Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sunflower seed bread / Busy weekend part 1

I got up at 5am today to continue my busy weekend. You think I'm nuts, but it makes me happy. I'm a morning person, and how can you not enjoy watching a wintry sunrise, knowing bread is ready to bake and a load of laundry is already in the dryer.

The cats love to watch sunrises too.

I've been wanting to try this recipe for awhile. Sunflower seed bread. It smelled so good as it rose. It wouldn't taste good in sandwiches, but it's good with butter and would probably work for french toast. **Updated later to say, it makes great turkey sandwiches.

Punching down dough is fun!
RECIPE FROM BETTER HOMES & GARDENS (R): HOMEMADE BREAD COOKBOOK (C) 1973. USED WITH PERMISSION FROM MEREDITH CORPORATION. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. You may not download or re-post this recipe to other websites or blogs. More recipes available at


3 1/2 to 4 cups unbleached white flour
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 egg
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
1/2 cup orange juice
2/3 cup shelled sunflower seeds

In large mixer bowl combine 1 1/2 cups of the flour and the yeast. Heat milk, sugar, butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt till warm (115-120 degrees), stirring constantly to melt butter. Add to dry mixture in mixer bowl; add egg, peel, and juice. Beat at low speed with electric mixer for 1/2 minute, scraping bowl. Beat 3 minutes at high speed. By hand, stir in sunflower seeds and enough remaining flour to make a stiff dough.

Knead on lightly floured surface till smooth (5 to 8 minutes). Place in greased bowl, turning once. Cover; let rise in warm place till double (about 1 1/2 hours). Punch down. Cover; let rest 10 minutes. Shape into loaf and place in greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Cover; let rise till double (45 to 60 minutes). Brush top with melted butter, if desired. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. Remove from pan and cool. Makes 1 loaf.

Estimating an amount to put aside in a flexible health spending account is so hard! For 2009, I put in enough for Nathan's chiropractic visits and a home birth, because I was convinced I'd at least be pregnant by the end of the year and could prepay the midwife. The year didn't go as planned, what else is new. No pregnancy, but lots of other medical costs came up. My deadline to spend the money is March 15th, so when I sat down a few days ago to submit the final receipts, I found quite a bit of money remaining.

Last night I went to Target and stocked up on all kinds of things that could be paid for with flex spending money. Finally we have first aid kits for the car and our emergency 72-hour-kit that I'll get around to constructing one day. Plus a several year supply of anything else needed, including things I normally won't buy for Nathan, and a huge variety of cough drops! That was the funnest part! I grabbed two bags of each of my favorite flavors!

Nathan thought my stash was nuts.

Winco Foods recently opened two locations by us, and my sister told me I'd love the bulk foods section, where you can buy as little as you need. I needed currants to make Irish soda bread for St. Patrick's Day dinner, so I stopped by this morning. I ended up buying a box of currants (which are almost the same as raisins) and checked out the HUGE selection. I bought poppy seeds and cardamom for more bread recipes. The price per pound on the cardamom was horrendous so I was worried about how much I'd pay. Well.....I paid 4 cents for my poppy seeds and 14 cents for my cardamom. I'm interested to see how the bread recipe including cardamom will taste, since it has a very unique scent.
I'd coordinated a group food order for a sale at a local food storage / bulk food supplier, so I then headed there and completely packed the car. When I got home, it was starting to rain. I thought I'd unload the car when the rain stopped. Dumb choice. It shortly turned into snow. Then it started snowing in big, wet clumps. Finally I grabbed Nathan and we unloaded as quickly as we could, but we got very cold and wet.

My living room is now full of food, sorted into individual orders, all ready to be picked up!
I'll post soon about the rest of the busy weekend, with all the St. Patty's Day food.


Amelia said...

See, I told you I would start commenting. :) I really love Winco, especially their bulk stuff. I have so much fun just walking around looking at all the choices. Anyway, thanks for picking up that order for me, I'm sorry it has to sit in your house until I pick it up tomorrow!

Jaime said...

Holy mother of skunks, that is more than I do in a month!