Sesame Buttermilk Bread (by JZiemer)

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      The following recipe was posted originally by JZiemer on the King Arthur Baking Circle on March 9, 2013 at 12:38 p.m. It did not get transferred initially to Nebraska Kitchen. I found a printed copy in my piles of recipes, so I am transcribing it here.

      Sesame buttermilk Bread (JZiemer)

      Buttermilk helps create a high, light, moist loaf. Toasting the sesame seeds brings out their rich flavor and gives this loaf a nutty taste. Incorporating the seeds into the dough rather than sprinkling them on top of the loaf ensures that half of them don't fall off as you slice the loaf. Using toasted sesame oil instead of a plain vegetable oil results in a stronger sesame flavor (thanks to Sandra Alicante for this tip). See end of recipe for suggestions on ways to modify this bread. Delicious by itself but also good for toast and sandwiches. Yield 2 loaves [8 1/2 x 4 1/2"]

      1/2 cup sesame seeds (more if desired
      6 cups bread flour
      1 Tbs. salt
      1/2 cup hot water (110F)
      2 Tbs. agave syrup or honey (sugar or molasses can be substituted)
      1 Tbs. instant yeast
      2 cups buttermilk (room temperature)
      1 large egg (room temperature)
      3 Tbs. vegetable oil (use toasted sesame oil for a stronger sesame flavor)
      1/2 cup flour or more for kneading

      In a heavy dry skillet, toast sesame seeds over medium heat, stirring frequently, until dark golden brown. Remove seeds from pan as soon as they are ready (to prevent residual heat in pan from burning them). Let cool for a few minutes. Seeds can be toasted ahead of time.

      In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and seeds until thoroughly mixed. With a rubber spatula or a spon, make a deep well in the center by pushing flour up against the sides of the bow. The bottom of the bowl should be visible. Place the agave syrup or honey in the bottom of the well. Add the 1/2 cup hot water and stir briefly to mix. Sprinkle yeast on surface of liquid, let set for a few seconds to soften, then stir to mix. (A chopstick works well.) Knock about a tablespoon of flour from the sides of the bowl and incorporate it into the yeast mixture. Let set for 10-15 minutes, or until yeast mixture is bubbly and has foamed up.

      While yeast is proofing, whisk together buttermilk, egg, and oil. Set aside.

      When yeast is ready, pour buttermilk mixture into well. Using a sturdy spoon, slowly begin incorporating the flour mixture into the liquid, working from the inside of the wll out. The last bits of flour may have to be worked in by hand.

      Spread a 1/2 cup of flour in about a twelve-inch circle on the kneading surface. Place ball of dough on flour and cover with a large bowl. Let sit for 20-30 minutes. Knead bread until it forms a compact ball and springs back when dimpled. Try to incorporate as little additional flour as possible. Dough will be slightly tacky. Place dough into a lightly oiled bowl, turn to coat with oil. Spritz with water. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, a shower cap, or a damp towel, and let rise in a warm, dark place for one hour. Uncover dough and deflat it with tips of fingers. Replace covering and let rise for one more hour. When dough has doubled, ease it out onto a lightly floured surface. Let set for a few minutes.

      Divide dough into two equal halves. Knead each half for a minute or two. Shape into loaves and place in lightly oiled 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 3-inch bread tins. Preheat oven to 475F. Let loaves rise for 30-40 minutes or until top of each loaf is an inch to an inch and a quarter above rim of the baking tins. If desired, when dough is more or less even with top of pan (this takes about 15 minutes), make three diagonal slashes in the top of each loaf with a razor blade or sharp knife, and then let the loaves continue to rise until they are a generous inch or so above the rim of the pan.

      When loaves are ready, place in the preheated 475F oven. Close door, wait two minutes, and then lower heat to 350F. Bake loaves for 40-45 minutes or until an insta-read thermometer registers an internal temperature of 200-210F. Remove from pans and place on a rack to cool. For a darker, crisper crust, turn off oven, remove loaves from pans, place loaves directly on oven racks, shut oven door, and let loaves cool in oven. This bread freezes well.

      Other seeds, or a mix of sesame and/or other seeds, can be used. Finely chopped fresh dill )about a third of a cup) or 2-3 Tbs. dried dill weed can be substituted for the sesame seed; this sharpens the sour taste of the loaf. Other herbs may work as well, but I've not tried them.

      Submitted by jarobo on Mon. 2014-07-28 at 15:19
      Prepared 1/2 recipe using all listed ingredients but used bread machine on dough cycle. Shaped loaf rose much faster than expected (I hadn't preheated the oven yet) wo the final loaf was almost double the height of the bread pan! It looked a bit odd, but it was delicious. This loaf is undoubtedly the most versatile I have ever baked: PB&J, grilled cheese, cold cuts, toast, BLTs were all extraordinary. Though I usually like to vary my recipes, this one will be made often. Thanks J. Ziemer for an excellent recipe.

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