Monday, September 10, 2012

Betsy's Seeded Oat Bread

I bought the book  Healthy Breads In Five Minutes A Day, last December, and this is the first recipe that I have tried, and what do you do when the bread is really good and a breeze to make? You make it over and over, of course!  Is it good? Yes, yes, it is very good! This is my fourth time at making this bread.

Healthy, delicious and super easy to make, there's no kneading at all, of course, this is from the ever popular duo, Jeff Hertzber, MD and Zoe Francois. The steps may look like so many levels, but it is actually really easy. The only thing is, just plan to make the dough a day earlier and bake the next day, or bake within the next 7 days! 

The first three times when I made the bread, the dough was really, really wet! So for this time, I reduced the water slightly. It is still soft and slightly wet, but so much more easier to handle. I'm gonna stick to this new measurement since I don't find any difference to the texture and taste of the bread. 

Let's get started :
1. Mix the dry ingredients in a container. I did not use the stand mixer or food processor. I mixed everything into the container that I'm using to store the dough later. I only made half a recipe, enough to bake two loaves.
2. The wet ingredients are combined in medium bowl.
3. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and using a wooden spoon, mixed until everything is well incorporated. 
4. Close container, but not air-tight, I just close the lid without pressing it down tightly. Mark the top level of the dough and let rest for 2 hours until it rises and collapses.
5. After more than 3 hours, it has risen but did not show any signs of collapse (the same with every batch I've made). I then proceeded to store the container in the fridge.
6. On the third day, baking day! The dough has collapsed a little, while still in the fridge.
7. Sprinkle the top with some flour.
8. Scoop out half of the dough, it will be a little sticky, best way to handle is to wet your hands with some water, shake off excess water. Shape into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go.
9. Shape the dough into a long oval and place on the prepared pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap and leave to rise for 90 minutes. Mine was left to rise for 120 minutes, as I was out and came back a little later than expected.
10. The risen dough. Brush the top with some water, sprinkle some seeds on top, make three horizontal slits on the top crust and bake. Refer baking instructions from the recipe below.

I do not have a baking stone, so I baked the bread placed on a cookie baking sheet lined with baking mat.

As you may have noticed, the dough has spread more to the sides than the top, this is normal, acccording to the authors, because of the wet dough, it tend to spread to the sides. I do not mind this one bit, as since the bread is somewhat 'flatten', it really is very delicious when you bite into it, there is more crusty crispy crust surface to bite on! 
You may view some of the instructional videos on shaping and baking the breads from both their books, here.

 The baked loaf. This bread has a rich well-browned crust. It smells wonderful during baking.

When you use the serrated knife to slice into the bread, the wonderful sound of the crunch is enough to make you want to take a bite!

The crust is so, so, crispy and the insides are moist and densely soft! This is one delicious bread. The best part are the two edges, with the crispy crunchy crust! Seriously, this is one of the best bread I've eaten. I find this bread quite addictive, I can't stop at just a slice, but what the heck, this is a healthy bread with lots of fibers! But don't take my word for it, go make one yourself, it is super easy, no kneading at all!

Note : I made half a recipe, measurements are indicated in red.
Betsy's Seeded Oat Bread
(Healthy Bread In Five Minutes A Day, Jeff Hertzberg MD, Zoe Francois)
Makes enough dough for at least four 1-pound loaves. The recipe is easily doubled or halved
2 cups whole wheat flour (1 cup)
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I use bread flour, 1-1/2 cups)
1-1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (3/4 cup)
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed (I omit this)
3/4 cup pumpkin seeds, plus more for sprinkling on top crust (1/3 cup plus extra)
3/4 cup sunflower seeds, plus more for sprinkling on top crust (1/3 cup plus extra)
1/4 cup sesame seeds, plus more for sprinkling on top crust (1/8 cup plus extra)
1-1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast, or 2 packets (or decrease to taste) (3/4 tsp)
1 tablespoon kosher salt (increase or decrease to taste) (1/3 tbsp sea salt)
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten (1/8 cup)
3 cups lukewarm water (1-1/4 cups)
1/2 cup barley malt syrup, honey or agave syrup (1/4 cup honey)
1/4 cup neutral-flavoured oil (1/8 cup canola oil)

