Well… we’ve finally made it through Crop of the Month! We began months ago with wheat, soybeans, corn, and finally sunflowers. It has been such a blast sharing informative blog posts and recipes related to the four crops we grow on our farm.
This week I finish up with a sunflower bread. I don’t know about you, but I love whole grain or nut breads. I love the crunch whole seeds or grains adds to the soft texture. This bread was simple and also fairly inexpensive. It just so happens that this bread pairs beautifully with the strawberry balsamic jam I canned a few weeks ago.
In this recipe, I used whole wheat flour made from hard red spring wheat, however you can use white whole wheat as well! White whole wheat is a great alternative to traditional (hard red) whole wheat. It is how I secretly get my white bread husband to eat whole grain breads. To find out more about the difference between white wheat and red wheat (traditional whole wheat), you can check out this post.
This recipe takes some time, but don’t be afraid of the time. It is simple. Doughs don’t have to be scary! I also highly recommend using Red Star Platinum yeast! I’ve always experienced great rises in my breads and doughs when using it. Another tip for good rises on bread, put your bread in the warmest place in your kitchen! Sometimes that may be on top of the fridge, on top of a pre-heated oven, or in the microwave (not while running of course).
- 1 1/4 cup warm water
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons instant or active dry yeast (I love Red Star Platinum)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup sunflower seed kernels, roughly chopped
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 1 large egg
- Dissolve the yeast into the warm water. Add the honey and let it rest for five minutes to activate.
- Add the chopped sunflower seeds to a large bowl with one cup of the whole wheat flour and salt. Stir until combined.
- Once the yeast is activated, add the olive oil to the yeast honey mixture. Pour into the large bowl of sunflower seeds and flour.
- Add the last half cup of whole wheat flour and begin to add the all purpose flour one half cup at a time mixing well until it forms a loose ball.
- On a well floured work surface, knead the dough for about five minutes (or use dough hook on a KitchenAid mixer). Feel free to add a bit more all purpose flour if dough is too sticky or a little water if dough has become too dry. After kneading, dough should be soft and supple.
- Place the dough back into the mixing bowl, cover loosely with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let rise for about an hour or until it has doubled in size.
- Once doubled in size, divide the dough in half and form into two balls. Place the dough balls on a large baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Cover the baking sheet with a damp towel and let rise until doubled again, about an hour. Feel free to press some additional sunflower seeds into the top of the loaves before rising.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and place a baking sheet or stone into the oven to preheat. When loaves are ready to go into the oven, whisk a tablespoon of water with an egg white and brush over the loaves.
- Glenty take a sharp knife and cut an X or three slits into each loaf. Transfer the loaves by lifting the parchment paper to the preheated stone or baking sheet.
- Bake 20-25 minutes at 400 or until the loaves are golden brown on top. Allow to cool before slicing.