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Unlocking the Secret to the BEST Toast and Sandwiches | Polka Dot Bread

sliced Polka Dot Bread

The BEST toast and sandwiches are made with Polka Dot Bread! A variety of seeds and nuts in a fluffy slice of bread pairs perfectly with butter, jam, or your favorite sandwich fixings. Enjoy!

Ingredients

Units Scale

4 tablespoons each: poppy seeds, raw sunflower kernels, hulled millet, chopped walnuts, flax seeds

2 cups whole wheat flour (or spelt or Kamut khorasan)

4 cups bread (strong white) or all-purpose (plain) flour

2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon yeast

1 large egg

1 cup milk

1 cup lukewarm water

1/4 cup olive oil or liquid fat of your choice

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup molasses

Spray bottle of clean water

Instructions

1. Measure poppy seeds, sunflower seeds, millet, and walnuts (not the flax) into a baking dish and toast in a 350 F (175 Celsius) oven until fragrant, about 10-12 minutes; set aside to cool.

2. Meanwhile, dissolve yeast in lukewarm water. Add egg, milk, and dissolved yeast to the mixer bowl and blend with flat paddle beater. Measure the olive oil in a quarter cup measuring cup and pour it into the mixer bowl, then measure the honey and molasses in the oiled measuring cup, adding them to the bowl. Add the salt. Mix on low speed until smooth. With the  mixer running, add the first 2 cups of flour (whole wheat) and then gradually add 2 cups of white flour and the cooled seeds + the flax. Continue adding flour until the dough starts to clean the sides of the bowl. It will be thick and sticky.

3. Switch to the dough hook, taking a moment to grease the collar of the hook (top and bottom) with soft butter to keep the dough from climbing. Turn the mixer on low and set a timer for 6-8 minutes to knead. You can gradually add small bits of flour as needed to make a smooth, cohesive dough.

4. Touch the dough after kneading. It should feel like the tacky side of a Post-It Note, but the dough should not stick to your fingers. Turn dough out onto a lightly oiled table, rub olive oil on your palms, and give it a few turns by hand, 6-10. Wash your mixer bowl, butter it well, and place the dough in it smooth side up. Cover with a lid, plate, or plastic bag and let rise until doubled, about 60-90 minutes. Meanwhile, generously butter two 9×5-inch (23×13 cm) loaf pans or three 8×4-inch (20×10 cm) loaf pans.

5. Use the poke test to determine if your dough has doubled. Press two fingers gently into the dough and quickly let go. If the indentation remains, your dough is ready to shape. If the holes quickly disappear, cover it up and give it 15 minutes, then test again. If the dough feels flabby and weak, it is over-risen. You can still make bread with it, but remember to give it a shorter rise next time you bake.

6. Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly greased table and gently deflate it with your palms. Flatten the dough into a thick disk. Cut dough in half. You can use a scale to make even-sized loaves. Flatten each piece into a rectangle, then fold in thirds like a letter. Flatten again into a 8×12-inch (20×30 cm) rectangle. Roll up from a short end, placing seam on bottom of the loaf. Tuck in the ends and place shaped dough in the prepared pan. Repeat for second piece of dough.

7. Cover loaves with a clean, lint-free dish towel and let rise until loaves curve over the tops of the pans, about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C) with a rack in the center of the oven.

8. Use the touch test to check of loaves are ready to bake. Gently touch the risen loaf with one finger and quickly let go. If a slight indentation remains, your loaves are ready to bake. Mist generously with clean water from a spray bottle and bake until the crusts is well-browned, about 25-30 minutes. Tip each loaf out its pan and look at the bottom, it should be nicely browned and sound hollow when thumbed with your thumb. You can check the temperature for doneness by poking a digital food thermometer into the center of the loaf from the bottom. Polka Dot Bread is done when the interior temperature reads 180 F to 190 F (82-88 C).

9. Cool loaves on wire racks until completely cool before slicing.

 

Notes

  • The windowpane test does not work well with Polka Dot bread due to the seeds and nuts.
  • To make a veggie sandwich: spread mayo on a slice of bread. Layer on sliced radishes, tomato, lentil sprouts, salad shoots or greens of your choice. Add some Golden Sauerkraut and Italian salad dressing for flavor. Season with black pepper. Add a few slices of your favorite cheese and top with a large chard leaf or a second slice of bread.

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