For this recipe, you'll need a sourdough starter. My favorite is from Beth Hensperger's Bread Bible. The following recipe is also based on her recipe for Farmstead Sourdough Bread.
I made a crust inspired by everything bagels. This bread is excellent with cream cheese or boursin cheese and is great for sandwiches too. For example, smoked salmon with boursin, capers, greens, etc.
¾ c warm water
1 ½ tsp active dry yeast
1 ½ tsp sugar
½ c sourdough starter*
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 ½ tsp salt
2 ½ - 3 c all purpose flour
2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
2 tbsp dried onion flakes
¼ c boiling water
1-2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp poppy seeds
2 tsp sesame seeds
Dorure (a.k.a. egg wash)
Pour ¼ c warm water in a bowl, add yeast and 1 pinch sugar. Stir to dissolve and let stand until foamy, about 5 mins.
In a medium bowl, stir together thyme, 1 ½ c flour and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together sourdough starter, remaining ½ c warm water, sugar and olive oil. Beat until well blended. With a wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture. Add Remaining flour, ½ c at a time until dough becomes workable. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead until dough is soft and springy, adding small amounts of flour to prevent from sticking. Dough will end up slightly sticky at the end. Grease a rising container or large bowl, deposit dough and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise for 1 – 1 ½ hours.
Gently deflate dough. Grease a loaf pan, shape dough into a rectangle and tuck edges underneath. Put dough in loaf pan and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to proof for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, pour ¼ c boiling water over 2 Tbsp onion flakes and cover w/ plastic wrap, after 10 mins or until onion is soft. Pour off water.
Preheat oven to 350.
Make Dorure: beat 1 egg w/ 1 Tbsp milk.
Slash loaf 3 times. Brush on Dorure, then sprinkle loaf with onion, poppy seeds, kosher salt and sesame seeds.
Bake for 35- 40 mins or until instant read thermometer registers 180 degrees.
*Hint: to keep bread fresh for several days, wrap in tin foil and store at room temperature.