• Buttermilk Seed Bread

Buttermilk Seed Bread Recipe

Homemade 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.

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 by 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.

Printable Recipe          recette imprimable

Yield: One loaf.

Timing: 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.




Pumpkin seeds (pepitas) 2 T 0.7 oz 18 4%
Sunflower seeds 1 T 0.3 oz 8 2%
Walnuts, finely chopped 1 T 0.3 oz 8 2%
Chia seeds 2 T 0.7 oz 21 4%
Bread flour 2 C 10 oz 280 67%
Whole wheat flour 1 C 5 oz 140 33%
Instant yeast ¾ tsp 0.08 oz 2.4 1%
Salt 1½ tsp 0.27 oz 9 2%
Buttermilk, cold 1¼ C 10.7 oz 303 72%
Water ¼ C 2.1 oz 59 14%
Honey 2½ T 1.8 oz 50 12%
Optional, for the crust:
Seeds, untoasted  to taste
Egg white  about 1 T

Equipment: Brød & Taylor Folding Proofer and a 9 x 5″ / 23 cm x 13 cm loaf pan. A baking stone helps maximize oven spring.

Toast the seeds. Measure or weigh the seeds and nuts and spread on a sheet pan, with the larger seeds around the outside and the smaller seeds in the middle. Toast lightly, about 5-7 minutes at 350 °F / 177 °C. Cool completely.

Mix the dough. Combine both flours, the instant yeast and the salt and whisk to evenly distribute the dry ingredients. 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.

Seeds for toasting

Seeds Ready for Toasting

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

Fold the dough. Set up the Proofer with water in the tray and the temperature set to 81 °F / 27 °C. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and stretch and fold all four sides to the center, then stretch and fold the four corners to the center.

Ferment (rise) the dough. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled 2 quart / 2 liter container and place 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.

Shape the loaf. When the dough has doubled, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface and 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 and flour the loaf pan and check that the Proofer tray still has plenty of 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.

folding the corners of the dough

Folding the Corners of the Dough During Shaping

Proof the shaped loaf. Place the loaf in the Proofer, still set to 81 °F / 27 °C and allow to rise. It is ready to bake when it has risen well above the edge of the pan and springs back slowly when gently poked with a finger, about 1¾ hours.

Preheat the oven. If baking on a stone, allow ample time to preheat the oven and stone. Place the stone in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 400 °F / 204 °C.

Glaze and top the loaf. If desired, brush the top of the loaf with lightly beaten egg white and sprinkle untoasted seeds over 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 half way 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. Cool, unmold and enjoy.

bread rising in the Proofer

Buttermilk Seed Loaf Rising in the Proofer

Buttermilk Seed Bread

2017-05-12T14:37:44+00:00Bread & Sourdough|20 Comments


  1. Shari August 3, 2014 at 4:58 am - Reply

    What temp should the liquids be? Also, I’d like to use my pan de mie pan 13×4. Any idea what the ingredients should be increased to for that size pan? Thanks!

    • Julie August 5, 2014 at 1:43 pm - Reply

      Shari, I’ve added info on temp to the recipe, thanks so much for asking about it! The buttermilk can be cold from the fridge, no need to bring it to room temp.

      As for the pain de mie pan, it should work very nicely for this recipe. The volume of your pan sounds like it is about 15% bigger than the 9×5 pan used in the recipe. You can use the recipe as written, it will not dome as high above the rim of the pan as the loaf in the photo. Bake time might be a little shorter, check the bread 5-10″ early.

      If you would prefer to scale up to get a higher dome, multiply everything in the recipe by 1.15. This will be easy if you are baking by weight, a little more cumbersome if using volume. If you’d like us to do this for you, we’re happy to help. Just reply back with the type of measurements you’re using (i.e., U.S. volume or grams).

      Enjoy the bread!

  2. Debbi August 6, 2014 at 8:02 pm - Reply

    Wow! I’m a first time bread maker and just knew I’d fail at this! I worried at what temp the liquids should be, (I just used cold from frige), if i stretched and folded enough, if I should put the loaf pan directly on the pizza stone ( I did), and worried that my internal temp was only 180F after 45 min. Took it out anyway. This bread was perfect and super delicious!! I came back to see if Julie woukd please do another recipe for bread!!
    Thank you!

    • Julie August 6, 2014 at 8:05 pm - Reply

      Debbie, we’re so happy it worked out for you! We recommend you give our focaccia a try, partly because it’s also pretty simple but mostly because it tastes so good 🙂 Keep baking!

  3. Michael November 27, 2015 at 8:05 pm - Reply

    This is an excellent and easy to make bread! I doubled the recipe to make 3 smaller loaves,added about 1/4 cup wheat germ and a little water to compensate for the germ.

