Homemade bread is a staple in our house, while we still regularly use my easy overnight bread recipe, I am always looking to add better nutrition to our diet. This wholemeal and sunflower seed bread is a perfect balance of wholegrain flour, some rye for flavour and white flour to lighten the loaf. Combining these flours not only gives the bread a great texture, but also provides a broader range of essential nutrients, and on top of that it is a great source of fibre, which is ideal for maintaining gut health.
Sunflower seeds, after soaking, are a key ingredient in this bread, which adds a nuttiness to the flavour. The soaking process not only prevents the seeds from absorbing moisture from the loaf but also makes them more digestible. Soaking reduces the levels of phytic acid in the sunflower seeds, which makes the nutrients in the bread more bio-available.
This recipe makes approximately 1350g of bread dough.
You can make 2 of sandwich loaves using standard size loaf tins, cob loaves, batards (oblong loaf) or multiple mini loaves or buns.
Wholemeal and Sunflower Seed Bread
- 10g instant active dried yeast
- 260g high grade white flour
- 270g wholemeal flour
- 160g wholemeal rye flour
- 560ml cold water
- 60ml extra virgin olive oil
- 7g flakey sea salt
- 1 cup sunflower seeds soaked and drained – save 1/4 cup for topping
If you are baking bread regularly you are probably used to planning ahead. For this recipe, soak the sunflower seeds the night before and drain before baking. If it is a spur of the moment bake, pour boiling water over them to soak quickly.
In a mixing bowl add all the flours, then salt and yeast – but not touching each other.
Drain and rinse the sunflower seeds under cold water before adding to the dry ingredients.
Measure water and olive oil into a jug.
Using a dough hook, start the mixer on a slow speed and pour the water in down the inside of the bowl. Once the dough starts to come together increase to a medium. When the dough comes cleanly away from the bowl and wraps around the dough hook, scrap the dough into a ball, cover the bowl with a clean cloth and set aside to prove.
Once it has doubled in size, punch down the dough and scrap onto a lightly floured bench. Shape the dough into your loaf of choice.
Top with the saved sunflower seeds pressed into the surface or dust with flour and slash the surface in the pattern that suits the shape of your loaf.
Once shaped, cover with a clean towel dusted with flour, greased biodegradable cling film, or spray the inside of a large plastic bag and place your bread inside for the second prove.
Using a plastic bag is particularly good when the temperatures are low (the plastic bag can be reused after cleaning).
Preheat oven to 200ºC Fan forced/220ºC conventional, with a rack in the middle of the oven.
Once the bread has roughly doubled in size again, poke the side of the loaf. Your finger should leave an indent, if it springs back quickly leave it to continue proving. Once proving has finished, put into the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes then reduce the temperature by 20ºC.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until baked. Cool on a cake rack before cutting.
For those who appreciate the goodness of whole foods, my wholegrain freekeh and seed bread is a must-try. Packed with nutrient-rich ingredients, freekeh, linseed, polenta, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, this bread is a great way to fuel your body with the nourishment it needs to thrive. It’s well worth the extra effort.