Thursday, November 22, 2012

Whole Wheat Sunflower Seed Bread

This is one of the best quick breads I have had in a long time! It's a hearty, healthy loaf that can be enjoyed plain, as a dipper for soups or chili, or with a thick smear of your favourite spread. My favourite way to eat it is warm with butter. The roasted sunflower seeds give this bread a great nutty flavour and crunchy top crust, and the combination of Kosher salt and honey is the perfect balance of salty with a hint of sweetness. This recipe makes two loaves so you can eat one and freeze the other for later, or be a friendly baker and give one away! I know I will be making this bread again and again.


2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. Kosher salt
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup honey
2 large eggs
1 and 1/2 cups butttermilk - Make your own by combining 1 and 1/2 Tbsp. of vinegar with enough milk to equal 1 and 1/2 cups, then allow it to sit for 5 minutes until curdled
4 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 cup roasted and salted sunflower seeds


If you just have raw sunflower seeds, then roast them at home by tossing 1 cup of them with 1 tsp. of olive oil and 1 tsp. of Kosher salt. Spread them evenly on a baking sheet and roast them in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for 12 minutes, or until they are slightly browned. Allow them to cool before incorporating them in to the bread batter. Skip this step if you already have roasted and salted sunflower seeds.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two loaf pans with butter or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.

In a separate, medium bowl, whisk together the honey, eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add in the wet ingredients all at once. Stir the batter with a large spoon until it is just incorporated - be careful not to over-mix. Once it is almost mixed, fold in 3/4 cup of the sunflower seeds, reserving the remaining 1/4 cup for sprinkling on top of the loaves.

Evenly divide the batter between the two prepared pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the centre of each loaf comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow the loaves to cool in the pans for 10-15 minutes. Gently turn the loaves out of the pan onto wire racks to finish cooling. If you are planning to freeze one loaf then wrap it tightly in plastic and then aluminum foil before placing in the freezer. 

*Recipe from Joy the Baker

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