Loaf of sliced buttermilk seed bread on wooden cutting board with beige tea towel to the left

Buttermilk Seed Bread

Richly studded with seeds and nuts, this tasty whole-grain loaf is packed with nutrition. And it’s very easy, because a simple overnight in the fridge eliminates the need for a soaker, a pre-ferment, and kneading.

How to Make Buttermilk Seed Bread

When we first started working on this recipe, we dutifully mixed up a soaker for the seeds plus a pre-ferment, and mixed the main dough the next day. But then we discovered that mixing all the ingredients at once (so simple!) and resting the dough in the fridge produced a loaf that was indistinguishable from the more complicated version. And it also meant that gluten development was already underway, allowing us to replace kneading with a couple of quick folds.

The buttermilk in this loaf makes it moist and nutritious and contributes a rich flavor that is not overtly tangy. The acidity of the buttermilk helps neutralize phytic acid, a naturally-occurring compound in grains, seeds and nuts that can prevent mineral absorption. This loaf makes a wonderful companion to our Cultured Butter recipe — not only does the bread taste great toasted and topped with homemade cultured butter, it’s also a good way to use the buttermilk left over from making butter.

Buttermilk Seed Bread Recipe


One loaf


The night before baking, toast the seeds and mix the main dough, then refrigerate overnight. The next day, remove the dough from the refrigerator about seven hours before serving then shape, proof, and bake.

Timing chart for buttermilk seed bread recipe


IngredientsU.S. Volume
Pumpkin seeds (pepitas)2 T18
Sunflower seeds1 T8
Walnuts, finely chopped1 T8
Chia seeds2 T21
Bread flour2 C280
Whole wheat flour1 C140
Instant yeast¾ tsp2.4
Salt1½ tsp9
Buttermilk, cold1¼ C303
Water, 74 – 76°F (23 – 25°C)¼ C59
Honey2½ T50
Optional, for the crust:
Seeds, untoasted to taste
Egg white about 1 T


Getting ready

Preheat the oven to 350°F (177 °C)


Day 1

Toast the seeds: Spread the seeds and nuts on a sheet pan, with the larger seeds around the outside and the smaller seeds in the middle. (This will help prevent the smaller seeds from burning.) Toast lightly, about 5-7 minutes at 350°F / 177°C. Cool completely.

Mix the dough: In a mixing bowl, combine the bread flour, wheat flour, yeast, and salt and whisk to evenly distribute. Add the buttermilk, water, and honey and mix until there are no dry spots remaining. The dough should have a soft, sticky consistency — add more water if necessary to get a soft and sticky dough. Add the cooled seeds and nuts and fold into the dough until evenly distributed.

Retard the dough: Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight or for up to one day.

woman's hand stirring buttermilk seed bread dough with dough whisk

Day 2

Set up the Proofer: Set the proofer to 80°F (27°C) and put the water tray in the middle of the warming plate. Pour ¼ cup (60 ml) of water into the tray and place the rack on top of the tray.

Fold the dough: Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Turn the dough out onto a work surface. Stretch and fold all four sides into the center, then stretch and fold the four corners into the center. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled 2 quart / 2 liter container or a medium-sized bowl.

woman's hands folding bread dough on counter

Proof the dough: Place the dough in the Proofer to rise. After about an hour, perform one more eight-way fold, then leave to rise until doubled, about 3 hours. The volume when doubled will be a little more than 8 C / 2 L.

glass bowl if bread dough rising inside of Brod & Taylor Proofer

Shape the loaf: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Stretch and fold all four sides of the dough to create a square shape. Rest, covered, for 15 minutes. While the dough is resting, grease the loaf pan and check that the Proofer tray still has water in it.

To shape the loaf, place the square in front of you and fold the two top corners of the dough towards the center. Next, starting with the top triangular edge, roll the dough (jelly-roll style) towards you while also gently pushing it away from you so that the outer skin is tightened. Pinch the seam to seal and place the loaf seam side down in the prepared loaf pan.

woman's hands folding top two corners of bread dough toward center
woman's hands pinching seam of shaped bread loaf
woman's hands lifting shaped loaf into bread pan

Proof the shaped loaf: Place the loaf in the Proofer and allow it to rise for about 1.5 to 2 hours. Near the end of the proofing time, preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C). The loaf is ready to bake when it has risen above the edge of the pan and springs back slowly when gently poked with a finger.

Glaze and top the loaf: If desired, brush the top of the loaf with lightly beaten egg white or water and sprinkle untoasted seeds over the top.

Bake the bread: Place the loaf in the oven and reduce the temperature to 350°F (177°C). Bake for about 40 minutes, turning halfway through baking to facilitate even browning. When done, the internal temperature of the loaf should be at least 200°F (93°C) and the top should be golden brown. Remove loaf from the pan and leave on a rack to cool.

Loaf placed in the Proofer

Overall Bread Formula:

IngredientsGramsBaker's Percent
Pumpkin seeds (pepitas)184
Sunflower seeds82
Chia seeds215
Bread flour28067
Whole wheat flour14033
Instant yeast2.40.6
freshly baked buttermilk seed bread in pan with brod & taylor proofer to the back right
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