One of the perks of starting this blog was that it motivates me to try new recipes and make the things I have always said I would make someday. I have been saying for some time now that I would start making our bread. Well the time finally came several months ago. I started with this recipe and have made so many others since. Most recipes I follow, but this one I changed up to suit my tastes.
My boys have all become rather spoiled by having homemade bread! They now expect it all the time and have requests. It isn’t a bad thing by any means, but time doesn’t always allow for it. I’m working on that. We have certainly cut down on store bought bread. Who wants bread that contains ingredients you can’t even pronounce?! Good bakery bread runs about $5 a loaf! So homemade it is when time allows.
I lived in Germany for a year of high school, Austria for a year of college and back in Germany with my husband for six months. I have developed a taste for good bread. I just loved going to the bakery nearly every day for fresh bread! Fresh yeast rolls for breakfast, bread for dinner, tasty treats. The family I stayed with in Germany during high school had fresh bread delivered Saturday mornings. Several plain rolls, several cheese rolls and a loaf of the local specialty, twice baked bread. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!
This recipe is based on an oatmeal bread recipe I found, therefore it is in grams so you will need a kitchen scale. I made it part whole wheat, added sunflower seeds and made a couple other minor adjustments. The flavor and texture are wonderful. It is not super dense, more light and fluffy but with a hard crust. Starting the oven very hot and then lowering the temperature creates the wonderful crust. I hope you enjoy this as much as we do.
Adapted from eat, live, run
Sunflower Oatmeal Bread
1 1/3 c. warm water, about 110 degrees Fahrenheit
1 pkg. yeast
150 g. white whole wheat flour
220 g. flour
50 g. old fashioned rolled oats
15 g. sugar
5 g. salt
35 g. raw unsalted sunflower seeds
15 g. (1 Tbs.) butter, softened
Extra sunflower seeds and oats for sprinkling, milk to brush on the bread
Add the yeast to warm water and a pinch of sugar. Mix until combined and let rest to activate the yeast.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl if kneading by hand) combine the flours, oats, sugar, salt and sunflower seeds. Add the butter and liquid yeast mixture. Using the dough hook on the mixer gently mix until combined. Then mix on high speed for about four minutes. (If kneading by hand combine everything in the bowl until it holds together and then knead by hand for about eight minutes). The dough will remain slightly sticky but pull away from the bowl. Cover the bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm place until doubled in size, about 60-90 minutes.
Place the dough on a floured surface and punch it down to release any air bubbles. Cover it with a towel and let rest for 20 minutes.
Form the dough into a loaf and place in a greased loaf pan. Brush the top with milk and sprinkle with oats and sunflower seeds. Cover with a towel and place in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees while the dough is rising.
Once the dough has doubled in size reduce the oven temp to 375, place pan in oven and bake for 45 minutes. Do not open the oven while baking, it will release the steam and ruin the crisp crust!
When the bread is done cool it on a wire rack, if you leave it in the pan it will get soggy. Let it rest for 30 minutes before cutting. I know, this is the hard part!
Yields one loaf