Seeded Brown Bread

Homemade seeded brown bread.

I wanted to develop a bread that I would feel good about eating every morning. For me that means using only whole wheat flour, no white flour at all, and lots of added whole grains and seeds. The result was this brown bread recipe.

This recipe is adapted from the Whole-Wheat Bread recipe in one of my favourite books on bread, The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. Full disclosure: it is a bit of an ordeal. To coax flavour from the whole wheat flour and make a moist, tender loaf, this recipe employs a soaker and a poolish to create a rather wet, sticky dough that can be difficult to work with and requires very long fermentation and proofing times. It is only possible for me to make this loaf when I have the entire day off. When I’m eating this bread daily I’ll double the recipe and freeze the second loaf.

Seeded Brown Bread

Adapted from the Whole-Wheat Bread recipe in The Bread Baker’s Apprentice



  • 120 g of almost any whole grain, nut, or seed you have on hand (for this version I used 28 g rolled oats, 28 g buckwheat groats, 28 g quinoa, 14 g flax seed, 14 g homemade cornmeal, and 8 g chia seed)
  • 170 g water, room temperature



  • 255 g whole-wheat flour
  • 10 g kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 28 g water
  • 43 g honey
  • 14 g fine oil
  • 1 large egg
  • extra whole-wheat flour for kneading
  • about 2 tsp sesame seeds or flax seeds for garnishing


  1. Prepare the soaker by combining the whole grains and seeds with the water. Stir. Cover. Leave at room temperature overnight.
  2. Prepare the poolish by dissolving the active dry yeast in the water and stirring the water into the whole wheat flour. We are simply hydrating the flour. Cover and let stand for 2-4 hours. It should be very clearly bubbly at this point. Transfer to the fridge and store overnight.
  3. The next day, remove the poolish from the fridge and warm to room temperature. Dissolve the second quantity of yeast in the ounce of water. Transfer the soaker and the poolish to the bowl of a stand mixer. Add water/yeast, whole wheat flour, salt, honey, oil, and egg. Stir with dough hook until combined. Knead with dough hook on speed 2 for 10 minutes.
  4. Shape into a boule and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled in volume. I don’t know if my kitchen is too cold or if whole wheat bread just always takes this long, but it takes about 4 hours to properly double.
  5. Shape into a sandwich loaf and transfer to a lightly oiled loaf pan. Cover loosely and proof until dough has almost doubled and is breeching the top of the pan. Roughly 1.5 – 2 hours.
  6. Mist the tops of the loaves with water and garnish with sesame or flax seeds.
  7. Bake in a 350°F oven for 30 minutes. Rotate pan and bake a further 15. The internal temperature of the loaf should be around 185-190°F.
  8. Immediately remove the bread from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Let cool at least one hour before slicing.

Yield: 1 x 2 lb loaf Seeded Brown Bread