I believe I can safely say that after his love for me, Flo’s next love is for bread. Ok. Squeeze his beautiful sister, family and close friends in, thennnn you have bread! I know that my dearest boyfriend can be quite particular about bread what with him being from Germany and having bread as a daily staple in almost every meal. They have breakfast rolls specifically for mornings, and breads consumed only with cold cuts and cheeses in the evening.
I was determined to try and give Flo a taste of home since he often laments that bread here in Singapore is not quite up to his standards. Our local bakeries are usually stocked with buns that are Japanese-inspired and tend to be fluffy and light with sweet or savoury fillings within. Artisan breads are generally more pricey and sometimes lack the denser crumb that he pines for.
Having had some success with my Pumpkin Bread, I felt confident about baking more kinds of breads and found a straightforward recipe from LilVienna for Sunflower Bread. I liked that it had Rye, and that it also incorporated Wholemeal Flour into the dough so at least I knew that we were not only eating bread without all the weird stuff that goes into the commercial ones, but also bread that has a higher nutritional content.
When it came out of the oven, Flo mentioned that it looked very much like the ones they have back in Hamburg. Of course, it was music to my ears but just 5 minutes later, as I struggled to remove the loaf from its tin, I feared the worst. I thought that perhaps the dough hadn’t cooked through and was still stuck to the tin even though I was sure I’d greased it. I worried that I might end up tearing the bread in my effort to release it and end up with a broken loaf.
And we had it another evening with Shaved Rosemary Baked Ham, Parma Ham, Salami, Brie, Cheddar and Emmental, served with Gherkins, Carrot Sticks and Sliced Red Bell Peppers. It was apparently a typical German dinner and very nostalgic for Flo. I enjoyed the experience although I felt that it was quite a bit of salty food for one night.
I find this bread to be really versatile for me simply because I’m not particular about what toppings go on what kinds of breads. So I had this for a few breakfasts and even for lunch simply with a Sunny-Side Up on top.
When toasted, the sunflower seeds yield a beautiful nuttiness that emanates through the moist crumb of the bread. The crust has a lovely crunch that I loved and the bread itself had a nice chewy density to it.
It was so good that I decided to make two more loaves the other day – one with Flaxseeds and the other with Pumpkin Seeds. I learnt this time that flaxseeds are perfect mixed into the dough, but not so much put on top because most of the ones I placed on top happily popped right off. Sunflower seeds though are much better at sticking to the dough as a topping.
Without further ado,
510ml Lukewarm Water
7g Instant Yeast
180g Bread Flour
220g Wholemeal Flour
180g Rye Flour (I used Dark Rye)
80g + 20g Toasted Sunflower/Pumpkin Seeds or Flaxseeds
- Mix water with honey. Add yeast and let sit until bubbly – about 5-10min.
- Stir in bread flour and wholemeal flour.
- Add rye flour in 2-3 additions. Use a wooden spoon or a D-Scraper because the dough will be quite tacky.
- Add 80g seeds and salt. Mix well.
- Pour into a greased loaf tin and try to even out the dough as much as possible. Top with more seeds (but not flaxseeds – don’t say I didn’t warn ya!).
- Cover lightly with a damp cloth and let prove for 45min to an hour. Preheat oven to 230 deg C.
- Bake 10min before lowering temperature to 200 deg C and continue baking for another 30min.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 20-30min before removing from tin to cool completely. Don’t slice the bread while it’s still warm or the texture might be a bit gummy. Ideally, allow the bread to sit until the next day before you cut it up to eat. 🙂
So while I’m on a bread roll here (pun not quite intended), I’m going to try and make some of them breakfast rolls Flo was describing to me as we tucked into our Sunflower bread. He mentioned Weltmeisterbrötchen in particular aka World Champion Bread that’s supposed to be one of his favourites. For you, my love, I’ll try. If it’s successful, I’ll be sure to run here to blog all about it!