Thursday, 12 December 2013

Wholegrain and sunflower seed bread

One of the frustrations of sports nutrition for me has always been the difficulty of buying the right produce in local supermarkets. Take bread for instance. If you look at the contents of most of the wholemeal bread on your average supermarket shelf you'll see that most products that claim to be wholewheat or wholegrain use white wheat flour as their primary ingredient. Whether you are training for a 5k personal best, the Surrey Half Marathon or a full marathon over the next few months you will be trying to make sure that your diet is assisting the efforts you are putting in. Since I started training I have experimented with variations of my own bread and this is the one that has become my standard weekend loaf. I like to make a double batch: I turn one into a loaf, then I make little sandwich buns out of the rest. I love the sunflower seeds on top: They add texture and crunch and go perfectly with a lovely cream cheese and low-fat ham sandwich filling. It freezes well so I individually wrap each bun and then defrost the night before so I can use it for my work pack lunch. This way I make sure I'm getting healthy, filling carbs to get me ready for the evening's training session

Wholegrain and sunflower seed bread
  • 250g wholemeal flour
  • 150g wholewheat spelt flour
  • 100g rye four
  • 15g yeast
  • 320ml luke warm water
  • 5g salt
  • small handful of multi seed mix
  • small handful of sunflower seeds
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C
  2. Crumble the yeast into the flour
  3. Add the salt and the multi seeds and mix in thoroughly
  4.  Either by hand or using a blow mixer and dough hook gradually add the water and knead for up to 10 mins (by hand) or 5 mins (by machine).
  5. Once the dough has been kneaded and is a nice doughy consistency place it in a bowl and cover with a cloth. Leave in a warm and ambient place (the kitchen work surface should suffice) and leave to prove for 1 hour
  6. Once the dough has doubled in size, knock it back and form into the desire shapes. Either loaves or buns. Place on an oiled tray, brush with egg wash and sprinkle with the sunflower and a sprinkling of spelt flour. Leave to prove for a further 30 minutes.
  7. Bake on 200C for approximately 15-20 mins or until the bread feels hollow when you tap the base.

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