Friday, April 12, 2013

Flaxseed, Poppy Seed, and Sunflower Seed Bread and Romance

Do bread and romance go together or is it akin to that sick twisted combo pickles and ice cream?  I've been a bread baking fool lately.  Playing with different flours and adding in different nuts and seeds to find the right combo.  So many of you tell me bread is scary and that you get a little weak in the knees when it comes to trying your hand at it.

For the record, I have my issues too.  Not with bread silly.  Bread and me are like grilled cheese sandwiches, all hot and gooey and stuck together.  It's the whole romance thing I have an issue with.

My 22nd wedding anniversary is this weekend.  I was content on marking the occasion with the typical elevated dinner, complete with dessert of course.  My husband instead suggested we go to Yosemite for the weekend.  I couldn't help myself but declare, "Why mess with tradition and start being romantic now."

I tried to convince him that since it was the last minute there would be no rooms available or that everything would be too expensive.  I procrastinated looked for days to find a room and did manage to score one of the last rooms at a place that was billed as charming and Victorian (I'm sure that's code for old, noisy, and drafty).  So I booked it, I'll be damned if I end up being the bad guy here for not being a romantic.

I mean if he really loved me he would have just booked us a trip somewhere sunny with a beach.  You'd think after 22 years (or me constantly reminding him) he'd know I hate cold, dank, and rustic.  But this whole romance thing is lost on me.  Maybe this isn't even about romance at all; maybe he is just trying to get rid of me.  After all, there are wild animals up there and I would make a fine snack considering how meaty I am and how marshmallowy my insides are.

I give up; this whole romance thing is a farce.  Bread on the other hand my friends is not.  It's hard to sufficiently describe the yeasty smell of the dough as it rises or the aroma that bursts out when you peek your head into the oven to check on your creation.  The huge grin that is plastered on your face as your smear your warm slab of bread with copious amounts of butter and jam.

Flaxseed, Poppy Seed, and Sunflower Bread    Recipe adapted from Bob's Red Mill
1/4 ounce dry rapid rise yeast
1 1/4 cup water (cool tap water is fine)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup raw whole flaxseed
3 tablespoons roasted sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Bread topping:
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 tablespoon roasted sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Combine yeast, water, oil, honey, a/p flour, wheat flour, and salt in the bowl of a mixer.  Mix with the dough hook until starting to combine and then add in the flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, and poppy seeds.  Mix until the dough is well combined and starting to climb up the hook.

(If your dough hasn't come together at this point you can either add by the tablespoon full more water or flour.  Add flour if your dough is too wet or water if it's too dry and still looks crumbly.)

Remove the bowl from the mixer and remove the dough hook.  Cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap or a clean towel and let the dough rise in the bowl for 1 hour.

Turn the dough out onto a floured cutting board.  Shape the dough into a loaf and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silpat.  Cover the loaf with a clean towel and let it rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut the top of the loaf with scissors every few inches the length of the loaf.

Brush the top with the melted butter and sprinkle with the sunflower and sesame seeds. Bake for 30 minutes on the tray.  Remove loaf from the tray and bake for 5 more minutes or so on the oven rack to crisp the bottom.

Cool the loaf on a rack.

If I survive the woods and all the romance, I'll be back next week.  If not, remember the poor Cookie Queen who got eaten by a wild animal while trying (despite herself) to be romantic.



  1. Now see, I'd be all over a weekend to the mountains. It's a whole lot less messy than a sandy beach and way more beautiful. Go husband!

    The bread looks fantastic. Pass the loaf my way while we contemplate the two locations and which has more to offer.

    I hope you guys have fun. Happy anniversary!

    1. Thanks Christiane. Feel free to come take my place, lol. I guess I don't have to worry about the whole bathing suit situation.

  2. I am convinced romance is just a movie genre. I haven't had much romantic experience in the past so hopefully my other half didn't expect to eat Lady and the Tramp spaghetti with me by the fireplace on a regular basis. I like rustic so my version of havent-you-heard-a-word-I've-said would be the beach. He knows I hate having to shave my legs in their entirety so I would pout the entire time and end up in the resort kitchen asking the chefs if I can help with something.

    Good luck with roughing it! Take some pots, pans and wooden spoons to scare off anything that comes your way. Be the bigger monster and just think about how badly you don't want to be there. Trust me, them 'bars will RUN! I guess on a positive note you won't have to worry about getting a sunburn.

    This bread is something I will definitely give a try. I can just imagine the fragrant aroma of bread wafting from my oven and I wish it truly were. Time to get baking! Try to make the most of your weekend my dear! Happy Anniversary.

  3. You are so funny, hope you have a great weekend! I could live on this bread alone... love the seed topping!

  4. Maybe you can bring some bread with you? Because in my world, food (especially bread) = automatic romance. You two are such a great couple, congrats on 22 years. I hope you guys have a fantastic time!

  5. Gina,
    Congratulations on your 22nd Anniversary. Whatever you decide, I'm sure that you'll have a wonderful time,unplugged. Just enjoy your time together. Just bring a lot of wine, and your wonderful bread:) We'll see you when you get back:)


  6. Happy anniversary to you and Hot Dog Guy! Please come back in one piece! ;)

  7. Oh Gina! You are so funny...I am sure that you will be back and you will have had a wonderful time in Yosemite.
    The bread looks good...and yes, lots of butter and jam.
    Happy 22nd Anniversary :)

  8. I hope you're having a great weekend! You did bring the bread, yes? ;-) Great recipe, really fun post - thanks.

  9. What a beautiful seedy artisan bread!
    Gina, Congratulations on your 22nd Anniversary!!

  10. You are too funny Gina! Congratulations on your anniversary and yes please come back in one piece, no bites removed;-)
    Love your homemade bread-just gorgeous- as always... my friend with mad baking skills;-)

  11. I just posted a bread full of seeds, too. Yum!
    Happy 22nd anniversary! Our 22nd is at the beginning of June. Isn't it crazy how the years go by?

  12. Hi Gina! You are so funny:) I hope you had a nice romantic weekend. I have to admit that I love it when my husband is romantic -- it can be the smallest of things. But I'm with you about preferring the beach over the wide open nature, hehe. You surely do know your bread and this is another great recipe. Hope you are doing well. Hugs

  13. Amazing bread - at least you won't go hungry in the wilds. If this loaf were left unattended, I think I could probably manage at least half in one sitting and wouldn't feel too bad with all those healthy seeds in there.

    p.s. I think you must be romantic at heart because if you tilt your head to the left and squint a bit, the dough in the bowl looks vaguely heart-shaped.