Quinoa and Flax Toasting Bread
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In the fall of 2016, I posted a recipe for curried apple and egg salad. It was pictured piled atop slices of quinoa-flax bread, a recipe I couldn’t yet share because it, or a variation of it, would appear in Bread Toast Crumbs the following April.
I’ve been meaning to share the recipe ever since BTC made its way into the world because it’s one of my favorites—of the 40 variations of the peasant bread included in the book, this (along with a variation of the focaccia) is the one I make most often.
Like all of the bread recipes in BTC, this one is simple—stir together dry ingredients, add wet, mix to form a sticky dough ball. There is no need to cook the quinoa before adding it to the dough, and I love how it, along with the flax seed, punctuate the loaves with red and brown specks, offering the loveliest crunch throughout.
I prefer making 1.5 times the recipe in BTC and baking it in loaf pans, because we go through it so quickly: my husband and I toast this bread for breakfast nearly every day—it’s so filling and satisfying.
As always: for best results use a scale to measure the ingredients. More than anything else, a scale will make bread baking a breeze.
Here’s how you to make this quinoa-flax bread: Gather your ingredients: flour, salt, sugar, instant yeast, quinoa, flax, lukewarm water, and oil. Stir together dry ingredients, add wet, mix to form a ball.
Quinoa and flax seeds. No need to cook the quinoa ahead of time. I don’t rinse it anymore either. I love using the red quinoa because it looks so pretty in the finished loaf, but you can use any kind of quinoa you have on hand.
The mixed dough should be wet and sticky but should be able to hold together in a rough ball.
Let it rise:
Divide the dough:
Place in buttered loaf pans:
Let it rise again:
Here’s another step-by-step visual guide. This dough I mixed at night before going to sleep, so I used cold water and 1 teaspoon yeast. On the left is the dough destined for loaf pans; on the right is the dough destined for Pyrex bowls. Tip: You can do the long (12 to 18 hours), overnight rise with any bread you bake by simply cutting back the yeast to 1/2 or 1 teaspoon and using cold water in place of lukewarm—just keep in mind that the second rise will take much longer. You have to be patient—when the dough crowns the rim of the vessel it is in, it’s ready for the oven.
Delicious with soft-boiled eggs:
And a pinch of dukkah:
Also delicious as the base of a beet and avocado tartine:
Bread in the kitchen! Almost there … waiting on the hood and some shelves and some molding.
I’ll keep you posted. Update: Kitchen is done: Kitchen Reveal.
5 Secrets to Foolproof Bread Baking
See how easy bread baking can be in my free ecourse!
Quinoa and Flax Toasting Bread
- Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
- Yield: 2 loaves
Adapted from my cookbook, Bread Toast Crumbs.
This is essentially 1.5 times the recipe in BTC. It’s baked in two buttered loaf pans (as opposed to two Pyrex bowls). I love it toasted for breakfast smeared with butter and salt or almond butter — it’s so filling and satisfying. See notes below for baking it in 2 Pyrex bowls.
* To create a warm place for your dough to rise, preheat your oven for 1 minute, then shut it off—you should be able to place your hands on the oven grates; it should be about 100ºF.
- 6 cups (768 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon (15 g) kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon (12 g) sugar
- 2½ teaspoons (10 g) instant yeast
- 3/4 cup (132 g) red quinoa
- ¼ cup + 2 (52 g) tablespoons flax seed
- 3 cups (681 g) lukewarm water, made my combining 2.25 cups cold water with .75 cups boiling water
- 1/3 cup (66 g) olive oil
- 2 to 3 tablespoons softened butter
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, sugar, and instant yeast. Add quinoa and flax seeds and toss to coat. Add the water followed by the oil. Using a rubber spatula, mix until the flour is absorbed and the ingredients form a sticky dough ball.
- Cover bowl with a damp tea towel or plastic wrap and set aside in a warm spot* to rise for 1½ to 2 hours or until the dough has doubled in bulk.
