Seed Bread

by Nancy on September 13, 2011

in Breads

A local bakery that supplies artisan bread to local Safeways use to make a Sweet Three Seed Bread. It was one of my favorite breads but the line was cut back and this was one of the breads that Safeway doesn’t carry anymore. I miss this bread. It has such a wonderful flavor and aroma when toasted. It’s like the peanut butter (or sunflower butter) is built right in. I like to make bread so I decided to develop my own Seed Bread recipe.

I do a couple of things to tweak the flavor to my liking. First, I use peanut oil instead of vegetable oil to add more nut flavor. Peanut oil has a definite peanut flavor. Second, I use malted barley flour to give an “earthy” flavor. Malted barley flour is made from the same malted barley used in malted milk balls and beer so you get a malted/beer flavor. Malted barley functions as a sugar (it’s sweet) and you can use it to replace part or all of the sugar normally found in a bread recipe.

You can use any mix of seeds that you like. As a rule of thumb, I use 2 tablespoons of each small seed and 1/4 cup of each large seed (twice as much as small seeds) for four cups of flour.

I always toast this bread to bring out the flavor of the seeds. It’s perfect for a toasted cheese sandwich. It slices nicer when it is a day or two old.

Collecting all of the ingredients for this recipe can be a challenge. Bob’s Red Mill is an excellent source carrying all of the hard-to-find ingredients – malted barley flour, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. We’d like to thank Bob’s Red Mill for providing those ingredients.

Seed Bread

Makes two 4″ x 8″ loaves or three 3″ x 7″ loaves.


  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons malted barley flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 egg
  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  1. Microwave milk for 1 minute. This heats up the milk so the yeast will grow faster. You should be able to hold your finger in the milk indefinitely or it is too hot and will kill the yeast. Let it cool if it is too hot.
  2. Pour milk in bowl. Add all other ingredients except egg, seeds and bread flour. Mix.
  3. Wait 5 minutes. You should see froth or bubbles forming in the milk. The yeast is starting to grow. If the yeast is not growing, wait 5 more minutes. If it is still not growing, the milk was probably too hot and killed the yeast. If so, add another tablespoon or package of yeast and wait until it starts to grow. This is called proofing the yeast. You are proofing or proving that the yeast will grow.
  4. Add egg and 3 cups of flour. Mix.
  5. If you are using a machine to knead the dough, add more flour until the dough forms a mass around the dough hook and does not stick to the sides of the bowl. If kneading by hand, pour on floured counter and knead in more flour until the dough is no longer sticky, is smooth and begins to “pop back” as you knead it.
  6. Divide dough in halves or thirds. Place each in a greased pan. Press it out to the edges of the pan with floured fingers
  7. Let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes depending on the temperature of your kitchen. If you are in a hurry or your kitchen is cold, heat oven to lowest temperature possible. Turn oven off, place kuchen in oven and let rise there (remove from oven before heating oven to baking temperature).
  8. Bake at 375 degrees 35-40 minutes.




There are a whole range of grains that have been and can be used as food but are not commonly consumed in the US. Barley is one of those grains. Historically is was grown worldwide but was especially important in northern climates with short growing seasons (such as Iceland) as it doesn’t need a lot of heat to grow. Today it is grown in the US but nearly all of the production goes into animal feed and malted barley for beer making.

Last March my son, Scott, and I went to a convention and did some touring in Iceland. The hotel restaurant served a barley dish for breakfast. It was right next to skyr, a traditional Icelandic yogurt/cheese, and served in the same style container but I never determined if this breakfast barley was considered a traditional dish or not (like several places we visited in Iceland, the staff was seasonal help from elsewhere in Europe and didn’t know). It was the first time I remember eating barley other than those little bits in Campbell’s vegetable beef soup.

The only real challenge to this recipe was finding a source for barley and learning how to cook it. This recipe uses whole grain barley which may also called hulled or hulless barley depending on the variety grown. I can buy barley at my local natural foods store in the bulk bin section. It is also available by mail order from Bob’s Red Mill. Whole grain barley takes a long time to cook and is always chewy even when fully cooked.

We’d like to thank Bob’s Red Mill for providing the barley, dried apples and black currants for this recipe.

Icelandic Breakfast Barley

four 1 cup servings


  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill hulless barley
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon butter or margarine
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup Bob’s Red Mill diced, dried apples
  • 1/3 cup Bob’s Red Mill black currants
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange peel (optional)
  1. Place barley, water, butter or margarine, and salt in a 2 quart saucepan for stove top or 3 quart bowl for microwave. (The butter or margarine keeps the water when mixed with small amounts of starch from the grain from boiling over.) Cover. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer 90 minutes. Ideally all of the water should just be absorbed as the barley finishes cooking. Check near the end of cooking time and add boiling water if the barley is too dry or remove the lid if the barley is too wet. When cooking barley in the future, adjust water and/or cooking time as needed.
  2. While still hot, stir in dried apples, currants, honey and cinnamon. If there is a layer of starch on top of the barley when cooking it in the microwave, just stir it in with the apples and currants. Let stand 10 minutes. Serve hot or cold.




Sweet and Sour Chicken

by Carrie on March 1, 2011

in Main Dish

This is a really quick and easy recipe that all the picky eaters in my family love. I asked them what they like about it so much and they said that it’s flavorful but mild with easy flavors like honey and soy sauce and you can spice it up to taste. It’s also easy to prepare any vegetables (which neither my fiance nor my sister like) separately — I like to have this dish with a green salad or sauteed red pepper strips, onions, or snap peas.

Sweet and Sour Chicken (inspired by Everyday Food magazine)

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • garlic powder
  • ginger powder
  1. Dice raw chicken into bite size pieces. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat skillet to medium high and add vegetable oil.
  3. Saute chicken until cooked on the outside.
  4. Whisk together honey, soy sauce, vinegar, and garlic and ginger powder to taste. Pour over chicken in skillet.
  5. Simmer in the sauce until chicken is cooked through.
  6. Serve with rice and veggies as desired.