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A local bread shop cooks a loaf of bread that is packed with seeds, much more than a couple tablespoons. The seeds are mixed within the matrix of the bread, plus sprinkled on top and in the baking pan.

I wanted to make a wholemeal loaf at home and add in the large amount of seeds.

Are there any modifications to the standard bread recipe I should make, or changes to cooking times?

  • Shouldn't be any issue any bread recipe will work. Times wise it's cooked when it's cooked. Recipe requests are against the rules here because they are opinionated not fact. – Doug Dec 18 '14 at 20:01
  • More specifically, recipe requests are off-topic because there are too many recipes for any given thing (e.g. a zillion different combinations of nuts and seeds), and deciding among them is primarily opinion-based. If there were only two different ways to make something and beyond that it was subjective, we could handle that. – Cascabel Dec 18 '14 at 20:15
  • Thanks for the feedback, I modified the question. I am a relative novice on this site. – boberdorf Dec 18 '14 at 20:32
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    @boberdorf Yup, I saw, thanks very much - always really glad to see people taking care of their questions :) (and welcome!) – Cascabel Dec 18 '14 at 20:39
  • Welcome from me too. We know that our rules are confusing for new people, and when a question is against the rules, we try to edit it instead of closing outright. But we frequently don't know what the intent of the author was, so it is always better when you do the edit yourself, then you can formulate it in a way which works best for you. – rumtscho Dec 18 '14 at 21:20
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Using a large amounts of seeds will significantly influence the humidity of your dough and bread. Dry seeds will soak up quite a bit of water - either during resting time or afterwards. This is especially bad when this soaking happens after baking, as your bread will get very dry... Wholemeal tends to have the same effect.

The best way to counteract this effect is to

  • add more water and
  • add more time

This can be done either by

  • pre-soaking the seeds, which will then "bring" the required extra water to the dough or
  • letting a rather wet dough rest for a long time, preferably over night.

The first approach is easier, because the seeds take up the required water "automatically", the latter preferable taste-wise. Longer resting times allow for the development of complex flavors and need very little yeast or sourdough.

As for recipes, you should be able to find plenty on the internet.

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I have been experimenting with adding intact grains and nuts to my bread for a little while and have learned some things.

  • Good gluten development is crucial.
    If my whole wheat bread is already dry or underdeveloped then additional grains will make it fall apart when I try and slice it.
    A tiny amount of xanthan gum also helps give sandwich bread extra elasticity to improve the texture in general and especially with larger grains. Gums don't work with artisan breads.

  • Some grains need to be rehydrated.
    Quicker grains such as oats or quinoa can be added directly to the dough and will steam nicely when the bread bakes. More substantial grains like whole wheat berries should be precooked (I steam mine) because the steam from baking isn't enough and they will come out too hard.

  • Use additions that taste good with minimal cooking.
    This is kind of obvious but some things like legumes just don't get enough cooking time to remove strange flavors.

  • Be gentle with artisan breads.
    Breads with open textures that rely on robust sheets of gluten need to be handled gently. Sharp seeds can tear through the gluten and create a denser loaf. Minimizing sharp seeds and folding the dough gently help with this.

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