The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Sunflower Seed Bread

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Level: Easy

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Description

This German-style bread is chock full of sunflower seeds and makes for a hearty whole-grain breakfast.

Ingredients

  • 3-½ cups Warm Water - Not Hot
  • 1-½ Tablespoon Dry Active Yeast
  • 1-½ Tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • 3 cups Unbleached All-purpose Flour
  • 2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1-½ cup Barley Flour
  • ¾ cups Raw Sunflower Seeds
  • ¼ cups Sunflower Seeds, For Rolling The Loaf
  • ¼ cups Cornmeal - For Dusting The Baking Surface

Preparation

**If you’re not familiar with the 5 Minutes a Day approach, you’ll need a LARGE (a gallon at least) container with a lid. I use a gallon ice cream tub with a hole poked in the lid (you don’t want the lid to be airtight or it’ll explode with the expanding gases as the dough rises). You’ll also need enough fridge space to store this container until you use all the dough. You should also know that this recipe will make 3-4 medium sized (about a pound) loaves. But that won’t be a problem. Oh, and once you’ve tried this approach, it WILL change your everyday life. If you’re a bread person, at least.

1. In your storage tub, combine the warm water, yeast, and salt. Swirl or stir gently to dissolve the yeast.
2. Add the flours and sunflower seeds all at once.
3. Stir with a spoon until the dough begins to come together. Then get your hands in there and mix until all the liquid is incorporated and there are patches of dry flour left over.
4. Put the lid on the container (you may not want to seal it yet – and remember – don’t use an airtight lid!) and let the dough rise at room temperature for three hours or so. At this point it should have not quite doubled in size. (I found this dough didn’t rise as much as others, but it has an amazing oven lift.) Stick it in the fridge over night.
5. About an hour before you want to eat the bread, preheat the oven to 450F and place a pan of water on the bottom shelf of the oven.
6. Now prepare your baking surface. You can use a pizza stone (which you should preheat with the oven), but I don’t have one, so I’ve been using a normal half-sheet pan. To use a normal half-sheet pan, you need to spread a thin layer of cornmeal or semolina on the pan roughly in the shape and size of your loaf. This will keep it from sticking.
7. Then pull out a chunk of dough about the size of a softball (or however big you want the loaf to be) and shape the loaf: what you want to do is create a “gluten cloak”. To do this you need to sort of flatten (not squish) your dough into a disc and then roll the edges toward the bottom. You’ll be able to see the strands of gluten forming and creating almost a network across the top of the loaf. I like an oblong loaf shape for this bread, but it really doesn’t much matter what shape you give it. (*See photo)
8. Once you’ve shaped the loaf, roll the top and sides of it in the extra sunflower seeds until the loaf is pretty generously coated. Place it on top of the cornmeal on your baking sheet and make sure the bottom is pretty thoroughly coated in the cornmeal. Trust me: you do NOT want your bread sticking. Then slash the loaf: take a sharp knife and cut a slash about 3/4″ right down the middle of the loaf (lengthwise). This will give it room to rise and will make it look awfully pretty. Let the bread rest at room temperature for 20 minutes while the oven pre-heats.
9. Bake it for 30 minutes. It should be evenly browned (my oven is really small and heats unevenly, so I rotate the loaf halfway through to ensure even browning) and when it’s done it will sound hollow if you tap on the bottom of the loaf. (You *may* need an additional 5 or so minutes and definitely more if you bake a considerably larger loaf.) Let it cool for a few minutes before you tear into it. It’ll give it time to compose itself and will lessen the likelihood that you’ll burn the dickens out of your mouth. (Not that it wouldn’t have been worth it.)

One Comment

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giverecipe on 1.16.2011

This bread is right up my alley! I’ve been experimenting on bread making for some time and I will absolutely try your recipe. Thanks!

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