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Grease two loaf pans with the softened butter—be generous. Using two forks, deflate the dough by releasing it from the sides of the bowl and pulling it towards the center. Rotate the bowl quarter turns as you deflate, turning the mass into a rough ball as you bring it towards the center.
- Using your two forks and working from the center out, separate the dough into two equal halves. Use the forks to lift each half of dough into the prepared pans. If the dough is too wet to transfer with forks, lightly grease your hands with butter or oil, then transfer each half to bowls. Let the dough rise for 20 to 30 minutes on the countertop near the oven (or other warm, draft-free spot) or until the top of the dough just crowns the rim of the pans.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden all around. Remove bowls from oven and turn loaves out onto cooling racks. If the loaves look pale or feel soft, return them to their pans, and bake 5 minutes longer. Remove from oven, turn out onto cooling rack, and let cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting.
If using two buttered Pyrex bowls, use these proportions:
- 4 cups (512 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2¼ teaspoons instant yeast
- ½ cup red quinoa
- ¼ cup flax seed
- 2 cups lukewarm water, made my combining 1.5 cups cold water with .5 cups boiling water
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 to 2 tablespoons softened butter
- Prep Time: 3 hours
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Category: Bread
- Method: No-Knead
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: no-knead, bread, quinoa, flax, toasting
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170 Comments on “Quinoa and Flax Toasting Bread”
I’m going to try this tomorrow. Please clarify the instructions for refrigerating the dough overnight. You say 1/2-1 teaspoon of yeast. Please specifically say how much for each batch of bread: for the Pyrex bowls, how much and for the two loaves, how much. Thanks. I love the rustic bread, the seedy bread and have used sprouted wheat flour with good success. Thank you!
Yes, sorry for the confusion here. I didn’t refrigerate this dough, though you definitely can do that. If you want to refrigerate the dough, I keep the proportions of everything the same: same amount of yeast, warm water, etc. BUT, I let it make it’s first rise in the fridge for at least 12-18 hours, then I pull it out, deflate it, divide it, transfer it to pans, and let it rise again—this second rise may take as long as 2 to 3 hours. Then bake as directed.
If you want to do what I did in the photos above, I simply let the dough rise at room temperature. Because this is a heavier dough (with all the seeds and oil), I use 1 teaspoon of yeast in each of the batches of dough (loaf pans and pyrex bowls). If I were just making the peasant bread or an overnight pizza dough, I would use 1/2 teaspoon yeast. Also, because my kitchen is cold, I use 1 teaspoon of yeast. In the summer, I might be able to get away with using 1/2 teaspoon yeast.
Let me know if you need anything else clarified!
Thanks for the clarification. I made this bread in two Pyrex bowls and subbed 128 g KAF Sprouted Wheat Flour for some of the white flour. I added about a Tbl. more water just in case. It rose overnight in the fridge, but looked pretty flat, so I stuck it in the microwave with a cup of boiling water (another proofing box) and it looked better. The second rise went quickly and the bread is beautiful,has great texture and crunch. I’ll be making this one again. The extra protein from the quinoa keeps me from getting hungry! Thanks for sharing this attractive and healthy recipe.
Question for you: I’d like to use up a small bag of Spelt flour. Any ideas?
So happy to hear this, Leslie! I find this bread keeps me sated for hours. Re spelt flour, you can substitute it as you have the sprouted wheat flour in any recipe — I would say use 25-50% spelt flour and the remaining all-purpose. I love spelt flour! It’s great in bread recipes.
This bread looks so good. I’d like to grind the flax seeds in order to benefit from their healthy goodness. Can the recipe be adjusted for ground flax seeds?
I’m sure! You may have to add more water as the flax may absorb some of it — try to reference the photos (I know it can be hard) of the mixed dough — it should be wet and sticky. So if the dough is stiff when you are mixing it up, add water by the tablespoon or so until it gets to the right consistency.
Thank you! Will try this weekend! This will be my first time making a variant of the OG recipe.
