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A Better Way to Coat Your Loaves

By Cook's Illustrated Published March 2011

The standard method for coating loaf bread with seeds, grains, or bran calls for misting or brushing the outside of the loaf with water before sprinkling seeds on the dough. When we tried this approach on our Whole-Wheat Sandwich Bread, we had a devil of a time sprinkling the seeds evenly over the loaf and noticed that far too many of the seeds fell off despite our efforts. We like the following method, which does a better job of moistening the dough without overwetting it (and causing seeds to slide off) while guaranteeing a thorough, even coating.

1. Place the shaped dough on a moistened, lightly wrung-out clean kitchen towel spread on a work surface; roll back and forth to moisten.

2. Spread about a 1/4-inch layer of seeds on a second baking sheet. Roll the moistened loaf back and forth, pressing the dough gently against the seeds to ensure that they stick.