I read that to make them stick to the dough, you need to add egg wash beforehand, but I have not found this necessary. Spraying or brushing water on the dough, then adding the seeds before the bread rises works well.* There is no need to pre-toast seeds either because they heat from the oven will toast them perfectly.

It’s been fun to discover that blending the seeds into the dough makes terrific bread too. Amanda Paa @heartbeetkitchen has an Easy Seeded Sourdough recipe with sesame and pumpkin seeds. It has a crusty exterior with a flavorful nutty interior. My husband and I enjoy it toasted for breakfast with jelly!

Check out the links below that reference ideas in this post. Listed are some great sourdough recipes for using seed toppings.

Wishing you happy spring bread baking! — Carole

*Five ways to stick seeds to your bread dough so they don’t fall off – Bake with Jack

Topping Bread Dough — King Arthur Flour

Tested Sourdough Recipes for adding seeds)

Easy Seeded Sourdough Bread — Amanda Paa Heartbeet Kitchen

Sourdough Baguette (add your own seed choices) — @vindiskitchen Vindi

Sesame Sourdough Bread @everything.sourdough on Instagram – Deb