Big Sur Bakery Hide Bread Recipe

From the Big Sur Bakery cookbook, a seed-packed pocket bread recipe contributed by a good friend of the bakery. Sesame, sunflower, flax and poppy seeds, millet, oat bran, and a bit of beer impressively cram themselves into these delicious, hearty rolls.

Big Sur Bakery Hide Bread

I love reading about inspirational small businesses, so I thought we might follow the story of Lola's Ice Cream truck with another built-by-hand establishment - The Big Sur Bakery. The Big Sur Bakery sits back off California's famous Highway 1 a bit, nestled next to a gas station. It's owners, three of them, abandoned the Los Angeles restaurant scene years ago, determined to turn a property with a lackluster track record into something special. They set their sights on a house-turned-abandoned-restaurant, eventually wrangling it into what is now the beloved Big Sur Bakery. It was tough choosing just one recipe to feature from their newly released cookbook, but a seed-packed pocket bread contributed by a good friend of the bakery jumped out at me. Sesame, sunflower, flax and poppy seeds, millet, oat bran, and a bit of beer impressively cram themselves into palm-sized hearty rolls in a way that doesn't disappoint.

Big Sur Bakery Hide Bread Recipe

The cookbook captures a year in the life of the restaurant through a series of vignettes, purveyor profiles, and recipes. Anyone who dreams of starting their own restaurant should have a read. One of the things I like about this book, is the way it portrays many of the things that make creating a restaurant so fulfilling. At the same time it isn't afraid to touch on some of the stuff that also makes it drop-dead difficult. As I'm sure many of you know (or can imagine) Big Sur is remote, and running any sort of business in a town connected by a single power line to Carmel isn't without its challenges.

Big Sur Bakery Hide Bread Recipe

I've only been to the bakery once, mid-morning for a coffee as Wayne and I made our way north after a weekend get-away. I loved the dark wood, the beautifully rustic morning pastries, and mix of locals and people just-traveling-through intersecting at the counter. The bakery serves coffee and pastries in the morning and early afternoon, lunch on certain days, as well as dinner (hours listed here). The heart of the bakery is the wood-fired stove - and much of the food served (and featured in the cookbook) is inspired by it. The book includes a wide range of recipes, not simply pastries and baked treats. Also plenty for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. I've earmarked the Dresden Stollen, Nine-Grain Pancakes, Date & Quinoa Muffins, and the Fresh Garbanzo Bean Stew.

The talented Sara Remington did the photography for the book - a beautiful combination of portraits, images of Big Sur, meals shared, and of course, no end to the photos of the food. In all, 262 pages, full color.

And to finish, a couple more notes about today's bread recipe. It is a recipe from Terry "Hide" Prince, one of the bakery's earliest friends. If you can imagine a dense, seed and grain-packed English muffin, you're in the ballpark. Rather than using salt, Terry gathers kelp from the coast and uses it to season the bread. I used sea salt, but would have used dulse flakes if I had had them on hand. The key to enjoying these delicious little breads (and I can't emphasize this enough), is splitting them open, toasting them until they are deeply golden, then slathering them generously with butter (or drizzling with olive oil). Then sprinkle with a bit more salt. Blissful buttery crunchiness. Breads like these make me wish I had a toaster oven just for convenience sake.

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Big Sur Bakery Hide Bread Recipe

I followed the recipe here and used all-purpose flour as the base - there are plenty of other nutritionally-packed ingredients coming into play, and I wanted to see what the personality of the rolls were meant to be. And they were great. That being said, if I were to experiment with a whole grain flour I think I might start with white whole wheat flour or spelt flour - flours with higher protein levels, but not quite as dark and "wheaty" as standard whole wheat flour. I'd suggest giving the recipe a try as written first, and then try experimenting. I bolded the ingredients I chose down below as well. The original recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon salt, but the next time around I'll use a full teaspoon.

5 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra flour for dusting
1/2 cup flax seeds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
2 cups oat bran
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup amaranth, quinoa, millet, or poppy seeds (or any combo of these)
2 tablespoons dulse flakes, or 1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons beer
2 1/2 cups buttermilk, half-and-half, milk, or water
unsalted butter, softened for serving

Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 375F degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper if desired.

Place all the dry ingredients in an (extra-large) bowl, stir them together, and make a well in the center. Add the beer and the buttermilk. Mix with the handle of a wooden spoon until a thick, wet batter forms. Sprinkle a layer of flour over the top. Turn the batter onto a lightly floured surface and roll it into a loose log about 2 inches in diameter. Cut it into 1 1/2-inch-thick slices and par them down with your hands to form patties. Place the patties on the baking sheet and bake them for 45 minutes, until golden brown. Let them cook completely.

