Cracked Pepper-Seed Bread

Sometimes recipes haunt me. I think about them again and again. They are like memories that haven’t yet been created. You see the words on the page and can imagine the flavors in your mouth and on your tongue. You know the perfect moment to make it, the perfect occasion for that particular dish. Others are just a faint hint of what could be.

I have clipped a number of recipes for breads. Many of the quick breads have already been made. The muffins have seen their day in the sun. But yeast breads…those haunt me. Sure, I have made my batch of cinnamon rolls. I have attempted pizza crusts. Recently, I felt compelled to try out my yeast abilities with English Muffins.

The other yeast bread recipes are stuffed within the “to be made” envelope. There are tasty ones – white, wheat, brown, marbled – and the list goes on. I have used the excuse that it is winter, the dough won’t rise well in the winter. I have told myself I don’t have time. Oh, the list goes on.

The recipe for Cracked Pepper-Seed Bread finally saw the light of day. And it had it’s day in my kitchen. Now, this recipe haunts me for another reason…when will I make it again?


  • 1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 2 cups warm water (100F to 110F)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 5 1/4 cups flour, divided
  • 1/2 cup wheat bran
  • 5 tablespoons sunflower seed kernels, divided
  • 5 tablespoons sesame seeds, divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly ground peppercorn medley, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 large egg, beaten


  1. Dissolve yeast in 2 cups warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Add honey, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, stirring with a whisk. Add 3 cups flour and bran to yeast mixture, stirring until combined. Cover and let stand in a warm place (85F), free from drafts, 1 hour or until small bubbles appear on surface.
  2. Add remaining 1 teaspoon salt, 2 cups flour, 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, 1/4 cup sesame seeds, and 3 teaspoons pepper medley; stir until dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel tacky). Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85F), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes.
  3. Divide dough in half; place each half in a loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85F), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
  4. Preheat oven to 400F.
  5. Brush loaf tops with egg; sprinkle tops evenly with remaining 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds, remaining 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper medley. Bake at 400F for 35 minutes or until loaves are browned on bottom and sound hollow when tapped. Remove loaves from pans, and cool on wire racks.

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