Cookbook author Naomi Duguid named these moist, tender loaves for her mother, Robin, whose baking during Duguid’s childhood inspired the recipe.

2 cups warm water
1 cup milk, warmed
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
3 cups whole wheat flour
4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup roasted unsalted sunflower seeds
2 tablespoon anise (optional)

  • In a large bowl, combine the warm water and milk. Stir in the honey until dissolved. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the flours, salt and olive oil.
  • Knead lightly until a smooth, slightly sticky dough forms.
  • Transfer the dough to a very large oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise overnight at room temperature.
  • Punch down the dough and sprinkle it all over with the sunflower seeds and anise (optional). Scrape the dough out onto a generously floured work surface and knead it lightly, working the seeds.
  • Cut the dough into 2 equal pieces. Press each piece into a rectangle about 8 by 10 inches. Starting at a long end, roll up the dough, tucking in the sides neatly. Transfer the dough to the buttered loaf pan, seam down. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  • Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until the top of the dough is just below the rim of the pans, about 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly sprinkle the tops of the loaves with water and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the heat down to 375°F and bake the loaves for 20 minutes. Rotate the pans and bake for 25 minutes longer, or until the loaves sound hollow when turned out of the pans and tapped on the bottoms.
  • Turn the loaves out of the pans and let them cool on a wire rack.
  • Serve the bread warm or at room temperature.

Source: Annual Cookbook 2005

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