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Black Seed Bread

Black Seed Bread

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This seedy gluten-free loaf features sesame in three forms: white and black seeds and tahini. Snacktime, solved.


  • Nonstick cooking oil spray
  • 3 Tbsp. grapeseed or extra-virgin olive oil

Recipe Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 200°. Line a 9x5" loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving a generous overhang on both long sides. Coat with nonstick spray. Grind ½ cup flaxseed in spice mill to a fine powder. Whisk eggs, oil, and tahini in a large bowl to combine. Add ground flaxseed, black and white sesame seeds, poppy seeds, salt, and remaining ½ cup flaxseed and mix well. Let sit 30 minutes to let flax hydrate.

  • Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake until top is firm to the touch (an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should register 165°), 1½–2 hours. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let loaf cool in pan 5 minutes. Using parchment overhang, lift loaf out of pan and onto rack; remove parchment. Let loaf cool completely.

  • Do Ahead: Loaf can be made 5 days ahead. Wrap tightly and chill.

Reviews SectionReplace the tablespoon of salt for a teaspoon (or even less). Great nutty taste, great texture. Next time I'll add a couple of tbsp of honey!lemikeMontréal, Canada03/02/19It was entirely too salty! Either it was a mistake or the writer of this recipe needs to cut back on her salt intake. I will try it again though. I had everything on hand and it was fairly easy. I loved the texture.Are the white sesame seeds hullled or unhulled?It came out really salty. I wonder if the tablespoon of salt on the ingredient list was a misprint. I gave it two stars because my dog likes it!AnonymousRidgefield, CT01/19/19

Black & White Sesame Seed Bread

A simple bread made spectacular with contrasting black and white sesame seeds!


  • 4 cups White Bread Flour (plus More For Dusting)
  • ⅞ ounces, weight Dry Active Yeast
  • 1-½ teaspoon Salt
  • 1-¼ cup Water
  • ¼ cups Olive Oil
  • 4 ounces, weight Mixed Black And White Sesame Seeds


Place the flour, yeast, salt, water and olive oil in a large bowl and blend together with a wooden spoon. When the dough begins to form, place it on a lightly floured surface and knead for about 3-5 minutes. The dough will become smooth and pliable. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and let it rest for 1 hour.

Place the sesame seeds in a large bowl and pour about 1 Tablespoon of warm water over them just to dampen them. Mix them around with your fingers a bit and let them sit.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Rub your hands with a bit of olive oil and remove the dough, coating gently with the olive oil from your hands. Place the dough into the dampened seeds and turn to cover completely. Place the dough on the baking sheet and let it rest for 1 more hour.

Preheat your oven to 425°F. Using a knife, place a cut around the middle of the ball of dough and then 2 slits on the top of the dough. Bake this for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Recipes With Nigella Seed

Celery seed, cumin seed, poppy seed, black sesame seed, caraway seed and fennel seed will all stand in adequately for nigella seed. Some, like celery seed and cumin, will impart some of the herbaceous nature of the nigella seed but not its color, while others, like poppy seeds and black sesame seeds, will provide the black color while imparting a different but still enjoyable flavor.

Another substitute is fresh or dried oregano. While not a seed, this herb will provide a similar flavor note to that of nigella seed. Likewise, onion powder will also provide some of the flavor of nigella seed, but not its essential seedness.

One thing you can't substitute for nigella, but might think you can, are true onion seeds, mainly because these are not available as a food. Recipes that call for onion seeds are actually referring to nigella seeds.

Steps to Make It

The evening before you want to bake the bread, bring the ingredients to room temperature.

In a large bowl, mix the ingredients for Dough 1 together until a soft ball forms. Wrap in plastic wrap and leave it at room temperature overnight.

In a second bowl, make Dough 2: Mix the ingredients together until a dough ball can be formed.

Knead for 2 minutes let it rest and knead it again with wet hands. The dough should be tacky.

Place in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap so it doesn't dry out, and refrigerate overnight. This "sponge" will rise slightly before morning.

