Seeded Sourdough

My three year anniversary for The Perfect Loaf just passed and I felt like it was only fitting for me to (sort of) 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.

the perfect loaf seeded sourdoughThere’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 may other combinations to be had — if desired one can endlessly play the seed alchemist.

I’m not a big fan of caraway (it seems like this is a very polarizing flavor) and that’s why it’s not used here, but feel free to experiment with whatever seeds you might have in your pantry: caraway, poppy, white sesame, pumpkin, hemp and so on. Fennel is probably my favorite seed of them all, the bright, zesty flavor seems to go well with most things I make in the kitchen and I had to include it here. On a related note, I was given some olive oil infused with fennel and I find my mind constantly gravitating to it — I just can’t get enough. I’ve been pouring it on toast, bruschetta, salads and even vanilla ice cream (try it!). Since I’ve been on that kick I already had it in my mind to include it in this formula from the onset.seeded sourdough mixedI know lemon zest is overused in baking and probably included in places where it really isn’t warranted, but it’s added here to help compliment the multitude of seed flavors in this bread. I found that sporadic bites would display a quick and mellow lemon flavor which was a welcome surprise amidst the backdrop of the deep seed flavors throughout. If you don’t have lemons on hand or feel the flavor isn’t necessary then feel free to omit the zest, of course it’s up to you.

I baked this bread once with roasted & unsalted sunflower seeds and then here, with raw sunflower (not roasted & unsalted) and found the flavor to be commensurate. Whichever you find in your pantry go for it, no need to buy anything new at the market.flax, lemons and Japanese oroshigane

seeded sourdough mixingWhen mixing this dough with my hands I often found myself pausing to look at the snaking sea of black sesame, the golden, gritty semolina and the garish shine of lemon peel and thought to myself: this is going to taste really, really good.

Flour Selection

Lately I’ve been making more and more fresh pasta at home that is primarily comprised of coarse semolina flour, a flour that’s milled from durum wheat which has a higher than typical protein content. It’s a deep, luxurious yellow color and is quite granular, very similar to table salt. I like using this for pasta as it gives each bite a little more chew to it, a little density. When rolling thin, for ravioli for example, this is perfect because you have what is essentially two sheets of pasta pressed together with a filling and if the two sheets are too thick on their own you’ll end up tasting and chewing the pasta more than anything — you want the pasta to be thin but chewy/strong.semolina and seed soakerFor this bread I added a fairly small percentage of semolina but the taste and texture is noticeable. It adds a little sweetness to help compliment all the robust seeds and many say semolina helps attain a really thin and crunchy crust. I can say my outcome here doesn’t dispute that — the crust on my bakes have been incredibly thin and cracker-like, just how I like it. If you don’t have semolina at hand (durum works, of course) then substituting the semolina percentage in my formula for a stoneground or roller milled whole wheat. This replacement would help add an additional level of flavor and strength to the dough and work quite well.

Seeded Sourdough with Semolina


Total dough weight: 1850g
Pre-fermented flour: 5.50%
Hydration: 79% (not including seed soaker hydration)
Yield: 2 loaves

Levain Build

Weight Ingredient Baker’s Percentage
25g Mature liquid starter (100% hydration) 50%
25g Giusto’s Stoneground Whole Wheat 50%
25g Giusto’s Artisan Bread Flour 50%
50g H2O @ room temperature 100%

Dough Formula

Target final dough temperature (FDT) is 78ºF.

Note that the baker’s percentages listed below are with respect to the final dough ingredients and do not take into account the levain.

Weight Ingredient Baker’s Percentage
673g Giusto’s Artisan Bread Flour (unbleached, malted flour, ~11.5% protein) 76.46%
140g Semolina (coarse milled Durum wheat) 15.87%
67g Giusto’s Stoneground Whole Wheat 7.67%
684g H2O @ 90ºF 77.78%
19g Fine sea salt 2.43%
128g Mature, liquid levain 14.55%
37g Golden Flax Seed 4.23%
37g Toasted Dark Sesame Seed 4.23%
14g Fennel Seed 1.59%
51g Raw Sunflower Seed (not roasted or salted) 5.82%
Zest of two lemons (optional)

seeded sourdough bulk fermentation


1. Levain – 9:00 a.m.

Build the liquid levain (everything listed in the Levain Build section above) in the morning and store somewhere around 75-78ºF ambient.

