Everything Bagel Peasant Bread
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Recipe courtesy of Alexandra Stafford

Everything Bagel Seasoning Peasant Bread

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 3 hr 20 min (includes standing, rising and cooling times)
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 2 loaves
For as long as I can remember, my mother has been baking her peasant bread in Pyrex bowls, the recipe for which she shared with nobody including very dear friends. When I started my blog in 2006, I knew the peasant bread recipe was off limits, so I wrote about other recipes, until I couldn’t keep the secret any longer — my mother’s bread was just as good as any, and it required a fraction of the work. After pleading my case for several months, my mother acquiesced, and shortly thereafter into the ether went the peasant bread recipe. The success of the peasant bread recipe led to a cookbook, “Bread Toast Crumbs,” all about the peasant bread, which I wrote with my mother.  I thought we had included every possible variation of the peasant bread recipe in the book, but months after it was published, a friend wrote to me telling me she had sprinkled everything bagel seasoning into her buttered Pyrex bowls before baking, and the result was extraordinary: two glistening, seed-crusted boules, the flavors of the everything bagel seasoning permeating the loaves. Brilliant!  I tried the method immediately and loved the results.



  1. If you are using instant yeast: Whisk together the flour, salt, sugar and instant yeast in a large bowl. Add the water and mix until it is absorbed. If you are using active-dry yeast: Dissolve the sugar into the water in a small bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over top; there is no need to stir. Let it stand until the mixture is foamy, 10 to 15 minutes. Whisk together the flour and salt in a large bowl. Stir the foamy yeast mixture, then add it to the flour mixture until it is absorbed.
  2. Cover the bowl with a tea towel or plastic wrap and set aside in a warm spot to rise until the dough doubles in volume, 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours (see Cook’s Note).
  3. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Grease two 1-quart oven-safe bowls with 1 tablespoon of butter each. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the everything bagel seasoning or your seed mix of choice into each bowl. Turn the bowl to ensure the entire surface is coated in the seasoning. Set aside. 
  4. Using 2 forks, release the dough from the sides of the bowl. As you release the dough from the sides, pull it towards the center. Using your 2 forks, divide the dough into 2 equal portions: eye the center of the mass of dough, and starting from the center and working out, pull the dough apart. Use the two forks again to transfer each half into your prepared bowls. 
  5. Let the dough rise until it just crowns the rim of the bowls, about 30 minutes; depending on the time of year, this may take more or less time.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375 degrees F and bake until the loaves are evenly golden all around, 17 to 20 minutes more. Remove the bowls from the oven and turn the loaves out onto cooling racks. Let cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting.

Cook’s Note

For best results, use a scale to measure the ingredients.  To make perfectly lukewarm water combine 1 1/2 cups (340 grams) cold water with 1/2 cup (114 grams) boiling water. You can buy everything bagel seasoning or make your own. You can also use other seed mixes, such as dukkah, or you can simply use any single seed you like, such as sesame seeds.  To create a warm place for your dough to rise: Turn your oven on at any temperature (350 degrees F or so) for 1 minute, then turn it off. Do not allow the oven to get up to 300 degrees F, for example, and then heat at that setting for 1 minute — this will be too hot. Just let the oven preheat for a total of 1 minute — it likely won’t get above 100 degrees F. The goal is to just create a slightly warm environment for the bread.