How to Use Black Seed

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Black seed is a home remedy also known as black cumin or black caraway. It has been used traditionally to treat digestive ailments, respiratory problems and some other inflammatory diseases, though more research needs to be done to determine whether it is effective. To use black seed, you must heat raw seeds and grind them before eating them. You can also combine them with honey, water, yogurt, or other food, or apply black seed oil onto your skin topically.

Black Russian rye bread

Unless you’re reading this story in your grandmother’s Brooklyn or Minnesota kitchen, a loaf of dark bread just out of the oven, you may be part of the vast majority of people for whom dense rye breads are a bit out of the comfort zone. You may run across old-world loaves like these, on your table if you’re lucky or maybe at a Vermont bakery, the loaves stacked in a dark mosaic, but in this country it’s mostly the more familiar baguettes and country whites that we buy and bake at home.

But if your experience of rye bread has been limited to grocery store loaves, then you’re missing out on something extraordinary. And if you’ve never baked breads like these -- chewy ryes, dark breads studded with nuts and seeds, black pumpernickels layered with as many intricate flavors as a great ale or stout -- then it’s not just a good loaf you’ve been missing, but a whole new world of baking. Or, more exactly, an old one rediscovered.

Loaded with flavor from whole grains, often from nuts or seeds, and sometimes from long hours on the oven floor, loaves of rye bread built the bakeries of northern and eastern Europe and migrated to this country with the bakers that created them. And although they can sometimes require a bit more technique than a loaf of white, and often a few more ingredients, they’re surprisingly easy to make at home.

The payoff? Loaves with stunning flavor, texture and depth. Breads that have complexity and staying power and the ability to pair with strong ingredients instead of fading into the background of a meal. Breads that can form the centerpiece of meals, almost the meal itself.

“When you get hooked” on rye breads, says master baker Peter Reinhart, “you really get hooked, just like when somebody falls for a strong IPA beer. Then all of a sudden nothing else satisfies you.”

The cornerstone of old-world breads like these is, of course, the flour. Instead of wheat, these are breads built with rye flour, as that grain could grow in the less hospitable climate. Rye is a hardier grain, and the flour is also more mercurial than wheat flour, with less gluten and more bran and fiber, which means the doughs absorb more water and have a tendency to become dense and gummy. For this reason, most rye breads are not made with 100% rye, but with a combination of wheat and rye.

The exception to this loose rule is sourdough rye bread, which is what most bakers who fall in love with rye bread usually end up baking, and which, of course, is a whole other story. By using sourdough, the acidity of which creates a small chemistry experiment in your bread bowl and oven, you can make loaves using all rye flour -- beautiful, complex loaves that bear as much similarity to store-bought ryes as artisan-made baguettes do to Wonder Bread.

Sourdough starter controls the enzymatic activity of the rye flour with its natural acidity, preventing the crumb from getting gummy while adding a beautiful complex flavor to the bread. And since baking with sourdough isn’t any more difficult than baking without it -- the hard part is making and achieving a strong starter -- it’s worth considering as the logical next step in old-world baking.

“The real thing,” says certified master baker Jeffrey Hamelman, who started baking German breads 34 years ago and has represented the U.S. at the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie, “puts you on your knees.”

Sourcing good flour, always important in baking, becomes even more so, as rye flour -- not as popular in this country as wheat -- can quickly grow rancid if left too long on a store (or a home) shelf. Buy flour from a reliable source and store it in the freezer.

A good loaf of rye, like Rose Levy Beranbaum’s “real Jewish rye,” requires very little more than a percentage of rye flour, a bit of malt syrup (you can use honey or even table sugar), yeast, flour, salt and water.

Indeed, this simplicity is part of the reason home-baked rye is so good. Traditionally, black breads and pumpernickels were baked overnight, using the residual heat of the oven, and get their distinctive color from a long, slow caramelization of the bread itself in the oven. Short-cut commercial ryes get their hue from caramel colorings and are laden with fillers that mask the true flavor of the breads.

