The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, Sourdough (Pumpkin) Seed Rye (an adaptation of Sunflower Seed Bread)

Notation from Peter Reinhart for the original recipe of the Sourdough Sunflower Seed Bread recipe that he adapted for his book (page 249, first paragraph), “This is a variation of a formula developed by Craig Ponsford and the Coupe du Monde team in 1995.”  PR, then continues to unfold the mystery of how he developed his version.  I urge you to find this book, buy it and journey your way into the land of all things, floured.  And if I can’t convince you, do me one special favor, give yourself the treat of clicking on Peter Reinhart’s name in my fourth paragraph.  Watch the TED presentation he gives, and then ask yourself;  “Is this what I’ve been missing?”  It may very well be your answer.  :)

I’m digging back into my favorite baking book, not in any particular order, but working with ingredients that are at hand, or easy to acquire.  I had every intention of doing a Pumpernickel Rye, but the organic and coarse cut rye meal is not available through any of my local sources (catalog ordering is in the process).

Again, I let the rogue out-to-roam and she insisted upon using pumpkin seeds over sunflower, so they are in that stash of this ‘mix-up’ adaptation, along with some added cranberries and currants.  The outcome is a fun one; offering a bit of sweetness into the dough.

Peter Reinhart, offers this recipe on pages 249 through 251, within his book, The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, and the challenge presented by, Nicole, lovely blog writer of, Pinch My Salt.  Our original intent was to bake our way through this lovely text, but some of us ran directly into those orange cones, C A U T I O N signs and warnings that would abrupt us in the midst of our dough relationships.  (Dang, it’s one thing to be sidetracked, but to be held against our baking will, well, that is quite another.  I’m going to imprison a few of the offenders if ever I find them.  NO!  They will not receive bread.  Only water, local tap water, at that!)

Let’s go look at this bread, shall we?  Grab a plate and I’ll grab the butter and jams.  I’ll bring tea cups for our coffee.  ;)

Pumpkin Seed Rye/Cranberries & Currants


The recipe makes two, one pound loaves….a few ounces over once you consider adding the ounce (each), of cranberries and currants.  Peter asks for 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds, roasted.  I used a 1/2 of freshly roasted pumpkin seeds.


Once you are ready to bake your loaves you will pre-heat your oven and prep it for steaming.  I always use an old roasting pan and a cheap plastic bottle to mist the sides and walls of my oven.  I will tell you that the baking time varied greatly from what Peter posted.  He suggested placing the loaves into the oven (preheated to 500 degrees), then pour one cup of water into your steaming vessel.  Leave the temperature at 500 degrees and at 30 second intervals, open the door and spray the walls with water, doing this twice.  At this point, turn the oven setting to 450 degrees for a 10 minute bake. Once the ten minute mark hits, turn your oven to 425 degrees, also turn your bread at 180 degrees to ensure even baking.  You are then prompted to continue baking at 425 degrees for 15 to 25 minutes, or at which time the loaves register 200 degrees (internally).  I found that by the time I passed the first 10 minute mark, my loaves were as golden brown as I wished, therefore I loosely tented foil over them, on both bakes. Also, the first loaf took, 10 + 15 mins. to bake, the second, 10 + 20 mins.  In fairness to PR, I need to acknowledge that my oven baked a dozen cupcakes prior to the bread. Also, the second time around, I did not fully register 500 degrees before the 2nd bake, opting for 450 degrees and the ten minute turn and lowering to 425 degrees.  (Are you overloaded on Fahrenheit changes?  Yeah, I thought so.  Therefore, lets just opt-out of any adverse recourse over Peter’s directions.  I told you earlier that the rogue-in-me came out to play today.  ;)


I think this lovely loaf is a game-changer to a boring toasted bread.  I’m tempted to streusel coat it with cinnamon sugar on my next bake.  And while I love pumpkin seeds, something simply told me to toss fruit into the mayhem.  Those berries and currants were perfect additions.


She’s dusted with semolina (pasta flour) in today’s showcase.  That adds a nice little touch, but then when does semolina not scream, YUMMY?  I know!  There’s just nothing like that lady.   She be classy.  :)

~ by coffeegrounded on August 31, 2013.

