Big Sur Bakery Hide Bread

Big Sur Bakery Hide Bread Recipe

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.

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.


I send an email roughly once a week, sharing new recipes and cooking inspiration. - xo heidi
Heidi Swanson


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!


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)

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.


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!


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. :)


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.


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.


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.


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

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

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.


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


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!


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.


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.


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


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


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


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 :)


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.


Thanks for the recipe. I've been thinking about making bread for too long now. This is just the push I needed. Looks like a beautiful place.


One of my favorite places to eat. We live on the Monterey Peninsula and a drive to Big Sur is the perfect get away. The traditional bakery items are great. The dinners here, though, are amazing. They make the most interesting and delicious side dishes that can totally change an entree. I really hope to find these sides in the book.


do you grind the flax seeds ?

HS: The recipe calls for whole flax. As my mom used to tell me - chew your food well!


I was in the US a few days ago and made sure to pick up a copy - haven't even had a chance to flip through it yet. Big Sur Bakery is one of my favorite places and their Brown Butter Bars are absolutely fabulous. I posted on it a few weeks ago...


This looks wonderful. I spoke to the owner of Big Sur Bakery as the book was nearing completion then recommended Carl look in on his last visit.
It's in my notebook for the next trip down the coast.

HS: Hi Pam! I can't wait to get down there again as well. It is quite the drive though :/

Pamela Hunter

Honestly, I would give up the recipe to be close to Big Sur right now!

The Blushing Hostess

Thanks for this inspirational recipe! I will try it very soon- toasting the sesame and sunflowers, and coarsely grinding the flax.


Thank you for the very interesting recipe. We are going to make this weekend . We have some friends from Sweden visiting for several days.

In reading the recipe I noted it lists Flax seeds as an ingredient and it doesn't mention the flax must be cracked. The reason I mention this is: For flax to be digestible it must be cracked, otherwise the whole seed will pass through body without being digested.

This seems to a common problem with bakers, I'm not sure why.

Duane J Marcroft

Heidi--this sounds like a fantastic and highly nutritious sort of favorite kind! If I want to use spelt flour can I assume its OK to substitute 1 to 1?

HS: Hi Karen - yes, I'd start right around there - depending on the spelt flour, your dough might be a bit drier - but that's a guess. It'll vary. You definitely want a tacky dough.


Heidi, We were there just once and we were so in love with it. I was there on Gov.t business at the time and they gave me a day off so I could see the area. What an awesome treat. Of course, hubby and I thought we were going to starve until we found this fantastic place. Thanks for sharing.
Blessings to all, Bev

Beverly Jane

I love your profiles of these small companies. I hope that you continue a Canadian you have given me insight into people I may not otherwise know about it. Thank you...

Mixing Bowl Mama

Those sound like heaven. I always jump straight for subbing ww flour so I'm glad you made a note about spelt flour instead. Thanks!

Michelle @ Find Your Balance

...wonderful idea...dulse flakes in place of salt...had not occurred to me!


Thank you Heidi for coming through with perfect timing. I'm pastry cheffing/breadbaking at a small restaurant in London that brings you to mind almost daily. You'll see why one day I hope.

I think I will go in tomorrow and promptly make this recipe. I have fond memories of the bakery and the book sounds amazing; thanks for its delicious introduction.

HS: Toast and slather Shuna, you won't be sorry. ;) And I can't get to London fast enough - I have an ever growing hit-list of people and places I can't wait to visit. And I have family there now! I'm hoping next year, if not sooner - but I suspect I'm not going to make it before years end. Hope you are well lady. Sending a bit of California love in your direction. xo -h

shuna fish lydon

These look excellent! I think I will try them with white whole wheat flour.

Kristin @ De Nacho

Oh that bread looks too good. Especially with fresh butter.

The Duo Dishes

Honestly that top picture of these little bread with some melted butter almost made me drool! Thanks for the recipe. Since I live nowhere near enough to the Big Sur, I can at least bake them myself.


The recipe looks wonderful! Please come up with a GF alternative! I'm also vegan, so I'd use the water, and not dairy. I do use seaweeds regularly, so using the dulse sounds like a wonderful alternative to salt! I live in Alaska and unfortunately won't be going to CA anytime soon, but will pass on the Bakery location!


Melting butter on any kind of bread is amazing! This looks just perfect. Only thing missing is a cup of tea.

Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen)

How timely is this recipe - was just planning on making english muffins next weekend. Thanks for posting!


Greetings~ I adore Big Sur, and the Bakery. I was married there at the Henry Miller Library 2 years ago, and Michelle from the Bakery made our cake. Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and a marzipan shell. Delicious! Their Asiago Bread is also heavenly, but sells out fast, so you must be the early bird! I am so happy for them that you have increased their exposure!



I made the "breakfast pizza" from this beautiful book. Ya know that quick, forward-back jerk motion required when moving pizza from peel to baking stone? When I did this all three of my raw eggs slid off the pizza to the stone. It would have been sad if it weren't so comical. Next time I'll make little indentations in the dough for eggs to rest in. I suppose if I'd moved more slowly this wouldn't have happened either.


Oh, how delicious!! I was just thinking the other morning as I drove to the gym that what I really need for a pre-workout nosh is a bit of toast. One of these rolls would fill that bill nicely. Can't wait to try out the recipe! Thank you for sharing it!


Mmmm! Have heard of this place. Have to get my butt there. There, and Big Sur.

The Actors Diet

Has anyone tried this without the beer? Can anyone recommend a substitute? Thanks!


These look really hearty and nutritious. I also love hearing about small business success stories!


What an interesting-sounding book. You always provide such interesting reviews!

Cookin' Canuck

You had me at "English muffin." I was expecting these to have yeast and am happy that they don't. More likely I'll make them :)

The Leftoverist

Couldn't wait to try these today - I love any type of nutty dense bread. This was a little bit of two worlds colliding. My parents live down in Big Sur and my mom has been raving about the fact that the Bakery was going to have a cookbook for about a year now. I got home from a vacation and not only did I have a copy of the book, but I checked my google reader, and here you are posting about it! Bizarre how things overlap.

Anyway, when I made these this evening, the crust came out pretty hard - any suggestions for how to make it just a bit softer? This happens with almost all breads I bake, so maybe it's an oven thing, but I'd love to hear any thoughts!


So in the true spirit of how food moves me....I went to Powells Book Store and bought the beautiful cookbook, the bread is in the oven, and our upcoming trip to the bay area will certainly include Big Sur. Stay tuned! Also, I was wondering if grinding the flax would affect the outcome? My half sheet pan maxed out at 12 breads. I was wondering if they would spread much and if they could touch?? I'll let you know in about 30 minutes!


At the risk of sounding silly, could you please clarify the buttermilk/half-and-half milk or water? Do you mean half the quantity is buttermilk and the other half is either milk or water? I am going to make this and just want to be sure I've got it right :-)


That mouth-watering picture makes me want to reach right into the picture and help myself to one. They look SO warm and comfort-food-ish that I can't wait to dive in! Such a down-home charmer!


I LOVE your website and your use of wonderful, healthy ingredients. I've made several of your recipes and they are all delicious! I'm excited that your cookbook (& Big Sur's) is on its way to my home!

And your photography is stunning as well. Thanks for sharing your gifts with the rest of us mortals! :)


Lynne, you can use buttermilk OR half-and-half OR milk OR water.


Could I use a 1/2 cup of teff instead of quinoa, millet, etc?


Could I use a 1/2 cup of teff instead of quinoa, millet, etc?


The Flax Seed Council of Canada offers information about the use of flax seed in baking. Here's the html link to the pdf:

@Marty - a GLUTEN FREE (GF) alternative can be made using GF products in the otherwise unchanged recipe.

OnlyOats(dot)com sells GF oat bran (oat bran from oats that have not been cross-contaminated with gluten-containing grains).

GF beers are available. Anheuser-Busch (makers of Budweiser) sell Redbridge. My favorite is produced by a company called Bard's Beer Co - "The Original Sorghum Malt Beer." Lakefront Brewery, Inc. produces "New Grist Beer," which has a taste that reminded me of sourdough bread.

PamelasProducts(dot)com is one of many companies that sells a GF baking mix. It is my favorite because I can use it as a substitute for standard white flour, without surprises. If you prefer to make your own mix, the magazine LivingWithout(dot)com contains a page in the back with four recipes for baking mixes, each one geared for a particular use (crust, high-protein, etc.).

Thank you for prompting my research fix for the day. That was way more fun than paying bills. Which I have to go back to now, because they're still there...

Good luck!


