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Sunflower-shaped Bread

This impressive-looking bread is much easier to make than it looks!  It can easily be adapted by replacing the filling with alternative sweet or savoury fillings.

1 kg shop-bought bread dough

Spinach, Spring Onion & Cheese Filling
400 g baby spinach leaves, rinsed
125 ml spring onion, thinly sliced
10 ml crushed garlic
5 ml salt
50 g parmesan, Grana Padano or Pecorino cheese, grated
50 ml cake flour

Egg Glaze
1 large egg
10 ml water

  1. To make the filling, place the spinach, spring onion, garlic and salt in a large saucepan and sauté gently until wilted.
  2. Transfer the spinach mixture to a chopping board and chop it finely.
  3. Transfer the spinach mixture to a mixing bowl and add the cheese.
  4. Add the cake flour if the mixture looks wet.  Mix well and set it aside to cool.
  5. Place two Wizbake baking sheets on a work surface and place the dough on the sheets.
  6. Use a pastry cutter and cut the dough into two equal pieces.
  7. Use a rolling pin and roll both pieces of dough into circles (about 50 cm in diameter) and set it aside.
  8. Pre-heat the oven to 170º C.
  9. Combine the egg and water in a small mixing bowl and brush it all over one of the dough circles with a pastry brush.
  10. Scoop a few tablespoons of the filling into the middle of the dough circle.
  11. Scoop the rest of the filling 2 cm away from the edge of the circle (see photo below).
  12. Cover the first  dough circle with the 2nd dough circle and cut away the excess dough.
  13. Use cupped hands and gently press into the dough around the filling to get rid of any air between the two layers of dough.
  14. Pinch the edges of the two circles lightly together.
  15. Use a pastry cutter and cut the dough at 2 cm intervals so that it looks like the petals of a flower (see photo below).
  16. Leave a circle (10 to 15 cm in diameter) in die middle of the dough.
  17. Lift up one petal at a time and twist it to the right.  Do the same with the rest of the petals (see photo below)
  18. Brush the dough all over with the egg glaze.
  19. Sprinkle the poppy seeds onto the mound in the centre of the dough.
  20. Transfer the Wizbake sheet with the dough to a baking sheet and place it in the oven.
  21. Bake the bread for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch.
  22. Transfer the bread to a cooling rack to cool slightly before serving.
Notes
The bread can also be baked in a Silikomart Sunflower mould (see photo below).  Click here for the recipe for the Milk Pudding dessert pictured below.
Sunflower Mould
Bread
Cut the dough into two equal pieces
Sunflower1
Use a rolling pin and roll both pieces of dough into circles (about 50 cm in diameter).
Sunflower2
Scoop a few tablespoons of the filling into the middle of the dough circle. Scoop the rest of the filling 2 cm from the edge.
Sunflower3
Brush the dough with the egg glaze.
Sunflower4
Cover the first dough circle with the 2nd dough circle and cut away the excess dough.
Sunflower5
Use a pastry cutter and cut the dough at 2 cm intervals so that it looks like the petals of a flower (see photo below).
Sunflower7
Lift up one petal at a time and twist it to the right. Do the same with the rest of the petals. Brush the dough all over with egg glaze and sprinkle the poppy seeds onto the mound in the centre of the dough.
Sunflower
Serve your sunflower-shaped bread and wait for the complements!