Yes, you read it right….. Birdseed Bread! The original recipe is Cynthia’s over on The Solitary Cook. Don’t you just love the colour of her bread…. it really is a golden colour. Mine I’m afraid didn’t come out that beautiful colour – I can only blame the Spelt flour or perhaps the oil?
When Cynthia posted the recipe I thought that looks really beautiful and then one of her followers asked if they could have the metric/imperial measurements rather than the US cup system. I volunteered to do the conversion, as years and years ago on a trip to the US I had bought a plastic jug with cup measurements on it.
I’ve made the bread a few times. Served it to a number of people all of whom loved it, and they have asked for the recipe so here it is, in “European” format.
- 1 kg. Spelt Flour
- 95 grams Millet
- 95 grams Ground Flax seed
- 2 tablespoons whole flax seed
- 1 sachet active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 10 oz hot tap water
- 10 oz milk
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 oz oil – I used sunflower oil
As always I have used spelt flour to make it. I found the timings were a little different to Cynthia’s, so my advice is, if you are using regular strong flour follow Cynthia’s instructions.
Measure the dry ingredients into your mixer bowl, and use the dough hook to gently mix the yeast through the mix.
Put 10 oz of hot tap water into your jug, and add the 10 oz of milk. According to Cynthia’s advice the temperatures will meet in the middle and be just right to activate the yeast. Add to your bowl of dry ingredients, together with your egg, honey and oil.
Mix the dough on the lowest setting until it starts to come together. It took about 10 minutes for the spelt flour and ingredients to come together and leave the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Turn off your mixer – put a lid on your bowl – or cover with a piece of cling film and leave to sit for 20 minutes. (Cynthia gives an excellent explanation of the ‘autolyse‘ process, so do have a read of it.)
At the end of the 20 minutes, remove your plastic/lid (hold onto it you will need it again), turn the mixer back on. You will now find that the dough will stick completely to the dough hook…. it is a completely different mixture. Let it knead for about 7 or 8 minutes. After that time, turn off your mixer, pull off a piece of your dough and stretch it. If it breaks it needs more mixing. If it stretches into a ‘windowpane’ your dough is ready for the next stage.
Briefly turn the dough out of the bowl. Using a piece of kitchen paper rub the inside of the bowl with some oil. Put your dough back in and cover with the cling film, or lid.
Now you have to wait for your dough to double in size. I love Cynthia’s tip…. stick a piece of tape on the outside of the bowl so you can be sure it has doubled in size! (I make this bread in the evening time when the kitchen is nice and warm, so this stage takes about an hour.)
When your dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto a floured surface and divide it in two. I made it into two round cakes. Place each cake on parchment on your baking tray and let sit to once again double in size (about 45 minutes).
Preheat your oven to 375 deg. F/190 deg C.
When your final rise has completed slash the loaves with a good sharp serrated knife to a depth of about 1/2 inch. Pop the loaves into the oven for about 45 minutes.
Your next challenge is not to devour it all when it comes out of the oven. It smells wonderful and tastes delicious and is so so light.
Let me know if you try it!