These badly made breads can put you off the real thing for good. “My relatives in Russia used to tell me that black bread was used to plug door holes,” said Beranbaum.

But done well, with balance and proportion, baking a simple rye bread at home, even without a sourdough starter or a massive Teutonic oven, can be revelatory.

“For me the key was the seeds,” Reinhart says of baking old-world breads at home. “Seeds have so much flavor and they give you an excuse for having a dense bread.” Nuts and seeds can be toasted for added flavor, but don’t toast them if you’ll be sprinkling them over the bread, as they’ll burn during baking.

But although seeds help compensate for not having sourdough in a bread, they also suck up a lot of the moisture in a dough, as does the rye flour itself. Many traditional rye or multigrain bread recipes call for a soaker, which is pretty much what you’d think it would be: an additional step in which seeds, bran, whole grains or whole-grain flours are first soaked before being added to the dough. This step is needed because these ingredients often require more time to fully hydrate than they’d get during ordinary mixing and rising time.

Because of issues of hydration, it’s important not to overcompensate by adding too much flour while kneading these doughs, which can be very dense but should not be stiff. This is one reason why making dark breads is often easier with a Kitchen-Aid or other mixer.

“In the beginning I did everything by hand,” says baker Beth Hensperger, author of “The Bread Bible.” “ ‘Oh no,’ I thought, ‘you need to connect with the ingredients.’ But when you have these whole-grain sticky doughs, the electrical appliances really come in handy.”

Mixing doughs by machine may not give you the same 19th century feel as kneading by hand, but it will ensure that you don’t add too much flour as the dough comes together.

And if you’re not already in the habit of weighing your ingredients, now is the time to invest in an inexpensive kitchen scale, as the different flours, as well as the brans, whole grains, seeds and nuts, can easily throw off a recipe unless they’re pretty accurately measured.

Another tip if you’ve just discovering these breads, points out Reinhart, is to divide up the dough into rolls instead of making a few large loaves. Rolls are easier to make and to control, and the dark, flavorful breads make fantastic sandwich rolls.

Dense, chewy rye and seeded breads also toast up extraordinarily well: Pair them with nubs of butter and good jams or marmalades, maybe a generous spoonful of Nutella. Beranbaum suggests topping her rye bread with unsalted butter, sliced radishes and big flakes of salt. Or turn slices of black bread into open-face or smorgasbord sandwiches, loaded with smoked fish or salumi. Even break off pieces and dip them into a pot of Swiss fondue, as they’ll hold up better than flimsy bits of French bread.

You’ll soon see that you don’t have to hop on a plane to Germany or live next to a New England artisan baker to discover the joys of freshly baked old-world bread: All you really need is a good recipe, a little patience and a pocketful of rye.

Russian Black Bread

Fennel seeds give this tender Slavic bread a distinctive licorice flavor, and vinegar gives it slight tang.


  • 1 1/8 cups (255g) water, lukewarm
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup (106g) medium rye flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons (8g) salt
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons (43g) dark corn syrup or molasses
  • 1 tablespoon (14g) brown sugar, packed
  • 3 tablespoons (18g) black cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder or instant coffee powder
  • 1/4 to 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, to taste
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups (298g) King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour, divided


Weigh your flour or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl, reserving 1 cup (120g) of the bread flour. Mix to make a thick batter-like dough. Don't worry how wet the dough seems at this point it'll become more dough-like when you add the remaining 1 cup (120g) of bread flour.

Mix in the remaining cup of flour and knead for 7 minutes, or until the dough becomes soft and elastic, but may still be somewhat sticky to the touch. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise until doubled, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

After the first rise, shape the dough into an oblong loaf. Place in a greased 9" x 5" or 10" x 5" bread pan, cover with greased plastic, and let rise until almost doubled, about 60 to 90 minutes.

While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 375°F. When the dough has almost doubled, brush or spray the top with water, dust with pumpernickel or rye flour, and score (slash) the top.

