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This homemade bread is a work of art, yet simple to make. With oatmeal and sunflower seeds, it tastes great too.
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
2 packages rapid-rise yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup skim milk
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
2 tablespoons molasses
1/2 cup regular or quick-cooking oatmeal
1/2 cup sunflower seeds, raw or roasted
1 egg, beaten
Grease a round pizza pan or 15x10-1/2-inch baking sheet. Set aside. In a mixer bowl, combine 1 cup all-purpose flour, brown sugar, yeast and salt; mix until blended.
In a small saucepan or in a microwave oven, heat the milk until hot to the touch (125-130 degrees). Stir in sunflower oil and molasses. Add warm liquid to dry ingredients. Beat at low speed of electric mixer for 1/2-minute, scraping sides of the bowl. Beat 3 minutes at high speed.
By hand, stir in oatmeal and sunflower seeds and as much of remaining flour as possible. Turn out onto a floured surface. Knead in enough remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl, turning once to grease all surfaces. Cover and let rise until double, about 30 minutes. Punch down cover and let rest 10 minutes. To shape the sunflower loaf, pat the dough out to a 10-inch circle. Place on prepared baking sheet. Using a sharp knife or kitchen shears, make 12 2-inch cuts towards the center at equal intervals to form the petals. Brush the loaf with beaten egg and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds in the center of the loaf. Cover and let rise again, about 20 minutes. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove from baking sheet; cool on wire rack. Makes 1 loaf.