    • Diane November 28, 2015 at 6:20 pm - Reply

      Sounds like a great way to customize the recipe. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  4. Sophie-Lee Johnston July 24, 2016 at 10:53 pm - Reply

    Looks amazing! Is the acid in the buttermilk particularly necessary for the recipe? I always have a lot of whey leftover from cheesemaking (sometimes acidic but usually not – or only mildly acidic) and would love to use that instead, if it’s possible. I’ll give it a go and let you know how it works.

    • Diane July 25, 2016 at 2:25 pm - Reply

      I have not tried whey as a substitute for the buttermilk in this recipe. Please let us know about your results. There are many people making Greek-Style yogurt and they may also be interested in using the whey in this recipe. Hope you enjoy the results.

  5. TrishNZ August 12, 2016 at 11:38 pm - Reply

    I would like to make a sourdough version – Do you think I could add say 100g of starter and leave out the water?

    • Diane January 28, 2017 at 12:24 am - Reply

      Trish, We are intrigued with your idea but have not attempted to substitute sourdough starter for the yeast and water. Please do let us know if you are successful with this modification to the recipe. Our kitchen is backed up with development of new recipes at the moment but we are interested in your success. All the best in baking!

      • Breadhead March 8, 2018 at 9:42 pm - Reply

        Yes… converting this to a sourdough recipe/formula would be very easy.

        Keep ALL of your weights the same and eliminate the instant yeast.

        Total flour = 420g
        Total hydration = 362g (buttermilk + water)
        Seeds + salt + honey… all remain the same weight.

        Your recipe/formula will look like this… if your starter is 100% hydration using bread flour as your flour.

        230g Bread flour
        140g Whole Wheat flour
        303g Buttermilk
        9g Water
        100g sourdough starter

        That will give you the same recipe. Just use the seeds, salt and honey weights as described in the recipe. Plus realize the times required will double.

        • Diane March 9, 2018 at 3:34 pm - Reply

          Wonderful! Thank you for taking time to share. All the best.

  6. Gayla Comer June 12, 2017 at 7:14 pm - Reply

    Is there any way this can be made in a bread machine?

    • Diane June 13, 2017 at 1:32 pm - Reply

      Gayla, We have never made this bread in a bread machine and expect it would not be as delicious in taste and also would not have the light moist texture we achieve. On our website page for this recipe we include a timeline graph so bakers can easily schedule the steps. Most of the time spent to make this loaf is inactive (while the dough is in the refrigerator or resting). There is no kneading, only folding the dough to develop structure. Thank you for your interest and good luck with your baking.

  7. Russell June 24, 2017 at 7:35 pm - Reply

    I made this bread once by the volume measurements. Really good. I decided to make it again using the weight measurements. Regarding the Honey, I assumed the T was a Tablespoon. However, the 50 grams of honey looks like quite a bit more than 2.5 Tablespoons. Have I misunderstood the recipe? Thanks.

    • Diane June 30, 2017 at 5:02 pm - Reply

      Russell, Thank you for alerting us to verify this measurement in our recipe. We are pleased to hear you have enjoyed the results. We just checked the measurement several times and 2.5 T (yes, tablespoons) weighs 48- 53g. Enjoy your baking and you can adjust the honey slightly to your preference without adversely affecting results of the loaf. Please let us know if you have any other questions as we are happy to assist.

  8. Al January 23, 2018 at 6:38 pm - Reply

    This worked out beautifully for me. I’m grateful for this recipe and makes the purchase of the proofer that much more awesome. That said, if one wanted to make 2 loaves would it be best to freeze a second loaf after baking or at some other point in the process?
    Many thanks

    • Diane February 2, 2018 at 2:19 pm - Reply

      Al, Sorry for missing this email until just now. Yes, after baking would be best. Allow the loaf to cool completely and then freeze promptly with an airtight wrapping. We are delighted you have succeeded in making this loaf and enjoyed it. Thank you for taking time to write. Have a wonderful day.

  9. Al January 31, 2018 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    If one doubles the recipe to produce 2 loaves, does that change the amount of time required for ferment (when it’s still one big blob of dough), and is the best way to freeze after the loaf has been baked?

    • Diane February 2, 2018 at 2:15 pm - Reply

      Al, The time to ferment would not change. We do suggest however, that you use two bowls and ferment the loaves separately for best results. We use a scale and measure the weight prior to fermentation to ensure both of the loaves will be equal loaf sizes. This way they perform the same all the way through baking and it makes the whole endeavor simpler. You have selected a delicious recipe and we think you will enjoy the texture and flavor. All the best to you in baking.

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