2. Autolyse – 3:00 p.m.

Mix flour and water (reserve 100g water for mix, later) in a bowl until all dry bits are hydrated. Cover bowl and store somewhere warm (around 75-78ºF) for 2 hours.

3. Prepare Seeds – 3:10 p.m.

After you’ve mixed your autolyse, prepare the seed mixture. Turn on your oven to 350ºF and let it preheat while you measure out all the called for seeds.

Once your oven is preheated spread the dark sesame (only these) on a quarter baking sheet and toast in the oven at 350ºF for 10 minutes. Keep an eye at the end of this to prevent any burning. Remove and set somewhere to cool.

Set a kettle of water to boil on the stove. Once it’s just about boiling pour 150g of hot water (not boiling) over the flax seeds in a bowl and let sit to cool. Once this water is cool to the touch, mix in the cooled sesame and fennel. Let this mixture soak until called for in the bulk fermentation step.

Note that I didn’t incorporate the raw sunflower seeds into the water soaker, you could do this if desired1.

4. Mix – 5:00 p.m.

By the time we will use the seed mixture they will have absorbed the entire 150g of water they were soaking in. Knowing this, you should expect the dough to be a little more slack later in bulk when the seeds are incorporated as they start to release a little water into the dough. To combat this we will build additional strength in this dough at the start.

Add the 128g levain to the top of your dough and using some of the reserved 100g water wet your hands and mix the levain in thoroughly.

I chose to do slap and fold for about 5 minutes, just until the dough starts to show signs of a smooth surface and it’s catching some air. If you aren’t comfortable with slap/fold method, or don’t like it, you can do stretch and folds in the bowl until your dough tightens up and slightly hard to stretch out and fold over. Medium development.

When finished mixing, sprinkle the salt on top of the dough and use the remaining water to help dissolve. Pinch through a few times and fold the dough over itself to help incorporate.

Transfer dough to a tub or thick-walled bowl for bulk fermentation.

5. Bulk Fermentation – 5:10 p.m. to 8:50 p.m.

At 76-78ºF ambient temperature bulk fermentation should go for a little less than 4 hours. Keep an eye on the dough, for me fermentation was moving rather rapidly and the dough became extremely puffed up (see preshape photo below).

Perform a total of 4 sets of stretch and folds during bulk, spaced out by 30 minutes. If the dough feels extremely slack to you at the end of the 4th set, do another set for a total of 5. After the fourth or fifth set of stretch and folds let the dough rest for the remainder of bulk. Keep an eye on the dough nearing the three to three and a half hour mark during bulk fermentation, it will rise quite a bit and could rise up all the way to your plastic or towel covering your bowl. It helps to use a larger sized bowl for this dough!

After the second set of stretch and folds (1 hour into bulk) add in the seed soaker and zest of two lemons (optional). I’ll typically do my folds, spread the seeds evenly on the top of the dough and then with wet hands massage it gently into the dough. Fold it in thoroughly without being overly rough.

6. Divide & Preshape – 8:50 p.m.

Dump out the dough from your bulk container onto an un-floured work surface. Pre-shape the dough into two round boules and let rest 20 minutes uncovered.

I want to warn you that the dough can be very sticky here at this point. Use plenty of flour on your hands and rely mostly on your bench knife to bring the dough into two taut boules.

You can see the significant activity in my dough, it was seriously jiggly and quite puffed.seeded sourdough preshape

7. Shape – 9:10 p.m.

To coat the outside of your loaves with seeds (optional) as I’ve done, lay out a towel next to the shaping area that’s covered with a seed mixture. Take equal parts raw black sesame (don’t use the toasted ones, these will bake in the oven on the outside), flax and fennel, and mix together in a bowl. Spread this mixture out in the center of the towel evenly into a thin but cohesive layer. I didn’t include sunflower seeds in this mixture as I prefer the look of this bread with only small seeds on the exterior — personal preference. After the dough is shaped we will quickly roll the top of each batard or boule in this mixture.

