Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf


Today is Valentine’s Day and I have baked bread. While there is nothing unusual in that, I have baked bread with a bit of a difference. Since hearts abound on this day, more than most, I toyed with the idea of baking a heart shaped loaf. Practicality got the better of me. It always does! Unsure of how the finished loaf would be sliced I decided instead to create a heart pattern on a cob loaf. I share with you my Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf.

FF Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf
Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf

A lighter wholemeal style bread packed full of sunflower seeds, this loaf is as tasty as it is pretty. Since this loaf is baked without the use of steam. Usually a bowl or tray of water is placed in the base of the oven, allowing maximum oven spring before the crust sets. Yet in this case, as the dough is brushed with water prior to being baked, it expanded well, without any cracking. Resulting in a really crusty finish.

FF Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf
Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf

While on the theme of hearts, this bread is ‘Heart healthy’ too. Since the addition of one third wholemeal flour provides added fibre. Also sunflower seeds are high in polyunsturated oil and contain Vitamin E known for it’s anti inflammatory properties. Most of all for those who do not like the density of one hundred percent wholemeal loaves, this bread provides a healthy alternative.

Recipe: Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf

350ml/12 floz Tap Water at room temperature

7g Dried Yeast – I use the green tin/sachets from Allinson

2 tsp Runny Honey

150g/5oz Strong Wholemeal Bread Flour

350g/12oz Strong White Bread Flour

1 tbsp Rapeseed Oil – cold pressed I use Borderfields

7g Sea Salt – I use Maldon

50g/2oz Sunflower Seeds plus extra for creating the heart


The method given uses a stand mixer to mix and knead the dough prior to proving. You may of course make the dough by hand.

Making The Bread Dough

  • First of all weigh the water into a bowl (of a stand mixer with dough hook attachment).
  • Add the dried yeast and honey to the water.
  • Next add both wholemeal and white bread flour.
  • Now add the salt and oil.
  • Lower the dough hook and mix on low speed for five minutes.
  • Add the sunflower seeds to the dough while mixing.
  • Increasing the speed for a further 5-10 minutes. To check if the dough is ready perform the windowpane test; stop the mixer, remove a small piece of dough and stretch it between your fingers. When fully kneaded/mixed the dough will not tear and you will be able to see through it.
  • As soon as the dough is fully kneaded stop the mixer and lift up the dough hook. Scrape any dough from the hook into the bowl. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a draught free place to prove until doubled in size.

Shaping The Cob Loaf

  • Turn the dough out of the bowl on to a lightly floured worktop, the top of the dough should be at the bottom. So that it is in contact with the wotktop. Working around the outside, pull out the dough and then press into the centre. Continue 5-6 times pulling out and pressing in until you have a neat and tidy lump of dough. This process creates tension across the top (bottom at this point) of the dough.
  • Flip the dough over and use both hands to cup and shape the dough, turning it as you do so. Resulting in a round cob shaped loaf.
FF Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf
Shaping the dough.
  • Place the shaped dough on to a lightly oiled baking sheet. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to double in size in a draught free place.
  • Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan, 425F, gas mark 7.
  • While the dough is undergoing it’s second prove make a heart stencil.

Creating The Sunflower Seed Heart Pattern

  • Fold a piece of A4 paper in half. Using scissors cut out half of a heart.
FF Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf
The finished shaped cob loaf and heart stencil.
  • As soon as the dough has doubled in size brush the entire loaf with warm water.
  • Place the heart stencil over the dough.
  • Sprinkle sunflower seeds inside of the stencil and then lightly dab them with water using a pastry brush.
  • Remove the stencil.
FF Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf
Creating the sunflower seed heart on the proved cob dough.

Baking The Sunflower Seed Cob Loaf

  • Place the baking sheet into the centre of a preheated oven and bake for 40-50 minutes.
  • The bread is baked when it has a deep, golden crust and sounds hollow when tapped.
  • As soon as the bread is baked remove from the oven and carefully (it will be very hot) place the cob loaf on to a cooling rack.
FF Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf
Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf

Delicious, crusty, nutty flavoured bread.

FF Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf
Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf

Allow the bread to cool prior to slicing and serving.

Ideally store the cooled bread in a bread bin. Plastic wrap or cling film may cause the bread to sweat and it will lose it’s crunchy crust and become soft.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf you may also like these:

Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread

FF Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf
Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread

Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf

FF Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf
Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf

Seeded Multigrain Baguettes

FF Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf
Seeded Multigrain Baguettes

Bread baking is a passion that I have. Creating a tasty loaf that has flavour in it’s own right and is not simply a carrier of flavours makes the little effort it takes worthwhile. Our home is filled with the smell of freshly baked bread on an almost daily basis. If I could only bake one thing it would be bread. Wholesome, hearty, crusty and nutty this loaf ticked every single box. Bread truly is at the heart of any feast.

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing and sharing your feast.

Sammie xx

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Sundried Tomato Bread


Sundried Tomato Bread perfect packed up for warm summer picnics, or sliced and toasted with melting cheese on a chilly Winter’s eve.

Sundried Tomato Bread
Flavourful Sundried Tomato Bread

I have been wanting to try my hand at Sundried Tomato Bread for literally ages, somehow though it always seemed to get put off.

Well not this weekend! I set about creating this beautifully coloured and delicious loaf on Saturday morning. I started with my Farmhouse White Loaf recipe and went from there.

