Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf

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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

Method:

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

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

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Farmhouse White Loaf

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Is there anything better than the smell and taste of freshly baked bread? This Farmhouse White Loaf is utterly delicious. If you’ve never baked bread before, read on and let me encourage you to give it a go.

Baking your own bread is such a rewarding experience. From a few simple ingredients, mixed together, the bread literally grows before your eyes.

This Farmhouse White Loaf is the perfect recipe to start with, if you have never made your own bread before.

You will need a loaf tin to bake your bread in. I recently reviewed a British company, that sells British manufactured bakeware you can read it here.

British Bakeware sell a range of loaf tins, my favourite and the one used for baking this loaf is the 3lb deep farmhouse loaf tin.

Farmhouse white bread loaf

 

Farmhouse White Loaf – Bread Baked In A Regular Oven

The advantage of having a deep loaf tin is, no muffin topped loaves. In the past I have baked bread in tins that weren’t as deep as this one and the bread rose and billowed out, like a mushroom. I’d have to cut away the sides of the bread, where it had stuck to the outside of the tin. Not they way to bake a great looking loaf!

The instructions given below for making this bread are, by hand (which everyone should do at least once in their lifetime), or using a stand mixer/bread maker to carry out the mixing, kneading and knocking back.

Personally I prefer bread baked in the oven. I have baked many a loaf in a bread maker, however, I never seem to get the gorgeous, crunchy crust, that I achieve with an oven baked loaf. Plus bread maker bread is always a little soft for my liking and there’s the inevitable hole in the bottom of the loaf where the mixing paddle is!

Bread dusted with flour and lightly scored to create a pretty finish once baked.
Farmhouse White Loaf

Bread As It Should Be – Without Unnecessary Additives

If you like baking bread in a bread maker I am most certainly not going to judge you. Any bread baked at home is infinitely better than plastic wrapped, pre-sliced, mass produced bread! Aside from speciality breads like my Tomato Thyme Garlic Focaccia, bread should contain nothing more than flour, water, yeast, salt, water and a little oil or butter.

Read the ingredients on the back of a shop bought loaf and you will be amazed at all the additives.

Baking your own bread is easy, once you get into a routine. Even when baking by hand, it still only takes 20 minutes, hands on time, to get a loaf ready to be baked. Once you taste real, homemade bread, it’s hard to go back to the bought stuff – that said, I’m a realist and I usually have a bought loaf stashed in the deep freeze for days when my body is playing up (see here). So I won’t judge!!

Farmhouse White Bread Loaf

Helpful Bread Making Tips

Just a quick tip: if you do start to bake bread regularly, it can pay to bulk buy your bread flour. I use organic flour that is stone ground, from Shipton Mill currently I buy it through Amazon UK using their subscribe and save, although Shipton Mill now have their own online shop. Buying in bulk, through Amazon UK, 5 x 2.5kg bags, means that we eat good quality, organic, stone ground British flour, for about 60 pence a loaf!

While I love baking with fresh yeast, the shelf life is very short, so I have used 7g sachets of fast action dried yeast. Alternatively, if you do use fresh yeast, simply double the quantity stated for dried.

Farmhouse White Bread Loaf

Recipe: Makes 1 Large Farmhouse White Bread Loaf

500g/1lb 2oz Strong White Bread Flour – I use Shipton Mill organic white flour

1 x  7g Sachet Fast Action Dried Yeast – I use Allinson Easy Bake in the green packet or pot

1tbsp Honey – alternatively use 1tsp regular sugar

320ml/11oz Tepid Tap Water (approx body temp)

7g Salt – I use Maldon Sea Salt

1 tbsp Rapeseed Oil (Canola Oil) – I use Kentish Oils alternatively add 25g/1oz of unsalted butter.

Farmhouse White Loaf – Making The Bread Dough

The ‘bowl’ is either a large bowl, with which to mix the bread by hand, or the stand mixer/bread maker bowl.

For all methods:

Pour the water into the bowl. Add the honey and yeast. Swish about with clean fingers to activate the yeast.

Add the flour on top of the liquid.

Add the salt and the oil/butter.

Bread Maker

If using a bread maker, set to dough cycle and start the program. Once the cycle is completed re-start for 2 minutes. This ‘knocks back’ the dough. Then remove the dough, shape into an oval/ball and place into a buttered loaf tin. Cover with a damp cloth, leave in a draught free place until doubled in size.

Stand Mixer – with dough hook attachment

If using a stand mixer, attach the dough hook and mix on medium speed until all the ingredients are combined. 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. Remove the dough and form into an oval/ball shape, place into a buttered loaf tin. Cover with a damp cloth, leave in a draught free place until doubled in size.

