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water views (post 18 of a 52 recipe resolution)

July 5, 2013

Last weekend Mike and I escaped the hustle, bustle and noise of city living for the quiet of Door County, Wisconsin.  Have you been there?  If you’ve gone during the high season of July 4 – Labor Day you’re probably wondering how I could consider going there an escape because apparently it gets jam-packed with visitors on those summer weekends.  It was really the luck of the draw that we went before the summer crowds and I’m glad for that.

Door County is made up of several small towns along a 75 mile long peninsula that has the waters of Green Bay on one side and Lake Michigan on the other.  We stayed in Sister Bay, toward the northern end of the peninsula.  My only criteria in choosing where to stay was that the room have a balcony with water views.  To me, that’s heaven.

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sunrise over Sister Bay

The Inn we stayed at served a European style breakfast each morning and while I generally don’t have toast as a part of my breakfast, the sunflower seed bread they had looked so inviting I had to try it.  It was a white bread without a high rise but still a yeast dough.  Does that make sense?  Now I suppose I could just call up to the resort and find out what brand the bread is and purchase it for home, but where would the fun be in that?  I found lots of recipes for sunflower seed bread, some quick breads, some yeast breads and one that included oatmeal.  I settled on a honey wheat and although it was a little too sweet for me and not the same texture I was looking for, it was easy to make and really quite good.  I wouldn’t hesitate to make this again but next time I won’t start a dough that requires 3 rises and 10 minutes of kneading at 6:30 in the evening.

Honey Wheat Sunflower seed Bread

1-1/4 cups lukewarm water
1 pkg (2-1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
2 tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups unbleached white flour
1 cup toasted, unsalted, sunflower seeds

In a large mixing bowl (I used a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook), combine the water, yeast and sugar and let stand for 10 minutes.  Stir in the honey, buttermilk, oil and salt.  Add the wheat and white flours and mix to combine well.  The dough will be moist and sticky.  Remove the bowl from the mixer and using a wooden spoon, stir in the sunflower seeds.  This will help keep the seeds whole instead of being broken up by the dough hook.  Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for one hour.

Punch down and turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes.  Because the dough is sticky, I ended up adding about 1/4 cup of flour to the dough through the kneading process, just to keep it from sticking to the counter and my hands.  At the end of the kneading, form the dough into a ball.  Lightly oil the mixing bowl and return the dough to the bowl then lightly oil the top of the dough.  Cover and let rise for 45 minutes.

Punch down the dough and divide into two equal parts and form into loaves.  Place into greased 9 x 5 loaf pans.  Cover and let rise for another 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375F and after the last rise bake the loaves for about 30 minutes or until the are golden brown.  Remove from oven and let rest in the pans for 5 minutes before turning them out to cool on a rack.

Store baked bread in a paper bag to keep the crust crisp.

path to the bay

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