This Cumin Sunshine Loaf is a Bread Baking Babes bread. However, it is last month’s bread and not this month’s choice. This month, they’re baking a Wild Pull-Apart Sourdough Bread chosen by Elizabeth. As usual, the Babes got creative with the recipe and came up with interesting breads including a sweet version and this delightful savoury one.
I didn’t bake this month’s bread though. For one, I have baked a quite a few pull-apart breads over the years. Then these days there’s mostly me at home because my husband is travelling on and off for work. There’s only so much bread I’m allowed to and can eat. One way I ensure no left-overs when I bake is by sharing the bakes with my family. Sourdough is an acquired taste especially for a traditionally Indian one.
So I decided to bake last month’s BBB bread which I couldn’t do then. Cathy chose a sourdough adaptation of a recipe from BREAD: The Breads of the World and How to Bake Them at Home by Christine Ingram and Jennie Shapter. This bread is a sun shaped centrepiece made with blend of rye and white flours, and flavoured with caraway seeds.
I didn’t want to bake a sourdough bread, I don’t get rye flour here and I wasn’t keen on the caraway seeds. Kelly had posted a yeasted version of the Sunshine Bread so I adapted that to make a bread that worked for me. I started by making an overnight starter with whole wheat flour. That, to me, was a good compromise between straight yeast and sourdough. I kneaded dough next morning and baked the bread before lunch time.
Since I was going to share this bread with family, I used regular flour according to their preference. The caraway seeds were replaced with cumin seeds. I coarsely crushed some and mixed it into the dough and then also sprinkled some on the shaped bread before baking.
The recipe I used follows. The original recipe is for a very big loaf or two medim loaves. My recipe makes one medium sized Cumin Sunshine Loaf. Shaping the bread is very easy. I personally found the finished shape very attractive and reminiscent of rustic Aztec/ Inca sun illustrations.
Cumin Sunshine Loaf
For the Starter
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
For the Dough
- All the starter from above
- 1 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 cup lukewarm water more if necessary
- 3 cups all-purpose bread flour
- 1/2 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp cumin seeds coarsely crushed
- milk for glazing
- 1 tsp cumin seeds for sprinkling
For the Starter
- In a medium bowl, mix well together the ingredients for the starter with a fork. Cover and let it sit overnight on the countertop (about 8 hours or so). By next morning it will have bubbled up and settled a bit.
For the Dough
- The next morning knead by hand or use a kitchen machine. I put all the starter, yeast, 1 cup water, the flour, salt and cumin seeds in the food processor bowl. Knead, adding a little more water or flour (as the case may be) if necessary, till a soft and elastic dough is formed. Form into a ball and place in a well-oiled bowl, turning it to coat uniformly.
- Cover and let it rise for about 2 hours or until it has doubled in volume. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured countertop and lightly knead. Divide the dough into 5 equal portions. Of these, divide 4 into half each. You will have 1 larger piece of dough and 8 smaller ones.
- Roll each of the smaller pieces into “ropes” about 7” long. Start shaping the “Sun”. Place the ropes in a circle like spokes of a wheel on a large, parchment lined baking sheet, to make the “rays”. Space them equally apart, leaving a small gap in the centre. Curl the ends around. Roll the remaining larger piece of dough into about 18” long rope. Coil into a spiral and place in the centre of the sun "rays". Cover loosely and let rise in a warm place for around 30 minutes.
- Brush the top of the dough with milk and sprinkle with cumin seeds. Bake at 210C (410F) for about 25 to 30 minutes till done and golden brown in colour. The loaf should sound hollow when tapped. Let it cool on a rack.
The Bread Baking Babes are –