Then again, we aren't digging ourselves out of 11 feet of snow like these poor folks, and hey, if I lived in the Yukon Territory there is no way I'd be going out in the -34°C windchill. I'm not complaining about our mild weather, as some members of the household and a few skiing friends of mine have been. All I want is a little break in the clouds, a peek of blue sky every once in a while, and some confirmation that the sun does, in fact, still exist.
While I may not have the sun outside, I can still bring a little bit of it to my kitchen! It's hard to argue with the comfort and warmth that a homemade loaf of bread brings to the house, and for me any exuse to fire up the oven is a good one. Trying to coax le soleil out of it's hiding place, I used a few types of sunflower seeds in the simple whole wheat dough: ground (using the flour I talked about here) and shelled, toasted whole. The seeds added a nice texture and crunch along with a boost of flavour that certainly brightened up my day as it baked to a light sandwich-style loaf. I can only hope that it also brought some sunny splendor to my good friend who recieved one of these for Christmas!
Wouldn't you know it? As soon as I finished typing this post, Mr Sun came out! We visited for only five minutes, but it's five minutes I'll take!
Double Sunflower Bread
Makes 1 loaf, 16 slices
2 ½ cups whole wheat bread flour
½ cup sunflower seed flour (I used Flour Power™ Sunflower Seed Flour by Oilseed Works), or ground sunflower seeds
1 tbsp raw sugar
1 tbsp ground flaxseed
1 tsp instant yeast
1 ¼ cups warm water
1 ½ tbsp softened salted butter (you could really gild the lily here with SunButter)
½ cup sunflower seeds
- In a large bowl (or in a stand mixer with the dough hook), combine flours, sugar, flaxseed, allspice and yeast, mixing well.
- Stir in the warm water until it comes together into a shaggy dough. Let stand 10 minutes.
- Beat in the butter until well incorporated, then knead (in the mixer or on a floured board) for 10 minutes.
- Cover and let sit for 30 minutes.
- Knead in the sunflower seeds, shape into a loaf and place into a greased loaf pan.
- Cover and let rise 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Bake loaf for 45 minutes, turn out of the pan immediately and cool on a wire rack.
Total Fat: 4.0 g
Cholesterol: 2.9 mg
Sodium: 8.5 mg
Total Carbs: 20.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.3 g
Protein: 6.0 g