Sunflower seed loaf.

2013-05-16 22.41.53I was a lucky lady this month and was given an amazing Kitchen Aid as a present for my 30th birthday from my fiance. I have been using it constantly since and have made some lovely cakes. I have always enjoyed making cakes and have just found out they taste even better since using my new toy!

I decided it was time to try my hand at a few more savoury recipes though and so made a delicious sunflower seed loaf to go with a beef and Ale stew. It was so tasty and easy that I thought I would share it with you. Hope you enjoy.

Ingredients: 2013-05-16 18.37.49

500g strong white flour

7g easy-bake dried yeast.

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp soft butter

2 tbsp of sunflower seeds (or a mixture of seeds- it’s up to you)

Method:

2013-05-16 18.46.41Mix the flour, yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl. Put in the butter and use the flat headed mixer to rub the butter into the flour mixture (or else rub it in by hand). Add the seeds. Make a dip in the centre of the flour and pour in almost 300ml of warm water. Mix using the dough hook and slowly add the remaining water until all the dry bits have been removed from the bowl. The dough should be soft but not too sticky.

2013-05-16 19.09.59Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 8-10 minutes or continue to mix the dough on speed 2 for approximately 2 minutes. The mixture should feel smooth and elastic.

Place the dough on a lightly floured piece of cling film and cover with an upturned bowl for 45min- 1hr or until it has doubled in size and feels springy.

Next, gently knead the dough 3-4 times to remove some of the larger air bubbles. Don’t over handle it as this will make the dough lose it’s lightness. Shape into a ball an cover for another 10 minutes.

2013-05-16 21.39.23Shape the dough into a rectangle about 25 x 19cm by flattening with your knuckles. Fold the 2 shorter ends into the centre. Make a 1/4 turn and flatten again into the same shape and roll up very tightly, starting from one of the shorter ends.

Seal both ends by pushing down at the side. Place the loaf on a parchment lined baking sheet with the join underneath. Use a sharp knife to make some diagonal slashes across the loaf (7-8). It needs to be deep enough to open the loaf slightly. Cover and leave for 45 minutes, or until it is doubled in size.

Brush the slashes with water and turn the oven on to 230 degrees (210 fan). When the oven is at temperature, place a baking tray on the bottom shelf of the oven. Leave to heat for 20 minutes. Pour 250ml cold water into the tray and place the loaf on the top shelf. The steam will help create a crispy crust.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden. Remove and cool on a wire rack. I found this loaf lasted for 2 days so you’ve got to eat it quickly or else cut into slices and freeze for when it is needed. Enjoy x

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