Multigrain Sunflower Seed Bread

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I’ve been on a sourdough bread kick lately, and I’m finally confident enough about some of my creations to share them on here – namely this multigrain sunflower seed bread. This bread contains a rye levain, rye flour, cracked wheat (i.e. whole wheat berries I blitzed in a blender for a little bit), malted wheat flakes, and whole wheat flour. It is a recipe from Emmanuel Hadjiandreou’s How to Make Bread.

This bread has a really complex flavor and texture profile that I adore. All of the different grains and the sourdough starter come together to create something slightly tangy, but also a little earthy, a little nutty. The sunflower seeds add crunch, and the bread has a crisp crust with a more yielding interior. I love to eat the slices plain, but also lightly toasted.

Having made several recipes from Emmanuel Hadjiandreou’s How to Make Bread, I can finally feel comfortable with this book, and all of its quirks and nuances. The ingredients for each recipe create perfectly harmonious flavors, but the instructions are way off. I never pay attention to the rising times and bake times anymore. I rely on look and feel (and several failed loaves) to figure out rising times, and as for bake times, I have my trusty Thermopop to let me know when a loaf is done. (This King Arthur Flour blog post has been most instructive for appropriate temperatures based on bread type; the kind of crusty/dense sourdough breads I prefer tend to skew hotter, around 210F.)

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Multigrain Sunflower Seed Bread
Makes 1 medium (500g) loaf
6×4 inch loaf pan, greased

Ingredients
10g blackstrap or dark molasses
155g warm water
100g chopped/cracked rye berries (I used wheat berries)
140g dark rye flour
30g whole wheat flour
10g malted wheat flakes (substitute with whole wheat flour if you don’t have this)
10g salt
100g sunflower seeds (I used roasted and unsalted)
3g active dry yeast
80g warm water
60g rye sourdough starter (100% hydration)

  1. In one bowl, mix molasses, 155g water, and chopped/cracked rye berries until molasses dissolve. Let soak until soft – overnight if necessary.
  2. In another bowl, mix flours, salt, seeds. This is your dry mixture.
  3. In a larger mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in 80g water, and stir in sourdough starter. This is your wet mixture.
  4. Add soaked berries to your wet mixture, and mix. Now add dry mixture and stir well.
  5. Cover the bowl with cling wrap or a towel. Complete first rise, or your bulk fermentation, roughly 5-8 hours. The dough should have bubbles under the surface and would have expanded by about 30%.
  6. Spoon mixture into the prepared loaf pan, and use a plastic scraper or tablespoon dipped in water to smooth the surface of the dough.
  7. Cover the loaf pan loosely with greased cling wrap, and let rise until dough reaches slightly over the top of loaf pan.
  8. Preheat oven to 475F with a roasting pan in the bottom. When ready to bake, pour a cup of water into the roasting pan. Put loaf pan in and immediately reduce temperature to 450F.
  9. Bread will take about 45 minutes, or when inner temperature reads close to 205F-210F.
  10. Let cool on a wire rack.

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