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La Belle Cuisine - More Bread Recipes

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French Country Breads:
Sunflower Seed Bread

 

 

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Alsace Cottage
Alsace Cottage
Art Print

Barloga, Dennis
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We were delighted to discover the following article in our bread
recipe archives and pleased to be able to share it with you. This
is the last in a series of six excellent recipes inspired by the
boulangers
of provincial France:

 

French Country Breads
by Jeffrey Alford, Bon Appetit April 1992

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 "For a lover of bread, looking for whole-grain loaves in the French countryside
is like going on a pilgrimage. I recently made such as journey, exploring village markets, driving down country lanes and climbing steep cobbled streets in search
of traditional
boulangeries. I found that the search was almost as great a pleasure
as the breads themselves.
Traditional
boulangers have a great deal of pride in the bread they produce.
They know it's good. When I asked about a recipe, they were always generous
with information - about the oven, the quality of the flour, the baker's atten-
tion and care. These, they all agreed, are the essential ingredients.
Of course, it also helps if you have good recipes. And here are six terrific
ones that I created from the knowledge I gained from my fellow bakers across
the Atlantic..."

 

Sunflower Seed Bread

This specialty originated in Alsace, but can now be found in
boulangeries across France. It is a distinctive sunflower-shaped
loaf that goes well with soups and salads.

1 3/4 cups warm (105 F. to 115 degrees F.) water
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups (about) whole wheat flour
3/4 cup shelled raw sunflower seeds
2 tablespoon sunflower or other vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 egg, beaten to blend
Poppy seeds

Place warm water in a large bowl. Sprinkle yeast and then sugar over and stir to dissolve. Gradually mix in 2 cups unbleached flour and 1 cup whole wheat flour. Stir 100 times. Cover yeast mixture with plastic wrap and let stand 30 minutes. Stir shelled raw sunflower seeds, sunflower oil and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt into yeast mixture. Gradually stir in enough remaining whole wheat flour to form soft dough. Knead dough on floured surface until smooth and elastic, adding more whole wheat flour if dough is sticky, about 8 minutes.
Grease clean large bowl. Place dough in bowl, turning to coat completely. Cover with plastic. Let rise in warm draft-free area until doubled and dough does not spring back when 2 fingers are pressed into side, 2 hours. Punch dough down. Let stand 10 minutes. Grease 8-inch-diameter cake pan with 2-inch-high sides. Divide dough into 3 equal portions (about 14 ounces each). Knead 1 dough portion 1 minute. Form dough into ball and place in center of prepared pan. Divide each 2 remaining dough portions into 3, creating 6 equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball. Place pieces evenly in pan around center. Cover with plastic wrap. Let loaf rise in warm draft-free area until almost doubled in volume, about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Brush top of loaf with egg. Sprinkle center generously with poppy seeds. Bake until golden brown, about 1 hour 5 minutes. Cool bread slightly. Serve bread warm or at room temperature.  Makes 1 loaf.
 

Featured Archives Recipes -
French Country Bread Series:
Bran Bread
Hazelnut Bread
Raisin and Millet Rolls
Rye and Walnut Rolls
Olive Bread

 

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