Sourdough Sunflower Seed Honey Bread, page 286, June 22, 2015

This is another loaf for my sister.  I am making myself a loaf of sourdough French and decided to keep the starter active and bake a loaf for Becky as  well.

First thing I have to mention is that the title is misleading here.  I am sure it must be an editing error; but there is no honey in this bread.  The sweetener called for here is dark brown sugar.  I considered substituting honey, but decided to follow the recipe as printed.

Into the pan on my bread machine, I added 1/2 cup fat free milk, 1/4 cup butter, cut into pieces, 1 cup sourdough starter, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 cup bread flour, 2 cups whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, 1/3 cup sunflower seeds and 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts.  After making a small well in the top of the dry ingredients, I added 1 1/2 teaspoons SAF yeast.

The loaf requires a dark crust setting and the use of the Whole Wheat cycle on my machine.  

IMG_4246I didn’t hover  much on this one.  Once or twice I checked on it and scraped down the edge of the pan with my rubber spatula, but I didn’t stress myself out adding sprinkles of flour and water, trying to “perfect” the dough.  This was probably a wise decision on my part as the loaf is lovely.
It rose nice and high, with tasty sunflower seeds dotting the exterior, I am sure the inside is just as lovely.  I will ask Becky to take a picture of the loaf for me after it is sliced.

Well, I forgot to ask for pictures of the sliced loaf.  Here are the opinions, though:

“Good, needed butter, though.”

On a side note, Becky had provided butter, this person just didn’t know.

“Really awesome flavor!! Soft texture.”
“Awesome for rustic French Toast.”
“Love this!”
“Soooo yummy!”
“Would be good for anything.”
“Very moist”

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Polenta-Sunflower-Millet Bread, page 153, June 7, 2015

I feel like making another whole grain, or as the cookbook author described this one, “crunchy munchy” loaf to give away.  I can’t eat the whole grains myself, so as the last few get togethers have seen me handing out nutty or cheesy breads, this time it will be whole grains.  My mom will be coming home in the next couple of weeks, and I know she loves grainy bread, so I will  have this loaf waiting at her house when she gets there.  I am going to make 2 loaves of this, and also send one to my sister’s workplace so I can try and redeem myself after the too-dry Walnut and Fig loaf.

Ingredients for this loaf are:  1 1/8 cups water, 3 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons sunflower seed oil, 2 1/2 cups bread flour, 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup polenta, 3 tablespoons whole raw millet, 3 tablespoons raw sunflower seeds, 1 1/2 tablespoons gluten, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1 3/4 teaspoons SAF yeast.

I am opting to substitute pistachio oil for the sunflower seed oil in this recipe.  I can’t see buying sunflower seed oil, when I already have so many great nut oils on hand, and I only need 2 tablespoons.  I did a “smell test” and decided the scent of the pistachio oil reminds me most of sunflower seeds.

I thought I would do some research for information about the health benefits of whole grain breads to include in this post.  However, the best thing I found was a quote from the late, Robin Williams:

“The first time I ate organic whole-grain bread I swear it tasted like roofing material.”

Hmmmm, not a really great advertisement for the benefits of whole grain, but I will have many more opportunities for that in the future.  This quote was just too funny not to share.

IMG_4159In the machine, this dough looks to have really great potential.  Just the kind of bread my mom usually likes.

Ms. Hensperger mentions in the recipe that, “If you find the little nubs too crunchy, just soak the millet in hot water for fifteen minutes and drain before adding to the bread dough.”

I did not take this step, and opted to follow the recipe as written.  If, when Mom tries it, she finds it too crunchy, I will be sure to add that information to this post.

The loaf smelled great while baking.  It did not rise as much as I had hoped it would.  When I bake my second loaf of this, tomorrow, itIMG_20150607_204331_hdrwill be interesting toIMG_20150607_204150_hdr compare the two, and see if the other one rises any better.

I baked the second loaf today and there is no difference.  The look and texture of the bread reminds me of Poulsbo bread from the Franz baking company.

“A bit dried out, otherwise liked.”
“I thought it was great, I wish I had honey on it.”
“Dry, but flavor is good, perfect amount of seeds.”
“Not a fan, not much flavor. I love the seeds and nuts but overall kinda bland.”

This loaf spent some time in the freezer, so I expected to hear dry in the tasting comments.  This is not a surprise.  I did learn something though; if you are freezing bread, wrapping it tightly in foil will keep it better than storing it in a plastic bread bag.