17 Responses to “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, Sourdough (Pumpkin) Seed Rye (an adaptation of Sunflower Seed Bread)”

  1. WE HAVE THIS BOOK!!! love it!


    • Do you do sourdough breads? Oh. Girlfriend, if you ever need a a starter, give me a shout-out! Off to the woods today, catch up with you at the’campfire’ later. ;) (Cmmpfire is code for blog-reading. I’ve been playing house and prepping for Gramps birthday party.)


  2. Is sunflower seed bread the same as squaw bread? I know I am off topic but I love Squaw bread. I also have no idea how to make it.


    • Wow, Tom, great question. I will have to look into it. I’ll get back to you. Thanks for your visit. :)


    • I really enjoy your blog. Someone once offered me the recipe for Squaw bread… And then they would never ever give it to me. I really like it. :-)


    • I’ve been researching and can confirm that the breads, while similar in some respects, are indeed, different. Squaw bread utilizes molasses and whole wheat flour in combination with rye flour (I noted this from two particular recipes), also milk, butter or other oils supplement the dough. I’m off to slumberland, and tomorrow we will be gone part of the day. I’m going to locate a recipe. If you’d like, we can do a long distance bake. We’ll ask others to join us and then we can have a round table discussion. Oh, the joys of baking! The only thing more fun is the eating part. :)
      Enjoy your evening, Tom!


    • Thanks! And thanks for going to all the trouble! I hope you have a great holiday too!


    • Thank you! Also, thank you for going to all the trouble! I hope you have a great holiday!


    • Happy Holiday to you, too. I’ll be back later with our baking challenge details. :)


    • Tom, this day got away from me. I’m going to find a recipe for us to test for Squaw bread tomorrow. I’ll zip you a note and we can decide a bit of the details. This will be fun!


    • Sounds like fun. Don’t forget, I am I blind Baker, so I do everything by feel. Not the measurements, but everything else. :-)


    • Do you bake? And if so, would you like to try baking this bread? I have found several recipes, and an intriguing bit of information concerning the naming of the bread and how it has undergone a re-naming … Some have decided it was/is politically incorrect to refer to it as Squaw bread.

      Please accept my sincerest apologies if my quest to do a baking challenge construed any insensitiveness on my part. When you mentioned that you had requested a recipe for the bread, once upon a time, and it was never forthcoming, I, being an avid bread baker, thought to myself, “We’ll, now I’m on a quest to find my new blog buddy a recipe.” Also, the reason I encouraged that we might share our quest with others was so those wishing to feel included could join in.
      I am wanting to share a recipe, no matter if we bake from coast-to-coast, or not. Just writing up the request would be an honor. :)
      Your friend,


    • You are a delightful and wonderful person! I do bake, I make bread the traditional way as well as in a bread maker. I prefer the traditional way. My mom was a magnificent cook and baker. We never had store bought Anything! I’m not all that great at it, but I learned from her. Because I’m blind I’m not all that concerned with presentation, if you know what I mean. :-) It’s all about taste for me!
      A big part of my heritage is Cherokee And I believe any Native American would be proud to bake a loaf of squaw bread! And call it such. My mom, not Native American, Made this bread and I have always loved it. She rarely used recipes, she had Most of them in her head! She was always writing them down for people But the squaw bread recipe has been lost. :-(
      I love your blog, your passion and kindness beand all the way through it! If anyone could do a blog article on squaw bread it would be you!
      I like cooking blogs because I can bookmark my favorite recipes and easily refer to them later. My android phone reads the recipe to me as I prepare it! It is a wonderful thing for blind people.


    • Tomorrow I’ll write a post outlining our quest. This is going to be so much fun! Thanks for the opportunity to join in the fun of ‘all things, floured!’ :). Will it be okay to mention your blog in my intro?


    • Not a problem! I would be honored.


  3. Oh my goodness, please stop, I’m trying to diet.


    • I’m trying to diet, too. I can’t help myself, though. This baking book came into my life at a time of transformation. It saved me and pulled me into a new beginning and a wonderful world of food bloggers.
      And then one day I discovered your blog…Oh My Goodness! You are a weaver of words unlike any other. Your writing paints a masterpiece of magnificence! I’m blessed to have discovered your work.


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