Sunflower Seed Bread

This Sunflower Seed Bread is the perfect sandwich bread!

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.

This Sunflower Seed Bread is the perfect sandwich bread!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.)

This Sunflower Seed Bread is the perfect sandwich bread!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 Sunflower Seed Bread is the perfect sandwich bread!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?

This Sunflower Seed Bread is the perfect sandwich bread!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 is the perfect sandwich bread!

Sunflower Seed Bread

This Sunflower Seed Bread is the perfect sandwich bread!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Rising Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 24 slices
Calories: 150kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1⅓ cups buttermilk
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter softened
  • 2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Artisan Bread Flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • cup unsalted + roasted sunflower seeds hulled (plus more for topping)
  • 1 Tbsp active dry yeast

Instructions

  • Using the bowl of a countertop mixer, add oats and milk. Stir and let stand for 10 minutes.
  • Add the remaining ingredients (honey, eggs, sugar, salt, butter, bread flour, whole wheat flour, sunflower seeds and yeast) to the bowl.
  • Stir on low speed for 2-3 minutes, or until dough begins to come together.
  • Increase speed to medium and mix for 4-5 more minutes.
  • Transfer dough into a large, lightly oiled bowl. Cover and place in a warm (85°F) location for 1hour. (Note: Dough will be fairly loose at this stage.)
  • Turn dough out onto a well-floured countertop and fold several times. Place dough back into bowl, cover and place back in a warm location for 1 more hour, or until dough has approximately doubled in size.
  • Divide the dough into 2 pieces of equal weight. Working with one piece of dough at a time, shape the dough into a 9"x9" square. Fold the dough into thirds (like a letter) and pinch the seam closed. Place the dough seam-side down into a greased 8"x4" loaf pan. Repeat with the remaining piece of dough.
  • Cover pans loosely and place in a warm location. Let rest for 45 minutes, or until loaves have risen about 1” over the top of loaf pan.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F .
  • Spray the top of the loaves lightly with olive oil or baking spray. Sprinkle tops of loaves with 1-2 Tbsp of additional sunflower seeds.)
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes.
  • Remove loaves from oven and let cool for 20 minutes before removing from pans. Allow loaves to cool completely before slicing. (Tip: This bread freezes well. Just wrap loaves tightly in plastic wrap once cooled and freeze until needed.)

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!

This Sunflower Seed Bread is the perfect sandwich bread!

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36 Comments

    1. Oh, you should definitely play with adding seeds to bread! Sometimes you have to soak the seeds overnight to soften ’em up (depending on what kind you use), but these sunflower seeds went straight into the dough. The flavor is incredible! Thanks, Dawn!

  1. oh wow looks like you love math David, trying to find it in nature! I hope we can still be friends because maths and me are north & south pole haha 😛 The bread looks delicious! Homemade bread is the best!

    1. Yeah, I do love math. It just makes sense to me. But then I chose to go into teaching and then food blogging. Go figure! 🙂 We can definitely still be friends!! And I couldn’t agree with you more about homemade bread…it really is one of my favorite things to bake! Thanks, Manali!

  2. I don’t know about all that math stuff, but is bread looks delicious! I totally feel ya about whole wheat bread…sometimes it can be super dense. Making molasses bread is sometimes like that too. Love how you used a combo here of flours. I love sunflower seeds on salad too. Adds a lovely texture! Bet they are awesome in this bread. Pinning! This would be great for a turkey sandwich from all those turkey leftovers after our Thanksgiving on Monday 🙂

    1. Haha! I guess I’ve always loved math. It’s just kinda cool how it all makes sense. Ohhh…turkey sandwich on this sunflower seed bread!! Now you’re talking, Dawn. Heck, I kinda want to just go ahead and make a turkey this week so I don’t have to wait for those leftover sandwiches! Haha! Hope you and the husband had a great weekend!

  3. Haha – and here I was thinking you married Laura for her personality and the fact that she baked you a cake in ya;;s initial dating phase! 🙂
    David, I blame my bad memory but, I don’t recall learning about The Fibonacci Series in high school – or maybe my mind was just drifting off to what was in the cafe for lunch…either way – dude – this bread is fanfreakintastic! I don’t recall adding butter to bread – but can totally get how soft it makes each slice! Another one of your recipes am hiding from Lil Shashi so she has a fair chance at deciding if she should go up north or not for college 😉
    Happy Friday friend, hope you, Laura and Lil Robbie have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Wow, you have an incredible memory, Shashi! Seriously! But, yes, the real reason I married Laura is because she can do math. 🙂

      And forget this fair chance at deciding where lil Shashi goes to school! I’m definitely trying to skew that decision as hard as I can! Now show her this post…or else! Thanks, Shashi! I hope you guys had an awesome weekend!

