“Seedy” Whole Wheat Loaf

“Seedy” Whole Wheat Loaf

When you hear the word “seedy” most times you think of a bad motel or sketchy part of town. Not this time. This time “seedy” is all good and in so many ways. This loaf of bread is my attempt at re-creating Great Harvest’s High 5 Fiber loaf, something that Sheila and I have missed since arriving in California (side note – we did recently find a Great Harvest about 40 miles away, close enough for a nice little road trip up the coast). So, what does something that is “seedy” have to do with something called High 5 Fiber? High 5 Fiber bread starts with freshly ground whole wheat (the only way Great Harvest makes their bread, and the heart of the reason why they are so awesome), and then they add all kinds of goodness in the form of seeds – millet, sunflower and flax seeds to be exact. So, not only is this bread a great source of fiber it also contains loads of vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy fats from the seeds. Not to mention the loaf is dense, moist and delicious. All that said, you can see why I am huge fan of the High 5 Fiber loaf. One day I really wanted to make some bread, but not just any bread. I wanted bread that would thump onto the cutting board when you lop off a slice. So, I turned to the only source I knew of that could get me close, Matt Monson over at Brew and Bake. Not only does Matt know his way around some flour and yeast, he also works at Great Harvest. Convenient! Now, just so we are clear, Matt is a total professional and kept the real High 5 Fiber recipe a secret. What he did do was point me to a recipe for his Exploded Wheat Berry bread on his site and told me what seeds Great Harvest puts in their High 5 Fiber loaf, plus I added a protein packed seed of my own – hemp seed. Matt also gave me couple pointers on working with a dense bread like this. Thanks again for the help Matt! Now that you have the back story, lets make the best loaf of wheat bread you have ever had!

Let’s Bake Some Bread

This bread is made in two segments; the first is the preferment and the second is actually making the dough. It is also typically made over the course of two days. Here is the overall ingredient list. Note: you can use the volume measurements, but I weighed all of my ingredients using a regular countertop scale.
  • Active Prep Time: 20 mins.
  • Inactive Prep Time: 20 hours
  • Bake Time: 25-30 mins.
  • Yields one 9×5 loaf (I have also made into two smaller loafs)

Weight (g)


Baker’s %

100% Whole Wheat flour




Wheat bran




Wheat germ






2C + 2oz


Kosher salt




Instant yeast




Oat Bran


Approx 1¼ C

Hemp Seed


Approx ¾ C

Golden Flax Seed


Approx 1 C



Approx 1 C

Sunflower Seed


Approx 1C




As Matt states in his recipe the reasoning for a preferment is…
I wanted some strong preferment flavor development, and I also wanted to hydrate the bran and germ.
This is what you will use from the overall ingredient list to make the preferment:
Ingredient Weight (g) Volume
Bread flour 204 1.5C+
Wheat bran 108 2C
Wheat germ 18 4T
Water 506 2C + 2oz
Instant yeast 1 packet 1 packet
Just stir all of the preferment ingredients together until well incorporated and let sit for 6-16 hours. It is best to do this the day before you plan to bake the bread. After sitting overnight, take your preferment and place it in your stand mixer and add the remaining ingredients (broken out of the overall recipe below for ease of use).
Ingredient Weight (g) Volume
Preferment 294
Bread flour 410 3C-
Kosher salt 12 2t
Oat Bran 77
Hemp Seed 40
Golden Flax Seed 60
Millet 50
Sunflower Seed 50
Honey 100 4T
After all of the ingredients are in your mixer, using your dough hook, mix everything on a low speed (2-3) until it comes together into a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Depending on the weather in your area (and humidity, or lack of, in your house) you may need to use a tiny bit more water or flour. If you do start small, like a tablespoon at a time, you can always add more, but taking away too much is a bit tougher. After the dough pulls away from the sides in the mixer, sit the dough in an area where it can rise undisturbed for 1½ – 2 hours. I left my dough on the countertop and covered it with plastic wrap and a towel. You could use a bowl if you choose, but be sure to cover the dough so it does not dry out. seedy-bread-2 After letting the dough rise, I punched the dough down and folded it over itself three times. I took the two furthest corners and folded them into the center of the dough and then took the two closest corners and folded them over the top of the corners that I just folded into the center. At this point your loaf is has pretty much shaped itself. Spray your loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray and place your loaf into the pan for its final rise (aka bench proof) for about 30 mins. Half way through the final rise, preheat your over to 425° F. After the loaf has risen in its pan for 30 minutes, it is ready to become bread. Place the loaf in the over for 25 – 30 mins. The top will become golden brown and when thumped on top it will sound hollow. If you prefer to be more scientifically correct, take an internal temperature reading looking for a loaf that is fully cooked to be at 180° F internally. After the loaf has baked, remove from the oven and turn out onto a cooling rack. Let cool as long as you can possibly bare (usually about 5 minutes for me) before cutting a slice and covering in peanut butter, honey, pumpkin butter or even a tiny bit of real butter. ENJOY!! seedy-bread-4
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