Barley bread with sunflower seeds

In my family bread has always been well-appreciated. One of my great-grandfathers was a baker, he made bread to make a living. Nowadays, I my family still remembers the wonderful taste of the bread he prepared. My mother, possibly because she grew up in this environment, prepares bread every day: round or flat, with olives and dried tomatoes or with a variety seeds, with a mix of some of the flours she has in her collection. Today, inspired by the gorgeous yellow of the sunflowers, we prepared barley bread with sunflower seeds.

Barley bread with sunflower seeds - easy vegan bread recipe

“No one is greater than bread” („Никой не е по-голям от хляба“) as one Bulgarian saying goes because bread has been an integral part of all traditional meals for centuries. During festivities it becomes sacred and its decoration is an art in itself. Precisely bread and salt are used to offer hospitality, while the sweet bread (with honey) is present in all rituals that symbolise social inclusion: when a child is born, when the bride is welcomed into the house of the groom’s family, when children start school for the first time.

“People see bread as something sacred, bread is never left upside-down on the table, important guests are invited to bread and salt, no one can ever step over bread, and during Christian celebrations, there is always bread and wine.”
quote from the narrative “Bread”, written by Yordan Radichkov

Barley bread with sunflower seeds - easy vegan bread recipe

Barley bread with sunflower seeds

Delicious home-made barley bread

Yields: 1 loaf of bread

  • 250 ml fizzy water
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 10 g beer yeast
  • 200 g barley flour
  • 300 g wheat flour
  • mix of seeds
  • sunflower seeds

Put both types of flour in a bowl, mix them and make a well in the centre.

Warm the fizzy water and add to it beer yeast and maple syrup.

Pour the liquid into the well, add salt and olive oil.

Use a spatula to gradually bring in the flour from the inside of the well, until you form a soft ball.

Put the dough on a floured surface and start to knead (5-10 minutes), adding a variety of seeds.

Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and leave it to rise for 30-40 minutes.

Shape the dough into a bread and put it in an oiled loaf pan. (I used a standard 22х10х6 cm/ 8 x 4 x 2 1/2 in. loaf pan.)

Leave the dough for additional 20-30 minutes, until it doubles in size.

Put some warm water on the surface of the dough and sprinkle over the sunflower seeds (water helps them stick).

Bake at 210°C/410°F, without a fan for 30-35 minutes at the lowest level of your oven.

  • Preparation time: 85 minutes
  • Cook time: 35 minutes
  • Total time: 2 hours

“We prepare two ovens of bread every day, on Saturday three. This never ends, people are always hungry, but that’s what God invented – that humans eat three times a day. Three times, and every time there must be bread on the table.”
quote from the narrative “Bread”, written by Yordan Radichkov

Barley bread with sunflower seeds - easy vegan bread recipe

There is something incredibly comforting in the smell of freshly-made bread, in its hard and crunchy crust and its soft and fluffy crumb. I invite you to a slice of barley bread with sunflower seeds, generously coated with a tomato and pepper spread. If you can’t stop by, then get to work and prepare your own loaf!

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