I’m back with a report. After I ground the flax seeds and mixed them with the flour, I had to throw it all away because the flax seeds had turned. Urgh. Luckily, I hadn’t yet added the quinoa and had plenty of flour, so I started another batch. The only substitute for flax seeds on hand were sesame seeds, so I toasted them (raw sesame seeds weird me out?), and OH. SWEET. KITCHEN. GODS. This is maybe the best bread I’ve ever tasted. I ate half the warm loaf by myself, standing at the counter and wolfing it down — plain, with Kerrygold salted, with Nutella, with peanut butter, and each slice was a winner. Toasted the next morning for egg sandwiches, it was heavenly. Will make again with flax, but I really think you can’t go wrong, even with sesame. Yum!
I am so, so happy to hear this Carolina!! What a bummer about the turned flax seeds … glad you didn’t ruin a whole batch of dough. I love this with a frid egg on top … so good. ALSO: salted Kerrygold is a treat in itself. 🙂
Hi Alexandra, I am a great foodie and experimental cook :-). Your recipes are amazing and easy to follow, and I am one of your fans! I have made a few things from your site that have been staples at home, like the tomato sauce (using Marcella Hazan’s recipe) and your rosemary shortbread. I will make this quinoa and flax bread, too, hopefully this weekend! Do you think you could at some point include some caloric information about the recipes you share?
Thanks for making life easier and more fun, good food is always something that brings a smile to my face and to my family!
So happy to hear this Cecilia! Thanks so much for the kind words! Stay tuned re caloric info—there may be a way to tie my recipe plugin with a nutrition label … on my to-do list!
Yay! I look forward to that!
I have in the past, been intimated by bread making. For some reason, I was always afraid of the yeast (which is funny because it acts like baking soda or baking powder as a rising agent), but I think I feared the “letting the dough rise” part. You have made me conquer my fear of baking breads!
This makes me happy!!
This bread looks incredible! I’m so excited to try it! Question- I only have flax meal on hand. Do you think that would work instead of the whole flax seeds? Thanks so much!
Yay! I think it might. You may have to add more water as the flax may absorb some of it — try to reference the photos (I know it can be hard) of the mixed dough — it should be wet and sticky. So if the dough is stiff when you are mixing it up, add water by the tablespoon or so until it gets to the right consistency.
What size loaf pans do you use?
Hi Joan, I use 8.5×4.5-inch loaf pans. I have two of these.
YOUR KITCHEN!!! SO GORGEOUS!
Awwwwww, thanks!! I need to get the full before/after post together. My brackets for the shelves have shipped, so we’re getting there!
Hi! This bread looks amazing. I’ve made your original peasant bread a bunch but none of the variations until I saw this post. I only had ground flaxseed so I’m trying it with that. Also, I’m trying it with 1/2 einkorn flour so hopefully it works out. ???? I just left the dough rising on my counter while I go out for my favorite breakfast which will keep me from peeking and prodding at dough like I normally do. I’ll probably post on Instagram if it works out well!!
Yay! Keep me posted! I know einkorn flour can require some adaptations — reducing liquid a teensy bit typically, right? I hope it works out!
The quinoa and flax seed bread was the first I made of the recipes from you BTC cookbook. It is still my favorite for toasting in the morning. Last night however, we had some of the rye bread (your recipe) left over which was just the right amount to dry out in the oven and slather with gruyere, melt under the broiler, and serve over the cabbage soup recipe in your book. I couldn’t find that recipe on you blog so I am commenting on it here. We were blown away at the soup and wonderful cheese topped toasty bread! My husband commented that if he had it in a great restaurant, he would know why it was called a great restaurant.
Can you proportionately increase the amount in all of your bread recipes as you have done here to make two loaf pan loaves? Can’t wait to delve further into your book!
Sunie!! I’m so happy to hear all of this … truly. It means the world.
And yes: for loaf pans, I generally do 1.5 times the recipe. You don’t need to always do 1.5 times the yeast, but increase it a little bit for sure. And I generally bake the loaves at 375 for 40 to 45 minutes.