By Hand

If hand mixing, bring all the ingredients together with your hand until they form a doughy mess! Place this dough onto a very lightly floured worktop. Knead for a good 10 minutes. If the dough gets sticky, keep kneading and working it – if you add extra flour the finished bread will be dry. After a good 10 minutes kneading, the dough should have a smooth elasticity. Place the kneaded dough into a buttered bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave in a draught free place until doubled in size, 1-2 hours.

Shaping The Dough Ready For The Second Proof

Ensure the area that you are shaping your dough is draught free.

First of all lightly dust the work surface with flour

Tip out the dough, from its bowl, so the top of the dough is directly in contact with the worktop. This will help as we start to build tension within the dough.

Lightly flour your hands and pull out part of the sticky dough, then press it into the centre of the dough, as seen in the photos below.

Continue this process all the way around the outside of the dough until you have a smooth, rectangular shape, with no sticky sides.

Creating tension across bread dough after the first proof.

Shaping The Loaf

Using your fingers, lightly press the dough out into a square shape, roughly the same width as the length of your dough tin.

Fold the top third of the dough onto itself and then repeat with the bottom third of the dough, pulling it so that it overlaps the first fold.

Flip the folded dough over and tuck in the top and bottom to create an oval shape.

Shaping bread dough in stages.

Place the shaped dough, with the seams underneath, into the loaf tin.

Cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a draft free place until doubled in size.

Shaped bread dough in tin before and after second rise.

Baking Your Farmhouse White Loaf

10 minutes before the dough is ready to bake, preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7, 425F. Also, place an inch (2.5cm) of water in a container and place on the bottom of the oven. This will create steam which allows the bread to rise more (known as oven spring ) before forming a crust.

Also, if desired, score the loaf before placing in the oven.

Place the loaf tin into the middle of the oven. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes. Tip the loaf out of the tin.

The bread is cooked when it has a deep golden crust and sounds hollow when rapped on the base with your knuckle.

For an extra crusty loaf place the bread directly on the oven shelf and bake for a further 5-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.

Enjoy the wonderful aroma of baking bread as it fills your kitchen. That alone is worth baking this bread for!

Farmhouse White Bread Loaf

Enjoying Your Farmhouse White Loaf At It’s Best

Allow the Farmhouse White Loaf to cool completely before slicing. I know it is sooo tempting to tear into the hot, freshly baked loaf, but if you do the bread will all squidge (is that a word??) together and be very hard to slice.

Give yourself a big pat on the back for making a cracking loaf!

You deserve it.

White Sandwich Bread sliced
Farmhouse White Loaf

This was not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own and recommendations for products are purely from my own personal experience.

Bread is a staple in so many homes, treat yourself to a home baked loaf and I promise you won’t regret it.

FF Farmhouse White Loaf
A Farmhouse White Loaf slashed after the second prove.

Here To Help You Bake The Perfect Bread

I do not presume to be an expert, however, I have baked a fair few loaves over the years. Please ask if you are having any problems, need guidance or reassuring?

Either leave a comment or tweet (@sammiefeasting) me a question. I will do my very best to help.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Farmhouse White Loaf you may like to try these:

Oat Bran White Bread

FF Farmhouse White Loaf
Oat Bran White Bread

Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf

FF Farmhouse White Loaf
Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf

Garlic Rosemary Focaccia Bread 

FF Farmhouse White Loaf
Garlic Rosemary Focaccia Bread

While baking bread is not only a satisfying and tasty experience, it can also work out much cheaper than buying a standard loaf at the shops. Also, you know exactly what has gone into your home baked bread. And, the more bread you make, the better you will become at making it. As you become confident baking a  white loaf you can get creative and try other bread recipes. Although, I should issue a warning, bread making can become addictive!

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

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my
Disclosure Policy.

Freshly baked white bread with descriptive graphics.

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Oat Bran White Bread

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For those of you who regularly read this blog, you may have noticed a few things about the way I cook and bake. Primarily I make food that is tasty to eat using ‘natural’ ingredients. For example, I unashamedly use butter when baking and cooking and tend to avoid overly processed foods. While I have a passion for baking bread, with nuttier and seeded loaves being my preferred loaves, yet I live in the real world. In a family of five people, three prefer white bread. So here is my compromise. Oat Bran White Bread is a soft loaf without the heaviness or chewing required by its wholemeal cousin.

FF Oat Bran White Bread

Since this bread is so soft it is perfect for sandwiches and also makes the most incredible toast. In fact, this loaf makes the best toast, in my opinion, of all the bread recipes here on Feasting is Fun. Packed full of fibre from the whole oats and oat bran, it is good for you as well as being a tasty, filling bread. Yet also having the lightness of a white loaf.