I prefer to shape these as batards and my shaping method is as follows:

  1. Flip pre-shaped round
  2. Fold bottom up to about half way
  3. Fold left side over to about 3/4 to the right
  4. Fold right side over to cover left
  5. Stretch top up & away from center and fold down to about half (you’ll now have a “letter”)
  6. Grab a little of the dough at the sides near the top and stretch it over the center so the dough crosses. Imagine lacing up a shoe where you first grab your laces and cross them over
  7. Repeat 3 times from top to bottom (the result will look like a laced up shoe)
  8. Take the bottom and gently roll the dough up to the top and try to seal it slightly when done rolling

Here is a video of Chad Robertson shaping, he does things a bit differently but overall I use the same process.

Once you’ve shaped your dough lightly spritz the top with a water mister, this helps the seeds stick to the exterior. Then, using your bench knife scoop up your dough and invert it so the seam side is facing up onto the towel with the seed mixture. Roll it around gently to coat and then transfer seam-side-up to your final proofing basket.

Coating the outside is a little hectic at first, but you get the hang of it after a few tries.

8. Rest & Proof – 9:15 p.m.

Cover your baskets with plastic and then retard in the refrigerator at 38ºF for strictly 10 hours. Even at such cool temperatures this dough can quickly overproof so keep an eye on it in the fridge in the morning. By the morning my dough was very gassy and had risen quite a bit in the fridge.

9. Bake – Next Morning: Preheat oven at 6:15am, Bake at 7:15 a.m.

Preheat oven for one hour at 500ºF.

Scoring this bread can be difficult because the seeds form a hard crust on the outside. Get the blade into the dough and move quickly down to make a score. If the blade slips out of the cut just continue where it left off and keep it going.

To make a double-score as you see below, make two straight, vertical slashes on the top of the dough. The top one starts near the top-left of the dough and goes down halfway, the second one starts a little higher than where the first one left off and goes down straight almost to the bottom of the loaf. To visualize this hold your two index fingers out in front of you so the tops of your fingers are at the same height. Then shift your right hand down until your right fingernail lines up with your left finger’s middle joint — your two scores are the entire length of your index fingers.

Bake the loaves at 500ºF for 20 minutes, then remove the steaming pans from inside the oven. Turn the oven down to 450ºF and bake for an additional 30-35 minutes until done to your liking. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for at least 1-2 hours.

I steamed my oven in my usual way, described here in my post on how to steam your home oven for baking.


This seeded sourdough is such a great departure from weekly whole wheat or white sourdough, it brings deep flavors and interest to each slice. The interior bakes to a custard-like texture while the crunch from the semolina-infused crust and densely woven seed mixture gives a wonderful contrast. When toasted I find the flavors actually amply further and the bread, specifically the crumb, takes on another level of brittleness that crackles constantly. It’s exemplary with good quality cultured butter and cheeses of all types (more below).


seeded sourdough crustThe dark, tawny crust is so thin and crunchy it feels like this bread was wrapped tightly in a splintery cracker. The semolina has to play a role here, as does the high hydration and further imparted by the seed soaker. Speaking of seeds, the ominous look of the dark seeded exterior is a sight to behold. I showed these loaves to a few family members and their initial reaction is always: “wow that’s beautiful.” I have to say though, the only downside to these seeds and cracker-like crust: a messy kitchen after slicing. Worth it!

The crust has to be one of my favorite parts of this bread, but then there’s the crumb.


seeded sourdough crumbI mentioned at the beginning of this post that finding the right texture for this type of bread can be challenging. I went heavy with the proof and pushed it as far as I felt possible. The dough was incredibly gassy and light, and this shows here in the interior. The entire loaf was very well fermented, extremely tender and gelatinized through and through. I found that the soft, succulent interior of this bread works really well with the seeds and crust.


When you first see the outside of one of these loaves from the oven you might think this bread is going to be way too flavor-forward, but as I said in the beginning I wasn’t looking for that with this formula.  The loaf looks imposing, yes, even the interior, but when you taste it you’ll see it’s more subtle than initial thoughts might indicate. Not including seeds like caraway the loaf has just nudges of the seed flavors but nothing overpowering.