Thanks. I have done the loaf pans a few times and they turn out great. A side note is that I went to make the quinoa and flax loaves and found I had run out of flax. I read the recipe in your book hoping to find what I could substitute. You said any seeds would work. I used about half of the amount each of poppy seeds and sesame seeds and what resulted was awesome! Toasting the bread really brings out the flavor of the seeds.
This bread is so delicious…I want to make a larger batch to share eith friends….can I double it?
Yes, absolutely! It doubles/halves well. You probably don’t need to quite double the yeast. I would maybe use a heaping tablespoon.
Worked beautifully..shared with friends Thank you!
So happy to hear this, Kathleen!
I’ve been loving your IG stories and it has definitely inspired me to make many of your recipes at home (thank you Dukkah!).
I have a couple questions for you:
1. How do you think the addition of chia seeds would affect this bread? Perhaps 3/4c quinoa, 1/4c ground flax (I saw your note about possibly adding more water with ground vs whole flax) and 1/8c chia seeds.
2. How long should this bread rise if I was letting it get its first rise in my instant pot on the yogurt setting?
This makes me so happy, Lacy! Thanks! and YES to dukkah.
In regard to your questions:
1. How do you think the addition of chia seeds would affect this bread? Perhaps 3/4c quinoa, 1/4c ground flax (I saw your note about possibly adding more water with ground vs whole flax) and 1/8c chia seeds. I say go for it! I’ve never tried chia in bread, but I love chia and think it would be really nice both texture and taste wise. Your proportions seem good.
2. How long should this bread rise if I was letting it get its first rise in my instant pot on the yogurt setting?
Thanks! Gosh, I don’t know! I have yet to explore the yogurt setting, but I am so curious now. I think you’ll just have to play around … You want the dough to double in bulk, so it may take some trial and error.
Please report back if you make any more discoveries!
I love this recipe from your book, and this is a wonderful variation. So pretty too and it comes together very quickly. If the weather is especially humid, which can make the dough a little wetter, I just scoop up the dough with olive-oiled hands and plop the dough into the pans. The bread bakes with a very nice crumb.
What if I just have active dry yeast? Do you have any instructions for that?
Sorry for the delay here! If you have active-dry yeast, dissolve the sugar into the lukewarm water, sprinkle the yeast over top, and let it sit for 15 minutes or until it gets nice and foamy. When it’s ready stir it into the dry ingredients. Add the oil then, too.
This bread is absolutely delicious. I used organic white quinoa, rinsed in a French press to get rid of residual bitterness. It’s wonderful with the olive oil, even when a person makes a mistake and adds too much. I’m going to make it again today – following instructions – and hope it’ll be as good. If not, I’m going back to the error of my ways.
And thanks to the commenter who mentioned the cabbage soup in your book. I marked that to try right after I got the book and then forgot: spoiled for choice, as the Brits would say. Ironically it was this blog post that motivated me to finally try this bread too, even though I’d marked that too.
So happy to hear this, Mela! Lots of oil in bread is never a bad thing … let me know how it compares to the less oily one—maybe I need to adjust my recipe?! 🙂
I love that cabbage soup and hope you do, too. I love cabbage anything though. Here’s another favorite cabbage soup recipe: https://alexandracooks.com/2017/11/03/cabbage-soup-updated-no-bacon-vegetable-stock/
I made the bread again yesterday Ali, and your original is by far the best balanced of the two. And addictive. Still, I also loved the taste and toasted texture with all the extra olive oil and may make it again – my guilty secret, the kind of thing you can never recommend to anyone because it’s well, you know, weird.
Thanks for another cabbage soup recipe too. I also love cabbage, all the brassicas in fact. Caramelized some onions last night so the BTC cabbage soup is on the menu today. Such good food Ali, thanks.
Not weird at all 🙂 🙂 🙂 I love it. Enjoy your cabbage soup and bread dinner! It was roasted cauliflower for me tonight. So yummy.
