I’m going to confess something. If you’d put the words sunflower seeds and bread in the same sentence 5 years ago, I would have probably called you a hippie. I would have then continued on the theme and said, “What’s next? Twigs? Berries?”. Of course, I didn’t hold any ill feelings to this point of view, but growing up on white bread (even if it was homemade), made me shy away from anything that would add crunch…and god forbid, fibre!
Thankfully, for a lack of better words, my tastes changed. Sure it took the diagnosing of cancer in my mom to really kick start a life of new views, but I’m better off. Not only did I make a serious, and life altering, change with regards to food, but to the big picture in general. Something I think she’d be really happy about. So, before I get too sidetracked, lets just say that when I looked at the recipe this weekend, I was welcoming it with open arms. Having now conquered the basic sourdough, New York style rye, Poilane-style miche, 100% sourdough rye, and pumpernickel bread, meant this was the last of the “sourdough” section. And it should be good, what with the toasted sunflower seeds and all.
I cheated right from the get go on this one. Seeing as the bucket of rye that I have isn’t of a course variety, I didn’t think it would require the entire 12-24 soaking. So with my wild yeast turned into a firm starter, and my soaker nice and ummm, soaked, I mixed everything into a bowl of magic. I also caught myself making another error, when I dropped my entire firm starter in. Some recipes call for the full amount, and some just a portion, so I quickly had to pull the sticky mess apart. Another reminder to always check the recipe kids!
With an entire day left to rise and bake, I let the bubbly yeast do it’s thing. And do its thing, it did. Proofing on a perfect schedule, meant I was soon throwing these pillowy puffs into a 500 degree oven. After 40 minutes, I hit the magic number and brought them out to cool. The crust was perfect when I cut into them, offering a great crackle, snap and pop. The interior was soft, and surprisingly light; even with all the sunflower seeds. The taste – fantastic. The toasted sunflower seeds offered an addictive flavour, while the rye and sourdough combination was spot on. A definite success, both at the homestead, and at work. I wonder what it’ll be like toasted for breakfast…