As mentioned earlier, I had a slice spread with a mixture of goat cheese, crushed pink peppercorn, lemon zest and a drizzle of amabile extra virgin olive oil2 that was just out of this world. The hearty flavors of the seeds was balanced by the citrus flavors, mellow goat cheese and fruity olive oil — I could live on this.

seeded sourdough and goat cheese


I have to say I really like this reworking of my seeded sourdough, perhaps even more so than my original. Maybe I have learned a thing or two baking relentlessly for the past 3 years afterall?

Buon appetito!

  1. I’m not sure why I didn’t include them, but I don’t feel like they needed soaking

  2. Olive oil thats cured in stone cisterns with a hint of mineral and fruit flavors

  • SimonHea

    Cheers Maurizio and happy third anniversary. Keep up the brilliant work and here’s to many more years!

    • Thanks so much I really appreciate that! No signs of me slowing down 🙂

      Happy baking!

  • jinal contractor

    Congratulations on 3rd and wish you many more perfect loaves to come. Absolutely love the look of this bake. I really want to try it at my next bake..let’ya know.

    • Thanks Jinal! I messaged you on Instagram but let me know how you like this bake, I really love the flavors of these seeds, the lemon and semolina. Happy baking!

  • Erica

    Hi Maurizio

    Lovely recipe, as usual. I couldn’t see in the notes where you add your levain. I assume it is added with the flour and water for autolyse?

    Kind regards


    • Thanks, Erica!

      Oops, forgot to add the levain bit in. No, please mix in the levain in the “Mix” step. A traditional autolyse is always with just water and flour (no salt or levain). I’ve fixed the post and thanks for spotting that!

      • Erica

        Thanks Maurizio! I was a bit concerned I was just having a “senior moment”!

  • cherstuff

    Thanks so much for this. The night before you posted it as I was feeding my starter before turning in for the night, I was thinking about what kind of bread I wanted to make the next day. I had some semolina left from a bake a couple of weeks back and since we had really enjoyed the bread I wanted to make something using semolina, but not the same bread as last time. I imagined a loaf with whole wheat and semolina in balance and something else. I never got to the something else. It was fun to get up and see your post, which completed the something else. I changed the percentages and the seed mix and made larger loaves – not because I think my ideas are better than yours (ha!! Not even close to possible) but just because that is the way I usually roll. It is wonderful to have your experience to jump off from. I truly appreciate your guidance and support. Thanks so much.

  • cherstuff

    I thought I wrote a message yesterday but I don’t see it. Odd. I wanted to thank you for this recipe. The night before you posted it I was feeding my starter and thinking about what to bake next. I had some semolina left from Tartine’s Fennel and Semolina recipe and since we had loved that (and I kinda like the pretty golden crumb) I wanted to use it again. Plus I had some freshly milled whole wheat. This recipe added some other thoughts at just the right time. My bread is a little different from this in flour proportions and seeds but turned out really nicely. So thank you. I really appreciate your thoughtful writing and the conclusions you draw – so helpful. Your guidance and support are amazing helps.

    Congrats on three years of this beautiful site!

    • I do see your other post! It’s right below this one, strange (I’ll reply here).

      What an great serendipitous outcome! I think you taking my recipe as inspiration and building your own is the best part of all this — that’s what I hope to do with these posts: inspire new ideas. It sounds like your mods came out really well and I’m happy to hear that! I’m eager to explore more ideas with semolina, it’s fantastic flour to have around and can not only be used for bread but pasta, double win.

      I’m glad this post provided some inspiration at just the right time 🙂 Thanks so much for the kind words and the congratulations — here’s to another 3 years!

  • Nigel Bamford

    Excellent recipe, Maurizio, which I’ve just baked (with only minor changes to the flour and seed mixes) and it’s turned out beautifully. I’m under strict instructions to remember where the recipe came from because it went down so well at home.

    • Awesome, thanks for the feedback! Now that we are all out of this bread I find myself missing it, will have to remedy that.

      I like a little diastatic malt added to my mix as well, usually it’s already in the flour I’m using but if not dried options can be found online. It gives the crust a little more color and helps fermentation. I typically shoot for 0.50 – 2.0% or so for my formulae.

      Thanks again and happy baking!