I made this bread and it came out perfectly! I used 6 cups of flour but my dough was much wetter than shown in pictures. Nonetheless, the bread was delicious. I baked an extra 10 minutes. Thank you for the recipe. I’ll try the kalamata bread next.
Hi Mina! Wetter is better than dry—so glad it turned out well nonetheless. Baking extra was a good idea given the dough was wet. Mina, do you have a scale?? I can’t recommend using one enough.
Hi Alexandra – could I use some white whole wheat (KA brand) to replace 1/2 of the AP flour? If so, would you do so by weight? Thanks!
Absolutely! And yes, I would do it by weight. Hope you are well!
THANK YOU! I am – but been gluten free for weeks and am planning on making this on Sunday… Can’t wait! xoxo
Oh wow, that’s long!! I’m excited for you 🙂
Can this recipe be adapted to be made with sourdough?
I’ve been making so many of your recipes and LOVING them all. Thank you.
Hi Julie, so nice to hear this! Thanks so much for writing.
And yes! I haven’t personally tried with this one, but I have been meaning to make a little guide for people on how to convert and yeast-bread recipe to sourdough.
In short: I would omit the yeast and use 100 g active sourdough starter. I would first stir together the water and starter. Then add the salt. Then add everything else. After 30 minutes, I would do a set of stretches and folds; then repeat 3 more times at 30 minute intervals. Then, let the dough rise until it increases in volume by 50%; then proceed with the recipe.
It will likely take some trial and error … this dough may be very very wet, and if that makes you nervous, I might reduce the water by 50 grams to start.
Hi Alexandra! This is the recipe from your book I make the most. But often I’ll just cut the recipe in half to make one loaf. Will half the recipe be enough for a loaf pan?
Thank so much!
Yes, absolutely! You mean half of this toasting bread recipe, right? If so yes, half of this toasting bread will fit in one loaf pan. xo
Ha ha, no…I actually meant I make half of the original recipe that is in the book. So I was kind of thinking that half of that recipe might not be enough for 1 loaf-size pan. But silly me, was not thinking last night and I can just make half of THIS recipe that you say is 1.5x greater than the book. I am very confusing, aren’t I? Or maybe the entire recipe that is in the book would fit in a single, larger loaf pan? LOL
Thank You for this beautiful and tasty bread recipe. I tried it today and it came out wonderful.
I tried this recipe and it is absolutely AMAZING! The bread loaves are so tasty and are perfect for making sandwiches. Thank you so much for another wonderful recipe!
Wonderful! So happy to hear this!
1st, thank you for sharing your approach to bread, the basic recipe encourages creativity and no matter what tweak I make, the result is delicious.
I made this recipe as written with amount of flour but I used 3 c KA bread flour, 2 c KA white wheat, 1 c KA sprouted wheat. I used the amount of quinoa but cooked it 1st so the nutrients are more accessible. I pulsed the flax in food processor to bust some open. I added 1/4 c chia seeds and 1/4 cup toasted black sesame. Since the quinoa was cooked, it was wet and I added an extra 1/4 c water and 1/2 tsp yeast to adjust for the extra seeds. I also used coconut oil in the bread and to grease the pans.
Like I said,, your basic “recipe” encourages and rewards creativity and utility – you can use what you have and what you like. The result was amazing. It reminds me of the Ezikiel Sesame bread but with way better texture and flavor. This week we are eating this bread toasted with curried chickpea salad piled on top. Every time I eat this I feel lucky that I found out how to make it! Thank you!
I’m obsessed with this bread and make it weekly…THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!
Yay!! So happy to hear this!!
Definitely one of the best toasting bread recipes ever. Just made a batch with 1/3 Sprouted spelt flour and 2/3 King Arthur Bread flour, 1/2 tsp. SAF yeast (overnight in fridge which means it requires a couple of hours on the counter to complete the first rise), but the second rise is only an hour. It did require several more Tbl. of water for the sticky dough. The crumb is lovely. Thanks again. My husband adores it with Pnut buttah!
