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National Sandwich Day: Whole Wheat Sesame Bread

Jerry Stratton, October 31, 2017

To be honest, I’m not sure the whole wheat bread from The Enchanted Broccoli Forest is even doable by hand. But I have managed to modify it so that it works very well in a bread machine.


Servings: 8
Preparation Time: 5 hours


  • 1 ⅙ cup warm water
  • ⅙ cup toasted sesame seeds, ground
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • ⅙ cup lemon juice
  • 1 ⅓ teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ⅓ cup toasted sesame seeds
  • 4 teaspoons gluten
  • 2 ⅓ cup white flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons yeast


  1. Grind the ⅙ cup toasted sesame seeds, and then mix in the sesame oil.
  2. Mix together the gluten and the white flour.
  3. Put everything in the bread maker in the order given.

Today might be Hallowe’en, but this Friday, National Sandwich Day is again upon us. So to counter the gooey candies get ready for a fresh sandwich by making this hearty bread.

For anyone who was in Ithaca, New York in the eighties, one cookbook was on almost every shelf: Mollie Katzen’s The Enchanted Broccoli Forest. The Moosewood Restaurant was a bit too expensive to be a regular habit for me at the time, but it was definitely an interesting place.

The sesame-lemon bread in Broccoli Forest is also interesting, not least of which because I could pretty much never make it come out. But then, I pretty much couldn’t make any bread recipe come out consistently well until I got a bread machine.

Still, when I tried to make this one in the bread machine, it turned out almost as bad as if I made it by hand. Particularly, when I compared it to some other recipes, the liquid content seems awfully low. So I experimented a bit, and came up with this variation that works in my bread machine and is perfect for toast and for sandwiches.

Toasted sesame seeds: Sesame seeds, after toasting in a toaster oven.; sesame; toaster oven

If you have a toaster oven, it is the perfect place to toast sesame seeds. It will take only a minute or so. Err on the side of undertoasting, not overtoasting.

The order of ingredients here isn’t just the standard liquids-first that bread machines require. Most importantly, measure the one tablespoon of oil first so that the three tablespoons of honey will easily slip from the spoon. And grind the seeds dry. Otherwise, they will stick to the sides of whatever you’re using to grind them; once they are ground, add the oil.1

The total sesame seeds in this recipe is a half cup: a sixth plus a third equals a half. So if you are starting with untoasted sesame seeds, you can toast half a cup all at once, and then remove a sixth to grind and pour the rest into the bread machine at the appropriate time.

Almost every time I make this, a sixth cup of lemon juice turns out to be exactly one medium lemon. This seems like an amazing coincidence, unless lemons have become much more standardized than I could have imagined. But if it doesn’t come out exact, adjust the water content instead of using a partial lemon, unless you have a use for a partial lemon.

In my bread machine, I use the whole wheat setting for a two-pound loaf, with the light/dark setting at medium.

  1. You’re basically making tahini, which is what the original recipe calls for.

  1. <- Sesame Krispies
  2. Southern Living cookbooks ->