Saturday, 30 March 2013

Sunflower Bread


Don't you just want to eat something called Sunflower Bread? Don't you want to throw back the doona, open up the blinds, skip into your kitchen and make coffee? Don't you want to reach into your bread bin, pull out a heavy, seed-stuffed loaf, cut great door-stops of it, toast it and eat it with the best butter and apricot jam while you read the papers wearing your fluffy slippers and comfy pjs? Well, you can. Just follow the instructions below.

Good morning sunshine.

NOTE: This bread uses White Leaven (otherwise know as a starter, or sourdough culture). It takes time to make, but, as I've learned, good food takes time.  To make your leaven/starter/sourdough culture follow the instructions * here.

Sunflower Bread
from Dan Lepard's The Handmade Loaf
Makes 1 small loaf

200g white bread flour
50g millet meal
200g sunflower seeds, lightly toasted
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
50g honey
100g white leaven (*see note above)
3/4 teaspoon fresh yeast, crumbled
100g water at 20 degrees C.
1 egg, beaten (for glazing the loaf)

In a large bowl, combined the bread flour and millet meal with the toasted sunflower seeds and salt.

In another bowl or jug, whisk the leaven with the honey, yeast and water.

Pour the liquid ingredients in with the dry ingredients and stir well with your hands until you have a soft smooth dough.

Put the dough back into the large bowl, cover with clingwrap and set aside for 10 minutes.

Rub a teaspoon of olive oil in a work surface and knead the dough for about 10 seconds, shaping the dough into a smooth ball.  Clean and dry the bowl, rub it lightly with olive oil and put the dough back into the bowl. Cover with clingwrap and set aside for another 10 minutes.

Remove the dough from the bowl and knead again on the oiled surface, returning the shape to a smooth ball and placing it back into the oiled bowl. Cover with clingwrap again and this time, set it aside for 1 hour at room temperature.

Lightly flour the work surface and knead the dough for 10 seconds. Shape it into a smooth ball, turning the dough and cupping it under itself to create tension on the top of the dough and a seam in the bottom of the dough.  Sprinkle a tea towel with a handful of flour and put the dough inside it, seem-side up. Place the tea towel with the dough wrapped in it, into a large deep bowl. This will help to force the dough to rise upwards rather than outwards and give height to the loaf. Leave to rise for 1 1/2 hours, or until almost doubled in height.

Preheat the oven to 210 degrees C. Turn the loaf out onto a baking paper lined baking tray (so that the seem is facing down), and brush the loaf with beaten egg. Cut a deep cross in the centre of the loaf and bake for about 30 minutes, then lower the heat to 190 degrees C. and bake for a further 15 - 20 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack.


  1. i ADORE sunflower bread!!! How did you know?
    Once I get over this virus I'm heading out and getting some sunflower seeds and I'm making 10 of these little loaves of sunshine.

  2. Hey Michele. I'm so happy that you love sunflower bread as much as I do. I really hope you're feeling well soon, then you'll be able to enjoy a good old baking session.

  3. Oh I love sunflower bread, and yours is the MOST gorgeous color! Love!

  4. Thanks Little Kitchie. Sunflower bread... makes me happy.