Sunflower Honey & Oat Bread
Here is a delicious opportunity for using some whole grain organic oats, crunchy unsalted organic sunflower seeds, and some thick and sweet local honey. This bread is perfect for using to make sandwiches and toast. It has a fluffy soft center with a light crunchy crust.
Honey will give your bread just the right amount of moisture as well as acting as a natural food preserver. There is no need for unnatural food preservatives found in commercial bread when making your own. Honey has been known for decades to kill many types of bacteria. The Sunflower Seeds are an excellent way of getting plenty of vitamin E in your diet. Why just a handful provides 76% of the daily requirements. Of course, Oats are an excellent source of fiber as well as a source for selenium.
The key to making successful bread at home is warmth. From your bowls to the eggs and water, everything must be warm or at room temperature. In the colder months, I find myself turning the oven on its lowest temperature and setting my dough to rise on the stove top. When the oven is busy with other things I will place a lamp on the table and set my dough underneath. Find what works best for you to be sure your dough will rise nice and full.
Sunflowers are always necessary as well as beautiful for growing in an organic garden. They are a great companion for your corn and attracts many beneficial pollinators and insects to your garden. There are many wonderful heirloom varieties to choose from. It will depend on what your purposes are for growing them for what type you will want to grow. We grow ours for the seed and use it for a supplement to the poultry feed. We've also been known to toast them up for a tasty treat. You will find that the many ornamental varieties, especially the shorter ones will grow great in small spaces and even in pots. Just be sure to give them plenty of sunshine.
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 1/3 cup Organic Sunflower Oil
- 1/2 cup local honey
- 5 to 6 ½ cups organic unbleached bread flour
- 1 cup whole organic rolled oats
- 2 Tbsp. Dry active yeast
- 1 cup raw organic unsalted sunflower seeds
- 2 eggs room temperature
- Makes 2 Loaves of Bread
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Place first 3 ingredients in a small warm bowl. You can easily warm your bowls by running hot water over them. Set this aside.
- Next, in your mixing bowl put in 5 cups of organic unbleached bread flour, 1 cup whole organic rolled oats, 2 Tbsp. dry active yeast and 1 tsp. sea salt and 1 cup of raw organic sunflower seeds. Whisk with wire whisk, then replace whisk with dough hook. Slowly add your warm liquid with mixer on low speed for a few minutes. Don't be put off by making bread if you do not have a mixer with a dough hook. Bread can easily be done completely by hand and sometimes preferred just for the shear delight and relaxation of kneading dough by hand.
- Add two eggs (farm fresh) and mix for another couple of minutes. You may need to add an additional 1 cup to 1 1/2 cups of flour little by little. The dough will begin to pull away from the bowl when its ready. It's important not to get the dough to stiff. It should still be somewhat sticky but not stick to your fingers. You may want to turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface to finish kneading it into a nice soft ball.
- Place the dough ball in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a towel in a warm place to rise double in bulk. This takes about an hour. When it's ready punch it down and turn on to a lightly floured surface and divide the dough in half. Roll out, roll up and place both rolls in bread pans. Brush the dough with milk and gently press on some oats. Cover in a warm place for another hour or until double in bulk.
- Bake in oven for about 20 minutes on 400 degrees.
- You can always test your bread to see if it is done by turning it upside down out of the pan and tapping on the bottom. If it sounds hollow it is done. Cool your loaves on a wire rack. It is important to remove your bread from the pans immediately. Leaving them in the pans to long will cause the bottom of the bread to become soggy.
- Enjoy the smell and flavor of fresh baked bread from the oven filled with healthy ingredients.