Gold Nugget Bread

May 27, 2011
4 Ratings
  • Makes 2 generous loaves
Author Notes

Flecks of golden flax seed and polenta grace this heavenly bread that you can bake in a conventional loaf pan or as a free-form hearth bread. Honey gilds it a bit and olive oil lends a silky tenderness.

I crush the flax seeds up a bit in a mortar and pestle so that their nutrients can be absorbed and render me younger than when I started mixing the dough. —boulangere

What You'll Need
  • 12 ounces hot tap water
  • 12 ounces milk
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 6 3/4 cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons sea or kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons golden flax seed, slightly crushed
  • 1/4 cup uncooked polenta
  • 2 tablespoons uncooked millet
  • 2 ounces olive oil
  • Canola oil for oiling the bowl
  1. Pour hot water and cold milk into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. In terms of temperatures, they'll meet in the middle and just right for you to sprinkle in your yeast. Add the honey and whisk to blend. Add the bread flour, salt, flax seeds, polenta, millet, and olive oil. Have to hand a bit of additional flour and water in case you need to adjust the balance a bit. Begin mixing on low speed. When all ingredients come together and you can see that most of the dry ingredients have been hydrated, turn mixer off. Cover bowl with a piece of plastic. Let dough rest (this step is called an autolyse) for 20 minutes. This gives those large particles of whole wheat, flax, polenta and millet time to absorb water and be more readily integrated into the dough. Without this time, you'd be tempted to add more water, and just about the time you realized what a mistake that was, you'd need to add more flour. By that time you'd be wondering who thought this was a good idea in the first place. So. Set a timer for 20 minutes and go do something else. Don't hover.
  2. 20 minutes later, remove the plastic and hang onto it. You'll need it again. Turn the mixer on to low speed and watch a miracle happen. Your dough should square its shoulders, straighten its spine, and stand right up around the dough hook with no tendrils left sticking to the sides of the bowl. If it doesn't, add a tablespoon of flour at a time until it does. Have faith; it will. Let it knead for a couple of minutes. Turn off the mixer. Pull off a walnut-size piece of dough. Round it up briefly between your palms. Now begin teasing it out over the tips of your index fingers. You are forming a windowpane - a thin sheet of dough that doesn't shred. It tells you when you have adequately developed the gluten (the protein in flour that lets bread stand up). If your dough tears, throw the ball back into the bowl and knead on low speed for a couple of more minutes, then test for a windowpane again.
  3. Turn dough out of bowl. Oil bowl. Return dough and turn it over bottom to top. Cover with that retained piece of plastic. Let dough rise at room temperature until you can gently press a finger into it, and the dough does not spring back, but retains the indentation. This should take 45 minutes to an hour, depending on how warm your kitchen is.
  4. Gently turn dough out onto your board. Don't punch it down. You carefully measured your ingredients, kneaded up to a good windowpane, and let all that nice carbon dioxide be generated during the first rise. Why would you want to drive it all out and force your dough to create it all over again. It will tougher, and take longer on the second rise. So be gentle. Divide your dough in half. If using bread pans, oil or pan spray them. Sprinkle some flour on your board; as you shape your loaves, turn them over and dip the top in the flour. This will prevent the plastic from sticking to them, and also give them a nicely rustic look when baked. Gently shape your dough and drop in bread pan. Cover with your retained piece of plastic. If shaping hearth loaves, line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Shape your loaves as you wish: long and thin, short and fat, round. Place on parchment And also cover with plastic. Let rise at room temperature until dough retains the gentle imprint of a finger without springing back. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  5. Just before moving your bread to the oven, grab a serrated knife and give it 3 or 4 slashes a good half-inch deep, holding your knife at an acute angle. It will look even more beautiful and give your bread a direction in which you want it to expand in the oven. Bake for 40 minutes, but set your timer for 20 minutes. At at the halfway point, rotate your pans or baking sheets. When the time is up, test the center of each loaf with a stemmed thermometer. It should read 185 degrees. If it doesn't, add 5-minute increments until it does.
  6. When done, remove from oven. If you've used bread pans, turn your bread out right away and set loaves on a cooling rack. If you leave it in the pans, the loaves will steam themselves soft and soggy (yuk). If you've shaped hearth loaves, lift them and onto cooling racks.
  7. Wait as long as you can before cutting into a loaf and spreading some good soft cheese or butter onto it. Cool completely before storing or freezing. Admire your golden creation.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • drbabs
  • LiveToEat1960
  • wssmom
  • healthierkitchen
  • boulangere

31 Reviews

Joe April 30, 2017
This recipe ill-advisedly calls for ‘hot tap water’.

In the United States, hot water drawn directly from the tap generally is not potable. From one city's department of health to another, one will learn that heat-friendly bacteria may grow in the boilers that heat the water, and these bacteria may make one ill, sometimes seriously ill.

Hence, municipal departments of health generally advise using cold tap water for drinking and eating which is then heated over the stove or in the oven to the desired temperature.

