Galganov's Recipe for
One Loaf of Light Rye Bread with Sunflower Seeds!

Now let's go make a loaf of this delightful, light rye bread with sunflower seeds!

To make this Sunflower Seed Rye Bread recipe you will need:
  • a mixing bowl
  • a wooden spoon
  • measuring spoons
  • measuring cups
  • a loaf pan of about 8" x 4" (10 cm x 5 cm) - greased if metal or glass, dry if silicon. 12" x 4" (30 cm x 10 cm) is also a nice size/shape for this loaf
  • a length of aluminum foil to cover the loaf during the second stage of baking (optional)
  The required ingredients for this Sunflower Seed Rye Bread recipe are:
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 1/8 tsp yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbs oil
  • 1 tbs lemon juice (optional)
  • 3/4 cup light rye flour
  • 2 to 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour (add flour only until stickiness is gone from raw dough)
  • 2/3 cup shelled, hulled sunflower seeds

Method I (mixing):

  1. Sprinkle yeast onto warm water and let sit a few minutes.
  2. Add salt, sugar and oil and mix vigorously.
  3. Add about 1/2 of your sunflower seeds and 1 additional cup of flour and work it in. Then work in 1/2 cup at a time only until the stickiness is gone from the dough (adding no more than 1/4 cup at a time as you come near the end - working the dough by hand once it becomes too hard to work with the spoon). Note: Add flour only until the stickiness is gone.
  4. Knead the dough for about 7 minutes - until it feels silky-smooth.
  5. Form the dough into a flat ball and lightly rub a thin coat of oil over the surface of the dough. Then return the dough to the mixing bowl and cover it.
  6. Put the bowl in a warm, draft-free place (we use the oven with the oven light on) and let it rise for 70 minutes (or until the dough has doubled in bulk).

Method II (forming):

  1. Turn dough out onto your (lightly floured) work surface. Press the bubbles out of the dough - flattening it into an oval shape. Cover it with a dish towel and let it rest for about 5 minutes.
  2. Knead the dough using the folding method described and illustrated here, adding in the balance of the seeds, as you go:
  3. Spread some seeds down the middle 1/3 of the dough and pulling one side, fold it over.
  4. Sprinkle some more seeds down the thick part and pull the other side out and fold it over
  5. Sprinkle some seeds across the middle third and pulling the dough out a little, fold the bottom third of the dough up over the middle
  6. Spread the balance of the seeds across the thick part of the dough and stretching the top out a little, pull it down over the ball of dough. (All your seeds are now worked into the dough.)
  7. Spread the dough out into a flat oval as much as you can and fold it once again pulling one side one third of the way and then folding the other side, then pulling up the bottom third and folding the last, top third down. The dough will be hard and not want any further kneading.
  8. Shape the dough using the rolling method described and illustrated below (the pan used here is 3 1/2" x 12" [9 cm x 30 cm] making a nice long, uniform loaf.):
  9. Having folded the dough down, pinch the seam along the length of the dough by rolling the dough under your curved hand - pressing the seam, with the heel of your hand, against the work surface.
  10. The dough will gradually lengthen allowing you to work with both hands. Be sure to pinch the seam running the length of the dough tightly closed with the heels of your hands. In some cases, the seam will disappear fully as the dough is rolled out ... and that's okay.
  11. Pinch the ends tightly closed.
  12. Having rolled the dough out just slightly longer than the pan you will use, the dough may be bent, slightly, to place into the loaf pan.
        Place the loaf seam-side down.
  13. Cover the loaf with a piece of parchment paper (or wax paper although it sticks a little more) and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 50 minutes or until double in bulk.

Method III (baking):

  1. Preheat the oven to:
       if metal - 465oF (240oC)
       if glass or silicon - 455oF (234oC)
  2. Put loaf in middle of hot oven and bake for 13 minutes
  3. After 13 minutes, lower the temperature of the oven to:
       if metal - 435oF (224oC)
       if glass or silicon - 430oF (221oC)
    Cover the loaf loosely with a piece of tin foil and bake it for an additional 25 minutes. (Leave the loaf to bake uncovered if you want a deeper, harder crust.)
  4. Tap test (tap the bottom of the loaf) to check for doneness. If tapping the bottom of the loaf yeilds a hollow sound the loaf is cooked. Otherwise, return the loaf to the oven for just a few minutes more.
  5. When cooked, move to a wire rack to cool.
Tips & Tricks:

(Do not cover the loaf in the first stage of baking.)

  • A Bread-baker's Tip: Covering the loaf with foil in the final stages of baking yeilds a softer crust. If you like a very soft crust cover it earlier in the second stage of baking ... or not at all if you prefer a crustier bread.
  • To soften the crust bag your bread in plastic for a minimum of 4 hours ... or even more.
  • A special note on flours: If using organic or other un-preserved/un-treated flours about 1 tablespoon of lemon juice per loaf is recommended.

The Background Story
One Loaf of Light Rye Bread
with Sunflower Seeds

Mostly oil free, this loaf of about 1.5 pounds (around 600 g) has only one teaspoon of salt and one and a half teaspoons of sugar. You may always elect to make small adjustments based on personal preference but this vegan loaf is a great sandwich or snacking bread (although not, necessarily, a great dipping bread).

For Jewish bakers this recipe is kosher and pareve, and it is halal for Muslims. What it is not, is a European Deli Rye. Unlike European rye bread, this is not a sourdough bread. It is a standard, western style, yeast-raised bread. This means it will have a more western texture - unlike the often dense and/or more moist German rye breads (Sonnenblumenkerne Roggenbrot or "Sonnenblumenbrot"). A squeeze of lemon, however, will add a slight hint of sour to your home made, yeast raised, Sunflower Seed Rye Bread. Going forward, you can try adjusting the amount of rye you start with. Naturally, your white flour usage would have to be adjusted accordingly. We suggest increasing your rye 1/4 cup at a time - tasting at each baking to see how much that small substitution will have affected the taste and texture of your loaf.

Is all this reason enough to make this bread a regular part of your diet? Well, Sunflower (as a seed and as an oil) is credited with (take a deep breath): Fighting inflammation, preventing cancer, benefitting the skin and being heart-healthy. Vitamin E may well be, in fact, a powerful contributor in all these three areas ... and sunflower seeds are a vitamin E powerhouse as well as being a source of selenium and dietary fiber. Sunflower seeds? Good!

Besides being healthy AND a very tasty loaf, we like that slight chewy-not-quite-crunchy texture of all those seeds baked into this gentle rye bread. This bread, while not a deli loaf as we, in this house, know it; is a delightful bread for toasting or with cold cuts or for almost any other sandwiches. It even makes a really interesting Grilled Cheese Sandwich.

Of course, as with most of our recipes, pretty much no special tools are required to make this light rye bread with sunflower seeds. This sunflower seed rye bread recipe finds its roots in our Basic White Utility Loaf. The methods, however, for the second kneading (by stretching and folding the dough) and shaping the dough (by rolling the dough out under curved hands) are much like techniques used in making such French breads as baguettes. Small adjustments are made to accomplish certain flavour and texture objectives but in fact, many flavours and variations can be accomplished with that simple, basic recipe in mind.

Light Rye Bread with Sunflower Seeds