Hi Heidi! How are you? This is my first comment, although I've been reading your blog everyday for quite awhile now. I've never used beer as an ingredient before and I was wondering if there is a specific type that I should use?

HS: Go with a beer you like to drink. I can imagine a range of beers working well with this bread - some beers of course have more pronounced flavors than others - I used a Belgian-style saison, but I can imagine an IPA could be interesting, or even a stout??


how incredibly fun to see our main staple, which we make on a mountain top in Big Sur and in the jungles of Hawaii, to feed ourselves and our friends, here on line and in the beautiful Big Sur Bakery Cookbook!!. Recently Terry baked a version of his Hide bread, in a dutch oven, on our propane camp stove in the jungle. We had just got back from the closest store, half hour away with a loaf of moldy bread. Terry said "that does it! I'm baking bread." We had no supplies other than white flour, beer, and baking soda. He pulled off a round loaf that was fluffy like cornbread. We cut them in pie slices and then in half, slathering them with butter and jam, like scones. We had found our new favorite breakfast!
Big Sur Bakery is a wonderful destination, with superb food, which can now be enjoyed in your own home, as well, thanks to their new cookbook! Great to find your website as well, Heidi.

HS: It is great to see you here Rachel, welcome to the site. I loved seeing the photos of you and Terry in the book and reading more about your lives in Big Sur. So inspiring.

Rachel Moody-Terry Hide's girlfriend

This place is amazing and Big Sur is like heaven on earth !!

Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer

Just a few weeks ago I went to Big Sur - too bad I didn't know about this bakery. I'm sure it would have made my day. I will definitely try the bread recipe. Thanks for sharing!


You have delivered yet again another amazing recipe with such good good ingredients!

I have followed your amazing site for quite awhile now and have finally purchased your cookbook. Sitting on the couch after its arrival my husband was laughing at me because I was giddy with excitement after reading each recipe, and kept saying with each flip of a page "this looks good, and this looks good..." grinning ear to ear. I have never bought a cookbook where I was excited to make almost everything and plus learn an immense amount about different products at the same time. Thank you!

With your knowledge on ingredients, I was wondering... my daughter is allergic to soy and dairy. Nothing seems to be a great replacement for butter in recipes - especially baked goods. What might you suggest for a butter and milk replacement?

HS: Thanks for the nice comment Katie. It is really nice to hear. As far as substitutions go - it really depends on the recipe. I've had quite a lot of success experimenting with coconut milk and coconut oil (the fully scented, unrefined oil).I like some almond milks, I had a really nice tasting hemp milk a while back - meant to play around with that more....


All those seeds sound great, and would give them a lovely crunch. Toasted and buttered sounds really lovely.

Arwen from Hoglet K

There's no need to be intimidated by making my bread. It was born out of a sea voyage, from Hawaii to New Zealand, because it was easier than yeast bread. I used my friend, Jay's, Irish soda bread recipe, only I added my own super foods. Amaranth, millet, and quinoa all have the 8 essential amino acids for building muscle, flax seeds for digestion, and kelp or seaweed for vitamins and minerals. I keep a 5 gallon pickle bucket with my dry bread mix, adding whatever sounds healthy. You can substitute water for milk or beer, and spelt for a gluton free bread. The bread in the picture looks exactly like mine!

HS: Thanks for the amazing recipe Terry - everyone who tried the bread loved it. And as I said to Rachel up above in the comments - thank you for sharing part of your story in the cookbook. I can't wait to introduce your bread to more of my friends here in San Francisco - with all the grains it is right up my alley. The next time around I look forward to working in the seaweed. Thanks again. -h

Terry Hide

Recently Terry made a fabulous batch of bread with almond milk, my new favorite!

Rachel Moody

Weird, on my way home from work today I was thinking about getting a breadmaker. NOW I REALLY WANT ONE!


I've been there! I too stopped with my honey when we were on our way to Monterey for a romantic weekend. What an adorable place. And I think my ideal retirement plans involve me chillin in a cabin in Big Sur, holding book club meetings and watching cliffside coastal sunsets.... SIGH....


Oddly, after reading this post yesterday I had a dream last night that I made these and that they were delicious. Looking forward to testing them out in real life this weekend....


I just finished making these rolls and have a few comments.

