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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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

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??


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!


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?


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


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! :)


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!


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 :-)


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!


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!


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

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

Cookin' Canuck

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


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


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

The Actors Diet

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!


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.


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! Blessings~ TIffany


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


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