Thursday, February 2, 2012

Easy Honey Sesame Bread

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It is no secret that I am a bread fiend. And I try to make bread at home as often as I can. Homemade bread just can't be beat. I'm sure all of you agree... But it is work! There's all the mixing, kneading (especially hard if you don't have a stand mixer - I don't!), waiting, knocking back, waiting and waiting some more, shaping, and waiting... you get the idea! So when I heard about No-Knead Bread, I knew it was the thing for me.

Now I am not partial to a particular kind of bread. I like chewy bread, crusty bread, salty bread, sweet bread... well, I like bread. Period. And there are some times I crave warm soft, billowy, slightly sweet white bread with generous lashings of butter.
I read the NY Times recipe (Mark Bittman and Jim Lahey) on the NY Times website, and realized that it seemed to be the best no-knead bread recipe out there. And from reading the reviews I discovered that it was a light, chewy bread. Correct me if I'm wrong. But today I wanted soft bread. So using this recipe for inspiration, I decided to wing it. I've done a lot of 'winging it' with bread recipes before, and sometimes it has paid off, and sometimes - not so much! With this recipe, for one thing, I don't have instant yeast or a 'heavy ceramic pot'. So the substitutions began there. I was surprised at how little yeast this recipe uses, so I just added the normal amount of yeast I would add for the amount of flour used.

The whole thing was a risk, but this risk totally paid off!
And the best part - from the point of "I feel like baking bread" to you sitting on the couch going "Oh my word! This bread is SO good" - this bread is done in under 2 hours. That's often the time taken for just one rise for regular bread.

Easy Honey Sesame Loaf
Inspired by No-Knead Bread, NY Times
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp active dry yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup skim milk
1/4 cup water 
1 tbsp sugar
1/8 cup honey 
1/8 cup melted butter
small handful of sesame seeds (black, white or mixed)
1 small egg (or half a large one)
1 tbsp melted butter, for brushing the top of the baked loaf (I used salted butter for this)

1. In a large bowl, stir together 1 cup of the flour, the sugar, yeast and salt.
2. In a saucepan, combine the milk, water, honey and melted butter until just lukewarm.
3. Pour this mixture into the bowl containing the flour. Whisk 1 egg lightly and add it to the bowl. Set aside the remaining egg for brushing the top of the loaf.
4. Using a regular whisk or an electric handheld mixer, whisk or mix on low speed for 3-4 minutes.
5. Add the remaining flour and stir well to combine. You will have a sticky, icky dough.
6. Cover the bowl with greased clingfilm and set aside to rise for about 45 minutes in a warm place. It will double in volume during this time.
7. When the rising time is over, set the oven to preheat. Grease and flour the bread tin.
8. Using floured hands just ease the dough out of the bowl into the baking tin. No punching down or shaping at this point. Just press down slightly to spread the dough into the corners of the tin.
9. Brush the top of the loaf with the leftover egg, and sprinkle the top of the loaf generously with the sesame seeds.
10. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on top and feels springy to the touch. Remove from oven, and immediately brush with the melted butter. Use ALL of it!
11. Let cool for about 5 minutes and ease the sides out of the pan using a palette knife, and transfer to a rack to cool.
Eat warm with generous amounts of butter.

And more honey if that's your thing.

I added egg in this recipe because I find I have better results with bread recipes that contain egg. Also, the browning is usually gorgeous on eggy breads. If you want to omit the egg, substitute it with 1/8 cup of water.

I was very particular to write down this recipe as I was making it, because the last time I made up my own recipe for burger buns, I forgot to write it down, and the recipe turned out great! :( Now I'll never know what I did right! Thankfully, I didn't miss writing this one down.

On a completely different note, I am so glad February is here. February is going to be a fun month here at The Harried Cook. Here's what's happening -

1. First, my birthday is next week. Apart from spending the day growing another year older, I have a special friend guest posting for me on my birthday! Cannot wait to share that with you all! I'm SO excited! :)
2. Then comes Valentine's Day, and I am planning a 5-day Red Velvet Fest from the 8th - 12th of February. Red is perfect for valentine's day! And I love Red Velvet. Red Velvet ANYTHING. This is going to be so much fun for me!!!
3. Finally, later this February, The Harried Cook turns one! I have a few ideas on how to celebrate, and here's hoping they work out!

Have a wonderful weekend... and to all my American readers, Happy Superbowl Sunday!!! See you all next week! :)
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Erin said...

This bread looks amazing!  I love fresh bread!  I found this recipe recently, but didn't have the time to deal with the rising.  Now that I know how it turns out, I am going to have to try this!  Red Velvet week - can't wait!!!
I have a giveaway going on, you might be interested in.

Zoe said...

We will baking red velvet cupcakes for our BakeAlong event and our links are open from 13th to 18th Feb. You are welcome to link your red velvet cupcakes post with us if you are baking these cakes for Valentine day. Happy blog anniversary to you!