First, I made the "patties" smaller so that I ended up with 31 rolls instead of 15. However, even so I had to bake them for almost an hour. After fully cooling they are really quite hard on the outside and still moist (I would say not completely cooked) on the inside. They are flavorful but definitely lacking in salt. Perhaps at least 1 teaspoon would improve the flavor. I very much like dense breads, but the really hard crust and somewhat undercooked inside is not necessarily characteristic. It's true that butter and salt help; but further toasting only made the crust even harder. I need to try the ones at Big Sur Bakery to see if I've missed the mark somehow.

Angela Gresser

Love this recipe!! I just made some rolls and a loaf out of it. Is it normally so dense? The rolls and loaves seem very heavy, but that may have been my rough mixing!!


How timely is this recipe - was just planning on making english muffins next weekend. Thanks for posting!

marry D

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.


looks absolutely great!


These sounded intriguing, had the ingredients so I made them, but like the above comment they were rock hard on the outside. In fact National Defense want me to make more as they can use them for hand grenade practice. (just kidding)
Did I do something wrong to make them rock hard on the outside. The inside is fine and delicious toasted but one could break a tooth biting into them.

Val from Cambridge, Canada

I wondered what the name "Hide bread" referred to. I think I've figured it out--my attempt at this recipe came out with the approximate texture of cowhide, and was about as tasty, I'm sorry to report. They were also rock hard, as others have commented. The only substitution I made was wheat germ for the oat bran. This recipe goes into the recycle bin!


I JUST asked someone about this cookbook not 30 seconds ago. I was thrilled and enlightened to find your post.

I love cookbooks and cooking, so I'm always looking for new ones. However, I'm an eBook reader! And cookbooks have definately come into the digital age, because this one will be released on my favorite bookstore's website (www, in like 6 days. They do discounts on new releases and rewards dollars for all titles, so it's a great way to buy books! I just haven't cooked using an eReader before. I wondered if anyone had...and if they had any comments/advice for me.

If so, just post back here, and I'll check to see if anyone says anything.



Hmm. I'm eating one of these rolls right now, and I think they came out pretty well. Sorry to hear that so many of you got a bad roll. It's true they are quite crunchy on the outside, but the inside is so dense and creamy - the crunchyness is a welcome addition. I ran out of all purpose flour, so my last cup was whole wheat pastry flour. I also didn't have flax seeds so i left them out. They are like a dense English muffin - I dig.


These look excellent! I think I will try them with white whole wheat flour.


I feel healthier just reading the recipe!

Can't wait to try it, with a bit of butter!


thanks for posting.

it really looks great!. will definitely try it


@ Terry Hide, July 7, 2009

The information I have found indicates that spelt is undoubtedly a form of wheat, and most likely contains the offending gluten - and should be avoided by people with gluten sensitivity.

"There have been anecdotal reports suggesting a lack of toxicity in celiac disease for spelta and Kamut, along with anecdotal reports of the opposite, at least in the case of spelt-celiac patients who have been harmed by eating it. Controlled tests would be necessary to draw a firm conclusion, although they hardly seem necessary insofar as spelt and Kamut should be considered forms of wheat."

Taken from this source.

...please let me know if you have updated sources/ different information - if spelt is safe for the gluten-sensitive, it would be a welcome addition to my otherwise limited baking/ eating options.


Here is a more definitive statement on the matter, albeit from the same source:

"Spelt or spelta and Kamut are wheats. They have proteins toxic to celiac patients and should be avoided just as bread wheat, durum wheat, rye, barley, and triticale should be avoided."

Again, from this source.

Please pardon the double post. Also, thank you for suggesting a potential option for those of us who need to avoid wheat and cannot resist baking.


Serendipitiously, I read this just before taking off for Big Sur for a few days. We found the bakery and stopped there. OMG!!!! Everything was the very very best. I tried their graham crackers, which they told me would ruin me for any other graham crackers, ever. Well, they were right - those things were awesome. I am normally reserved, and though I try bakeries all the time, am mostly sanguine about them. But this place is very very wonderful. Definitely worth a stop, and thanks Heidi for a great find.


Lesley Maul

Those look extra hearty and like they would be perfect for making caprese sandwiches out of my homemade mozzarella I have on hand. Yum!


Those look extra hearty and like they would be perfect for making caprese sandwiches out of my homemade mozzarella I have on hand. Yum!


