Dakota Bread



Dakota BreadStrudel I was home sick for a few days last week, so in-between feeling sorry for myself, gleefully watching all the terrible TV I never get to see because I’m at work (The View, The Chew, Live with whoever, etc.), I also watched a healthy dose of cooking shows on public television. I find it wildly entertaining to watch the slow moving, no-action-packed nature of public TV. There’s no rapid talking chefs or shouts from the audience; instead it’s Jacque Pepin talking about how much his wife loves runny eggs or a southern cooking show discussing tomato varietals for 20 minutes.


No surprise here – of course my favorite cookings shows are anything by the folks at Cook’s Illustrated. The best parts of the show are the opener (occasionally Christopher Kimball will dress up as a giant piece of fruit) and the kitchen equipment testing. Squeezed in-between these segments are some recipes, and last week, as I sat nurturing my pathetic self, I saw Bridget patiently teach Christopher how to make Dakota Bread, a hearty, healthy bread with grains, seeds, and white flour (much as I enjoy wheat flour, white flour has my heart). Inspired (and honestly, slightly bored after a few days on the sofa), I made the bread myself. I was pleased to see that it not only turned out to be simple to make, it’s a tasty, seedy bread that’s filling and flavorful without being dense and heavy.


ps. I promise I washed my hands about a billion times while I baked, plus I didn’t breathe on anything.



The only change I made to the recipe was extremely minor – I didn’t have any poppy seeds, so they got skipped. Also, I could only find 10-grain hot cereal (vs. the 7-grain they discuss below), and it was perfect. I got Bob’s Red Mill. We’ve mostly eaten the bread toasted, sliced and with a bit of butter. It really is great and will definitely be something I’ll make again.



Dakota Bread


From Cook’s Country



In step 2, if the dough is still sticking to the sides of the mixing bowl after 2 minutes, add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time, up to 3 tablespoons. Be sure to use hot cereal mix, not boxed cold breakfast cereals, which may also be labeled “seven-grain.”


  • 2 
cups warm water (110 degrees)
  • 1 1/2 
cups (7 1/2 ounces) seven-grain hot cereal mix
  • 2 
tablespoons honey
  • 2 
tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 1/2 
cups (19 1/4 ounces) bread flour
  • 1 3/4 
teaspoons salt
  • 1 
teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 3 
tablespoons raw, unsalted pepitas
  • 3 
tablespoons raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1 
teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 
teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 1 
large egg, lightly beaten


Grease large bowl. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In bowl of stand mixer, combine water, cereal, honey, and oil and let sit for 10 minutes.


Add flour, salt, and yeast to cereal mixture. Fit stand mixer with dough hook and knead on low speed until dough is smooth and elastic, 4 to 6 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons pepitas and 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds to dough and knead for 1 minute longer. Turn out dough onto lightly floured counter and knead until seeds are evenly distributed, about 2 minutes.


Transfer dough to greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rise at room temperature until almost doubled in size and fingertip depression in dough springs back slowly, 60 to 90 minutes.


Gently press down on center of dough to deflate. Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and shape into tight round ball. Place dough on prepared sheet. Cover dough loosely with plastic and let rise at room temperature until almost doubled in size, 60 to 90 minutes.


Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lowest positions and heat oven to 425 degrees. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon pepitas, remaining 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds in small bowl. Using sharp knife, make ¼-inch-deep cross, 5 inches long, on top of loaf. Brush loaf with egg and sprinkle seed mixture evenly over top.


Place 8½ by 4½-inch loaf pan on lowest oven rack and fill with 1 cup boiling water. Place baking sheet with dough on upper-middle rack and reduce oven to 375 degrees. Bake until crust is dark brown and bread registers 200 degrees, 40 to 50 minutes. Transfer loaf to wire rack and let cool completely, about 2 hours. Serve.



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