Wednesday, August 17, 2022

King Arthur Baking Company Artisan Bread Topping Review

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Don’t tell the friends and neighbors and Facebook strangers with whom I shared endless quantities of ill-fated sourdough starter, but I’ve never baked a single loaf of bread. I intended to, back in 2020, of course — thus, the flour-hungry bubbling starter that lived on my precious limited counter space for weeks, maybe months, and even migrated to the fridge to take up a precious corner of chilled real estate. Then our oven broke. Even once the oven was fixed, I just never made the bread. I guess you could say the need to make it just never, um, arose.

My failed attempt at the hobby left me with plenty of all-purpose and bread flour (which has gone into challah and cinnamon rolls, homemade crackers and plenty of pasta) and another ingredient that never met its intended use: King Arthur Baking Company’s Artisan Bread Topping. The blend of sesame, flax, sunflower, black caraway, poppy, and anise seeds — in its medley of tiny shapes and neutral hues — would look excellent sprinkled across many a loaf, but for me, that’s never where it landed. (In case you’re wondering, everything seasoning usually has white and black sesame seeds, salt, dried garlic, dried onion, and poppy seeds. Sometimes, you’ll find caraway seeds in there, too.)

The jar sat in my pantry as unloved as my deflating sourdough starter until one day, when I ran out of sesame seeds while making noodles. On a whim, I replaced my staple garnish with a small handful of bread topping, and it was revelatory. So much texture! Excellent crunch! A depth of flavor totally distinct from my typical jar of white sesame. I was delighted. And while sesame and caraway seeds are often included in everything seasoning, the flax, sunflower, and anise seeds in this mix add a nice surprise.

I quickly learned that the bread topping makes for the perfect accoutrement to pretty much anything savory. It’s great when served on top of salads and roast salmon, added to crisp roasted vegetables, and scattered across runny fried eggs. It can be added to quinoa or rice dishes for a nice crispy element, or even served on a cheese board with a tiny spoon to add a bite to the creamiest of cheeses. Although baking a loaf of bread isn’t in my near future, another 8-ounce jar of this incredible versatile bread garnish certainly is.

Have you tried this bread topping? Tell us about it in the comments.

Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner

Contributor

Melissa is a writer based in New York. She has contributed to Mic, Thrillist, Glamour, Teen Vogue, Bon Appetit, Racked, Vice and many more publications.



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