Walnut & Sunflower Seed Bloomer
In this bloomer recipe I take a simple English bloomer to a new level with sunflower seeds and walnut pieces
Makes: 1 loaf
Ingredients
  • 500 g (16 oz) strong white flour
  • 300 g (10 fl oz) lukewarm water
  • 50 g sunflower seeds
  • 50 g chopped walnuts
  • 2 tsp dried yeast
  • 1½ tsp salt
For the glaze
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp water
Instructions
  1. Mix the water with the yeast and leave for 10 minutes to allow the yeast to activate.
  2. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast and the rest of the water. Mix well to form a slightly tacky dough.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Leave the dough to rest for 5 minutes.
  4. Spread the dough out into a circle about 30 cm (12") in diameter. Sprinkle on the walnut pieces and sunflower seeds. Fold the dough up and knead for about 2 minutes to distribute the pieces throughout the dough.
  5. Place the dough in a lightly-greased bowl, cover and put in a warm place to allow the dough to double in size.
  6. Turn out the dough and knock back to remove any gas. Bring the dough together into a ball and knead for about 2 minutes.
  7. Roll the dough into a rectangle about 30 cm x 20 cm (12" x 8"). Fold into thirds along the long side and pinch the edges together.
  8. Place the dough seam side down on a lightly-greased baking tray. Plump up the dough, place in a large plastic bag and leave for around 45 minutes in a warm place to allow the dough to prove.
  9. Cut 3 diagonal slashes into the dough with a sharp knife. Brush the glaze over the bread.
  10. Bake at 190°C/375°F fan oven, 220°C/430°F normal oven, for 25-30 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Notes
If the underneath of the loaf is not very crusty after baking, simply turn the loaf over on the baking sheet, switch off the oven and leave in the oven for a further 5-10 minutes.

It is easy to tell when it is baked as it makes a hollow sound when knocked on the bottom of the loaf.

For a more rustic version of this loaf replace half the flour with strong wholemeal flour.

The bread goes really well with cheese and pickle and is a superb accompaniment for soup, so you might want to make this dough into rolls instead.