Monday, July 9, 2012

Sourdough Seed Bread

There's a new thing to join; BYOB - Featured Bread Blog. I like the idea of meeting another baker and digging in her or his recipes. This way I can be inspired and learn from them. BYOB chooses the baker and I choose the recipe. 

I enjoyed visiting the first BYOB -Featured Bread Blog: Cathy’s blog Bread Experience

There’s so much Cathy has baked over the years it’s hard to choose a recipe. I wanted to bake with my sourdough starter which made my choice easier. Next steps I took, was looking at titles, ingredients and photos. I try not to judge the bread by the cover (photo) but…. Again it’s difficult because there’re a lot of good looking loaves to choose from. Then I just choose the ingredients I wanted to taste in my bread the next morning for breakfast. This one came out: Seed Bread from Jeffrey Hamelman’s book BREAD. 

The other thing I noticed; Cathy takes a lot of pictures during the process of baking bread. I remembered when I was new at baking my own bread this helped me a lot. And, still I like to look at all those photos. Thank you Cathy for sharing so many recipes and photos, and let’s not forget to thank Jeffrey Hamelman. We enjoyed our Sourdough Seed Bread very much.

When you taste and smell this bread you want to make it too!

Sourdough Seed Bread

It's adapted from Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes by Jeffrey Hamelman

Cathy used less sunflower seeds and added a bit more sesame seeds. I used the same amount as Jeffrey Hamelman in his book.

Yields: 2 big loaves
Levain build: 12 – 18 hours
Soaker: 12 – 18 hours
Mixing: 6 minutes
Fermentation: 2.5 hours
Stretch/Fold: 50 and 100 minutes
Shape: 30 minutes
Proof at roomtemp.: 1.5 hours
Proof in refrigerator: overnight
Prepare steam/bake: 1 hour
Bake 230°C: 40-45 minutes

This is what I used:
Bakers formula        %        grams

Flour                      100     922
Water                     75      694
Salt                        2        18

Bread flour: 136 g
Water: 170 g
Mature Culture 100% hydration: 28 g

Flaxseeds: 62 g      (20 soaker and 42 grinded)
Water: 190 g

Final Dough
Bread flour: 698 g
Rye flour: 74 g
Sunflower kernels, toasted: 108 g
Sesame seeds, toasted: 54 g
Wheat bran, toasted: 10 g     (I added this extra)
Water: 320 g
Salt: 18 g
Soaker: 252 g
Liquid Levain: 306 g     (keep 2 Tbs for next time)

This is what I did:
Liquid Levain:  the evening before (12 to 16 hours) I mixed the ingredients for the liquid levain. I left it in a plastic container with a lid for the night in my kitchen. It’s probably warmer than the adviced 21°C in our house because the next morning after about 10 hours the levain looked like it was fully fed and ready to drop. 

Flaxseed Soaker:
 after the levain I poured 20 grams of flax seed in a plastic container filled with 190 grams of water and closed the lid. I choose to use 20 grams for soaking and the remaining 42 grams I grinded for the final dough the next morning. 
Baking day: first I roasted the sunflower kernels, sesame seeds and some wheat germs until golden. When the seed cooled off I was ready for the final dough. 

The final dough: I added all of the ingredients, except salt and the seeds, in the mixing bowl of a spiral mixer and mixed until all was well combined. In the mean time we had breakfast. After 30 – 60 minutes I added salt and the seeds. The flaxseeds float in a kind of gelatin water, that’s normal. I mixed on first speed for 3 minutes and on second speed for another 3 minutes or so. The dough should have moderate gluten development.
Bulk Fermentation: transfer the dough to a slightly oiled container, cover and leave for 2 1/2 hours. Stretch and fold the dough two times at 50-minute intervals.
Shaping: I divided it into two pieces and loosely pre shaped into balls. Covered with a towel and left for 15 minutes to rest.
I choose to make one round and one batard shaped loaf. I shaped them firmly but gently. Transfered them in the floured bannetons, covered with a moist towel and place them in a plastic bag.

Proofing: I proofed the loaves for 1,5 hours. Because of the warm/hot temperature in our house I watch them to prevent over proofing.

Pre heating: I pre heated the oven to 230°C and placed the steam pan with stones on the bottom of the oven.

Preparing and Baking: When the oven is hot enough I boil water and pour it in a glass bottle with a long neck. I pour some boiling water on the hot stones and quickly close the oven door to keep the steam in the oven.
I place the loaves on parchment on a peel and score them as quick as I can. Transfer them to the oven and quickly slide the loaves on the baking stone. After some minutes I add some more water to get more steam.
I baked the loaves 12 minutes with steam and quickly removed the parchment paper and the steam pan. I baked the loaves for another 33 minutes. Bake the loaves until they are nicely brown colored.
Cooling: Let the loaves cool completely on a wire rack.

I send this to Susan’s YeastSpotting and to Bake Your Own Bread 


  1. What a fantastic choice, Connie. This loaf is beautiful. I love that it's studded with seeds, and it looks like just the way I'd love to start my day, as well. Cathy definitely does have a ton of recipes to choose from. I may have to add this one to my to-make list, as well! Beautiful loaves. =)

    1. Thank you Heather, I'm happy with these loaves too and they taste so great.
      Good choice to pick Cathy for our first BYOB - featured bread blogs!

  2. I still have not gotten into sourdough breads and always admire those who do. Your loaves are just perfect, great job!

    1. Ones you started with sourdough you don't want to stop. Even when I'm not actually baking a bread I'm still feeding my sourdough and I love it.
      Maybe next month?

  3. That's a beautiful loaf! I really love using seeds for making bread, especially sesame seeds, they give that lovely delicious aroma! I have a recipe bookmarked from Cathy's to try, hopefully I'll be able to make it on time!

    1. Thank you Joyce, we also hope you are on time to join us with a recipe of Cathy at BYOB.
      I also love to work in my garden and I enjoyed your "Little Potted Garden".

  4. I've always been delighted with seeds in my loaves.
    This is really an exceptional looking loaf. You make it sound like a gem. Gorgeous photo that 2nd one!

    1. Thank you Tanna, what kind words for these loaves. I love seeds in my bread too, especially sunflower kernels, sesame, flax, poppy. Next time I'll try Thai holy basil seed, because when soaked in water the seeds become gelatinous.

  5. Hi Connie, this loaf is really my kind of loaf - with healthier ingredients such as rye flour and seeds. I do enjoy a sourdough loaf and look forward to trying to make one soon. Thanks for the photos, it helps to see the process.

    1. Hi MIch,
      we also love healthy bread. Good luck with baking this and using sourdough. I hope to see your bread too.

  6. Hi Connie, read about you and was surprised your thoughts are so similar to mine. I'm living life rather close to your description [so beautifully expressed], which means I'm in the right track of mind. We share the same passion, making most things on our own. My hubby can have bread 3 meals a day.

    1. Hi Kimmy, good to see there are many more people who like another way of living. Peter also could eat bread whole day. But, Thai food is so delicious we love to alternate them.

  7. Hey! just a little tip from baker to baker, id go check out sourdoughs international for some bada** sourdough starter. i got the san francisco and OMG way good, came out great.
    Happy baking!