Crusty Multigrain Artisan Bread

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Crusty Multigrain Artisan BreadMy dad baked bread regularly before I was born, but it slipped away once life got busy with raising children and work. Now a granddad, he resurrected the hobby when Alex and I shared with him a simple no-knead method by a friend of ours, Zoë François. Zoë developed this recipe with her friend Jeff Hertzberg to make homemade bread accessible to everyone, and their book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day quickly became wildly popular. Alex and I modified her recipe into a multigrain version, adding whole wheat and rye flours and mixing a handful of seeds into the dough. When my dad came to visit upon the birth of our son Larson, he and I honed the recipe further, adding black sesame seeds for an even nuttier flavor and an egg wash for a glossy finish. There’s nothing quite like the smell of fresh-baked bread, and my dad is now solidly back in the habit.

  • Yield: 4 Servings


  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup quinoa
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast*
  • 1½ tablespoons kosher salt
  • 3 cups lukewarm water
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup rye flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 egg white plus 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 cups warm water
How to Make It
  1. Soak the add-ins (1 hour): In a small bowl, stir together the oats, quinoa, sunflower seeds, black sesame seeds, and cold water. Let stand for 1 hour.
  2. Mix the dough and let it rise (about 2 hours): In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast and salt, then add the lukewarm water and mix well. Using a large wooden spoon or dough whisk, gradually mix in the flours and the soaked oats and seeds. Mix only enough to combine; do not knead or overwork the dough. Cover with a towel, place on a counter at room temperature, and allow the dough to rise for 2 hours.
  3. Chill the dough (12 hours to 1 week): Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, place it in the refrigerator, and allow it to rest for at least 12 hours or up to 1 week. It can be baked any time in the next week; you can bake the two loaves on different days, or bake both loaves on the same day and freeze one of them.
  4. Rest and bake the bread (1½ hours): Preheat the oven to 450°F, placing a pizza stone on the middle rack. (If desired, you can bake it on a baking sheet, but we recommend a pizza stone for the crispiest crust.) On a lower rack, place an old sheet pan and for maximum steaming effect, add lava rocks to the pan.** Since you’ll be pouring water onto the pan, it’s helpful to push the stone to one side of the oven so that there is space for pouring.
  5. Sprinkle a pizza peel or baking sheet with cornmeal. Divide the dough in half (if baking one loaf, leave the dough for the second loaf in the bowl and refrigerate it until baking). Sprinkle the dough and your hands with just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking, then gently shape it into a loaf by stretching the edges down and under the loaf and pinching it together. Place the loaf with the pinched-side down on the cornmeal-dusted peel, cover with a clean dish towel, and allow it to rest for 40 minutes.
  6. After the rest is complete, in a small bowl, mix the egg white with the water. Use a sharp knife to cut several ½-inch-deep slashes at an angle along the top of the loaf. Then gently brush the top with the egg wash.
  7. Slide the loaf onto the pizza stone and close the door. (If baking two loaves at once, place them as far apart as possible so they don’t touch as they bake.) Prepare 2 cups of warm water in a liquid measuring cup. Wearing an oven mitt, open the oven door. Carefully and quickly pour the water onto the sheet pan to create steam (look away to make sure the steam does not hit your face). Close the door immediately.
  8. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until brown and crispy or until the bread has an internal temperature of 205°F; the loaf should sound hollow when tapped. Remove the bread from the oven and cool it on a rack, about 2 hours.

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