Monday, April 29, 2013

Flax and Sunflower Seed Sandwich Bread


A delicious and soft white sandwich bread studded with two kinds of seeds.

*Submitted to Yeast Spotting*

Flax and Sunflower Seed Sandwich Bread:  A delicious and soft white sandwich bread studded with two kinds of seeds.

I needed to make sandwich bread one morning (because I was all out since my Kitchenaid was out of commission for a few days...did I mention that I stripped a gear) and I wanted to try something new.  I usually make multi-grain or part whole wheat sandwich breads, but I get bored doing the same thing all the time.  I turned on my computer planning to do a search for different kinds of sandwich breads.  First, I checked the many blogs I follow to see what new stuff everyone has been making when there it was.  Two Seed Dinner Rolls from Bitter Baker (if you've never been by you should definitely check this blog out, the breads are delicious and the pictures are fabulous).  I read over the ingredient list and I had everything in my pantry so I just altered the recipe slightly and made sandwich bread.

The original recipe is a sourdough, which I used, but I did not have the time or forethought to make real sourdough, so I spiked it with yeast to give it a faster rise time.  I did not have to use sourdough at all but I keep a starter in my fridge and you either have to use it or throw it away, and I can't bring my self to waste this wonderful wild yeast, so I used some in the bread even if it didn't impart all of the sour flavor I'm used to.  Instead of making the poolish  (sourdough, bread flour and water) and letting it sit out over night to become active, I made it about an hour before making the final dough.  I used warm water to help the refrigerated sour dough come up to room temperature quicker.  If you don't have a sourdough just omit that and add equal parts flour and water to get to the sourdough weight.  You also would not need to make the poolish, just add all the flour and water at the same time and use more yeast maybe 2 tsp-1 Tbsp.

This bread turned out great.  It was soft and slightly chewy with the nutrition and flavor of the seeds.  The egg wash on top of the loaves really made this wonderful.  Not only where the loaves shiny but the crust was soft and delicious.

All ingredients measured by weight

4 oz sourdough starter
12 oz water
10 oz bread flour

Final Dough:
1 egg, room temperature
0.5 oz salt (about 2 tsp)
1 oz honey
1.8 oz flax seeds
1.8 oz *toasted sunflower seeds
1 oz shortening or butter or oil
1/2 tsp instant yeast (this is so small that there is no need to weigh it, it barely registers)
14 oz bread flour

*Toast sunflower seed kernels by spreading in a single layer on a baking sheet then placing under broiler for about 5 minutes.  Keep an eye on them so they do not burn and wait for a peanutty smell.

Prepare the poolish the night before you plan to make the bread.  Stir together the sourdough, water and flower until everything is combined.  Cover and set out at room temperature over night. (I did not plan ahead so I threw everything together using warm water and let it sit for only 1 hour).

The next day scrape the poolish (it should be bubbly and active) into the bowl of a stand mixer.  Add all of the 'final dough' ingredients (start with only12 oz flour) and stir on low speed, with the paddle attachment, until all ingredients are incorporated and you have a sticky ball. Switch to the dough hook and knead on medium low speed (you shouldn't knead bread dough any higher than the 2 setting on a kitchenaid, I think this was how I stripped the gear) for 8-10 minutes, adding any remaining flour until you have a smooth, supple and soft dough that is no longer sticky.  My final dough weighed 48oz so I made 2- 1 1/2 pound loaves.

Put dough in an oiled bowl, rolling to coat and let set, covered in plastic wrap, in a warm place for about 2 hours until doubled in size.  Cut dough in half, roll into loaves, and place in 2 greased 8x4 inch loaf pans.  Cover with plastic and allow to rise for 90 minutes until the dough is cresting about 1 inch above the pan.

Brush the tops of the loaves with beaten egg, if you want, this makes the crust soft and shiny.  Then bake for 40-60 minutes in a preheated 350F oven (turn halfway through baking for even browning).  Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.  Slice and enjoy.

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