Sunflower Toasting Bread

2 Dec

My friend Jocelyn and I used to leave our shared office a few times a week and head to our favorite sandwich shop for lunch. Patty’s sat across the street from a little park in downtown Washington, D.C., about two blocks from Georgia Brown’s, and we’d grab our lunches and sit out on a bench to soak up an hour’s worth of sunshine while we ate.

Our favorite sandwich was tuna salad on sunflower bread, and when Patty’s closed a few years back, my heart just about broke. Best sandwich bread ever.

This isn’t quite that, but I really wanted a good bread with sunflower seeds, to remind me of those careless afternoons at the park.

I started with a recipe for something called English Muffin Bread, which you can find in the Betty Crocker New Cook Book–the plaid one that I know you have because everyone has it. They called the recipe english muffin bread because it toasts so well, but it never particularly conjured up english muffins to me otherwise. I liked it because it really was delicious with butter and a bit of jam in the morning, and it was a yeast bread with no kneading and only one rise. Sign me up!

I took that recipe, simplified the baking process (mix with a wooden spoon? I think not), mixed up a few ingredients, and added unsalted sunflower seeds. And the result was really good. The house smelled divine and it’s delicious toasted (not so much un-toasted; bear that in mind). My kids liked it a lot, which is always nice, and I love having that little sunflower seed crunch in there.

This makes two loaves. It freezes very well if you want to toast one up right away and hang onto one for later.

To make this, you’ll need:

2 cups white-wheat flour

4 cups all-purpose flour

4 1/2 tsp yeast (two packages if you buy it in the little packets)

1/4 tsp baking soda

2 cups milk

1/2 cup water

1 tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

3 tbsp unsalted sunflower seeds

Spray two loaf pans with nonstick spray that has flour in it (I use Pam’s baking spray; you can also spray it with regular spray and then sprinkle flour or cornmeal around the inside of the pan). Set aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine milk, water, sugar, and salt. Microwave mixture until it’s just warmer than body temperature (it took 90 seconds in my microwave).

In the bowl of your mixer, combine 3 cups of the flour with the yeast and baking soda. On low speed, stir in the milk mixture, and then stir in the remaining flour. When it just comes together, add in the sunflower seeds and incorporate well.

Divide the dough into the two loaf pans. Cover with a towel and let rise for about 45 minutes, or until doubled. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool, slice, toast, and enjoy (preferably outside in the warm sun)!

2 Responses to “Sunflower Toasting Bread”

  1. Tracey December 3, 2010 at 9:16 am #

    This sounds yummy! I’ll have to try it over break =)

  2. mary m December 7, 2010 at 5:25 pm #

    This sounds good!!! And the one rise makes it practically perfect 😉

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