It’s picnic season around here. For some reason, the month of July means picnics as of late for us. Personally, I think it’s the heat multiplied by the lack of air conditioning at home, quadrupled by the fact that the hottest time of the day is at the dinner hour. Oh yea. Neither of us wants to be standing over the stove or the grill for dinner when it’s HOT-HOT-HOT. (Well, HOT for us, anyway. We *are* from snow-country, ya know. LOL)
The Chicklet and I set about to make some bread the other day when I realized I was missing some key ingredients (namely enough raw pepita seeds for the Pepita-Powered Bread recipe we love so.). So, we through together this tasty sunflower seed version instead. My Love came home and immediately declared its seeded quality to be delectable. After filling my sandwich bread with cucumbers, tomatoes and sprouts with a little lemon-tahini dressing, I had to agree. And I’m NOT a seed-raisiny-bread kind of gal.
Even the Chicklet declared this bread munchable as she chewed up a teeny piece – and really, she’s not a bread eater. (Probably just lucked out living in a non-bread eating household then, huh?)
I find myself not eating as much bread as the years going on. Maybe now that I have a great wrap recipe – quick, easy and versatile – I don’t *need* traditional bread. I think it must because after years one just acclimated and the rest of the eating rainbow becomes so much more satisfying. I’ve even grown accustomed to watching my Love eat the fresh bread rolls or sticks that are served at restaurants too. That is – I *WAS* accustomed to this UNTIL a restaurant in our area *finally* got a clue!
On Sunday, we brought the kidlet to brunch at a local chain that serves mostly fish, etc. I knew I could certainly eat the planked salmon and a few fresh salads with local strawberries or huckleberries. It was an easy decision for me, I really was craving a huge fresh salad with salmon. What I didn’t expect was having the waiter listen to my gluten-related questions (ask them even when you THINK you know the answer, people – things change!) so carefully and then smile. He completely KNEW what I was talking about! YES!
Not only did he reassure me that the hollandaise was gluten-free (Yes, he still checked with the Chef… he told me he checks EVERY time someone asks just in case the kitchen has made a substitute or something), but he also suggested that I get some fresh tomato slices under my salmon Benedict. Oh yea! YUM!
AND… THE ICING ON THE CAKE: Instead of bringing over a huge plate of coffee cake and sweet rolls (as this is what each table gets on brunch days), he brought over a HUGE plate of fresh fruit (three kinds of melons, grapes, strawberries and some apple slices) with some fresh whipped cream for us to share.
ROCK ON! Now someone PLEASE tell me: WHY can’t other restaurants clue in and offer someone something besides the ubiquitous bread basket? What about a simple cheese/apple platter instead? Is the cost involved in cheese really that much more than bread? Well… wait.. suppose that depends on the cheese, right? So wouldn’t that be doable? Or hey – just give me a plate of fresh fruit. I’ll be happy every time!
Whoa…. this post ran away from me. And here I was writing about our wonderful Sunflower-Millet Bread that we used for picnics and for French toast… OH! And it makes the most killer peanut butter toast too! The best part: it didn’t fall apart for any of the above either. Just slice it as you eat it and store it in an airtight container on the counter. It was last 5-7 days.
Ay Ay. Sorry for the loopy ride with the posts as of late. My mind is wandering and I am soaking in the baby giggles and chatter. I just know I don’t get to hear them for very long. I’m going to soak them in for as long as I can…. and *every* picnic this summer is served at our local kids-playground or kid-friendly climbing/walking spots. Oh, we love her so!
Gluten Free Sunflower & Millet Bread
Printable recipe can be found here.
Makes 1 – large loaf (I used a 1.5 pound loaf pan)
1/2 cup warm water
2 Tablespoons agave nectar
1 1/2 Tablespoons yeast
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 1/3 cup millet flour (or sorghum if you don’t have millet)
3/4 cup GF oat flour or quinoa flour
1/2 cup potato starch (NOT potato flour)
1/3 cup flax seeds (not ground/meal)
2 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 cup warm water (in addition to the 1/2 cup listed above)
2 Tablespoons brown sugar or 2 Tablespoons honey + 1 Tablespoon molasses
4 Tablespoons melted butter
- Heat 1/2 cup water for proofing yeast (not too hot!) then add 2 Tablespoons agave or honey and 1 1/2 Tablespoons of yeast. Set aside to proof for 8 – 10 minutes.
- In the bowl of your food processor, whirl the sunflower seeds until mostly ground/pulverized. There will still be a few chunky seeds pieces. (NOTE: If you don’t like seedy bread – like me – feel free to whirl longer until completely pulverized.)
- Pour sunflower mixture into the bowl of your mixer. Add millet flour, GF oat flour (or quinoa flour), potato starch, flax seeds and xanthan gum. Mix together.
- Mix together remaining water (1 cup), brown sugar (or honey/molasses), melted butter and two eggs. Add this to the bread mixture.
- Pour proofed yeast mixture over the top of all.
- Mix for 4 – 5 minutes on medium high. (Start slowly and once the mixture is well incorporated, then turn your mixer up to medium-high and start timing.)
- Spray a bread loaf pan with olive oil or line with parchment paper. Pour bread dough in to pan and even it out and smooth the top with a wet spatula.
- Set aside to rise for 35-45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Bake for 40 -50 minutes UNTIL an internal temperature of 205F is reached.
- Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Loosen from the sides, if necessary, and cool for an addition 30 minutes on a cooling rack before slicing.
- Store in an airtight container on the counter for 5 – 7 days. Slice as you need to avoid drying out the bread.
Happy GF Picnic Sandwiches!
~Kate and her co-baker, The Chicklet