  • Wilsden

    Hi Maurizio, I love the idea of this seeded loaf recipe and will give it a try asap.
    I have been using a version of my own that has 4 tablespoons of LSA [Linseed, Sunflower and Almond] in a fine ground mix. My loaf has 450 gm of bakers flour and 50gm of whole wheat and 70% hydration plus levain and salt. There is a course grind of the same mix but I find that it does not rise as well, I think the rough cut seeds destroy the gluten strands.
    Any way, this mix gives a really nutty flavor to the bread, especially when toasted, I some times add sesame to the outside for additional flavor, but as you said, it leads to a messy kitchen when cutting those crusty loaves.
    Love your post, keep up the good work, thanks from Down Under.

    • Sounds good! I really like this loaf, fantastic flavors in here.

      I like that combination idea, sounds really flavorful. I haven’t tried baking with linseed or almond before, need to get ahold of some! Thanks for that suggestion.

      Thanks for the comments and happy baking!

  • kmyle

    Hi Maurizio, I’m curious, can you share what camera(s)/lense(s) you are currently using? Thanks!

  • Johnny

    Hi Maurizio, I read your blog every now and then but this is my first time commenting. It was in your blog where I learned, about a year ago when I first started (seriously) making bread, to use parchment paper to transfer loaves into the oven :-). To me, at that time, it was a big deal! I just wanted to say congratulations on your 3rd year anniversary of making sourdough and for maintaining this blog. In my opinion, your blog is one of the best around. And also, thank you for your generosity in sharing your knowledge and experiences to us. We are eternally grateful!

    • Johnny — thanks for the comments, I appreciate that! That’s the thing about baking at home: there are so many moving parts and variables even little insights (like the parchment paper) do mean a lot!

      Thanks again for all the comments, I really appreciate it and I’m so glad I can help. Happy baking!

  • Just beautiful! I love the light in your photos.

    I had GTA’s seeded sourdough with some soup and was inspired to try making a loaf myself. (Every comment I make seems to involve Gjelina, GTA, and Gjusta. Ha.) Going to give this recipe a try. And I like that you omitted caraway. Though I enjoy it in American-style Irish soda bread, the flavor is too specific when it comes to sourdough (for me at least). I’ve been meaning to get some Giusto’s flour…do you have a recommendation for a sub? I have Central Milling’s T85 and T70. Though not 100% white, if I blend them the protein will be around 11.5%.

    • Thanks, Cynthia! I know how you feel about the Gjelina/Gjusta affair, but what’s GTA? I think Gjelina is one of the best cookbooks I have.

      I pickup my Giusto’s straight from their homebaker website, that’s the only option I have out here. You might be able to find a reseller somewhere since you’re in Cali, but if all else fails go through their website. It’s pricey flour, but I love it. Since you have T85 and T70 you might want to think about just omitting the T85 and go all T70 for the white flour portion… I could be a close approximation. For the bread flour (high protein) section use King Arthur Bread Flour if you dont have CM High Mt.

      Just some thoughts. Let me know how this bake goes, I’ve made it a bunch of times now and it’s awesome bread!

      • GTA is Gjelina Take Away. It’s a small shop that’s attached to the main restaurant. Has a New York feel – standing room only inside and then there are milk crates outside if you want to sit. Not going to admit how often we pick up from there.

        Between your bread and Noah’s crazy crumb, I had to order some of the Giusto’s artisan flour. Can’t wait to give it a try with this seeded loaf! I attempted to use KA recently after not baking with it in a while and couldn’t connect with the feel of the dough – so tight. User error perhaps.

        • GTA would be so, so dangerous for me. I’m really glad it’s not here in Albuquerque 🙂

          Awesome! Let me know how baking with the Giusto’s goes, would love to hear your thoughts on the flour. It’s been a little while since I’ve used KA flour, but I might be picking it up again here soon to give it a go again.

          Have fun!

  • Jeffrey

    Hey Maurizio,

    I’m having difficulty understanding the process of adding the seeds in this recipe. So, I soaked the flax seeds only. Was that right? Are all seeds supposed to be added into the dough at the same time (1 hour into bulk)? Also, what is the “seeded soaker”?