Please correct this recipe and the many others on this site that advise the use of substances that are known to make one ill and caution readers to avoid this danger.
drbabs September 13, 2011
I want to be able to bake like this when I grow up.
boulangere September 13, 2011
Make a batch and head for Texas.
boulangere September 13, 2011
You'll earn your keep while not giving eye exams, of which I am sincerely in need.
LiveToEat1960 June 17, 2011
Well I did it, boulangere, I made your lovely bread successfully! It looks fantastic and tastes delicious. I made one in a loaf pan and one free form. I do have one more question for you. The plastic wrap ended up sticking to the free form loaf and it was quite a struggle getting it unstuck (and the dough then flattened down quite a bit but with apparently no harm done to the loaf). I re-read the recipe and while I did oil the bowl, it looks like I left out the two ounces of olive oil - unless that is the amount that is the amount used to oil the bowl? Thanks so much for your encouragement. Now that I have this success under my belt, I look fearlessly ahead to more adventures with yeast.
boulangere June 18, 2011
Well aren't you wonderful! So glad you tried shaping it both ways. So sorry you had trouble with the plastic sticking. I'll go back and amend the recipe to include a practical and nicely rustic way of avoiding that - I appreciate the heads-up. Warm congratulations. I hope you'll broaden your experimentation now. P.S. the olive oil goes in the bread - but I've left worse things out by accident and lived to tell about it.
boulangere June 18, 2011
Thanks for mentioning the olive oil - when adding the mention of flour for shaping, I realized I'd forgotten to tell you when to add the olive oil. Fixed, and fixed.
wssmom June 2, 2011
You are just amazing; this rocks!
boulangere June 2, 2011
Seriously - nothing tricky to it, it just works. And it's a good keeper. Feed your inner canary and toss in a handful of millet.
healthierkitchen June 2, 2011
Your instructions are so clear and the recipe sounds so delicious that I might actually overcome my fear of yeast. I am beginning to sound like a broken record with this - I need to just slay the beast and do it!
boulangere June 2, 2011
Oh yes you do! This one works - there is nothing tricky about it, so it might be just up your alley. Plus, it's got all sorts of ingredients that might be interesting to you especially.
healthierkitchen June 2, 2011
It really appeals to me! Do you think I could do a half recipe and make one loaf to try it out? Also, whole milk?
thirschfeld June 2, 2011
Use the force, Luke. I made it today using whole milk. Never fear the yeast, be patient, don't hover and treat it like old people treat their thermostat, keep it warm.
boulangere June 2, 2011
Jump into the whole milk and take some yeast with you.
boulangere June 2, 2011
Fabulous photo, th. Thanks for posting it - with or without the imprimatur of Hunter S. Thompson.
Sagegreen June 2, 2011
What a wonderful photo!
boulangere June 7, 2011
courtesy of the multi-talented thirshfeld
thirschfeld June 1, 2011
This looks delicious. I think I might start it tonight with a pate fermente and then finish it tomorrow.
boulangere June 1, 2011
A preferment makes everything better. Please let me know your results.
thirschfeld June 2, 2011
Did a 50% preferment last night with half the flour and 3/4 of the water and 1/8 teaspoon of yeast. Then did a soaker with polenta and and the remaining water. I don't like to use the flax in a soaker because for me it sort of gets that okra slim. Put it all together this morning and the hydration you gave is spot on and it is now going into the first rise. Think I am going to make it a pullman loaf so we can use it for grilled home cured ham sandwiches.
boulangere June 2, 2011
Oh, totally agree with the slime factor of soakered flax. So glad the proportions worked so well for you. Lately I've been tossing in a handful of millet, too. Keeps with the *gold nugget* theme, plus I love the subtle crunch. Clearly I'm part canary. One last question: what time are you serving?
thirschfeld June 2, 2011
Had about 4 lbs of dough so I did a three pound pullman and had enough for a little boule. Looks fantastic, smells fantastic and lunch will be very soon.
boulangere June 2, 2011
bon appetit!
thirschfeld June 2, 2011
added a lunch photo. Inspired lunch by Heston Blumenthal, your bread and my home cured ham. Best Sandwich Ever, thanks for sharing. BTW, If you don't like the pic I will take it down.
boulangere June 3, 2011
Take it down and I'll hunt you down to get it back up.
marisab67 May 27, 2011
Is bread flour the same as high-gluten? I think that's what Sprouts has. Looks beautiful.
boulangere May 27, 2011
High gluten has a protein content of 14-14..5%. Think bagels and their wonderful chewy quality. That results from using HG flour.
boulangere May 27, 2011
This bread is more tender than a bagel texture. That said, I have a great bagel formula that I will try to get posted this weekend.
boulangere May 27, 2011
It's one of my very favorites. I love the subtle crunch of the polenta. And the golden flax seed makes me feel much more virtuous than I actually am.
boulangere May 27, 2011
Bulk bins are always a good source of bread flour.
boulangere May 27, 2011
As well as all sorts of grains. This is very forgiving and very welcoming.