To serve, slice each patty in half, toast it well, and smear with butter (hs note: a sprinkling of salt works wonder here as well). And seriously, make sure to toast it. Hide bread is similar to an English muffin in that if you don't toast it, it'll taste raw.

Makes about fifteen 4-inch patties.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Heidi, these look lovely! Does anyone have any suggestions for replacements for the oat bran? HS: Hi Ashley, I haven't tested it, but I suspect wheat germ would be a reasonable substitute 1:1.


I LOVE this bakery. I discovered this bakery a few months ago when I was traveling from the Redwoods and stopped in Big Sur. I will definitely try this bread recipe, looks good! By the way, I love your cookbook and have tired several recipes from it. Yummy :)


Loving these stories about mobile foodies. I almost want to turn one of my antique cars into one. or maybe buy an antique Good Humor truck from my youth and hit the road


heidi, do i have to cook the quinoa or millet first?


Heidi, I made a version of your roasted salsa for the 4th, it turned out great! I just posted my version. And, I can't wait to try these rolls, I'm glad there isn't any yeast in them, it sounds pretty straight forward

looks like an amazing place, book, and recipe. it reminds me a bit of hell's backbone grill in remote southern utah. they have a great cookbook too.


Question: if I use quinoa, do I put it in as a dry ingredient? Normally before cooking, I rinse it; is that unnecessary here? HS: Yes, as a dry ingredient. Some of the quinoa we see here in the US has been pre-rinsed, it is often hard to tell if you are buying from bulk though. If you are unsure give it a rinse and drain well.


My fiance and I fell in love in Big Sur, and ate many amazing meals at The Big Sur Bakery. Their pastries are amazing, and the dinner we had there was one of the best we've ever had. Can't wait to get the cookbook!


looks great. i love all of the ingredients too. any bread made with beer is good. ;)


this does indeed look spectacular. i love any good bread that serves as a vehicle for butter consumption. what kind of beer did you use? i'd imagine it makes a difference.


I've been trying to avoid breads recently... but this is just too tempting. Can't go wrong with all those goodies: sunflower seeds, sesame, poppy, quinoa! WOW! Thank you for sharing. That book looks incredible... I love Big Sur, so magical. Makes me want to find this bakery...

Mae Bird

Sounds delicious - I'm not much of a bread eater but love something chewy and definitely toasted. Which reminds me of my mom's English muffin loaf recipe that I'm going to convert to a whole wheat or multi-grain version and post for my readers.

Michele Morris

Wow Heidi, these look good. I have been making english muffins lately, but these look way easier because there is no rising time. These are basically mini soda breads, rights? HS: Perhaps even denser than most soda breads I've had.


I just moved to California and have no idea where Big Sur is, but now I have incentive. This place sounds pretty cool. I think I'll have to pick up a copy of this book too.


We went on vacation in Big Sur last year, and the Big Sur Bakery was one of the highlights of the trip. We had one of the best dinners of our lives there. I still dream of the salad with blue cheese and hazelnuts. We ended up going back for breakfast and lunch. What a wonderful place. I must get that cookbook.


wow!!! everything you make looks delicious. i'm so intimidated by making my own bread but this makes me want to try it. thanks again! HS: Kyle - this is a good, easy starting point - give them a go. They are relatively unfussy and worth it. I may not have mentioned it up above, but a few of these also got a rub of clove of garlic after the butter slathering was done. Thanks for the nice comment on the last post as well, your India photos are inspiring, I can't wait to go there someday. :)


Hey if you are interested in start ups with a delicious and new twist, you ought to feature They are a local business in Provo Utah that has been donating tons of money to a burn victim in Provo; the victim and her husband were in a plan crash and in a coma for several months, leaving others to look after their kids. The whole thing is pretty inspirational really - you should check it out!


I love that bakery! My husband and I discovered it years ago on an impromptu trip to Big Sur. Thanks for sharing the recipe AND the fact that they have a cookbook.


I love the Big Sur. Hubby and I drove down it on our honeymoon several years ago. It's too bad I didn't know about the bakery then because I would have loved to stop there.

Kari (Eating Simply)

When I'm back in California I'll definitely have to make my way to this bakery! I lived in SLO for 6 years but somehow never made it to Big Sur... I definitely feel like I'm missing out! I'm always looking for breads that are't purely white flour and this one looks like it includes some great stuff!


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