Sunflower Bread for #BreadBakers

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

This month Kelly invited us to share Bread Art! "We started the year sculpting animals. Let's continue to showcase our artistic side and end the year with more art. Bake up a showpiece! Will you do a bread sculpture? Use focaccia as a canvas? Go to town with that bread lame? The choice is yours." 

I did a quick search for inspiration and when I saw the pictures of this one pop up I decided it was perfect. It's just so very, very pretty to look at! It's certainly fairly labor intensive, but the steps are fairly straight forward. The dough is also very easy - it's a nice soft dough that wasn't too difficult to work with. It has a pretty basic "white bread" flavor profile - you could certainly add seasonings to the dough if you want a more savory bread, but to preserve the color since this is a flower it's probably best to leave it plain! You could even possibly add some yellow food color to the butter glaze that gets brushed over the top. I've never tried that before but am curious how that could work! This would be simply stunning on any holiday dinner table - and if you end up with some leftover bread (like I did) - it makes a wonderful breakfast casserole a day or two later! 

See all of our beautiful and artistic loaves!

Sunflower Bread

For Bread
4 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast (2 pkgs or 15 grams)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup water warm
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup warm milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil 
2 eggs
2 teaspoons salt

6 tablespoon butter melted 
Poppy seeds (optional)

  1. Combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk gently to blend and allow the yeast to activate for about 5-10 minutes. Add the flour, warm milk, vegetable oil, eggs and salt to the dough. With the dough hook attached, turn speed to medium up to medium high until dough ball forms. Allow dough to knead on medium speed about 3-5 minutes until you have a smooth soft (but not overly sticky) dough. Add a little bit of flour if dough is too sticky.
  2. Remove dough from bowl, and add a little bit of oil to the bottom. Return the dough to the bowl, flipping once so it has oil on both sides.
  3. Cover with a tea towel and set aside in warm place for 90 minutes to 2 hours until dough is doubled in size.
  4. Scrape dough out onto a lightly floured counter. Divide the dough into two even pieces. Cover one piece with a towel and set aside.
  5. Divide the other piece into 5 even pieces of dough. Roll each piece out into an 8 1/2 - 9 inch circle. On a round baking sheet lay the dough rounds one at a time atop each other, brushing each dough round generously with butter before placing the next one atop it. Roll out the last round a little bit larger so that it can overhang the other rounds and cover all the way around (please see the original post linked at the bottom of this post for a really great photo tutorial on assembling this beautiful bread)!
  6. Cut 8 slices out from the center (see this photo), stopping about 1 inch before you reach the edge of the dough.
  7. Gently grab the tip of each triangular piece of dough and flip it outwards, over the 1" section you left in tact (see this photo).
  8. Uncover the reserved dough ball. Cut off 1/4 of the dough and set aside.
  9. Cut the remaining piece into 5 pieces (you should have 6 total pieces). Repeat the process you just did with the 5 evenly sized pieces. Roll these pieces out to about 5 1/2 to 6" in diameter. Stack them, buttering each round before adding the next layer.
  10. Move the stack into the center of your existing ring, and repeat the cutting process, changing the position of the lines so that your next row of petals will line up in the middle of the existing outer layer (see this photo).
  11. Gently flip each triangular section of dough out to create the second layer of petals.
  12. Take the reserved dough and form a smooth dough ball. Place this ball of dough in the center of your sunflower. 
  13. Cover the dough with a tea towel and set aside to rise for about 30 minutes.
  14. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees when ready to bake.
  15. Rewarm any remaining butter and generously butter the entire loaf and sprinkle the center with poppy seeds.
  16. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown and the loaf should sound hollow when tapped.
  17. Allow to cool about 20 minutes before serving. Rip the petals off to enjoy! Serve with jam or flavored oils or melted butter to dip / slather if you'd like! 
Recipe adapted from Jo Cooks


  1. I love this sunflower bread. It is so pretty and I'm sure it was delicious.

  2. I can see why you picked it, very much a beautiful presentation piece!

  3. This is so perfectly gorgeous. I am imagining all the variations and fillings/toppings that could go so well with this!!

  4. This is beautiful sunflower bread. looks delicious I would love to check it out.

  5. The bread looks pretty. Love the gorgeous petals and the center.

  6. Love this one. I have done this with a garlic filling before.

  7. Looks beautiful and gorgeous! Love the sizing of the petals and is sending me to the kitchen to try!


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