Our weekly loaf (or loaves) of sourdough bread have some added pizazz and crunch in the form of seeds! The flavour of the bread has definitely been enhanced with the new additions, and it’s probably even healthier than before.
Seed variety in this particular batch: Sesame seeds (white), flax seeds (brown), hemp seed
Other seeds I plan to try: Sesame seeds (black), chia seeds, poppy seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds…the possibilities are endless..
Trivia: Linseed oil is made from flax seeds…the same linseed oil used in oil painting to make the paints more fluid and glossy. Cool!
Also new to the weekly bread making process is the improvised couche. A couche is generally made from a stiff linen which allows the sourdough to keep its shape and height while proofing, also doing double duty by absorbing some of the moisture from the dough. My “couche” consists of a large plastic tupperware and a liberally floured linen cloth. Once the dough is in the container (seam-side up), I cover it with plastic wrap and the linen to prevent a hard ‘crust’ from forming. To encourage the dough to proof upwards as opposed to outwards, I reduce the width of the container by adding a water bottle to one side. Ghetto, yes…but does it work? Also yes!
I’m still working on getting my sourdoughs to actually be sour, but I think that comes with the maturity of the starter (aka Baz). He’s still only a few months old, and I’ve only been feeding him once a week, so he probably needs some more time to really develop the sour tang. Regardless, the seeds add a nuttier flavour and some additional texture to the plain old slice of bread.
C’mon, your mouth has to be watering at this picture:
Seeded Multigrain Sourdough
Adapted from Wild Yeast
Yield: 1 large loaf
100 g mixed seeds (40g sesame, 30g flax, 30g hemp)
35 g rolled oats (not instant)
86 g water
Final Dough Ingredients:
240 g flour
94 g whole wheat flour
41 g rye flour
227 g water (85F)
170 g mature 100%-hydration sourdough starter
11 g salt
All of the soaker
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the 3 flours, water and starter. Mix on low speed with a dough-hook until combined. Cover, and let rest for 30 minutes.
In a bowl, combine all of the soaker ingredients and let rest for 30 minutes.
Add the salt to the final dough mixture and mix on low speed to incorporate. Increase speed to medium and mix until a medium level of gluten development is achieved – about 3-4 minutes.
Add the soaker and mix on low speed until the soaker is evenly incorporated into the dough.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled container. Cover and ferment for 2.5 hours, with folds after the first 50 and 100 minutes.
Turn the dough into a lightly floured counter. Preshape into a ball and let rest, covered, for 30 minutes.
Shape the dough into a batard and place in a floured couche (or a linen-lined tupperware!), seam-side-up. Cover and let proof for about 2 – 2.5 hours at temperature of 75-85F. Dough is proofed when it passes the poke test – poke, and if the indentation comes back slowly and not all the way, then it’s ready.
Preheat the oven to 475F. You will also need steam during the initial phase of baking, so prepare for this now (as before, I have a tray at the bottom of my oven that heats up in the preheating phase).
Turn the dough onto a cornmeal dusted parchment-lined baking sheet (a baking stone would be great, but I don’t have one). Make a 3 slashes slightly off centre from the midline of the loaf (as in the pictures) to allow for oven spring.
Place the loaves into the oven, and pour water into the hot pan to create a steamy baking environment. Reduce the temperature to 450F. Bake for 12 minutes with steam, and another 20 minutes or so without steam. Then turn off the oven and leave the loaves in for another 10 minutes, with the door ajar.
Cool on a wire rack. (Do not slice until it reaches room temperature – use that self-control!)