Bake the bread for about 35 minutes, until it sounds hollow when you thump the bottom, or the inside measures 205°F on a digital thermometer. Remove the loaf from the oven and cool it on a rack before slicing.

Store bread well wrapped at room temperature for several days. Freeze for longer storage.


  • 500ml/18fl oz Irish stout, such as Guinness, opened in advance if possible
  • 1 large free-range egg, at room temperature, separated
  • 30g/1oz dark muscovado sugar
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp black treacle
  • 300g/10½oz dark rye flour
  • 300g/10½oz strong white bread flour
  • 25g/1oz cocoa
  • 1 tsp activated charcoal (optional)
  • 4 tsp nigella seeds, plus 1 tsp for sprinkling
  • 4 tsp caraway seeds
  • 4 tsp fennel seeds
  • ¼ tsp (1g, but it’s hard to get it to register on the scales) fast-action dried yeast
  • 1¼ tsp fine sea salt , for greasing

To serve

Additional Recipe Notes

  1. I have added olives and rosemary into this bread which gives the bread some extra flavour. If olives or rosemary are not your cup of tea then you can leave one or both of these ingredients out - this will give you other options for enjoying the nut and seed bread with sweeter toppings such as chia jam, homemade nutella or almond butter if you prefer.
  2. This bread can be sliced and frozen for later use if needed. This is not like your usual doughy type of bread, it is very dense, so thin slices work better.

Additional Notes on Soaking the Nuts and seeds:

  1. I have left the nuts and seeds in this bread to semi soak in minimal water for better digestion and absorption. This helps soften the outer shell which is a good idea, particularly if you have a sensitive digestive system. It is my personal belief that any soaking is better than none (just make sure you rinse the nuts well afterwards). Soaking nuts may help break down phytic acid which can interfere with the absorption of minerals. By soaking the nuts beforehand you can help increase the nutritional value of the bread and the nuts and seeds are easier to digest and absorb.
  2. I have tried making this bread a variety of times using different soaking methods and not soaking at all. When soaking the nuts using the more traditional methods of submerging the nuts completely in water the bread has come out too wet and does not hold together as well and can be very crumbly. The method I have used is from my own personal experience of trying to balance making a simple recipe that works well alongside making it as nutritious as possible.
  3. In my personal experience with clients in clinic, I have found that people with a healthy digestive system can tolerate a certain amount of phytic acid, particularly when balanced with a varied and healthy diet. If you find it difficult to digest nuts then soaking or using activated nuts is definitely recommended.
  4. If you use nuts and seeds that are already activated (soaked then dehydrated) then this you will NOT need to use the cup of water that is listed in the ingredients.
  5. To soak or not to soak is a personal preference and completely up to the individual 🙂

If you are looking for some homemade spreads to enjoy with this bread you may like to try.

Other recipes you might like:

I hope you enjoy this recipe! Please let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you!

For more tasty recipes and to see what I&rsquove been getting up to you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter.

Black Chia Seed and Sweet Potato Swirl Milk Bread

The list of bakes from other TFL'ers I want to do keeps piling up, so I decided to start trying a few of them. First up on the list was Benny's swirl milk bread. Didn't execute it as well as the master, but didn't come out too bad for the first attempt. :-) Followed the method exactly as outlined in the post link below. Only change. I did not have black sesame seeds, so opted for black chia seeds. I couldn't find a purple sweet potato, but I found a Garnet yam, and the color from the yam held nicely.

Overall, the bake went well. Had a bit of a blowout on one side. Looks like I might have rolled the white dough a little too thin in that spot. The only real trouble was the chia seeds. I didn't realize how much water they absorbed, and I only had about half of them in when the dough became unworkable. I started to add water back in, and then realized that chia seeds are "mucusy" too. Turned into a slimy mess. But. slowly but surely got enough moisture back into the dough to make it pliable and workable. So, my black is more of a charcoal gray, but the flavor is good!

Watch the video: 4 INGREDIENTS GLUTEN-FREE BREAD RECIPE. Vegan (August 2022).