Let’s start by saying this isn’t a soft, melt in your mouth bread. It’s not a doughy, pillowy soft texture that puffs up high and mighty in the oven. I’ve had my fair share of bread creating and baking, rising and failing. I’ve sought after that rise big and high, pillowy soft version, and I’ve sought after the whole grain, seedy, authentic, ancient grain versions. And now, I’ve been seeking something else.
You see here’s the thing: as much as I love a soft, perfectly risen loaf of bread, it’s perhaps more for the fact of what it represents. It represents a successful loaf that looks, feels and tastes like what bread should and that suggests the ultimate achievement of being able to successfully combine the water and the yeast and the flour and the kneading and the time together, in the perfect combination to achieve the desired results.
But if I’m being completely honest, I’m more of a dense, hearty bread kind of girl. I’m more of a pack it with oats and seeds and nuts and whole grains kind of girl.
And it’s the kind of bread that doesn’t really rise, that stays full and packed with seeds and grains in every bite. And it’s the kind of bread that makes the best toast, but that you have to toast for an extra long time because it is so thick and hearty. And then you slather it with nut butter or tahini, or your favourite homemade jam, and you have the best thing.
You could have this for lunch, breakfast, snack or maybe just because you walked by the cupboard and saw it sitting there and in need of being consumed. You could turn it into open-faced sandwiches, or use it as the ultimate vehicle for avocado toast, or better yet, make it the base for pumpkin toast and top it with a drizzle of tahini and a sprinkle of cumin and salt. Man I’m on a tahini kick right now.
But let’s talk about the bread itself. It’s made from soaked nuts and seeds, large flake oats, barley flakes and some ground flax. It is high in fiber, rich in healthy fats, courtesy of the nuts and flax, and is a source of protein from these ingredients as well. It is held together with the flax and through lots of soaking, and when baked, rises up just enough to give a rise in the crust and a crispy outer layer, but not so much that you lose the incredible dense texture. The addition of salt and tahini make it the perfect flavour and it yields this moreish bread that leaves you with a satisfaction you don’t get from anything else. Not even soft, fresh, rising high bread.
They both have their place, but today, we’re enjoying this dense, seed filled bread. And yes, it’s covered in tahini.