Heading to Big Sur from SLO in a couple of weeks on vacation and will check out the bakery (then come home and try and make this lovely bread). Love all your recipes, Heidi - thanks!


I live in Big Sur and LOVE to see one of our favorite establishments featured here!!! The Big Sur Bakery has enriched local dining options and consistently turned out mouth-watering eatables since its inception. They work hard and deserve the recognition!!! Thank you!!! :)


Hello Heidi

What a coincidence, just a couple of days ago I started planning our trip to California in September (my hubby and I will fly to San Francisco on labor day weekend and will then drive down to San Diego) and one of the first places to visit which I put on my list was the Big Sur Bakery. I can’t wait to go there and your story just confirmed my decision to buy their cookbook while I’m there.

I’ve been a big fan of your blog for a long time now and this is the first time I’m posting a comment (I live in Zurich/Switzerland). I love your delicious recipes and the wonderful pictures.
Would you possibly have some recommendations for 3 days in San Francisco (nice, but affordable hotel and foodie essential places)? And do you think it would be worthwhile adding a trip to Napa Valley?


I made these today with white whole wheat flour. I don't know if the weather is drier than I realize, or if it was the flour, but I couldn't mix in all the dry ingredients in, and ended up with a rather dry dough (and dry bread). As has been mentioned - the crust is _quite_ hard. However, when split and toasted I found them quite edible, with exactly the seedy crunch I was expecting. I would suggest people (especially those using whole grain flour) start with just 4 cups of flour, and add the 5th (if necessary) after the liquids have all been mixed in (that's what I'm going to do next time). As for this batch - I suspect the dryness can be handled quite nicely by topping the butter with some honey, or perhaps blackberry jam. Either way, I think they are going to make a nice start to the day this week. (oh - and I got 19, out of a 2" log cut in 1-1/2" pieces - so make that 'the next couple of weeks').


I made these last night, and they're delicious. Try drizzling them with honey! The only modification I made was to use 3 c white flour and 2 c whole wheat flour. Regarding the options, I used poppy seeds and lowfat milk. I turned out 16 buns from the batch -- it was easier to divide the log that way.

For anyone who's interested, I ran the recipe through These buns are a breakfast powerhouse. They have more calories than the standard breakfast bread (273 kcal each), but have substantial protein (11g) and fiber (7g).


i LOVE this bread - all the seeds i desire and no yeast - it's a dream. first try i used whole wheat flour as i was too lazy to go to the market for all purpose - it had a good flavor but a bit too dry or dense or something. second try i followed directions with all purpose and used a blackberry wheat beer. i also only cooked 40 minutes which made for a bit softer crust.
now thinking i have a bit of an addiction to big sur bakery hide bread.


I tried these today and the flavor was delicious. My oven runs hot, so I lowered the temp by about 25 degrees - they still came out rock hard and the bottoms were close to burning after about only 25 minutes. Next time I I'll bake on an even lower temp for only half and hour - I can't imagine these being chewable after a day or so without altering the temp/time.


The husband and I traveled PCH1 in 2002 for a couple of weeks after graduating college. The Big Sur Bakery was such a wonderful and fantastic find. We frequently still talk about it frequently. Awesomely enough, it is also my first reference point when I dream about opening my own bistro.

I still remember what I got- a pizza with butternut squash sauce - which was fantastic.


What a disappointment! I tried these over the weekend and, like some of the others, ended up with hockey pucks. The flavor is pretty nice actually, and I like the crunch of the millet, but I feel like I'm going to cut my fingers of slicing them, and there is a LOT of chewing required. Might they be improved by increasing the leavening a bit?


I find the crusts on mine seem to be softening over time (or again, it could be the weather). And thanks for the nutrition info, Katy - I figured these would be a good start for the day, now I know the numbers!

Really, people, don't be discouraged by the "hard crust" comments - think "English Muffin" with a french-bread crust. They aren't a standard bread, but they are really tasty. I'm eager to eat up this batch so I can try some other variations on the next one (I used amaranth, millet, buttermilk and a honey porter, for the record.)


Fun. I've been studying King Arthur's recipes from their tome of a book, and am really wanting to try the especially grainy, seedy ones. I love a hearty bread with some texture, and this sounds like a good bet.

But what's a "hide" bread? Something so small it can be hidden? Or some other connection, I hope not, with a hide? This editor and wordsmith is always asking about words.

