- 1/2 cup uncooked long-grain brown rice, preferably brown basmati
- 2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour, plus 3 tablespoons, divided
- 2 cups unbleached bread flour, (see Note), plus more as needed
- 1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 2 tablespoon toasted wheat germ
- 4 tablespoon roasted pepitas, or sunflower seeds, divided
- 3 tablespoon flaxseeds, preferably golden, divided
- 3 tablespoon poppy seeds, divided
- 3 tablespoon sesame seeds, divided
- 2 1/4 teaspoons table salt
- 1 1/4 teaspoons instant, quick-rising or bread-machine yeast
- 2 1/2 cups ice water, (see Tip), plus more as needed
- 3 tablespoon clover honey, or other mild honey
- 2 tablespoon liquid egg substitute, or 1 beaten egg white, for glazing
Mix dough: Grind rice in a blender or coffee mill (a food processor won’t work) until mostly powdery but with some fine bits remaining. Transfer to a 6-quart (or larger) bowl. Thoroughly stir in 2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour, 2 cups bread flour, oats, wheat germ, 2 tablespoons each pepitas (or sunflower seeds), flaxseeds, poppy seeds and sesame seeds, the salt and yeast. Thoroughly whisk 2 1/2 cups ice water and honey in a medium bowl. Vigorously stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, scraping down the sides and mixing just until the dough is thoroughly blended. The dough should be moist and somewhat sticky, but fairly stiff. (The seeds will absorb moisture, stiffening the dough as it stands.) If the mixture is too dry, stir in just enough additional ice water to facilitate mixing, but don’t overmoisten. If the dough is too wet, stir in just enough bread flour to stiffen slightly. Lightly coat the top with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
First rise: Let the dough rise at room temperature (about 70°F) for 12 to 18 hours; if convenient, stir once partway through the rise. For convenience (and improved flavor), you may refrigerate the dough for 3 to 12 hours before starting the first rise.
Second rise: Generously coat a 4- to 6-quart Dutch oven (or similar ovenproof pot) with oil. Coat the bottom and sides with 2 tablespoons whole-wheat flour. Vigorously stir the dough to deflate it. If it is soft, stir in just enough flour to yield a firm but moist dough (it should be fairly hard to stir). Transfer the dough to the pot.
Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon whole-wheat flour over the dough; pat and smooth it in. Firmly tuck the sides underneath all the way around to form a round ball of dough; dust with more flour as needed. Brush the loaf with egg substitute (or egg white) and sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons pepitas (or sunflower seeds) and 1 tablespoon each flaxseeds, poppy seeds and sesame seeds over the top (it will be heavily coated). Using well-oiled kitchen shears or a serrated knife, cut two 1/2-inch-deep concentric circles in the top of the loaf, one about 2 1/2 inches out from the center, the other 3 1/2 inches out. Put the lid on the pot or tightly cover with foil.
Let rise at warm room temperature until the dough is double the deflated size, 1 1/4 to 2 1/4 hours. (For an accelerated rise, see Tip.)
20 minutes before baking: Position a rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 475°F.
Bake, cool, slice: Reduce oven temperature to 450°. Lightly spritz or sprinkle the loaf with water. Bake, covered, on the lower rack until the top is lightly browned, 50 to 60 minutes. Uncover and bake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs on the tip (or until an instant-read thermometer registers 204-206°), 15 to 25 minutes longer. Cool in the pot on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes. Turn the loaf out on the rack and let cool to at least warm before slicing.