German Sunflower Seed Bread Recipe


This German sunflower seed bread recipe makes a delicious loaf of rye-based bread which is infused with the earthy flavour of dry-roasted sunflower seeds. The recipe is inspired by Gerhard Kellner’s “Rustikale Brote aus deutschen Landen“. A great way to use sunflower seeds in bread baking!

German sunflower seed bread
German sunflower seed bread with Scottish smoked salmon

German sunflower seed bread recipe

On the day before baking

Prepare the sourdough

  • 90g cracked rye
  • 100g wholemeal rye flour
  • 290g water
  • 30g rye sourdough starter

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix thoroughly, cover and keep at room temperature for 16 to 18 hours.

Prepare the sunflower seed soaker

  • 100g sunflower seeds
  • 100g water

Dry-roast the sunflower seeds in a frying pan, then finely chop the seeds in a food processor. In a bowl, combine the chopped seeds with the water and cover for 16 to 18 hours.

On the day of baking

  • 480g sourdough
  • Sunflower seed soaker
  • 165g wholemeal rye flour
  • 135g wholemeal wheat flour
  • 70g white strong bread flour
  • 13g salt
  • For the tin: 1 tsp olive oil
  1. Combine all ingredients (except the oil) and knead for a few minutes.
  2. Place the dough into a bowl and cover.
  3. Keep at room temperature for about an hour.
  4. Grease a 30 cm loaf tin.
  5. Put the dough in the baking tin; use wet hands to distribute the dough evenly.
  6. Depending on the temperature in the room, the proofing process will take between four and ten hours (the warmer the room, the quicker the proofing).
  7. Preheat the oven to 250°C.
  8. Bake for 15 mins at 250°C, then reduce the heat to 180°C and bake for a further 40 minutes.
  9. Cool bread on a wire rack.

Delicious with smoked salmon and salads, enjoy!

A shout-out at this point also to Roland and Romana, loyal readers of TheBreadSheBakes  – thanks for your support!

German sunflower seed bread with salmon
German seed bread with rye flour and sunflower seeds
  • paemsn

    Hi Nadia, apologies for the late reply and thanks for getting in touch via the contact form as well. I found your message in the spam folder as you mentioned. I’m glad the recipe worked out well in the meantime and tanks for detecting the error here. I have now changed the sourdough quantity from previously 580g to 480g (you’ll get 510g but 30g go back into the fridge for the next bake). It doesn’t need to be completely accurate as tin-based recipes are quite forgiving 🙂 Glad it worked out well. All the best, Pam

  • paemsn

    Hi Nadia, thanks for our note! A longer rise boosts the sour flavour so you can adjust the sourness to a degree by controlling the temperature. The flavour will get progressively more acidic as time goes on. However, more starter usually makes a less sour sourdough. I found this article which explains the different factors quite well (although please ignore the bit about the baking soda – I wouldn’t want a chemical to destroy the naturalness of the sourdough) – All the best, Pam