Three-Seed Crown Loaf
- 2 1/2 cups lukewarm water
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 5 teaspoons instant yeast
- 8 cups freshly ground whole-wheat flour
- 4 teaspoons salt
- 5 teaspoons gluten (available at health food stores and specialty grocery stores)
- 5 teaspoons dough enhancer (available at specialty baking shops and online)
- 4 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sunflower oil
- 1 egg
- 4 tablespoons sunflower seeds
- 4 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 4 tablespoons sesame seeds
Measure the water and honey in a bowl and sprinkle the yeast on the top. Let the yeast sit for a couple of minutes to activate it. Add 2 cups of the flour, salt, gluten, dough enhancer, and 4 tablespoons of the sunflower oil to the yeast mixture and mix well. Slowly add the rest of the flour (approximately 6 cups) to the mixture until a soft, moist dough is formed and the dough no longer clings to the outside of the bowl. You may need a little more or less flour. Knead the dough until gluten is formed (it is critical that the gluten be formed or you will get a heavy bread). The dough should be smooth and spring back when pressed, about 8 to 10 minutes. You can also check to see if gluten is formed by doing the "window test". The window test is when the dough can be stretched and it doesn't break, but will stretch and create a translucent membrane or window.
Rub 1 teaspoon of sunflower oil around a large bowl. Turn the dough in the oil, then cover the bowl and let dough stand until double, about 1 hour.
While dough is rising, lightly grease a 12-inch deep Dutch Oven. When dough has doubled, turn out dough and shape it into a round even ball. Cut the ball into 8 equal wedges. Combine 2 of the wedges into a ball and place in the middle of the Dutch oven for the larger middle ball of the crown. Form the remaining 6 wedges into individual balls. Lightly beat the egg in a small bowl to make the egg glaze. Brush each of the balls in egg glaze and then dip 2 balls in poppy seeds, 2 balls in sesame seeds, and 2 balls in sunflower seeds. Place each set of balls on the opposite side of the middle ball so that you have the different balls alternating around the outside of the middle ball or Dutch oven (eg. Going around the circle, it may go poppy, sesame, sunflower, poppy, sesame, and sunflower.) Let the dough rise until just about double again inside the Dutch oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake until golden brown, about 40 minutes to 1 hour.
Notes: To get lighter dough you can substitute about 1/2 of your whole-wheat flour with white flour. However, you can still get remarkably light dough using all whole-wheat flour if you add the dough enhancer and gluten and make sure your gluten is properly formed during the kneading process. Adding the enhancer and gluten were tricks learned from my mother who raised us on home made whole-wheat bread. I have yet to find a better way to get whole-wheat bread as light and fluffy as this.
Home Cook Recipe: A viewer or guest of the show, who may not be a professional cook, provided this recipe. The Food Network Kitchen have not tested this recipe and therefore cannot make representation as to the results.