Friday, May 11, 2012

Flax seed Sourdough, what a hit

Today I’m baking with Flax seeds. I like the nutty taste of these tiny brown seeds and if only part is true about the benefits, Flax seeds are also amazingly healthy.

I just finished mixing the dough and left it for an hour to autolyse, when we had guests. Every year after Songkran, Thai New Year, some of the girls we help with our foundation Little Sisters come and pay their respect. We started a foundation to help poor Thai girls to go to school every day. Because we think education gives a possibility to take control of your own life and a possibility to make your own choices in the direction of your future. This is what Little Sisters wants for the girls.

The girls came with two of their teachers, who became our friends. They brought a big basked with fruit for us. Even though we know one another for a few years already it’s still exiting for the girls to visit us in our house. Normally we see them at their school or at their home when we go to visit them.
After we talked for a while, all the girls poured water over our hands and gave us good wishes for coming year. It’s a nice ceremony that shows respect for each other. With mangos from our garden they went home. And I went back to the kitchen to see what happened during the 3 hour autolyse.

I changed 6 things with this recipe:
  1. I used 100 grams more water because I soaked the flax seeds in boiling water and when cooled enough added the water too.
  2. I used rye flour and added whole wheat bran, instead of only rye flour.
  3. When the teachers and girls left the first dough had an autolyse of more than 3 hours.
  4. After bulk fermentation I gently formed a kind of batard with the help of flour and dough cutter without pre-shape placed it directly in the floured banneton.
  5. I placed a wet towel (instead of a plastic bag) on top of the banneton and let the dough proof.
  6. I baked the loaf at approx. 230°C. My oven only heats from the bottom and to get a brown color on the bread it needs more heat. And it’s very difficult to adjust the temperature without a proper thermometer.

I will bake it this way again because the result is GREAT. The crumb is very soft and it smells nutty and is slightly sour, with a crusty crust.

This is what I used:
400 gram white flour (200 gram All Purpose and 200 gram Bread flour)
55 gram rye flour 
55 gram whole wheat bran
150 gram active sourdough starter
300-325 gram luke warm water
1 pinch dry yeast
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon  flax seeds (soaked in 100 gram boiling water)
11 gram salt
1 tablespoon malt powder or liquid (optional) (Now I see I forgot this)

This is what I did:
Put 2 tablespoons of flax seed in a small bowl and add 100 gram of boiling water. Stir and leave to cool. Flax seed gives a slimy layer when you add it to water.    
In a mixing bowl put the flours, water, sourdough, yeast, flax seeds and soaking water, malt powder, olive oil. Mix until all ingredients just combine. Let the dough rest (autolyse) for 1 hour. (I did 3 hours)

Add the salt and continue mixing until the dough reaches medium development of gluten development (do the window pane test).

Transfer the dough to a slightly oiled container covered with plastic. Ferment at room temperature for 2.5 hours, folding at 50 minutes and 100 minutes.

It’s rather wet dough, 81% hydration incl. starter and 78% without the starter. This wet dough needs gently handling. I kind of shaped it with my dough cutter and flour into a batard. I very gently placed my hands underneath the dough and softly dropped it in a floured banneton. There was much more dough than my banneton could handle, but I went for it.
I placed a wet tea towel on top and left it to proof to double in size. This takes about 1 – 1.30 hour.  

After 30 minutes I pre heated the oven with bread pan with hot stones for steaming.

I boiled water for steaming and poured it in a long neck glass bottle. I very gently turned the loaf on parchment paper on a peel. Quickly slashed it and placed it on the hot baking stone.
I baked it at approx. 230°C for 12 minutes with steam and another 35 without steam. When the bread has a dark brown color turn the oven off. Leave the loaf for another 5 minutes with the door ajar.

Let it cool on wire rack. Enjoy it like we did!

Adapted from Cibo vino e parole 
I send this to Susan’s YeastSpotting and Heather of Bake Your Own Bread 


  1. Nice to meet you!! And I'm very glad that you made my bread . I'm now your follower !! Ciao
    I hope you will became my !!

  2. Hello Anna, nice to meet you too. Your bread is very high on my list of delicious breads, thanks for the recipe. I'm your follower too.

  3. Hi Connie, thank you so much for the visit!
    I have been hanging here every now and then and totally love your posts. This loaf looks like a total success! I love the tall airy crumb and the color. I can only imagine the wonderful nutty taste. I might actually give this one loaf a try, I am curious to see how it would come out in my old oven.
    ps: how do I subscribe to your posts by email? would love to stay in touch.

    1. Hi Barbara,
      it's a joy visiting your blog. The Sockerbullar must taste as delicious as they look on your blog.
      My oven has only heat from the bottom and it's difficult to adjust the right temperature. But I have a granite pizza stone which helps a lot for oven spring. So, I'm pretty sure this loaf will turn out beautiful in your old oven.
      As far as I know: my followers get a message of my latest post in their blog account. So when you open your blog account, you'll find them?
      As soon as I know how to automatically send my post I'll let you know.

  4. There's something really wonderful about flax seed, isn't there? I find myself adding it (either ground or whole) to almost every loaf I make these days.

    The hand-washing ceremony sounds lovely.

    1. Hi Elizabeth,
      the more I read about flax the more I use it. Also because I don't want it to go rancid. I keep it in the refrigerator, it will last longer.
      I read you have the most benefits of flax when you grind them and directly add them to the dough. Don't leave them grind in the air, this harms them.

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  6. Great looking bread!
    I bake flaxseed bread regularly, and though the whole seeds, even when soaked are less digestible than ground seeds, the bread looks so much nicer with the little black dots.
    Do you sometimes use an overnight cold fermentation, too?
    The transition from life in Europe to Thailand must have been quite an adventure, more so than from Europe to Maine. And the Little Sister Project is a really wonderful thing.
    Happy baking,

  7. Great post! this looks delicious and healthy.Definitely organic flaxseed bread is low in carbs, making it a good choice to have in bread when you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

  8. This is obviously somebody who posts links to their products on blogs - I got one on my blog, too.