    • Jeffrey, sorry for the confusion. To clarify:

      – toast only the dark sesame seeds, then set out to cool
      – boil 150g almost-boiling water over the flax seeds (only) and let cool
      – once the flax seeds and water in bowl are cool, mix in the toasted (but cooled) sesame, and then the fennel.

      The mixture of flax, sesame and fennel is the “seeded soaker”. Mix this in all at the same time (1 hour into bulk).

      Hope that clarifies!

  • Trish Dnz

    My 2nd attempt went much better….loved the added lemon zest. Smelt so wonderful during stretch and folds. Used less water as suggested by you, Maurizio. Also less fennel, only 5g and ground this up. Next time might do a little more. I found 14g too much so will aim for 8g next time. As you have said its all a matter of personal taste. Thank you for sharing your recipes.

    • Super glad to hear that! Totally agree, these spices can be overwhelming to some and underwhelming to others, I find it always takes a little tweaking on the part of the baker according to their preference. I sure do love the lemon zest in here as well!

      Thanks again for the message and happy baking, Trish!

  • I.R

    Hello Maurizio,

    Great Blog I love it.
    One question- How do you prevent the loaf from being stick to the proofing baskets?
    I had this issue with the “My Best Sourdough Recipe” although I floured my baskets very well with bread flour.
    I thinking maybe in this recipe it will be better because of the seeds outside the loaf but do you have any recommendations?

    • Thank you! I typically use cloth liners for my baskets when the dough is overly wet (although with My Best Sourdough Recipe I did not because those baskets I used really prevent sticking), I’d recommend doing that. I have the liners listed in my baking tools page if you’re interested. Even when using these liners I dust the basket/liner liberally with white rice flour (also on my tools page), this really helps prevent sticking.

      It’s also possible you don’t have enough tension in your dough (not enough strengthening or it’s too wet) when you shaped the dough. Make sure you develop a tight enough skin on the dough so it holds its shape pretty well in the basket. That, in combination with the rice flour, should prevent all sticking.

  • Robert Paluf

    Dear Maurizio, I have followed this blog for a long time and enjoy it, especially the accurate and complete information provided. You have much to be proud of for many reasons. I am intending to make the seeded sour dough recipe for my wife who likes multi-grain style breads. The seed mix and seed soaker is where my questions lie. I have made the starter and sourdough breads from your recipes many times with great success…thanks so much. Now for my questions as I am intending to personalize the seed mix and preparation. First off, I must eliminate the fennel seeds, not a favorite of the wife. Sunflower and sesame (both white and black) are on hand in the baking larder, so no worries on those. The flax seeds are the difficult bit. I do not have flax seeds, but I do have a good amount of flax seed meal that we use in other things often. I want to use the flax seed meal in your seeded sourdough recipe. Since the meal is ground roughly so the flax seeds are broken up, I am tending to guess that I do not have to soak the flax seed meal. What do you think? I intend to add the flax seed meal to the dough when I add the 150 g water soaker made with sesame seeds and sunflower seeds. My second question is whether there is any benefit to toasting the flax seed meal to bring out its taste a bit more since there are oils and other goodies that could be enhanced? What is your opinion about toasting flax seed meal? Thanks again for all you do for home bakers like myself. Robert Paluf

    • Robert, really happy to hear that and thanks for following along for such a long while! I think the seed substitutions will work well! I’m not too familiar with flaxseed meal, I’ve never used it in baking before. I would agree that you probably don’t need to soak this at all since it’s ground down, you should be able to add it directly to the dough like you would buckwheat or some other flour/grain. I don’t think I’d toast it, I would just mix it in like you suggested.

      I’d love to hear how it works out, I’m pretty sure it’s going to be just fine (and healthy)! Hope this helps, keep me posted when you get to it!

  • Amanda

    Hello Maurizio! Your blog is absolutely phenomenal. Your beginners sourdough loaf is exactly what I needed to appreciate the intricacies of sourdough baking. I just bought semolina flour and wanted to experiment this weekend. I love this recipe, but I am wondering if it would still hold up with any of the seeds added? I have little ones that aren’t fans of bread with seeds. Thanks for your help!

