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 give 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.
- 40g flaxseed
- 40g dark sesame seed
- 40g sunflower seed, shelled, not roasted, unsalted
- 13g fennel seed
- 133g water, boiled
- 30g medium-protein bread flour
- 30g whole wheat flour
- 30g ripe sourdough starter
- 60g water
- 636g medium-protein bread flour
- 133g semolina
- 60g whole wheat flour
- 501g water
- 16g sea salt
- 144g ripe levain (from Step 1)
- 44g water
- Levain (9:00 a.m.)
In a small container, mix the Levain ingredients and keep at 78°F (25°C) for 5 hours.
- Prepare Seed Soaker (9:10 a.m.)
Add the Seed Soaker ingredients (except the sunflower seeds) to a heatproof bowl and let soak until called for in bulk fermentation.
- Autolyse (1:00 p.m)
In a medium mixing bowl, add the Autolyse ingredients and mix until no dry bits remain. Cover the bowl and let rest for 1 hour.
- Mix (2:00 p.m.)
To the mixing bowl holding your dough, add the Final Mix ingredients and mix to incorporate. Then, strengthen the dough for another 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Transfer your dough to a bulk fermentation container and cover.
- Bulk Fermentation (2:10 p.m. to 5:40 p.m.)
Give the dough 4 sets of stretch and folds at 30-minute intervals, where the first set starts 30 minutes after the start of bulk fermentation. Before the first set of stretch and folds, spread the seed soaker, sunflower seeds, and lemon zest (optional) over the dough. Each set of folds will help incorporate the mixture into the dough.
- Divide and Preshape (5:40 p.m.)
Lightly flour your work surface and scrape out your dough. Using your bench knife, divide the dough in half. Lightly shape each half into a round shape. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes, uncovered.
- Shape (6:10 p.m.)
Shape the dough into a round (boule) or oval (batard), top with a mixture of sesame, flax, and fennel, and place in proofing baskets.
- Rest and Proof (6:20 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. the next day)
Cover proofing baskets with reusable plastic and seal them shut. Then, place both baskets into the refrigerator and proof overnight.
- Bake (Preheat oven at 8:00 a.m., bake at 9:00 a.m.)
Preheat your oven with a combo cooker or Dutch oven inside to 450°F (230°C). When the oven is preheated, remove your dough from the fridge, score it, and transfer it to the preheated combo cooker. Place the cooker in the oven, cover with the lid, and bake for 20 minutes. After this time, remove the lid (you can keep it in the oven or remove it) and continue to bake for 30 minutes longer. When done, the internal temperature should be around 208°F (97°C). Let the loaves cool for 2 hours on a wire rack before slicing.