Our Daily Bread: Sonora Sesame Za’atar Bread

In an effort to take off some pandemic pudge and eat more healthy we’ve been baking our own 100% whole wheat breads. The King’s Roost and a Mock Mill make this easy and convenient but you can also get decent whole wheat flour from Central Milling and King Arthur. On my last trip to the King’s Roost I accidentally bought a bag of Sonora wheat, a white whole wheat originally brought to the Sonora desert in the 17th century. It has a light yellow color and makes a delicious bread. Sonora wheat tastes great plain but, inspired by Josey Baker’s book, I’ve been adding additional ingredients for some variety. This week I added some sesame seeds and one of my favorite spices, za’atar.

Sonora Sesame Za’atar Bread
The night before mixing your dough create a pre-ferment:

56 g Sonora wheat (or any whole wheat)
67 g water
10 g sourdough starter

In a separate container soak 90 g of toasted sesame seeds in water.

In the morning mix together:

509 g Sonora wheat (or any whole wheat)
403 g 80º F water
13 g sea salt
sesame seeds
3 T za’atar

1. Mix the dough until all signs of dry flour disappear. While you’re mixing the dough heat a mason jar of water in your microwave. Place your mixed dough in the microwave to proof for a few hours. Stretch and fold the dough a few times every hour to shape into a rough loaf.

2. Once the bulk fermentation is sufficient, shape into a log and place in a greased bread pan (I use this one with Pam baking spray). Use a spatula to make some diagonal indentations and sprinkle the top of the loaf with some more za’atar.

3. Reheat your water and put the baking pan in the microwave to proof for an hour or two. When the dough is getting close to the top of the pan pre-heat your oven to 475º F.

4. Bake with the lid on for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and bake until the loaf is golden to chestnut brown, likely another 10 to 15 minutes.