On the first day of the year… I’d like to say that bread baking is a great way to welcome 2010!   I  debated whether to make a simple sourdough, or to mark another notch in my BBA Challenge-belt.   Once I realized that the BBA bread was a sunflower seed rye, I immediately went to work on it.   From its whole flours and sunflower seeds, the bread casts a healthy aura that’s perfect for this time of the year,  in which we all feel the impact of holiday excesses.

Welcome 2010 with Peter Reinhart’s couronne of
sunflower seed rye…

The recipe calls for a soaker and a firm sourdough starter.  Once again, I couldn’t find pumpernickel flour, and settled for a regular dark rye instead.  I still prepared the soaker exactly as described – mixing rye flour with water and allowing it to sit overnight.

The dough rose slowly and less than I expected, but it was fun to shape the ring.   First, form a ball, then poke a hole in the center, stretch it out, and finally make a deep indentation to define quadrants.  I added some flour to try to prevent the square from closing during the rising, but it didn’t end with dramatic look of the picture in the book.

The bread didn’t have the oven-bounce of a typical, white flour sourdough,  but it felt light as I grabbed it from the oven.  The taste was wonderful, hearty, and the toasted sunflower seeds made it just like Reinhart described:  a “loyal” bread, that stays with you long after you enjoy it.

Another winning recipe, and with it completed, only EIGHT breads remain to finish the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge!

I am submitting this post to Susan’s Yeastspotting, my favorite weekly net-event…

Enjoy rye breads? Go to Foodista for more…
Rye Bread on Foodista

On a side note,  my New Year’s Resolution in 2008 was to regularly bake bread.   It’s been two years of ups and downs, many failures but so much fun!  If you’re a believer in New Year’s resolutions, have you considered baking bread?    😉

19 thoughts on “BBA#35: SUNFLOWER SEED RYE

  1. Looks glorious! If you have a grain attachment for a food processor you can apparently grind quite reasonable coarse rye from grain yourself which would do the trick for your pumpernickel flour. I don’t have a food processor so don’t know how well it works. Happy New Year to you, it’s been great popping by to see what you’re up to!


  2. Thanks, Sara, Abby and Zeb!

    Good idea on the food processor for pumpernickel – I guess I might be able to find the whole rye around here, will check it out.

    the irritating thing is that BEFORE I needed the pumpernickel flour, I saw it in one particular store, but decided to get it later. Of course, I jinxed myself 🙂

    Happy New Year to all of you, and have fun baking bread, Sara…. You will get addicted to it, I’m sure!


  3. Happy New Year Sally.. and congratulations on your article submission. My Daughter is also a scientist and I know how much work goes into these things. Also want to tell you how much I enjoy your blog and recipes. Am not sure how to reply etc on . Fine cooking site so hope it is not out of line to send my good wishes here, Barb


  4. Thanks so much, Barb!

    It is true that this article has blood, sweat and tears… I hope it will be accepted without too many hassles from the referees, but we never know…

    Have a wonderful New Year!


  5. Hi, Cindy

    In fact I used a metal skewer to make the indentation – my chopsticks were not long enough, and too thin.

    I can hardly believe the challenge is coming to and end in a couple of months! I’ll miss it….


  6. Thanks, Dana & Barbara…

    I’ve made my long list of doorstops as far as bread baking is concerned – I had pretty much given up all hope, but Dan Lepard’s book (The Handmade Loaf) changed it all…. I keep recommending it left and right, because it literally changed my “baking life”


  7. Pingback: YeastSpotting January 8, 2010 | Wild Yeast

  8. Ironic that you should write this, since my resolution this year to to only bake bread and not buy any storebought. So far…so good!

    I got this book for Christmas and can’t wait to start cooking from it. Great bread!


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