This is a very simple recipe: granary and white strong flour with added sunflower seeds, both in and on the loaf. It adds something a little extra to a standard granary loaf.
I have been making bread with fresh yeast again as I can now order it from my online supermarket in packs of 4x50g blocks. Previously I had been buying a large block, dividing it up myself and freezing it. When I started getting mixed results from it I went back to the fast action dried yeast which is very easy to use.
Fresh yeast that has been frozen turns liquid when it is defrosted so can be a bit tricky to manage sometimes, especially if you have weighed it out and frozen it in twists of cling flim. On the other hand, fresh yeast that hasn’t been frozen is very easy to manage: you can rub it into the flour like you would with butter for pastry. If you haven’t tried making bread with fresh yeast yet, give it a go if you get the chance.
I looked up the equivalent amounts of fresh and dried yeast online and found differing amounts. However, I think 50g fresh yeast per 1kg of flour is a good guideline. For this loaf I used half a block of yeast and it worked perfectly.
I used half granary bread flour, half strong white flour as I didn’t want the loaf to be too “heavy” and the addition of sunflower seeds means you don’t need as much in the way of granary bits for a tasty loaf.
250g granary bread flour
250g strong white flour
25g fresh yeast or 8g fast action dried yeast
50g sunflower seeds plus extra for sprinkling
Put the flours into a bowl.
If using fresh yeast, rub it in to the flour and then add the salt.
If using dried yeast, add the yeast to one side and the salt to the other.
Add the water and mix to a dough.
Turn out onto a surface and knead for 5-10 minutes, until the dough becomes smooth and silky.
Put the dough into an oiled bowl and leave for an hour, or until at least doubled in size.
Tip the dough out onto a floured surface, flatten out and add the sunflower seeds. Knead again until the sunflower seeds are evenly distributed throughout the dough.
Shape the dough and put it into an oiled tin or onto a floured baking sheet. Brush the top with water and scatter sunflower seeds over the top.
Cover and leave for around 45 minutes or until doubled in size again.
Set the oven to 220°C.
Bake for around 30-35 minutes or until the loaf is well browned on top and the base sounds hollow when tapped.
Leave to cool on a cooling rack.
This is a great bread for soup and as autumn starts to approach I think I will be making this quite a lot! In the meantime I am enjoying it as toast with redcurrant curd or redcurrant jelly in the morning: more on the redcurrant jelly soon!