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Recipe and easy to follow steps to make home baked Toasted Sesame Bread.
It tastes better than any bread you can buy!
It takes about 4 hours with preparation and cleanup, BUT most of the time is actually wait time, where the yeast is working and not you. The result is so rewarding that you won't mind the time spent. Also, if you follow my advise at the end of this page you can make the process much more efficient and will have to bake less often.
Cut open bread
Besides a great taste of toasted sesame seeds the bread is very moist and fluffy, yet strong enough that it doesn't fall apart when you spread something on it that's a little tougher than margarine.
The first day I'll keep the fresh bread out on the counter on a cutting board, cut side down. This will keep it fresh and the crust crunchy, but after a day or two I'll put the rest into a plastic bag to prevent it from drying out.
But now to the actual bread baking:
What's needed
I use stainless steel bowls but also plastic bowls, both work fine. I have replaced the shown wooden spoon for stirring with a metal one as it's easier to clean. I started out with using 5 lbs. bags of Bob's Red Mill all-purpose flour, but then later switched to 20 lbs. flour bags from Costco. Besides that you'll need a 9" proofing basket and a plastic scraper, and a silicone spatula. You'll also need kitchen scales, best digital, that can be switched to grams instead of oz. You also need precise scales to measure the small amounts of yeast and salt, a pocket scale will work great for this. Of course you'll need a 6-7 quart dutch oven, if you don't already own one, this will be largest investment, but you won't regret it and it saves a lot of money in the long run.
The poolish, or pre-ferment, should be started about 16 hours before starting the dough. I usually start it at 4 pm to start making the dough the next day at 8 am.
Put 150 g of cold water into a container with lid. The container should be at least 0.5 liter in size, better 1 liter/quart.
Put a pinch (40-50 grains) of rapid rise dry yeast into the water and stir it.
Then add 150 g of all-purpose flour and stir until all the flour is wet and has a even consistency.
Let sit, covered, for 16 hours at room temperature.
The needed ingredients:
The poolish you made the day before.
30 g of toasted sesame seeds. I toast them in a small frying pan with lots of stirring.
9 g of salt
2 g of rapid rise yeast
350 g of all-purpose flour
50 g of whole wheat flour
280 g of warm water, but not hot water as that would kill the yeast
All in one bowl
Put the water into the bowl, add the yeast and stir. Then add the poolish and stir a little to mix some of the water into the poolish. After that cover the water with the flour and add the sesame seeds and salt. Try to somewhat evenly spread the salt to avoid having too much in one spot.
Adding the salt to the water with the yeast would kill the yeast, but adding it on top of all the other ingredients is fine.
Mix all ingredients in the bowl with a spoon until it's hard to mix it any further. Then use your bare hands to mix it some more, until everything is evenly mixed, about one minute. Then let sit covered for 30 min.
This is the most messy part, wet your hands with cold water to make the dough stick less to your hands, but it still will at this stage.
Folded over once
Uncover the bowl and wet you hands again. Then grab part of the dough, pull it up 6-8 inches and fold it onto the remaining dough. Pull it up enough that the dough doesn't rip apart. Turn the  bowl a little and repeat it in a different spot. Do this 6-7 times all around. You'll notice that the dough is already a lot less sticky. Let sit covered for 30 minutes.
Folded over again
Repeat the step above and then let sit covered for 1 hour.
Scraped out of bowl
Lightly flour a work surface, or larger cutting board. Leave part of the area without flour.
Scrape the dough from the bowl onto the floured surface.
Shaped dough
Flour your dry hands and put a little flour on top of the dough.
Then grab part of the dough, pull it up 4-6 inches and fold it onto the remaining dough. Pull it up enough that the dough doesn't rip apart. Then repeat it in a different spot. Do this 4-5 times all around. Then grab the dough on both sides, pull up and fold to the middle. Do this 3-4 times all around. If you see large bubbles you can squeeze and pop them as they will create large holes in the bread, which I personally don't like.
Then flip the dough upside down onto the not floured area, with the "seam" you just created down. Then turn the dough a little while pulling down a little, several times. Not pushing the dough down, but rather pulling the top surface down and tucking it underneath itself. This creates surface tension and will give you a smooth and round surface on the top. The pulling and tucking isn't complicated but needs some practice to make it easy.
Dough in proofing basket
Use a baking brush to put a little water on the dough, just enough to make the top moist and a little sticky again. If you use too much water the dough will later stick to the proofing basket.
Spread some sesame seeds on your work surface, un-toasted as they will toast while baking.
Take your dough ball and roll it in the seeds, with the sticky side down.
Then place the dough into the lightly floured proofing basket, with the seeds down.
Let sit for 30 minutes, not covered.
Now it's time to start preheating your oven to 460F. Have the dutch oven with lid in your oven while preheating so that it preheats too.
Dough on baking paper
Flip the dough from the proofing basket onto parchment paper, so that the seeds are up. You can also put it directly into the dutch oven, but I think with parchment paper is easier and saver with the very hot pot. I cut the parchment paper into a cross to avoid the paper bunching up too much and deforming the bread.
Score the dough with a sharp knife, about 1/2" deep, to allow it to rise easily. You can pick any pattern you like for scoring.
After baking covered
Take the preheated dutch oven out of the oven and remove the lid. Take the dough on the parchment paper and lower it into the dutch oven. Put the lid back on and put it pack into the oven. Do this quickly, but not in a huge rush, to not let the pot cool off too much.
Bake at 460F for 18 minutes.
After finish baking
Then take the dutch oven out of the oven, remove the lid and pull out the parchment paper. Place the dutch oven without lid back into the oven. Bake at 460F for another 25 minutes.
Take the bread out of the dutch oven and place on a baking rack to cool off. If you can stand it, let it cool off at least one of hour before cutting it. If it is too fresh, still too warm, it won't cut well
Works every time
Later I thought, well, there would be enough room in the oven for a second dutch oven. So I bought a second dutch oven and second proofing basket and started making two loaves of bread at the same time.
Multi-Timer app
After that I figured that with investing just another 45 minutes, I could make two more loaves. The timing gets a little more complicated, but with enough timers or a multi-timer app, it's possible.
You'll ask what I do with four loaves of bread? After the loaves are cooled off I cut them in half, place them in 1 gallon freezer bags and freeze them. Bread freezes very well and this way I don't need to bake every week.