Bread shaped like a flower

Sunflower Bread

I love to try different presentations for bread and I also like going out of the beaten track so when I saw this bread on a French blog a few weeks ago, I went “wow!”. This bread is a show bread, it’s a kind of bread you want to make when you invite people over for a nice meal and wait for the amazed look on their face when they see it. And it’s not that hard to make either. It needs a little bit of patience but with this step-by-step, you will be able to reproduce this beauty with ease and it’s fun! Oh and it doesn’t just look good, it’s gorgeous too! I love peeling each petal as a slice of bread and I even used it to make fancy sandwiches for tea!


250g milk
125g water
15g fresh yeast or 7 g of dried fast action yeast
100ml of oil (I used mild olive oil but sunflower oil seems appropriate :-) )
700g strong white bread flour
2 tsp sea salt
30g melted butter
1 egg yolk + 1 tbsp milk for the eggwash
Sunflower, sesame, poppy seeds for the decoration


  1. Non Thermomix: mix the water, milk and oil and warm in the microwave for a few seconds until luke warm (do not heat it too much or it will kill the yeast). Thermomix version: place in the bowl along with the yeast and mix 3 min/37C/speed 3. Skip step 2.
  2. Mix in the yeast until dissolved.
  3. Add the flour, salt and knead (use a stand mixer with the dough hook, a bread machine or by hand) until the dough is soft and non stick. Thermomix version: mix 20 sec/speed 3 then knead 1min30.
  4. Cover with a wet tea towel and leave in your oven slightly heated at the lowest temperature so it reaches about 40C, then turned off. Leave for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  5. Take out of the bowl and cut the dough in half. Reserve one half and cut the other in 5 equal portions of dough.
  6. Roll each one to a 20cm circle. Brush 4 with melted butter (pic 1 below) and stack them on top of each other. Do not brush the 5th one with butter and roll it slightly bigger so it covers the stack.
  7. Place on the stack as shown in the picture 2 below (at this stage, I moved the stack on the baking tray covered with my silicone mat or use greaseproof paper).
  8. Using the flat end of a dough scraper (or the back of the blade of a knife), cut the stack in 8 triangles but don’t go all the way to the edge, keep a good inch uncut (pic 3).
  9. Now fold each triangle outward (pic 4).
  10. Now, take the reserved dough half. Cut in 4 equal pieces and reserve one (this will be the center of the flower) (pic 5). Reform a ball with the 3 remaining pieces and cut in 5 (pic 6).
  11. Roll in 15cm circles. Stack them as previously, only brushing 4 with butter and the last one being sligtly bigger than the others.
  12. Place that stack in the hole of the first stack (it should fit quite neatly but don’t worry if there’s a little gap: pic 7).
  13. Cut in 8 triangles as previously, making sure each cut is bang in the center of the petals in the first stack (pic 8). Fold outward: the new petals should sit between 2 of the first stack’s petals.
  14. Roll the last bit of dough between your palms to form a ball and place in the center. Cover with the wet tea towel and return to the warm oven for a second proving (about 1 hour).
  15. Brush the dough with some eggwash and sprinkle with seeds (pic 9).
  16. Bake at 200C for 10 minutes, then reduce to 180C and bake for a further 20 minutes.