Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Bewitching Home Winter Blog Party

The Witch Of Howling Creek  is hosting this amazing blog party that celebrates the domestic witch in all of us! Be sure to check her site for a list of everyone who will be participating today and thanks for stopping by.

I decided to bring you into my kitchen today as I make a sun shaped, sunflower seed bread that I’ll be sharing with my family this evening to celebrate Imbolc.

Imbolc is a celebration of the beginning of Spring, the return of life as we start to see the budding trees, early bulbs are starting to stir and gradually the days begin to get warmer (ok, maybe not today but we know it will happen eventually)

As I live in the very cold, very, wild, wild, west, I like to make something that reminds me that indeed Spring is here and I will start to see its signs soon. In our part of the world we go from frigid cold to blazing hot rather quickly so spring, when we have it, is cherished.

Sunflower seeds and their oil are very popular in Eastern Europe and find their way into all sorts of savory items and even in to desserts.  They add a nice sweet crunch to the bread as well as a being a reminder that the warmth of the Sun is already causing life to stir all around us.

Now, on to the bread…

Here is my finished loaf

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Rising time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours
Yield: 1 (9x5-inch) Sunflower Bread

1 cup warm water
1 package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar + 1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/4 cups or as needed all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsalted roasted sunflower seeds + 1 tablespoon for garnish
1 beaten egg white


 In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine warm water, yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar. Set aside until foamy.

Add 1/3 cup sugar, oil, salt and flour, mixing until well combined. Knead about 8 minutes, adding additional flour, if necessary, until a smooth, elastic dough is formed.  Add ¾ cup unsalted sunflower seeds during the last 2 minutes of kneading.

Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat both sides, and cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours.

Coat a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray (or in my case coat a cookie sheet with cooking spray). Punch dough down and turn out onto a lightly floured board. Knead 1 minute to release any trapped air and shape into a loaf. Place in prepared pan, cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled. I chose to shape my loaf into a sun rather than cook it in a loaf pan. Once I shaped it I did let it set for an hour but due to the excessive handling during the shaping it did not rise too much.  It still turned out great!

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Brush top of bread with egg white and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 190 degrees. Remove from oven and immediately turn out of the pan onto a wire rack to cool completely.

My family couldn't wait to try the bread that made the house smell so good. They enjoyed it so much that I will have to make one more loaf before dinner! My son though it had a texture similar to that of a soft pretzel with a slight (very slight) sweet taste.

Bread recipe:

The original recipe does not tell you when to add the seeds to the main dough.  My experience with bread is that you add any type of mix-ins towards the end of the initial kneading, you don’t want to add them in too soon or they will break apart.

One of my favorite bread sculpting books is called Bread Sculpture The Edible Art by Ann Wiseman
This book has great recipes and fun shapes to try. It is easier to make bread than you may thing!!


  1. I want to bite a chunk off my screen. Yum! How delicious this would be with a cup of tea. Did I say yum, already? Yum ;-)

    Happy Winter Redux.

    1. Thanks Magaly, it was fantastic! Happy Redux to you too

  2. I love that you put a smiley face on the sun.

  3. I have not had occasion to make bread in years. Mostly because I am married to a bread making pastry chef... but this one is tempting, it sunds all sorts of yummy, and I bet it would be lovely if a bit was toasted and buttered! And now I am hungry again!

  4. simply beautiful! Thank you for sharing it with us and letting us peek into your kitchen :)

  5. Thanks for visiting everyone!
    Maria de Luna how nice to have a pastry chef in the family, the sunflower seed bread IS really good toasted with butter :)

  6. I love sunflower seeds, and that's some great looking bread!

  7. That is a beautiful loaf of bread! I think I will try sunflower seeds next time I bake a special loaf!

  8. Thank you Ms Misantropia and Gemmi Fuchsbau :) It was really tasty bread!

  9. Love that bread! It looks happy and sunny and delicious. I may have to try this one, myself.

  10. I am certainly going to try this and although I am a little slow visiting I am so glad to dropped by from the party.
    Hugs and sparkles

  11. What a fun idea! Thanks for participating in the Bewitching Home!