Zoe said...

We will baking red velvet cupcakes for our BakeAlong event and our links are open from 13th to 18th Feb. You are welcome to link your red velvet cupcakes post with us if you are baking these cakes for Valentine day. Happy blog anniversary to you! 

Raquel Erecipe said...

the seeds looks great, and the honey on that bread I know it is taste great too.

Rosemary Wolbert said...

My husband craves a soft brea like this!  Too bad for him I haven't been successful yet.  You've given me the courage today to maybe try again!

Jill Colonna said...

Marsha, I love the look of this bread - sounds delicious with the honey and sesame: can just imagine the smell of it around the house!  I hear you about forgetting to write recipes down as you make them. I keep saying to myself, "I'll remember, no problem". Yeh right. It's always as bummer when you do forget when something turned out well just because you added that something what was it again? So glad you wrote this one down for us!
I hope you're preparing for your birthday - like ensuring that you'll be pampered!

Mary Bergfeld said...

This really looks quite delicious.  I've never nmade this bread and you've tempted me to try it. Your photos are gorgeous. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Magic of Spice said...

This is one gorgeous loaf! There is really nothing better than warm bread with butter, and I love lightly sweetened breads :)
Sounds like February is your month...Happy Upcoming Birthday! 

Lizzy Do said...

Gosh, wonderful things are coming to The Harried Cook in February...I can't wait!!! Your bread looks the sweetness the honey provides plus all those yummy seeds :)

Reem | Simply Reem said...

Good bread is my weakness too.....
This loaf looks really fabulous, I am sure this taste fantastic.

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

What a delicious loaf of bread!!  I haven't eat bread with honey for a long, long time...and I remember I ate like that as a small kid.  All the sudden I remember about it.  I need to try it soon.  As for the bread, it's my dream to make it but I'm trying to take a baby step at a time... eventually I want to make nice sesame bread like yours!

And Happy Early Birthday!  I'm not sure which date it is, so I'm going to say it now. :-)  And I'm looking forward to Red Velvet week and your blogviersary celebration with guest bloggers!

Lisa said...

That is one gorgeous loaf of bread!  I'm hosting bread baking day this month, hopefully you can take part!  I can see you've got the 'bread chops'.  I would love to make a huge turkey sandwich with it right now!  That said..the next installment will be up tomorrow..along with the BBD announcement in a separate post :)

Sandra's Easy Cooking said...

Oh dear your bread turned out to be such a treat..I love how you made it and I will try it today! 
Happy early wishes to you my friend! My Birthday is on Friday:)) 
Can't wait to see who is the guest blogger!:) 
Have a wonderful Sunday!

Amanda said...

i love easy breads! i will definitely have to try it... especially since i accidentally bought some sesame seed ( turns out i needed sesame oil instead - oops!) 

Kitchen Belleicious said...

you can just see the buttery goodness in those pictures! I love the crunch and texture of the sesame seeds on the outside and boy oh boy I wish I was having this with dinner tonight! amazing!

The Café Sucré Farine said...

Two hours? Cool! This bread looks fantastic, like it comes from some gourmet baker and costs a fortune!

Mary said...

Wow that looks a delicious loaf of bread! Fantastic job - I'm hopeless with yeast! Perhaps I should try harder!
mary x

Kristen said...

That is one gorgeous loaf of bread!  I love all of the seeds, too.

Monetm1218 said...

I hope you have a fabulous birthday...with lots of yummy bread! Like you, I like bread of all kinds. Thank you for sharing...and thank you for all the support. It means more to me than you know. Hugs and love from Austin. 

elisabeth@foodandthrift said...

I just love your amazing bread. Looks and know for sure that it tastes so delicious. The photos are beautiful, as well, and just love the recipe! Thanks for sharing:DDD

Freeeats said...

Wow Marsha!  That is some really gorgeous bread.  Love all the seeds and the golden exterior!  Nice job. 

Rachel {Mother's Mementos} said...

This looks delicious!  I'll definitely have to try this.  Happy early birthday (my husband's birthday is also this week) and happy early blogiversary!

Baking Serendipity said...

I love this two hour time frame :) There is nothing better than homemade bread and this loaf looks wonderful!

Gina said...

Wow homemade bread and a birthday coming up, sounds like lots of fun.   I haven't tried no-knead bread yet, I should because this looks great.  Hope you are off to a great start this week.

Three Cookies said...

Awesome, looks really moist and fluffy. Makes me hungry, getting close to dinner time

Pudding Pie LAne said...

I like bread too! All types, this one looks yummy! :D I'm so impressed that this is you end result from winging it, I wish I could say the same when I made bread!

Kajal said...

I'm going to try this tonight Marsha!! Can't wait! :)

Coracha said...

I will try. Thanks for the recipe.

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