  1. Mixing and storing the dough : Whisk together the flours, rolled oats, seeds, yeast, salt and vital wheat gluten in a 5-quart bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) food container.
  2. Combine the liquid ingredients and mix them with the dry ingredients without kneading, using a spoon, a 14-cup food processor (with dough attachment), or a heavy-duty stand mixer (with paddle). You might need to use wet hands to get the last bit of flour to incorporate if you're not using a machine.
  3. Cover (not airtight), and allow the dough to rest at room temperature until it rises and collapses (or flatten on top), approximately 2 hours.
  4. The dough can be used immediately after its initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate it in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 7 days. The flavour will be best if you wait for at least 24 hours of refrigeration.
  5. On baking day, dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1-pound (grapefruit-size) piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go.
  6. Elongate the ball into a narrow oval. Allow the loaf to rest, covered loosely with plastic wrap, on a pizza peel prepared with cornmeal or lined with parchment paper for 90 minutes (40 minutes if you're using fresh, unrefrigerated dough). Alternatively, you can rest the loaf on a silicone mat or a greased cookie sheet without using a pizza peel.
  7. Thirty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 400F, with a baking stone placed on the middle rack. Place an empty metal broiler tray on any other rack that won't interfere with the rising bread.
  8. Just before baking, use a pastry brush to paint the top crust with water. Sprinkle with the seeds and slash the loaf diagonally with 1/4-inch-deep parallel cuts, using a serrated bread knife.
  9. Slide the loaf directly onto the hot stone (or place the silicone mat or cookie sheet on the stone if you used one). Pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray, and quickly close the oven door. Bake for about 40 minutes, until richly browned and firm. If you used parchment paper, a silicone mat, or a cookie sheet under the loaf, carefully remove it and bake the loaf directly on the stone or an oven rack two-thirds of the way through baking. Smaller or larger loaves will require adjustments in resting and baking time.
  10. Allow the bread to cool on a rack before slicing and eating.


  1. Wooow...exquisito y hermoso me encantó,abrazos hugs,.hugs.

  2. I need to be like you so adventurous. Have yet to explore this method of bread making. Send some over please.

  3. good morning buddy! so glad to hear that this turned out goood!!i will take note of the flour and water amount when i make this! i see that there's wheat gluten added, i never noticed that they have this gluten added in their recipes, i must go and chk!

    1. Hi Lena,
      Yes, most of their recipes for whole grain breads uses Vital Wheat Gluten. Don't get the wrong one, it is not Wheat Gluten. They are not the same!

  4. Gosh it looks so perfect! I admire you for making your own bread

  5. Joyce, I love the crust with all the seeds and nuts! And no need to use a mixer or processor is great... I would love to try this... shall go stock up my nuts and seeds. Never used wheat gluten before, I guess I'll be able to find wheat gluten at the local baking supply shops?

    1. Hi Mich, this is a truly lovely bread, please do give it a try. And buy Vital Wheat Gluten, not Wheat Gluten, they are not the same! You should be able to get it from the bakery supply stores.
      Have fun baking!

  6. This sounds really delicious indeed, may I know where did you get your gluten? I can't seem to find it at the bakery near my house.

    1. Hi Jeannie,
      I bought it from Bake With Yen (Bandar Puteri, Puchong). Make sure you buy Vital Wheat Gluten, and not Wheat Gluten.
      If you can't find it, let me know!
      Happy Baking!

  7. Lots of seeds in your bread.Why don't you link this recipe to BYOB Sep 12?Still not too late to do it now

  8. This is very interesting. Thanks for the photos that show the process. So, this bread is not baked in a loaf pan. What if I don't have a hot stone? Can I just place it on my baking tray?

    1. Hi Phong Hong,
      I baked the bread on a normal cooking sheet lined with baking mat. Forgotten to mention that, will include that in the post! Thanks!

  9. Rajin nya buat ni tap berbaloi. Tentu sedap..buat extra la the simpan kasi gua satu..heehehhehe

  10. Bread looks absolutely amazing and lovely with those seeds.

  11. I have that book and I really credit it for helping me become comfortable with yeast. The process of simply mixing everything in a container and watching the way it rises familiarized me with the "how" of it all. This is a gorgeous loaf, Joyce...I'm a sucker for bread with lots of seeds! Thanks so much for adding this to the BYOB bread basket this month =)

  12. Eileen, Hundred Eighty DegreesMonday, September 10, 2012

    This sound interesting and I am keen to make this when I get hold of the ingredients :)

  13. This bread looks awesome with so many healthy ingredients in it...and I love the no knead method :)
    Have a wonderful week Joyce!

  14. All those seeds must bring extra flavor and texture to this fantastic looking bread.

  15. Indeed, this bread looks very healthy and interesting. It doesn't require a long time to prove and I can see lots of great nutty texture in every bite or slice.

  16. The bread looks hearty and delicious.

  17. Joyce , I've seen that book from our library here , gotta check that out again next time ! :D Love all those nutty bits in that bread ! Deliciously healthy to boot ! ;)

  18. I really have to try this lovely bread! Just love all the nutty top & the recipe is quite easy too! I LOVE pumpkin seeds & sunflower seeds ! This is a very interesting recipe & finally I'm making a bread! So excited! LOL Bookmarking definitely! YUM!

  19. Going to try some bread with no knead method some day. Really great loaf without dough achieving elastic stage in bread making. Should try adding seeds and nuts in bread too. Have great weekend ahead!