My three year anniversary for The Perfect Loaf just passed and I felt like it was only fitting for me to revisit an old idea, an old recipe of mine for a seeded sourdough I posted a long, long time ago. I make this whole wheat version intermittently and I do enjoy it, but I wanted to explore some new flavors, textures, and techniques. I mean, after baking hundreds of loaves since the beginning days of this site my process has changed and evolved quite a bit, perhaps it was time to take a new look at this old favorite.
Of course, there are endless combinations of seeds and spices one can bake into a loaf of bread, but finding just the right balance of flavors and textures can prove to be a challenging task. Personally, I find a lot of the seeded sourdough I try to be a little heavy with seeds; conceivably I’m just more sensitive to the deep umami flavors of sesame, the spicy nature of flax or the anise-like flavor of fennel, but I like to keep it light. Of course, there is a time and place for hearty bread, but I like my seeded sourdough a little more like a gentle peck and less like a heavy, flapping punch.
There’s no denying the additional health benefits seeds bring to bread, and that was one of the prompting factors for me to revisit the idea, but I also wanted to play with seed flavors instead of using them as an afterthought. Some seeds really work well together to play off of each other’s flavors, working in concert to give rise to an overall sense of good taste. The seeds chosen here are those that I personally feel go well together, but there are so many other combinations to be had — if desired, one can endlessly play the seed alchemist.