This has just become my new favourite loaf. Having been very lazy for a long time and stuck with variations on the same bread, I thought it was about time I got a little more adventurous and tried something new.
When we were on holiday recently I sampled a lot of the breads that were on offer in the morning (purely for research purposes, of course). There were loaves covered in different seeds: sesame, sunflower, pumpkin or mixed seeds. By the end of the week my favourite was the sunflower seed bread. And I can make that at home, unlike the cactus jam!
If you are trying to cut down on wheat, spelt is a great alternative and it comes in white and wholemeal. I have added some granary wheat flour into this recipe but you could easily replace the granary with spelt. The granary adds to the texture and taste but not to the point where the kids will really even notice: they will love it too.
I find that spelt flour gives quite a cakey, crumbly texture so tend to use it in combination with wheat flour more often than using spelt exclusively. I personally think that some of the issues a lot of people have with processed bread may have more to do with the processes the product undergoes than the wheat itself. So if you have the time to make your own bread and let it rise in its own time, you may not experience the same symptoms: however I’m not an expert!
200g white spelt flour
100g wholemeal spelt flour
200g granary flour
8g dried yeast
25g sunflower seeds
Put the flours into a large bowl and add the salt to one side and the yeast to the other.
Add the water and mix well.
Turn out and knead for 5-10 minutes, until smooth and silky.
Put into a greased bowl, cover, and leave for an hour or until at least doubled in size.
Turn out onto a floured surface and fold in on itself to knock out the air.
Shape and put on a greased tray or into a greased loaf tin.
Brush the dough with a little water and scatter the sunflower seeds over the top.
Cover again and leave for about 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
Heat the oven to 250ºC.
Put the loaf in and immediately turn the oven down to 220°C.
Bake for around 20 minutes or until the base of the loaf sounds hollow when you knock on it.
Turn out onto a cooling rack.