Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sunny Days Ahead (Hopefully!)

I could use some sun. The skies outside are still a dreary grey, and the rest of the foliage around here is all one shade of... blah. Browny-olivey grass, trees that didn't quite lose their leaves thanks to the warmer weather, and plants in the garden that gave up the ghost ages ago but never recieved their white winter coats are all I get to look at when I let the dog out for his constitutional.

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
Pinch allspice
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
  1. In a large bowl (or in a stand mixer with the dough hook), combine flours, sugar, flaxseed, allspice and yeast, mixing well.
  2. Stir in the warm water until it comes together into a shaggy dough. Let stand 10 minutes.
  3. Beat in the butter until well incorporated, then knead (in the mixer or on a floured board) for 10 minutes.
  4. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes.
  5. Knead in the sunflower seeds, shape into a loaf and place into a greased loaf pan.
  6. Cover and let rise 45 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  8. Bake loaf for 45 minutes, turn out of the pan immediately and cool on a wire rack.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 129.8
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
 
This loaf is being sent to YeastSpotting at Wild Yeast.