Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunflower Seed Loaf

Science Sunday Post # 2

Food Molecule #2


Probably some of the most beloved food molecules that are a specialty of plants, they make up delicious warm from the oven bread, sugary cookies and cupcakes, fruit, potatoes, and so much more. Carbohydrates sometimes have a bad rap because of things like the Atkins diet. However, they give flavor, bulk and texture to our food. They are made of up simple sugars such as glucose, galactose, and fructose.

Depending on how these simple monosaccharides are combined in polymers known as oligosaccharides different structures and properties result. For example, alpha-linked monosaccharides make up starch that is a large component of potatoes, rice, wheat and corn; most people have no trouble digesting these foods and will get a lot of energy from these foods. On the other hand, beta-linkages of monosaccharides make up cellulose and fiber which we cannot digest. These foods, including fruits, vegetables and bran, are important for our diet because as the cellulose passes through our digestive system, it absorbs water and becomes bulk of mass that helps to clean out our intestines.

To celebrate carbohydrates, I'm sharing with you a recipe for sunflower seed bread. It is great toasted and topped with peanut butter or as a sandwich with your favorite toppings. Mmm. I do love my carbohydrates :)

Sunflower Seed Loaf (adapted from King Arthur's Flour Whole Grain Baking)
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
4 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
1 1/4 cup lukewarm milk
2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup rye flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the sunflower and sesame seeds on the pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes until they begin to brown.

Mix together all the ingredients. Either knead by hand or stand mixer until it is a soft and smooth dough. Place in a bowl, cover with a towel and allow to rise until puffy 1-2 hours.

Grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Gently deflate the dough and press into a 9 X 4 inch rectangle. Roll hot dog style so you have a 9 inch log. Place in prepared pan and cover with lightly greased plastic wrap. Allow to rise at RT for another 1-2 hours until puffy.

Preheat oven to 350 F, again (because you probably should leave it on for the 4 hours of rising!).

Uncover and bake for 15 minutes. Tent with foil and then bake for another 30-35 minutes. Let cool slightly and then remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack. Cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.

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