Sundried Tomato Bread with cheese
Good sharp cheddar and vine tomatoes compliment this Sundried Tomato Bread beautifully.

Sundried tomatoes are usually available either stored in oil, or dry packed in a cellophane bag. Mine were the latter and I had a hunch they would be too dry for this recipe. So I chopped them up and warmed them gently in some olive oil. I’m pretty sure this step is what gave the crust a delicious chewy texture, rather than crisp and crunchy,

To add extra flavour some smoked paprika was added to the dough, oh boy this makes such a difference to the flavour. A very subtle, smokey – you know something’s there but you can’t quite put your finger on it – flavour, that compliments the slight sweetness of the sundried tomatoes.

Chewy Crust Sundried Tomato Bread
Sundried Tomato Bread the colour alone is so inviting.

This bread can stand up to strong flavours and would be the perfect accompaniment to game pate, sharp cheddar, or torn into chunks and used to mop up a spicy soup. Ooh mulligatawny soup would pare beautifully with this bread.

I am a firm believer that bread should add to the taste, not just be a carrier of flavour from whatever it is topped with. This Sundried Tomato Bread ticks that box one hundred per cent. Adding another level to a cheese and chutney sandwich. The flavours coming alive when warmed and toasted with melting cheese dripping over the sides.

Flavourful Sundried Tomato Bread
Sundried Tomatoe Bread adding another flavour dimension to sandwiches.

Sundried Tomato Bread is a total knockout on the flavour front.

Recipe: Makes one Sundried Tomato Bread

500g/1lb 2oz Strong White Bread Flour – I use Organic White Bread Flour from Shipton Mill

320ml Tepid Water

7g/1 sachet Fast Action Dried Yeast

1tsp Smoked Paprika

100g/4oz Sundried Tomatoes plus 2 tbsp oil that they come in or 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

7g Salt – I use Maldon Sea Salt Flakes


Chop the sundried tomatoes in to fairly small pieces. If they did not come packaged in oil, add to a small saucepan and pour over 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Warm over a medium heat for 2 minutes, the sundried tomatoes will soak up the oil. Set to one side to cool.

The ‘bowl’ is either the container used for mixing/proving and baking in a bread maker, or the bowl of a stand mixer.

For both methods:

Pour the water into the bowl, then add the yeast.

Add the flour on top of the liquid.

Add the salt and smoked paprika.

If using a bread maker, set to dough cycle and start the program. When prompted by the machine, or 5 minutes prior to the mixing finishing, add the sundried tomatoes and oil.

Once the dough cycle is complete re-start for 2 minutes. This ‘knocks back’ the dough. Remove the dough and place on a lightly floured surface, it will be quite sticky.

Flatten the dough with your hand into a rough rectangular shape. Fold the bottom third upwards and then the top third downwards, like an envelope.

Sundried Tomato Bread dough
Look at the gorgeous colour of the dough.

*Place the log shaped dough onto the baking tray, cut a couple of slashes through the dough diagonally and dust with a little flour. Cover with a clean, dry tea towel and leave in a draught free place until doubled in size – approx 1 hour.

If using a stand mixer, attach the dough hook and mix on medium speed until all the ingredients are combined. Add the sundried tomatoes and oil. Continue to mix for a further 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Stop mixing. Scrape the dough from the dough hook and combine with the dough in the bowl. Form into a ball, place back into the bowl. Cover with a damp cloth and leave in a draught free place until doubled in size (approx. 1hour).

Once doubled remove the cloth, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed using the dough hook. This ‘knocks back’ the dough.

Flatten the dough with your hand into a rough rectangular shape. Fold the bottom third upwards and then the top third downwards, like an envelope.

*Follow as above.

Risen Sundried Tomato Bread
Beautifully risen and ready for the oven – Sundried Tomato Bread.

Approx. 10 minutes before the loaf is ready, preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan.

Once the dough has doubled in size place into the middle of the preheat, hot oven.

Bake for 30 minutes. The bread is baked when it has a good firm crust and sounds hollow when rapped on the bottom with your knuckle.

Once the Sundried Tomato Bread is baked, remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack immediately.

I know you want to tear into this loaf as soon as it is out of the oven, I know you do, cos I do too. Please leave the loaf to cool, ideally until cold, but just warm should be ok too!!

Whole loaf Sundried Tomato Bread
Sundried Tomato Bread there’s a good chewy crust on this loaf.

This bread is made for feasting. Imagine, cheeseboard on the table, steaming bowls of spicy soup and thick chunks of this savoury, slightly malted flavoured bread. Oh and all your friends and/or family sitting around chatting, dunking, eating and having fun. Who said there’s no feast without bread eh?

Yummy Sundried Tomato Bread
Sundried Tomato Bread perfect for an indoors or outdoors picnic.

Actually this bread has a sourdough, chewy quality to it, with a few larger holes throughout the loaf and a hint of that unique soughdough flavour.

If you enjoy bread packed with flavour, then this Sundried Tomato Bread is definitely a loaf you should try. Please let me know if you do bake it? I love hearing how your bakes turn out,

If you have enjoyed this Sundried Tomato Bread recipe then you are going to love these other bread recipes:

Large White Bloomer

Wholemeal Cob Loaf

Knotted Popyseed Rolls

Whatever you bake and whoever you bake for, have fun!

Sammie xx

Any questions? You can leave a comment or contact me via Twitter @sammiefeasting (also Pinterest and Intagram handles).