Cook from the Book: Hot Bread Kitchen

From the outside peering in, Hot Bread Kitchen may seem like any other bakery—loaves of sourdough and rye, rounds of chapati and fresh tortillas, some of the best multi-ethnic breads you can find in NYC.

But look beyond their wares, and you’ll discover a social mission, one that gives low-income minority women the education and skills they need to advance in the highly competitive food world. The money this East Harlem bakery earns from selling loaves of multigrain ad braided challahs goes to fund this training. In turn, the women who work at the bakery inspire the bread they bake every day.

It’s no surprise we have mad respect for Hot Bread Kitchen. Or that, when we’re in the mood to bake bread, we reach for The Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook, a fantastic book loaded with bread recipes from around the world. Our latest Cook from the Book recipe features their dense, German-style Grindstone Rye filled with seeds and grains. Loaded with seeds and grains, it’s great with just a little butter, or smeared with avocado or topped with smoked salmon.

Cook from the book-1-1400

Grindstone Rye

Makes 2 (9×5-inch loaves)


  • ¼ cup/35 g wheat berries
  • ¼ cup/35 g rye berries or additional wheat berries
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • ¼ cup/40 g rolled oats
  • ¼ cup/40 g sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup/40 g sesame seeds
  • ⅔ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons/140 g water


  • 1½ cups, plus 2 tablespoons/360 g very warm water
  • 2½ cups/325 g rye flour
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons/150 g bread flour, plus more for shaping
  • ½ cup/55 g whole wheat flour
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons/210 g (risen and deflated) pate fermentee (recipe below), cut into walnut-size pieces
  • 1 tablespoon plus ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3⅓ cup/145 g steel-cut oats or rolled oats

1. To prepare the soaker: Rinse the wheat berries and rye berries with cold water. Put them in a large heavy pot and add enough water to cover by at least 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. Add more water to keep the soaker covered. The berries should still have the skin intact but be soft on the inside.

2. Drain the wheat berries and rye berries and combine in a large bowl with the cornmeal, rolled oats, sunflower seeds, salt, and water. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 8 hours or in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

3. To make the dough: Combine the water, rye flour, bread flour, whole wheat flour, pate fermentee, salt, sugar, yeast, and lemon juice in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on low speed to integrate the ingredients, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium to medium-high and mix until you can see some shininess to the dough, 6 minutes. This dough is heavy, almost sticky, so you can’t look for the normal gluten clues. You will know it is ready when you lightly tug a piece of the dough and it doesn’t pull right off—it snaps back.

4. Drain all water from the soaker and add the seeds and grains to the dough. Mix until they are distributed, about 2 minutes. Coat the inside of a large bowl with 1 tablespoon of the canola oil and transfer the dough to the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (or put the whole bowl in a large plastic bag) and let stand at room temperature until the dough is softer and supple. This heavy dough will not puff up a lot like other doughs with more white flour. Give it about 1 hour.

5. Coat 2 (9×5-inch) loaf pans with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Put the steel-cut oats on a platter or in a baking dish near your work surface. Dust the work surface with flour and turn the dough onto it. Gently push down the dough and divide it into 2 equal pieces.

6. Working with one piece of dough at a time (keep the other covered with plastic), form a log roll (*see tip below). Using both hands, roll each log to 8 inches long and 4 inches wide with a long seam running along the bottom.

7. Spray the top of each loaf with water from a spray bottle and then roll the dampened top in the oats. Put the loaves, oat-coated side up and seam side down, into the prepared loaf pans.

8. Cover the loaves loosely with plastic wrap and let stand until the dough nearly fills the loaf pan, about 2 hours.

9. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

10. Bake until the breads are browned and the top is crusty, about 45 minutes. Turn out of the pans into a wire rack to cool completely, at least 2 hours (because of the density of the bread). Store in a paper or cloth bag at room temperature for up to 1 day. After that, store in a plastic bag at room temperature. This bread freezes well.


Pate Fermentee

Makes about 1 ¾ cups (risen and deflated)/300 grams. Make 8 to 24 hours before you bake your bread.


  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons/140 g water
  • ½ cup, plus 1 teaspoon/120 g lukewarm water
  • ⅔ teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1⅓ cups, plus 1 teaspoon/180 g bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

1. Put the water and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, then add the flour and salt. Mix on low speed for 2 minutes until combined into a shaggy dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

2. Refrigerate the mixture for a minimum of 8 hours and a maximum of 24. (There is no need to return it to room temperature before using.)

3. If you’re measuring the pate fermentee rather than weighing it, be sure to deflate it with a wooden spoon or with floured fingertips before measuring.


*To shape the log roll: The log roll, as Hot Bread Kitchen has termed it, is the most common shaped in their book and is used either as the final shape or a pre-shape. Folding the dough over itself a few times creates a taut skin and develops structure and a clean seam. It also helps to make sure that your loaves are of uniform density so they rise and bake evenly. Working with one piece of dough at a time, lightly flatten the dough with your hands so it forms a rough rectangle. With a short side facing you, fold the top of the dough toward its center. Press down the pads of your fingers to create the “roll.” Seal the seam and create a taut surface and tight roll. Fold the new top edge over the center so it aligns with the bottom edge and press this seam down, again being mindful of creating surface tension. There should now only be one seam on one side of your dough. Give it a few rolls on the floured surface so that your folded dough forms a cylinder, the log. The length and height will depend on the amount of dough.

Reprinted from The Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook. Copyright © 2015 by Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.