Well, since I am still so fond of this book, and its author, I decided that I needed to make it my choice for a round of Cook the Books.
The Baker's Daughter is set during WWII, in 1945 Nazi Germany. It's the story of young Elsie Schmidt, the Nazi soldier who wanted to marry her, and a young Jewish boy, Tobias. Elsie's young life would change forever when Tobias showed up on her doorstep on Christmas Eve, after escaping imprisonment.
Cut to modern day El Paso, Texas, where we meet journalist Reba Adams. Reba's assignment is to interview the owner of a local German bakery for a feel-good Christmas story in the local newspaper. She thought it would be an easy piece...in and out. Little did she know the bonds that would soon be formed.
And the bread. Oh, the bread! From her father's bakery in Germany, to her bakery in Texas, the smell and comfort of Elsie's baked good wafted from the pages and held me, rapt. These rolls are adapted from the "recipe book" in the back of the book; the book that Elsie's daughter Jane passed on to Reba and Riki at the end of the story...
"Kind of wonderful to think something as simple as bread can mean so much to people."
Sonnenblumenkernbrot (Sunflower Seed Rolls)
Prep Time: 2-3 hours, mostly unattended
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
Keywords: bake bread vegan soy-free sugar-free dairy-free sunflower seeds German
Ingredients (12 rolls)
- 1-2/3 cup lukewarm wataer
- 131 grams (4.7 ounce/1/2 cup) active sourdough starter
- 420 grams (14.8 ounce/3 cups) bread flour
- 129 grams dark rye flour (4.6 ounce/1 cup)
- 8 grams (.3 ounce/1-1/2 teaspoons) salt
- 62 grams (2.2 ounce/1/2 cup) roasted sunflower seeds + more to garnish
Place all ingredients, except sunflower seeds, in the pan of a bread machine in the order recommended by manufacturer. Select dough cycle, and press start. Watch to see that the dough comes together nicely; once everything has combined, and it has kneaded for a bit, the dough should still be slightly tacky. If dough seems too wet and sticky, or too dry, adjust as needed with a little bit of flour or water at a time. Add the sunflower seeds in during the last 5 minutes of kneading time.
Once dough has risen, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 1 minute. Divide into 12 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a "round". Set on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.
Brush the tops of each ball of dough with a bit of lukewarm water, and sprinkle with some extra sunflower seeds. Loosely drape a sheet of plastic wrap over the tray. Allow to rise at room temperature until almost doubled in size, 45-60 minutes.
Place an old metal pan in the bottom of the oven, and put a pot of water on to boil. Preheat oven to 500° F during last 15 minutes of rise time.
Remove plastic wrap, and carefully slash each bun with a razor blade or sharp, serrated knife. Quickly open the oven and carefully pour about 1 cup of boiling water into the old pan. Place the tray of buns in the oven and close the door. Once the door is closed, reduce the temperature to 400° F.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden and cooked through. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.notes:
- If you don't have a sourdough starter, you could use 2 teaspoons of instant (or rapid rise) yeast in its place.
- If you don't have a bread machine, simply bloom the yeast in some of the lukewarm water before mixing in the remaining ingredients until combined, and then kneading until tacky (by hand or mixer). Place dough into a lightly oiled bowl until doubled in size. Proceed as directed.
-adapted from The Baker's DaughterI'm hosting this round of Cook the Books with my selection of The Baker's Daughter by Sarah McCoy. This round is almost over, but if you've already read the book and want to join in, just post something inspired by the book and share the link HERE by September 30.
Our next selection, chosen by Rachel, will be Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. The deadline for this book will be near the end of November. Hope you can join us!
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