  4. Hi David! There is nothing like fresh, homemade bread straight from the oven!
    And this is one lovely loaf of bread! Gary always wants to slice it the minute it comes out of the oven, he is impatient like that when he smells goods things wafting out of the kitchen! 🙂 Happy weekend!

    1. I couldn’t agree with you more, Dorothy! I love bread in all forms…but warm right out of the oven is just one of those special treats in life! 🙂 I get Gary’s urge to cut right into it…patience is so hard when it comes to good food! Hope you guys had an awesome weekend down south!

    1. You should totally add some sunflower seeds into your next batch of bread, Kushi! They add a wonderful nutty flavor to the baked loaves. 🙂 Thanks!!

  5. Loved this post Dave. As a huge bread, especially sourdough bread lover, this is a great one. That nutty flavor from the sunflower seeds sounds excellent. Appreciate the Fibonacci notes, too. Cheers to a great weekend friend.

    1. Thanks so much, Kevin! Yup, the sunflower seeds in this bread added a ton of awesome flavor…especially when lightly toasted. With a bit of jam on top. Just sayin’! 🙂

    1. Me, too, Matt. Me, too! A good hearty bread has so many uses in the kitchen…not the least of which is picking it up and taking a bite right out of the center! (Not that I’ve ever done that…) This bread turned out quite well. Thanks!! 🙂

  6. Nice! Math lesson!
    I always try to teach my students about the fibonacci sequence when I teach sequences and series, but it always ends up being “are we going to be tested on this?”. After the no, they kind of zone out. But I also think it is super cool 🙂
    Also, this bread looks super amazing! I should really stop buying bread and start making my own!

    1. Oh man, I remember that dreaded “is this going to be on the test?” question! I was always tempted to say, “I guess you’ll just have to wait and see!” (Of course, those are the best ones to throw in there as extra credit, too.) You absolutely should stop buying bread and start making your own, Cathleen! This one makes 2 loaves, and I wrap one up and freeze it. It could become a new Sunday ritual! 🙂 Plus, homemade bread is just one of the most amazing things to bake. Do it!!

  7. I’ve never heard about the Fibonacci Series; I learn something new every day. I currently buy sprouted wheat bread that has oats, nuts, and seeds baked inside. This recipe reminds me of it, looks good, like always, David 🙂

    1. Haha! Glad I could bring a math lesson in today then, Mary! And here you thought you were just going to read about some delicious bread. 🙂 That sprouted wheat bread sounds quite tasty, too. Have you ever tried making a loaf at home?

  8. Urgh, way to relive my high school days right here. Worst . subject. ever.

    I will forgive you for that, as you’ve nailed it with this bread- It’s like a texture lovers dream- I’ve never really had the seeds IN a bread so I’m game!

    1. Haha! I’m taking you back, mate…wayyy back! You totally need to add some seeds to bread. It takes it to a whole new level. And don’t worry…I won’t quiz you on the Fibonacci Series stuff. I promise!

    1. Haha…I really am a nerd at heart! Give me a math book…ok, maybe a video game instead…and I’m perfectly content! 🙂 Thanks so much, Kathy!

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words, Megan! You should totally try adding sunflower seeds to bread next time. I’ve been toasting this bread with a bit of jam, and it kinda tastes like peanut butter when toasted. Crazy…and crazy delicious, too! 🙂

    1. Hey Marie! I’ve never tried this bread in a bread machine, so I can’t say for sure. But I don’t see why it wouldn’t work! I say give it a shot! It’s a mighty tasty loaf of bread. 🙂

  9. Sunflower seed bread sounds like an interesting change for my breakfast. I will try baking this weekend, hope I will not mess things up :))))

    By the way, thanks a lot for math lesson. Fibonacci Series is much more imaginable when you mixed it with nature.

    1. Oh, you won’t mess this one up, Sabrina! I have confidence in you! 🙂 And this bread toasted with a bit of jam? Oh man, that is right up my alley! Definitely give it a shot. Thanks so much for dropping by and commenting!

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