This is the time of year I love being in the kitchen the most. On some days, I feel like I am cooking or baking not just for the enjoyment of it, but to actually warm up as well! We’ve had a pretty mild autumn but recently the very late snow has started to make a presence. The temperatures are dropping and it’s coming.
For the past week, we’ve been making and happily eating various recipes out of Donna Hay’s new cookbook, Life in Balance. It’s full of gorgeous photographs and fresh, healthy recipes. I am always on the hunt for ways to change up my morning breakfast routine, so the seeded morning bread was the first recipe to try.
No-knead breads are great to have on hand when you can plan ahead. The night before, mix your ingredients and forget about them- there is no kneading necessary. The following morning, you’ll have slowly risen dough that you simply plop in a hot cast iron pot and bake.
This particular recipe is full of whole grain spelt flour (it tastes comparable to whole wheat flour) and seeds for a hearty texture and soft, slightly chewy crumb. We enjoy thick slices warmed and slathered with fresh ricotta and a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper.
A few high altitude bread tricks are in play here:
- The water/liquid was slightly increased to account for drier flour and other ingredients
- The yeast was slightly decreased to slow down the rapid rise that most yeast breads are susceptible to at altitude
- The dough is given two hours at room temperature to kick off the rise. However, if this recipe’s dough were left out overnight at room temperature, it’d likely over-proof and spill out of its bowl. We solve this by putting it in the refrigerator to slow everything down so it’s where we need it to be come bake time. The rise contributes a great deal to each loaf- including flavor- so slowing things down can be very good- and tasty!
How to make this high altitude adjusted recipe:
No-Knead Seeded Morning Bread
Adapted from Life in Balance by Donna Hay
Adjusted for all elevations about sea level
- 3¾ cups water
- ¾ teaspoon dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 3 teaspoons salt
- 6 cups (780 g) white spelt flour or whole wheat flour
- ½ cup flax seeds
- ½ cup sunflower seeds
- Place water, maple syrup, yeast, and salt in a large bowl and mix to combine
- Add the flour, flax seeds, and sunflower seeds and mix until a sticky dough forms. It will be very loose and gooey.
- Place the dough in a clean bowl dusted with flour and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough sit at room temperature for 2 hours
- After 2 hours, move the dough to your refrigerator and let rise 8 hours or overnight
- Preheat your oven to 425 F
- Heat a large heavy-based cast iron pot and lid in the oven for 30 minutes or until very hot
- Meanwhile, fold the sides of the dough towards the center of the bowl so it forms a ball shape
- Carefully remove the pot from the oven and dust with flour
- Slide the dough into the hot pan, and dust the top lightly with flour, if desired
- Using kitchen scissors, cut the top of the loaf with four "x" marks
- Cover with the lid and bake for 40-45 minutes
- Reduce the over temperature to 400 F and remove the lid
- Bake, uncovered, for a further 20-30 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped and has a good dark golden brown color
- Carefully tip the hot bread from the pan onto a cooling rack and serve warm
To make this bread at sea level, decrease the water to 3 1/2 cups and increase the yeast to 1 teaspoon. Baking times may vary slightly.