By Sari Huhtala
I love baking this bread. It not only requires no kneading, it’s hearty and delicious, and it looks like something one would buy from a fancy bake shop. Your family will be wowed!
- 3 1/4 cups of spelt flour
- Extra spelt flour for dusting onto counter or board
- ¼ cup of whole flax seeds, plus ¼ cup of hot water
- ¼ cup of sunflower seeds, toasted
- 1 tsp salt, ideally Himalayan or sea salt
- ½ tsp dry/instant yeast
- 300 ml of warm water
- 1 tbsp of raw honey
Toast sesame seeds for about 5 to 10 minutes in a 350 degrees F oven, or until lightly golden. Cool and set aside. Combine whole flax seeds and ¼ cup hot water in a small bowl. Add cooled sunflower seeds and mix. In a separate bowl, mix 300 ml of warm water and honey until combined. Add the sunflower/flax seed mixture to the honey water mixture, and stir to combine. In a large size bowl blend spelt flour, yeast and salt. Add the liquid ingredients to the flour mixture and blend for about one minute. Cover and set aside at room temperature for about eight hours, or overnight.
After letting the dough rise overnight, or eight hours, preheat a heavy cast iron pot with a lid, or Dutch oven, at 475 degrees F, for about half an hour. While the pot is heating, prepare the bread dough.
Dust the counter or a large cutting board with spelt flour. Use floured hands, or a spatula, to scrape the dough out of the bowl, without mixing it, and place in one ball onto the floured surface. With slightly wet hands, pat the dough down into a rectangle. With a spatula slipped under the dough, fold the right side of the dough into the middle, then fold the left side of the dough on top. Then, in the opposite direction, fold the dough in half. Dust lightly with flour and cover with a plastic wrap. Allow dough to sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes. While the dough is rising, line a medium sized bowl with parchment paper, allowing the paper to fold over the edge of the bowl. Then, repeat the same folding process with the dough, beginning by patting the dough into a rectangle. After folding the dough in half, with floured hands carefully lift the dough into the paper-lined bowl. Cover and let rise for 25 minutes.
Carefully remove the hot Dutch oven from the oven. Then lift the parchment paper out of the bowl, with the dough, and place the paper and dough in hot Dutch oven/pot. Cut away any lengths of paper hanging over the edges. Using scissors, make three 45-degree shallow cuts across the top of the bread, then place in oven and bake for about 30 minutes at 450 degrees.
After 30 minutes, remove the lid and allow the bread to bake another 10 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from oven and lift the paper and bread out of the pot to cool on a rack.