This Sunflower Seed Bread is the perfect sandwich bread!
Nature is an incredible thing. I’m not just talking about produce and all of the fruits and veggies that you can grow in your backyard…although those are pretty incredible. I’m talking about the Fibonacci Series. The Fibonacci Series is basically nature’s version of the Dewey decimal system. It keeps everything in a nice and predictable order. As a guy who loves to make lists (and cross things off of said lists), I can definitely appreciate order. But the number of ways that the Fibonacci Series shows up in nature is mind-blowing.
To begin, let’s take a trip way back in time. Way back to 3rd grade algebra. The Fibonacci Series is a series of numbers where each integer is the sum of the two previous integers in the list. So it looks something like this: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55…and so on. Pretty simple, right? But what makes this series so amazing to me is the way that it shows up in nature.
Take pine cones for instance. The individual scales of a pine cone are arranged in a spiral, right? And it just so happens that the spiral of the pine cone follows the Fibonacci Series. Nature does indeed do math! The pineapple, fern and artichoke all follow this same ratio, too. I remember learning about this in high school, and now I always think about the Fibonacci Series when I see a pineapple or pine cone. Yes, I am a dork like that. It’s no wonder that I married an engineer!
Well it just so happens that the spiral of seeds in the center of sunflowers also follows this same series. Crazy stuff! Ok, that’s enough nerdy mathematician talk for today. Let’s talk about bread. More specifically, let’s talk about those sunflower seeds and how they were used to make this delicious Sunflower Seed Bread. I’ve always enjoyed sunflower seeds. Unfortunately, I’m not very skilled at eating sunflower seeds. (How those professional baseball players manage to eat a whole mouthful of seeds while spitting out just the shells is beyond me. I tried that once. It didn’t turn out too well.)
One of my favorite ways to use shelled sunflower seeds is on top of salads. If we don’t happen to have any leftovers on hand, then Laura and I usually turn to salads for our weekday lunches. And I often keep a bag of roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds on hand just for topping the salads. However, I decided to make some sandwich bread last week.
It’s been a while since I baked a nice loaf of sandwich bread, so I set out to create a honey whole wheat bread. But as I was reaching for my bag of Bob’s Red Mill Artisan Bread Flour, I happened to notice the bag of sunflower seeds. Hmm…adding some seeds to the bread sounded like a fun idea. And just like that, this Sunflower Seed Bread was created!
This bread is perfect for sandwiches. It’s baked in loaf pans (the recipe makes 2 loaves), and you can slice it up to whatever thickness you like. As I mentioned above, I used Bob’s Red Mill Artisan Bread Flour, but I also used an equal amount of Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Flour. If you’ve ever baked with whole wheat flour, then you know that it can easily lead to very dense bread. Not necessarily bad bread. Just really dense. Not exactly what you imagine for a nice sandwich bread, right?
To solve the dense issue, this bread uses both whole wheat flour as well as bread flour. And I’ve also included some oats and a bit of butter in there to soften the bread. And the end result is a light, fluffy loaf of sandwich bread…complete with a nutty flavor and crunch thanks to the addition of the sunflower seeds. And there’s some honey in this bread which lends a wonderful hint of sweetness to the final product. Do give this bread a shot…and do try not to eat it all when it’s still warm out of the oven!
And to really blow your mind…if you follow the family tree of honey bees, you’ll discover none other than the Fibonacci Series. Yeah, nature!
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This Sunflower Seed Bread post was written by me on behalf of Bob’s Red Mill.
The opinions and recipe are all my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Spiced!