FF Oat Bran White Bread
Oat Bran White Bread Loaf

Choosing To Eat Well

While I am not into faddy food, having food allergies myself means I am attempting to increase the variety recipes on this site. For example gluten free, dairy free and vegetarian. I try to use fresh local and seasonal food as much as possible in my everyday cooking and that is reflected in the recipes posted here. I am not perfect and we have standby dinners in the freezer for days when I can’t cook.

FF Oat Bran White Bread
Oat Bran White Bread

All that said, I do try to make as much of our own bread as possible. If I didn’t have a bread machine or stand mixer I simply would be unable to make bread from scratch. Kitchen machinery that earns its place will always be welcomed by me. Far better to make good quality, homemade bread with the help of a mixer, than buy its mass produced counterpart. Bread is a staple and a great tasting, fresh loaf will always be at the heart of any kitchen that I use.

FF Oat Bran White Bread
Oat Bran White Bread

A quick note about this Oat Bran White Bread: I have recently updated the recipe, replacing the butter for Rapeseed oil. First of all it gives the baked loaf a softer texture and also makes the recipe both dairy free and vegan. I am NOT jumping on the ‘vegan’ bandwagon, however, creating a loaf that more people can make and enjoy will always be a priority for me, providing there is no compromise on flavour.

Recipe:  Oat Bran White Bread

420ml Water at room temperature

450g/1lb Strong White Bread Flour – I use Shipton Mill

100g/4oz Fine Oat Bran available from health food shops and Amazon 

– alternatively blitz the equivalent weight of rolled oats in a food processor

50g/2oz Rolled Oats

7g /1sachet Active Dried Yeast – I use the green tub/sachets from Allinson

7g Sea Salt – I use Maldon

2 tbsp Rapeseed Oil (Canola Oil)

Making And Proving The Bread Dough

You will need a lightly oiled 3 lb loaf pan to bake this loaf of bread.

Using a bread maker or stand mixer, pour the water into the  bowl and then add the yeast.

Next add the flour, oat bran and oats.

On top of the dry ingredients add the salt and oil.

Set the bread machine to dough cycle and start.

If using a stand mixer, attach the dough hook and mix until all the ingredients come together. Continue to mix for 10 minutes. Stop mixing and remove the dough hook. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth until the dough has doubled in size, approx 1 hour.

Knocking Back And Shaping The Dough Ready For The Second Prove

Once doubled in size, remove the cloth and tip the dough out on to a lightly floured worktop so that the top of the risen dough is in on the bottom, in contact with the work surface.

Once the bread mixer has finished the dough cycle, start it again, allowing it to mix (knock back) the dough for one minute. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.

Working around the dough, take hold of the dough with your hand, pull out and then press into the centre. Continue, as in the photographs below, until you have a tight, neat lump of dough.

FF Oat Bran White Bread
Creating structure within the dough.

Gently, using your fingers, press the dough out to form a square shape.

Fold the bottom third of the dough up and then the top third of the dough is folded down, slighlty overlapping the seam.

Turn the dough over and place into a well greased 3 lb loaf pan.

Spray or brush with water and sprinkle over rolled oats and oat bran.

FF Oat Bran White Bread
Shaping the dough ready for the tin.

Cover with a clean tea towel, place in a straight free place and leave to rise until doubled in size.

Scoring And Baking The Oat Bran White Bread

Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan, 425F, gas mark 7.

As soon as the dough has risen score across the dough with a very sharp knife or grignette 4-5 times.

FF Oat Bran White Bread
Proved and slashed Oat Bran White Bread ready for the oven.

Place the bread in the centre of the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes. The bread is baked when golden brown and carefully rapped with a knuckle and it sounds hollow.

As soon as the loaf is baked remove from the oven and turn out immediately on to a cooling rack to cool completely.

FF Oat Bran White Bread
Oat Bran White Bread

Allow the bread to cool fully before slicing.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Oat Bran White Bread you may also like these:

Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf

Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf
Sunflower Seed Heart Cob Loaf

Lighter Wholemeal Loaf

Lighter Wholemeal Bread Loaf
Lighter Wholemeal Loaf

Seeded Cob Loaf

Seeded Cob Bread
Seeded Cob Loaf

This Oat Bran White Bread loaf has a wonderful texture and flavour. While it does contain oats it certainly doesn’t taste like porridge. The oat bran lends a slight nuttiness, without the full on slog you get from a wholemeal loaf. It slices beautifully and makes equally good toast and sandwiches, although I confess to enjoying a slice with just butter on it. A really good loaf should have its own flavour and not just be a package for some cheese and ham.

If you love white bread, but want to incorporate more healthy fibre in your diet – this loaf is a great place to start!

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

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

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