I love my bread maker because it does all the work for me. But I think it’s time to get my hands dirty and do some loaves by hand.
For my first experience of this kind, I’ve chosen something simple. A bread with sunflower seeds. You can’t go wrong with this recipe.
It’s simple and delicious!
And I must admit that I’m quite proud with the result.
But I wasn’t alone in my first experience of making this sunflower seeds loaf with olive oil. I had my boyfriend assisting me plus he’s the photographer in the house.
It’s so much fun cooking in two.
- 1 cup warm water,
- 2 teaspoons dry active yeast,
- 3 cups white bread flour,
- 1 tablespoon olive oil,
- 1 teaspoon salt or 2 if you want it a little saltier,
- and 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds or even more for a more intense taste.
1. Start by adding the water and yeast in a bowl and mix them for a minute. Then add the flour, salt, olive oil and the sunflower seeds. Mix them up, and start kneading for about 5-10 minutes.
Tip: You can also use a bread machine, put all the ingredients in the pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer and select the dough program. That way the machine will knead the dough for you.
2. Shape the dough into a round ball.
3. Place the rounded dough in the baking pan and let it rise until it doubles in size. For about 2 hours in a warm environment, covered with a towel.
4. Add more sunflower seeds on top for a more interesting look and for a more intense flavor.
5. Score the bread with a knife before baking. The scoring it’s not done only for aesthetic purposes but it also releases some of the trapped gas, which can in turn lead to caverns or tunnels in the loaf.
6. After that, brush the dough with olive oil.
7. Preheat the oven and 375 degrees Fahrenheit and bake it for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
Step by Step Recipe (With Pictures)
Adding Sunflower Seeds to dough
After mixing the ingredients for the dough, you can add the sunflower seeds. Then start kneading for 5 to 10 minutes.
You can add as many seeds as you want and like.
I added about 2 spoons in the dough, it was my first time making this sunflower seeds bread recipe so I wasn’t sure just how much I would like it.
Let it Rise in a Baking Tray and add More Seeds on Top
Shape the dough into a round ball, place it in the baking try, and sprinkle some seeds on top for a finishing touch.
Cover it with a towel and let it rise in a warm place until it’s doubled in size. That would take about 2 hours so you can go about your daily activities in the meantime.
Score the Dough with a Knife
Actually, I’m still a newbie in the bread baked in the oven department, I use a bread machine daily.
So, actually, you should score the dough with a knife after the dough has risen. Just slash it. As you can see, the marks were almost gone after the baking because I did it before letting it to rise not after.
After the Dough has Risen
You can clearly see how much the dough has risen. Now it occupies the whole tray. I just love this part, it’s like magic.
Drizzle a Little Olive Oil on Top
You can do this using your hands so there’s no need for a special brush. Olive oil is one of my favorite ingredients, it adds such a nice flavor.
And there it is, after baking for almost half an hour.
My first sunflower seeds bread recipe. It would have been perfect if the scores were more noticeable but it tasted amazing. I sprinkled some sea salt, as well.
As you can probably see, the sunflower seeds on top have completed changed their color. Don’t be scared, they’re not burned, even though they might seem that way.
Those seeds are actually delicious, their flavor is so strong and surprising. I didn’t expect such a great taste from the way they were looking.
What more can I tell you?
It turns out that it’s not that hard to make bread by hand and the reward comes from how delicious the loaf is. I still make a loaf daily with my bread machine so I’m not giving that up.
But I’m going to try a bunch of recipes. I also made a focaccia because it’s one of my favorites. Check it out if you want to see how I did.