Sunday, November 20, 2011

BBA #36: Sunflower Seed Rye (Sourdough)

Sunflower Seed Rye (Sourdough)The Tuscan bread was actually last weekend's project, before I left for Denver last Sunday. This weekend I backed up to the last of the sourdough breads, the Sunflower-Seed Rye. This one uses a soaker and a firm starter, which I made from my rye starter. However, I forgot to move the starter to the fridge overnight--perhaps that gives a little more sourdough tang to the bread, but as it's a yeast-assisted recipe I suspect the sourdough will be fairly muted.

Sunflower Seed Rye (Sourdough)Not much to say about the process on this one: it didn't need much additional water and kneaded easily in the KitchenAid. I added maybe half again the called for sunflower seeds for extra crunch, and to use them up from the freezer. I didn't use a room-temperature rise, instead using the proof setting on my warming drawer to move things along. The loaf is shaped as a couronne or crown by making a boule, then working a hole in the middle to get a doughnut shape, then pressing down on that with a dowel (chopstick for me) in 4 places to get a very un-crown-like flattened circle-square, um, thing. Supposedly the dusting of flour over the dowel traces will prevent them from closing up during the rise, but just as when I tried this shape on the Pain de Campagne, the grooves mostly disappear. I tried a shallow slash down each of them before baking this time, which perhaps helped retain the shape a little, though nothing like the picture in BBA.

Sunflower Seed Rye (Sourdough)The loaf got the hearth-baking technique with the oven temp dropped after the spritzing, then again after 10 minutes and the loaf rotation. Rather like my loaf of Tuscan bread, this loaf had more breadth than height, and was done after 10 minutes at the last temperature setting instead of 15. Results: nice texture, good chewy crust, and a mild rye/sourdough flavor.


  1. My late father used to LOVE rye bread and every once in a while I'd make it into a warm piece of toast slathered with butter. I can only imagine your homemade version. Your bread baking skills are amazing.

  2. Thanks! I've been baking bread for a long time, but going through BBA is certainly expanding my skills. Mostly. <g> Not as much as baking all the cakes in RHC, though!