Whole Grain Sesame Flaxseed Bread

Whole Grain Sesame Flaxseed Bread crust crumb

I previously mentioned the combination of sesame and flax seeds in the form of unleavened honey-glazed crackers. I always keep sacks of sesame and flax on hand to fuel the addiction to the sweet and salty crisps but this hearty leavened version is showing up more frequently in my daily weekly baking schedule.

The baking temperature for this whole grain loaf is much higher than that used for the crackers and it makes a noticeable difference in the finished product. The higher heat is more effective in drawing out flavor from the sesame and flax seeds, allowing the nutty oils to thoroughly flavor and permeate the dough.

Bread Baking Day 13: 100% Whole Grains
Bread Baking Day 13: 100% Whole Grains
hosted by yours truly

recipe adapted from Michel Suas’ Advanced Bread and Pastry

Whole Grain Sesame Flaxseed Bread

makes two 375 gram / 13.25 ounce loaves


  • The original formula for the soaker calls for equal parts flax seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and rolled oats by weight. Feel free to mix and match any grains of your choice in the soaker to make 71 grams or 2.5 ounces.
  • Knead the dough and develop the gluten thoroughly before adding the soaker. Add it towards the final minute of kneading.

For the Levain / Wild Yeast Starter:

Ingredients                  Volume          Ounces          Grams
whole wheat starter (50% hydration)                .625         18
whole wheat flour               1/2 cup           2.125         60
water, at room temperature                        2.625         74

Mix the levain ingredients until a shaggy ball of dough is formed. Knead the levain for about 2 minutes or until the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Place the levain in a bowl and cover. Let the levain ferment at room temperature for about 12 hours before using in the final dough.

For the Soaker:

Ingredients                  Volume          Ounces          Grams
whole flax seeds                                  1.25          35
whole sesame seeds                                1.25          35
water, at room temperature                        1.5           43

Mix the soaker ingredients. Cover and leave at room temperature for at least 2 hours.

Final Dough Formula:

Ingredients                  Volume          Ounces          Grams
all of the levain, cut into small pieces
whole wheat flour                 2 cups          8.625        245
rye meal/pumpernickel flour     3/4 cup           3.25          99
medium or dark rye flour        1/3 cup           1.375         39
water                                             9.125        259
kosher salt                       1 tbsp           .375         10
instant yeast                   1/8 tsp

all of the soaker (added towards the end of kneading)

Final Dough Instructions:

Mix             Mix all of the ingredients (except the soaker) until
                evenly incorporated.
Knead           8 to 10 minutes

Rest            5 minutes

Knead           Add the soaker and knead for about a minute or until
                the flax seeds and sesame seeds are thoroughly

Bulk Ferment    90 minutes at room temperature in a lightly oiled bowl

Whole Grain Sesame Flaxseed Dough Fermenting

Divide          2 pieces, about 1 lb/454 grams each

Preshape        light ball

Rest            25 to 30 minutes

Shape           boule or batard

Whole Grain Sesame Flaxseed Dough pre-shaped
pre-shaped whole grain sesame flaxseed dough

Final Proof     60 minutes at room temperature

Whole Grain Sesame Flaxseed Dough Proofed
proofed whole grain sesame flaxseed dough

Preheat Oven    450ºF/232ºC

Score           2 to 3 slashes

Whole Grain Sesame Flaxseed Dough Scored
scored whole grain sesame flaxseed dough

Steam           1 cup of boiling water poured in a heavy steam
                pan (preferably cast iron)

Bake            Bake at 450ºF/232ºC for 15 minutes. Rotate the loaves
                if necessary and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes.

Cool            At least 30 minutes

Whole Grain Sesame Flaxseed Bread on Wire Rack
baked whole grain sesame flaxseed bread cooling on a wire rack

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29 Responses to “Whole Grain Sesame Flaxseed Bread”

  1. daphne says:

    I have to say I really dig the step by step instructions and photo journal. This bread looks really healthy too.

    last blog post: Baked Moroccan Chicken Rice

  2. arundati says:

    i want some of that….. bread baking for me is turning out to be brick baking…. but i want to give it another shot!!

    last blog post: Chocolate Making Classes

  3. Dee says:

    It’s always a pleasure to take a peek into your kitchen, Jude. Everything turns out beautifully always. Can’t wait for the bread baking round-up. Was going to make another bread for you (have my eye on a pear and buckwheat bread) but while the spirit is willing, the flesh is often too tired.

    last blog post: A piece of cake, and getting my tomatoes drunk.

  4. dhanggit says:

    this sounds perfect with my home-made terrine!! gorgeous!! im still thinking what i can contribute to your event..i hope i still have time :-)

  5. Caitlin says:

    I love how the dough looks – all speckled with flax and sesame seeds. And the baked loaves look so rustic, dusted with flour. Too pretty.

    last blog post: August DB Challenge: Eclairs

  6. kat says:

    That looks like some good hearty bread! I’v had a hard time with my wheat breads coming out like rocks

    last blog post: Daring Bakers – Eclairs

  7. clumbsycookie says:

    I also have allways flax and sesame seeds arround! I would love this bread for sure! It looks amazing!

    last blog post: For the Daring Bakers it doens’t matter if you’re Black or White!