    • Amanda, thank so much I really appreciate that! Glad to hear my Beginner’s Sourdough recipe helped tie things together.

      Yes, this bread will still be delicious without the seeds! I love semolina, it adds an awesome color and flavor to the dough which will be splendid on its own. Happy baking!

  • Rick Batha

    First of all, thanks so much for this blog site; what a gift! I discovered it just this year, and now on my 9th batch using your methods and recipes, and am truly “geeking out” on making sourdough bread! My question: for this recipe, why such a short proofing?

    • Rick — glad to have you along! I know how you feel, I geek out every day with sourdough 🙂

      The final proof time sometimes takes a bit of adjustment depending on many factors (levain percentage, temperatures, add-ins, etc.). For this bake I found the dough moved faster than usual and thus I cut the proof time to suit. I discovered this after a few test bakes, the early tests showed the dough overproofed just a bit (perhaps because of the temperatures or the seed additions).

      Really the key is for everyone out there to watch the dough and not really the clock. If the dough looks like it’s ready to hit the oven then get it in there as soon as you can. The times I list here are good guidelines but by no means exact, each environment is different!

      I hope that make sense and helps in some way. Happy baking, Rick!

  • Isaiah Pinilla

    Love the bread. I made it last week turned out wonderfully. Making it today and wondering how necessary a full 2 hour autolyse is? Or can I do it more tartine style where you mix levain directly with the flour and water. Thanks.

    • Really glad to hear that! You can certainly reduce the autolyse time, just note how the dough feels when you’re mixing and during bulk. You might need less strengthening (sets of stretch and folds) but not necessarily, this depends on a lot of factors. But yes, it wont hurt to reduce the autolyse time (or eliminate it altogether). Happy baking, Isaiah!

  • OgitheYogi

    I have one question/concern the time between the levain build and mixing in the levain for this recipe is 8 hours is this correct? Seems like the levain might no longer be at its prime…in all your sourdough bread you let the levain build for 5 to 6 hours and autolyse sooner than with this recipe, should I follow this time table? Also my house is exactly 80 degree and 8 hours for anything just seems too much. Any feedback?

    • Really glad to see your bake went so well on Instagram! If your house is at 80ºF then yes, things will move a lot faster and you’ll have to adjust your levain and every other step of the process. The levain build here is completely different than the others I’ve been recently been doing with warmer water and higher mature starter percentages (thus the shorter timeline!).

      So yes, please adjust to suit your warmer environment!

  • Sharon Kuan

    Lovely blog. May I know if the slap and fold is chosen, do I still need to carry on with the stretch and fold method?

    • Thank you! It all depends on how strong the dough is at the end of your slap/fold session(s). The goal is to get the dough strong enough to trap the gasses created during fermentation but not so strong that it cannot expand out in the oven when baked. Even when doing slap/fold I will usually do at least 2 sets of stretch and folds during bulk to finish off the dough. If you kneaded for much longer than me (or the majority of your flour is very strong) you might be able to get away with one set, or none. All depends!

  • deepa

    Hi Maurizio, I have tried the beginners sourdough , pancake, and waffles with success. I tried the recipe for the seeded sourdough. Though there was hardly any oven rise. the texture was soft (a little dense though) and bread tasted good. I noticed that the levain percentage for this recipe is less that that for the beginners sourdough(20%). Should I increase the amount the next time I try ?

    • Glad to hear those recipes worked out well for you! There are many reasons why the dough couldn’t rise and without more details it’s hard for me to give a solid recommendation. If you have any photos feel free to email me (the Contact link at top) and I’ll help ya out.

      The reason for the reduced levain percentage in this recipe is because I found, after many tests, the dough seems to ferment faster than what I’d like. It’s possible your dough still over proofed a bit and thus the lack of rise (this is just one possibility). You really want to keep an eye on this dough and cut bulk fermentation when it looks like it’s ready — watch the dough not the clock, as they say!

      I hope this helps, again, feel free to email me with more details if you’re still running into this issue!

  • Kim Donovan

    Hi Maurizio,
    I am trying this bread today. My daughter and I discovered your blog earlier this year and perfected our starter care. After spending a lot of time reading your blog our starter and bread making improved immensely! We have made several of your breads and pizza dough. Our favorite recipes are the Oat Porridge, Apricot and Walnut (without the lavender, someday we will throw in the lavender) and the fennel and golden raisin. The pizza dough is to die for, far better than anything I can get in the local pizza shops. Thank you!

