No-Yeast Whole Wheat Za'atar Bread

This simple whole wheat bread requires no yeast or rising time, so you can have a freshly baked loaf in practically no time at all! The combination of whole wheat and bread flour imparts subtle nuttiness and extra gluten, resulting in a baked loaf that's both chewy and airy. The generous addition of buttermilk also tenderizes the bread without any detectable tang. Finish the dough off with a decent sprinkle of za'atar and white sesame seeds for a perfectly crisp and flavorful crust.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 15 min
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: Makes 1 loaf
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Ingredients

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, plus more for dusting (see Cook's Note)

1 cup bread flour (see Cook's Note)

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon za'atar, plus more for topping

2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 cups buttermilk, plus more for brushing

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

1 large egg

2 teaspoons white sesame seeds

Directions

  1. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 9-inch round cake pan with a large sheet of parchment, pressing it into the edges of the pan and leaving an overhang on 2 sides (the extra parchment will help you unmold the loaf later).
  2. Whisk the whole wheat flour, bread flour, sugar, za'atar, lemon zest, salt, baking soda and baking powder together in a large bowl. Whisk the buttermilk, melted butter and egg together in a separate bowl or liquid measuring cup until combined. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the buttermilk mixture into the center. Use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to stir the mixture until it starts to come together in a shaggy mass. 
  3. Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Turn the dough mixture out onto the floured surface and knead a few times to bring it together. Shape it into a domed disk that’s about 7-inches in diameter. Place the dough into the prepared pan and cut a cross about 1/2 inch deep into the center of the dough using a sharp knife. Brush the top and sides with more buttermilk, then sprinkle with a few good pinches of za’atar and the sesame seeds.  
  4. Bake until the top is puffed and lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and use the parchment overhang to lift the bread from the pan. Place on a wire rack to cool completely. 

Cook’s Note

When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)