So happy to hear this Leslie! Sprouted spelt flour sounds delicious, and I bet the longer rise added to the flavor. Thanks for writing!
This bread is fantastic, definitely going into my weekly rotation! I accidentally left out the extra 2 tablespoons of flax seeds on my first attempt but it still turned out beautifully. Thank you so much for this!
So happy to hear this Cillian!
On my 2nd load and lovin’ it. Actually by first try was 2 loaves and gave one to my son & family. They loved it also, especially my daughter-in-law. Gonna’ be checking out some of your crostini’s. I love beets.
So happy to hear this, Tom! So happy to hear it was loved by the children, too 🙂 Thanks for writing.
it seems a little unfair to rate a recipe when I’ve made a number of changes to it, but bottom line – I would make this again.
I didn’t have quinoa and I did have whole wheat flour I wanted to use up, so I subbed in an equal amount of uncooked oats for the quinoa and ~1 cup of ww flour (plus some vital wheat gluten) for some ap flour. The oats were from the farmers market, and though they were called rolled oats, they looked a lot closer to steel cut oats.
I didn’t get nearly the amount of rise that Alexandra did (maybe I needed to add a bit more water? more experimentation needed), but it still tastes great, especially dipped in olive oil.
Great to hear this, Tiffany! Regarding the rise, it’s hard to say because there are a number of changes here. WW Flour often makes for a less lofty loaf. Do you use a scale to measure flour?
I’d give this recipe 100 stars if I could. All Ali bread is delicious easy and a treat…but this is my favorite. The flavor and extra grains is perfect!! Love it.
Teal, yay! So happy to hear this. You’re the best 🙂 🙂 🙂
As usual, your bread recipes do not disappoint! Made this with 100% whole wheat bread flour, so hearty and delicious. It will become a regular in my household!
So happy to hear this, Carly 🙂 🙂 🙂 Thank you 😍
Need another clarification.
So to do what you did in the photos above, you kept the other ingredients the same amount but used cold water & only 1 teaspoon of yeast for either batch of dough (Pyrex bowl or loaf pan) and left the dough at room temperature for the long overnight rise (about 12-18 hours)? Also one should expect a longer second rise until the dough reaches the rim of the vessel it is in, maybe 2 to 3 hours? Thank you.
I’m a little unclear about what you are asking … are you trying to make the dough but extend the rise to be overnight? If so, yes, that is what I would do: cold water, less yeast, overnight room temperature rise. The second rise will be longer, too, so just play it by ear. Use visual cues, too, for the first rise. If it doubles in less than 12 hours, split it, and let it make its second rise.
Sorry for not being clear.
Yes trying to learn the method of making the dough & extend the rise overnight but at room temperature. Thank you for replying so quickly.
I LOVE your recipes (baked lots from your site & book) so I think I’ll stick to the recipe’s timing and not making it complicated. Thank you again.
Oh no worries at all … so nice to hear all of this. And thank you for the kind words … means the world 😍😍💕💕 Hope the bread turns out well!
I made this bread today using half bread flour and half sprouted wheat flour. It turned out wonderfully well. It had a nice rise and the crumb is tender and moist. AND that crunch…..I love it!!! For the benefit of others, I will mention that I used two larger bread pans b/c that is all that I have. My bread was baked in 30 min and the internal temperature was 200 degrees F. Thank you for sharing your recipe.
So nice to hear this, Ruth!! And thanks so much for sharing your notes. So helpful for others 😍
Am branching out to this bread. Looks delish!! I don’t have any flax seeds on hand but have the quinoa along with all the other ingredients. Do I need to add more quinoa to compensate for the missing flax?
Hi Carol! Wonderful. You can if you want, but you don’t have to. It won’t be too quinoa-y if you add an additional 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons, but also, it won’t be lacking in any way if you don’t. Totally up to you!