April 04, 2009

Going Seedy

Spring has sprung and my sunspace is full of seedlings for summer veggies. They are mostly in seed trays and have grown from seeds that I pre-sprouted in damp paper towels, then planted individually in the trays.

They again had a day in the sun and wind to harden them off for planting out in the garden, but the soil really isn't warm enough, so they may grow ever larger in the sunspace for a while.

All of those seedlings had me thinking of seeds when I was deciding what kind of sandwich bread to make this week. Although I've made some bread with seeds, I decided to see if I could pack a nice whole wheat and oatmeal loaf with lots of sunflower seeds and see how that worked.

It turned out great! The flavors are nice and earthy, there is a good chewiness and, when toasted, an nice crunch to each bite.

We took a picnic with friends on Wednesday and brought the boule. It went well with cheeses and salad. This recipe is based on the Oatmeal Bread I made not that long ago. I really like oatmeal...can you tell?...and Sweetie loves molasses, so I threw some of both in with the seediness. The bread baker's dog really enjoyed it toasted...I think he liked that crunchiness, too.
This is my entry for this week to the wonderland for yeast lovers, Susan's weekly round-up on Yeastspotting over at Wild Yeast. Check it out and be prepared to drool.

Sunflower Whole Wheat Oatmeal Bread
Makes two (2) loaves

1 cup cooked steel cut oats (not quick cooking)
1/3 cup lukewarm water
¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
pinch of sugar
1 cup whole wheat sourdough starter
1 tsp salt
¼ cup molasses
1 cup quick cooking rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup bread flour
1 ½ - 2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sunflower seeds (plain, not roasted or salted)

Cook oats per instructions, remove from heat and allow to cool completely and absorb any excess water. You want a big "glob" of cooked oats.

Proof yeast in lukewarm water and pinch of sugar. Allow to sit for 5 - 10 minutes until foamy.

In bowl for stand mixer or large bowl, break up cooled oatmeal into medium chunks, and using the dough hook (if using stand mixer), stir in sourdough starter or proofed yeast, salt, and oatmeal until cooked oatmeal is completely broken up. Add the molasses and stir to combine with oatmeal-yeast mixture.

Whisk to combine the oats, the whole wheat flour, the bread flour and 1 cup of the all=purpose flour in a bowl or large measuring cup.

Add in about a cup of flour mixture and stir until wet dough formed. Add in another 1 ½ cups flour mixture until shaggy dough ball is formed. Add in remaining flour 1/2 cup a time until soft dough ball that cleans bowl if formed. Allow dough to rest for 10 minutes to absorb excess flour. If using stand mixer, hand knead for 5 or 10 quick turns.

Dough should be soft and very slightly tacky. If clumps of dough stick to hand, knead in additional AP flour one palmful at time.

On lightly floured surface, spread the dough into a rectangle roughly 10 inches by 10 inches. Sprinkle evenly with ¼ cup sunflower seeds. Roll up like a jelly roll, seal ends, then fold ends to middle. Push down to again spread the dough and sprinkle with another ¼ cup sunflower seeds. Again roll up and fold ends to middle. Knead 5 – 10 times, turning ¼ turn after each knead.

Again push dough into rectangle and sprinkle with ¼ cup sunflower seeds. Roll up, fold in ends and knead some more. If you see a section that seems low on seeds, sprinkle on some more…about a tablespoon…and keep kneading. In the end you should have kneaded in the remaining ¼ cup seeds and the dough should look pretty seedy.

Place dough in greased bowl, cover and let rise until double (about 2 - 2 1/2 hours). Punch down, form 2 loaves, place in 8 1/2 x 5 greased loaf pans, lightly grease top of loaves, loosely cover, and allow to rise until dough is about 1/4" above edge of loaf pans. (I made on half into a boule this time).

Slash top of loaves down center if desired.

Place loaves in preheated 375 degree F. oven and bake 30 - 35 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 190 degrees.

Allow to cool completely before slicing.


  1. Seedy is looking excellent in this bread. Seeds are one time healthy and so good to eat go well together.

  2. Those toasted slices with butter look soooo good.

  3. Earthy, chewy, crunchy -- sounds like a perfect bread to me!


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