  8. sweetbird says:

    I have a question – What the heck do you do with all this bread? There’s no way you’re eating all of it…

  9. rainbowbrown says:

    A very tasty seed combination. This bread looks delicious.

    last blog post: Daring Bakers Éclairs

  10. joey says:

    Came here from photograzing
    I’m super impressed there is zero white flour in your bread. You did not cave in. So many times a “whole wheat bread” is actually made with lots of white flour.

    Here is my 100% whole grain rye-wheat-caraway bread

    Mine is steamed and I’m impressed that yours can be steamed. I steam so that the water runs out half way through….then the baking phase kicks in. Done in a pot on top the stove

  11. Excellent rye-wheat recipe w/yeast and levain sourdough « making real rye bread says:

    [...] Excellent rye-wheat recipe w/yeast and levain sourdough http://www.applepiepatispate.com/bread/whole-grain-sesame-flaxseed/#comment-1607 [...]

  12. Dragon says:

    This bread just screams goodness, warmth and home to me. Wonderful bread. :)

    last blog post: Chocolate Éclairs

  13. Adam says:

    Your bread looks amazing, Jude. I love how you put in whole wheat, rye, pumpernickel, AND flax seeds. That’s a super healthy flavor combo :)

    Thanks for checking out my site. Yours is simply beautiful. I’ll def be back to see what you’re up to in our crazy baking world :)

    last blog post: Daring Bakers: Mission Eclair

  14. MyKitchenInHalfCups says:

    Ahhh Jude, these are really spectacular loaves! Wonderful flax and sesame seeds!

  15. grace says:

    wow–these loaves may be the most wholesome, hearty slabs o’ bread i’ve ever considered eating. i love it when foods are insanely good for you yet still incredibly delicious. nicely done! :)

    last blog post: blowing hot and cold

  16. Daphne – I like doing the step by step for breads — not so much when stir frying or something, though.

    Arundati – Every other loaf I bake is a brick but just gotta keep trying.

    Dee – Would love to see the pear buckwheat when you make it. It’s on my list, too.

    Dhanggit – Mmm homemade terrine. Need to learn how to make that.

    Caitlin – I like the floured look, too, especially those rings from bannetons.

    Kat – It’s okay to get the occassional brick. It’s one way to learn something new.

    Clumbsy – Flax and sesame are great when baked together. Good stuff.

    Sweetbird – I throw it in the trash after taking photos (just kidding). I’m pretty popular with some homeless folks around here (not kidding).

    Rainbowbrown – Was too eager with the slashing but it turned out okay.

    Joey – I like 100% whole wheat breads. Such a completely different way of developing dough and it’s nice to learn.

    Dragon – A few slices of this bread and I’m full. Nice chew to it but great when lightly toasted.

    Adam – Just trying to clear the freezer of all these flours. I have no space for anything else anymore. Like ice cubes or something.

    Tanna – Thanks. It’s a great combination.

    Grace – Good and good for you. Lots of breads like that when I post the round up.

  17. [eatingclub] vancouver || js says:

    Oh I missed the deadline. But it’s not like I can bake something right now. Still, I like to think I’d be able to bake some beautiful bread, okay. I just missed the deadline.

    Really, I wonder when I will get started on this bread-baking thing. I just don’t know where to start.

    Your breads, this and the chocolate bread, look fantastic, as always.

    last blog post: Random Facts Meme from Kian

  18. Katerina says:

    This looks so good, I love flax in my bread. I think your skills in bread baking are WAY beyond me though. I am not up to bakers percentages and stuff yet.

    last blog post: Spinach, Feta, Kalamata, and Walnut Salad

  19. Aparna says:

    This bread couldn’t get any better, I’m thinking. I’ve never used flax seeds is anything. I just got some and will be putting it to use soon, I hope.:)

  20. Seeded Multi-Grain Bread « A Bread A Day says:

    [...] not really sure what to write about this bread.  See, the original recipe is one of those multi-day, sourdough-starter-already-made recipes that can’t help but produce [...]

  21. Miquel Pantoliano says:

    Als ich fertig war, holte ich mir was zu lesen. Dabei fing ich an, immer wieder auf system Uhr zu schauen. Auf der set up combat immer noch alles ruhig. Es set-to wirklich eine sehr, sehr ruhige Nacht! Dafür aber auch eine sehr, sehr erotische, dachte ich. Ich schaute wieder auf appearance Uhr. Es brawl inzwischen 2.34 Uhr.

  22. Wheat Grinders says:

    It looks great. But the steps are so simple to follow. I bet any one can be a baker. I am surprised that the combination of sesame and flax seeds with other ingredients could bring such sumptuous bread. Thanks for the information.

  23. Grain Flaker says:

    Now this is what I called a very delicious looking bread. The flax you use for the taste seems to be very useful and surely I am going to bake this type bread for me soon.

    Grain Flaker

  24. bestbuy says:

    I love how the dough looks – all speckled with flax and sesame seeds. And the baked loaves look so rustic, dusted with flour. Too pretty.

  25. Jane says:

    I love bread and this is certainly one of the tastiest posts I have come across. Thanks for posting the recipe! Nuclear Medicine Technologist Jobs

  26. Paige says:

    The bread turned out great, but the healthy ingredients makes it even better. This recipe looks like one I should to add to my flax seed recipes page (with your permission, of course). Let me know, thanks!

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