For the Bread
- 3 cups all purpose, unbleached flour
- 1 3/4 teaspoons coarse salt
- 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1/4 teaspoon white sugar (to activate yeast)
- 1 1/2 cups warm water (around 110°F)
- 1/2 teaspoon black sesame seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon white sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
For the Topping
- 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds
- 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon minced onion
- Activate the yeast: Pour warm water into a small bowl. Sprinkle yeast on top. Add sugar and give the mixture a small stir. Place the bowl in a warm place for about 10-15 minutes. Be patient! If yeast is activated, you will see foam on top of the mixture, and even a few small bubbles. Also, if you take sniff, it will smell very much like yeast.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and seasonings for the bread. Add water and yeast mixture and mix until just combined into a sticky, shaggy dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm, dry place for 12-18 hours. After the dough has risen for at least 12 but preferably 18 hours, it should look loose and very moist with some bubbles on the surface.
- When the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 450˚F. Place a 6 to 8qt dutch oven or cast iron pot in the oven to heat up for 30 minutes before baking. Mix together seasonings for the topping in a small bowl and set aside.
- Place dough on a well floured surface and, using plenty of flour on your hands, gently pat it into a ball shape. Score the top of the dough as desired.
- Place it onto a piece of parchment paper, sprinkle the top of the dough with more flour, and cover with saran wrap while you wait for your pot to heat up.
- Place it onto a piece of parchment paper and sprinkle the top of the dough with the toppings mixture. Cover with saran wrap while you wait for your pot to heat up.*
- Remove the saran wrap and place both the parchment paper and the dough into the heated pot so that the parchment lines the bottom.
- Place on a middle rack and cook, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and cook another 10-15 minutes, until bread is golden. Cool on a wire rack.
Unless, I check the temperature with a literal thermometer, I've always had to try twice to activate the yeast! So if it doesn't activate the first time you try, no worries. Be patient and try again with another 1/2 teaspoon of yeast.
To make sure the toppings stay on the bread after cooking when you cut yourself a slice, brush a little milk on top of the dough before sprinkling with the toppings. A milk wash will give the bread a dull shine, more of a matte look not too different from what it would look like without one! If you want to really make sure the toppings stick and don't mind a little shine on your bread, an egg white wash will work as well.