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
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
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.
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.