Rustic Multiseed Wheat Bread
This is a versatile, rustically handsome loaf with a crusty top, surprising lightness, and pleasing nutty taste and aroma.
1. Mix 2 cups water with 1 cup ice cubes in bowl. Combine 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, whole-wheat flour, salt, and yeast in separate bowl. Stir in sunflower seeds. Measure 2 cups ice water, and combine with molasses and oil in third bowl. Vigorously stir molasses mixture into flour mixture. (Dough should be slightly stiff; stir in just enough additional flour to stiffen dough slightly, if necessary.) Brush dough top with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature 8 to 12 hours (first rise).
2. Vigorously stir dough, scraping down bowl sides. Stir in remaining ı/4 cup flour, plus more as necessary to yield stiff but stirrable dough. Oil 9- x 5-inch loaf pan or 3.5-qt. Dutch oven. Coat bottom and sides of pan or Dutch oven with mixed seeds. Transfer dough to prepared pan or Dutch oven, and smooth surface with spatula or well-oiled fingertips. Press remaining 2 Tbs. sunflower seeds on top of loaf. Cut slash down center of loaf or score dough in Dutch oven with large X using sharp knife. Cover with plastic wrap oiled on side facing dough.
3. Let dough rise 1ı/4 to 2ı/2 hours at room temperature (second rise). Second rise alternatives: let dough stand in turned-off microwave with 1 cup boiling water 45 minutes to 1ı/2 hours for accelerated rise; for extended rise, refrigerate up to 48 hours, then set out at room temperature.
4. Preheat oven to 425°F. Remove plastic wrap, place loaf in oven, reduce temperature to 400°F, and bake, uncovered,
30 to 35 minutes, or until top is well browned. Cover with foil; bake 20 to 25 minutes more, or until skewer inserted in thickest part of loaf comes out with just a few particles. Bake 5 minutes more to ensure doneness. Cool 15 minutes in pan; unmold, and cool on wire rack.