I assumed this bread would taste good because who doesn't like everything bagel seasoning? I was right, and we ate it in about an hour. I like that this recipe uses rapid-rise yeast and makes a dense but soft and spongy loaf. Most of my bread recipes do not require kneading, like my Fluffy White (Day) Bread, but I did knead this (or rather, I let the Kitchen Aid do it) for about seven minutes. The Everything Bagel seasoning is Badia brand, though I often get mine at Trader Joe's or Target. You can find it anywhere, a delicious mix of poppy, sesame, and (sometimes) nigella seeds plus onion flakes.
You'll love this savory, soft bread. It shines with butter or soft cheese and should be dunked in any sauce or soup you like.
Ingredients: 3 cups bread flour, 1 1/2 cups warm water (110*F), 1 tbsp. sugar, 1 packet rapid-rise yeast, 1 1/2 tsp. sea salt, 2 tbsp. everything bagel seasoning, 1 tbsp. olive oil.
Makes one 7-8 inch round loaf.
1. Bloom the yeast: Combine sugar and water in a bowl, and stir to dissolve. Add the yeast and make sure it "blooms" or gets foamy--up to five minutes.
2. Make the dough: Add the flour and salt into a large bowl or a stand mixer. Add the bloomed yeast and water to the flour, then stir to combine until a shaggy dough is formed. Switch to a dough hook, and let the mixer knead the dough on low for seven minutes. Or, remove the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for the same amount of time. The dough should be smooth and elastic.
3. Rise: Place the dough in an oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and put it in a warm spot, like a sunny window, for 2 1/2-3 hours until well expanded (doubled in size). Flour your hands very well and a surface. Gather the dough to "fall" from the bowl onto the floured surface. Make a basic ball shape using your hands, gathering the sides and wrapping them underneath several times.
5. Prep the dough: Lay the bread ball onto a piece of parchment paper and move it back into the bowl. Cover with a towel for the second rise of 30 minutes. Lightly oil the surface of the dough, then sprinkle evenly with everything bagel seasoning. Press it down to adhere.
6. Bake: Place a Dutch oven (or sizeable oven-proof baking vessel with a lid) into the range and preheat to 450* F. Pick up the parchment paper with the bread ball and place it into the Dutch oven. Cover with the lid and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for 10 minutes until golden, crackly-topped, and hollow-sounding.
Bake it without a Dutch oven: An oven-proof vessel works best. This could be a covered casserole dish at least 9 inches wide or a stainless steel pot with a baking sheet on top as a lid. (We are creating steam for a crackly crust.) If you have neither, you can bake the bread on a baking sheet (no parchment paper) with a bit of flour sprinkled on the sheet and a second sheet placed on the rack beneath with 8-10 ice cubes on it. This version turns out more spread and less round, with a less crackly crust, but it is still good.
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