Erin @ Sprouted In the Kitchen

My Love and I are making homemade burgers tonight and trying these delicious looking buns. We love the healthy alternatives of the classics. Thanks Heidi!

Molly G.

Thanks for the inspiration and distraction.Blueberry biscuits or this tempting creation. I cannot decide.


I was wary of trying these, as several comments mentioned how tooth-breakingly hard they turned out... but I did, and am so very glad: these are keepers, and I have a few tips on getting the texture right.
First, I used 4 cups of flour, and worked the last cup called for in the recipe in as I gently kneaded the dough into shape. I probably used less than 5 cups total; this is definitely not a bread to add extra flour to: it will make the rolls dry and hard.
Second, I tried to stay close to the yield. If you make the rolls much smaller than called for, they'll overcook in the oven and become very hard. Do be sure your oven is at the right temp, and do not overbake, even if they look a little underdone (they'll dry out when split and toasted). Finally, when they came out, I gave them a quick brush with 2 tbl. melted butter, to keep the crust soft. They stayed moist, flavorful and wonderfully textured for two days. Thanks for the great recipe!


Hi Heidi, quick question. The recipe calls for all-purpose flour. Does it matter if I use bleached or unbleached for this specific recipe?

Kamran Siddiqi

Fantastic, wonderful bread. My oven was a bit hot; baked for only 40 min but that was a bit too much. I actually enjoyed eating them without toasting them, straight warm out of the oven.

I used unbleached all-purpose flour, and Ommegang brewery's Hennepin beer (chef's treat once the 1/4 c. is in the dough!).

Made homemade veggie burgers and used these as buns, also fantastic! Certainly will make these again.


I've made a lot of your recipes and love the site! But, this Hide Bread turned out like Hockey pucks! They are so hard - nearly impossible and even harder with toasting. The flavor is good, could be improved with some more salt however. I am thinking the addition of some fat in the dough would help with the hardness. I have made several very dense breads with lots of seeds, etc and none were as hard as these. You could knock a cow over with one of these rolls! LOL I am going to tinker with the recipe until I get a bit softer product as i would like to keep my teeth a while longer. I don't see how any professional baker could consider these rolls a success. Oh, well, not everything is a winner. Looking forward to the next installment!

HS: Thanks Jan and thank you to everyone else who tried these. Sounds like people are in one of two camps: love/hate. Jan if you end up tweaking the recipe to your likening with good results, be sure to report back. Thanks again, -h

jan canyon

Thanks for sharing the recipe. We stop by the bakery whenever we go to Big Sur. I baked the bread today and by mistake added a tablespoon of salt. I thought I had ruined it, but they were perfectly delicious. I made them with black sesame seeds so they had a slightly smoky flavour. We ate them with a little butter and coconut jam. Thanks again-

Michael Gilmore

Yum! I saw this when you posted it a few weeks ago but now I'm about ready to actually make it! I'm not sure if you'll see this comment now, but if you do, would chia seeds be an okay replacement for the flax seeds?


Hide bread is a great bread to customize to your own liking. Once you make the dry base of the flours and seeds that you want, you can make the dough out of any liquids. For example, you could put buttermilk or regular milk for different textures, or even mix buttermilk and beer. It doesn't have to be in little patties either, I have made it so that it is one big loaf and I cut off slices like french bread. Experiment and adjust to your liking.


I made these and love the grains that are incorporated in. Before, I had never heard of 3/4 of the ingredients, but after a while spent at Whole Foods, I picked up some incredibly tasty grains that I've fallen in love with! Thank you so much for introducing these new healthy items to me!

As for the "biscuits" as I refer the them... I think I smashed them down a bit too much with my hand as they didn't rise and it was all I could do to cut through them (they were very hard), and actually have 2 halves. These don't rise much if at all, so make sure you don't pound them too flat like me! Even pounded flat, they were still delicious toasted with butter and some homemade Strawberry/Rasberry/Pear preserves!

Tip: If you plan on saving them for more than a few days, make sure to freeze a few, because even stored tightly I did get a bit of mold after a few days... if you ask me I'd rather forego the "chock full of preservatives" bread for these delicious jewels.

Scott W.

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This recipe adapted very well to gluten free. I used my usual mix of brown rice flour, millet flour, oat flour, and tapioca starch in place of the flour. I used coconut milk in place of buttermilk as well. They turned out wonderfully when toasted!


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