Black and green peppercorns work in concert: Robust, piquant black peppercorns are balanced by the clean freshness of green peppercorns. You can substitute more of the milder green peppercorns, if preferred.
1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
2 cups warm water (100° to 110°)
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
5 1/4 cups bread flour (about 25 ounces), divided
1/2 cup wheat bran
5 tablespoons sunflower seed kernels, divided
5 tablespoons sesame seeds, divided
2 1/4 teaspoons cracked black peppercorns, divided
2 1/4 teaspoons cracked green peppercorns, divided
1 large egg, beaten
How to Make It
Dissolve yeast in 2 cups warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Add honey, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, stirring with a whisk. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 3 cups flour and bran to yeast mixture, stirring until combined. Cover and let stand in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until small bubbles appear on surface.
Add remaining 1 teaspoon salt, 2 cups flour, 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, 1/4 cup sesame seeds, 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper, and 1 1/2 teaspoons green pepper; stir until dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel tacky). Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes.
Divide dough in half; place each half in an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 400°.
Brush loaf tops with egg; sprinkle tops evenly with remaining 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds, remaining 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, remaining 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon green pepper. Bake at 400° for 35 minutes or until loaves are browned on bottom and sound hollow when tapped. Remove loaves from pans, and cool on wire racks. Cut each loaf into 8 slices.
My husband is a cracked pepper addict, so I made this bread, fearing it would be too powerful for me. Actually it was a great balance, you could definitely taste the pepper, but it wasn't too powerful. This bread wasn't quick to put together, but worth the effort. We froze the second loaf initially, we took it out and will be having it tonight with a CL salad.