    • Hi, Kim! Happy to hear my recipes have worked out well for you and your daughter. Those are some of my favs as well! The oat porridge loaf sure is a winner, every time I make that I get requests for a follow up. Thanks for the note and I hope you like this recipe just the same! The seeds really bread a wonderful, deep flavor. Happy baking!

  • Lilian Verena Hoenigsberg Kroh

    Hi Maurizio,

    I’m trying this bread again today – it’s been a huge success at home =]
    But I’m also trying to troubleshoot some issues I have when making different sourdough recipes and using different approaches, and would love to have some input from you..
    I’ve tested some of the recipes which require long(er) autolyse, and during bulk they’ve never seemed to acquire that bubbly, puffed form that indicate strong activity – even when waiting longer than usually expected. Nevertheless, they’ve been put to 2nd fermentation overnight and have grown pretty well on the oven.
    When doing breads using the tartine method (which requires dissolving the levain in water, then mixing the flour and leaving it to a 40min autolyse), the bulk fermentation results have been great – bubbly, puffed clouds of dough. On the other hand, after secondary fermentation in the fridge, growth in the oven has been quite underwhelming.
    I’m betting here that perhaps for the “tartine method” the breads may have been too long in the fridge (or even bulk), and overproofed. for the first case though, I am in doubt what to do. I’ve been trying to control for temperature (I’m in Brazil, so even during winter is not that cold in here), so I guess this wouldn’t be reason enough for the sluggish primary fermentation.
    Do you have any ideas what should I try? Have you or someone else had such contrasting results from the two different methods?
    Thanks in advance!

    • Glad to hear it, Lilian! The moment you add your levain to your dough, even if it’s during an “autolyse,” fermentation begins. If, with one method, you’re adding the levain at the beginning of a long-ish autolyse, and then with the other you’re not, you’ll have vastly different durations for when the dough is fermenting (i.e. 40 minutes with the levain is a long time!). I’m not sure you’re doing this, but it’s something to be aware of.

      When you’re doing the Tartine approach it does sound like your dough is fermenting a little too long (either in bulk, in proof, or both). A sluggish rise the next day in the oven could be an indicator for this. Cut back the bulk fermentation time or the proof to help with this issue. Generally I find the longer the time the dough ferments the more sluggish the rise in the oven — gluten begins to break down and the “food” available to our sourdough culture begins to run out. That said, I do like to push this fermentation time as far as possible, I find the resulting bread to taste the best and have the best texture. There’s a balance there.

      Other than that I really haven’t noticed a difference between when I break up the levain in water and add it to my dough or just add it in and mix by hand. Just be sure when you do mix in your levain, either way, you make sure it’s thoroughly mixed through the dough and evenly dispersed.

      I hope that helps!

      • Lilian Verena Hoenigsberg Kroh

        Hi Maurizio,

        Thanks for your reply! I’ll cut back the bulk fermentation time as you suggested – Hope that solves It 🙂
        I must say tour blog has been really helpful for me since I’ve begun doing sourdough breads, so thanks again and keep up with the excelent work!

  • James Pelegrin

    Hey Maurizio,

    My family has been thoroughly enjoying your recipes! I was hoping to give this one a shot this weekend but had a quick question about the flour selection. We live in an area that is hard to find a wide variety of flours (I have been lucky enough to find a local mill an hour away to get stone ground whole wheat!), but other than this our selection is limited. As far as the malted flour goes would it be possible to add some of the diastatic dry malt to either bread flour or all purpose in order to achieve similar results?

    Thanks again for all the time you have put in to share these wonderful recipes!

    -James Pelegrin

    • Hey, James. Glad to hear that and also that you’re able to find local wheat, super cool! Yes, you can definitely add your own diastatic malt powder. I’d shoot for somewhere around 0.5% to 1.5% of the total flour. If you’re using a large portion of fresh milled flour you might not even need the diastatic malt, it’ll take some experimentation there!

      Hope that helps and happy baking!