Seeded Sourdough Bread (Big Batch)

6 people
1 hr 35 min

Seeded Sourdough Bread (Big Batch)
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I’ve spent the majority of the last year making smaller things. Smaller loaves of bread, smaller cakes and smaller batches of cookies. This time though I’ve decided to go the other way and make a slightly larger loaf of seeded sourdough bread that’s just about large enough to share with a friend or two.


This loaf is about a 35% larger than my small batch loaves but follows a very similar process. Making the dough over two days gives the bread time for the sourdough flavor to develop and shine through.


This recipe also folds in a mixture of different seeds that add texture and flavor to the bread. You can change up the seed mixture if you’d like and use whatever seeds you prefer or that you happen to have on hand!


I’ve included a sample baking at the end of this post so feel free to use that if it’s easiest for you!

What I love about this loaf:


  1. The texture from the seeds is really fantastic
  2. The flavor this loaf uses mostly white flour with a little bit of whole wheat which is a delicious combination
  3. Simple – sourdough is generally not the simplest thing to make, but this recipe is reasonably straight forward and it’s a great introduction to sourdough baking!


How to make this seeded sourdough loaf:


Step 1: Make the Levain (Day 1 – 8:00 am)


Start by combining all the levain ingredients in a small bowl or a jar and let it rise for five hours. It’s best to build your levain using a ripe starter i.e. one that’s been fed recently in order to get the best rise for your loaf.


Step 2: Autolyse and soak the seeds (Day 1 – 12:00 pm)


Autolyse is just a fancy word for mixing together water and flour and letting it sit for a bit. When you autolyse the flour your aim is to mix everything together until all the flour is hydrated and there isn’t any dry flour left in the bowl.


While the autolyse is sitting it’s also worth soaking some of your seeds in hot water. This isn’t completely necessary but with tough seeds like flax seeds it’s helpful to do this.


Step 3: Start mixing the dough (Day 1 – 1:00 pm)


Once the autolyse is done you can add the levain, salt and a bit more water to it and combine by hand until it’s all mixed together. At this point the dough won’t be completely smooth but it will smooth out as you go. Let the dough rest for half an hour and then add in the seeds and mix to combine. Again the dough won’t be perfectly combined at this point but will keep smoothing out as you go.


Step 4: Stretch and fold the dough (Day 1 – 2:0 pm)


Stretch and fold the dough repeatedly every half hour for the next two hours. By the end of this the dough should be nice and smooth and the seeds should be evenly distributed in the dough.


Step 5: Let the dough rise (Day 1 – 4:00 pm)


Cover the dough and let it rise for two and a half hours until it’s nicely risen and bubbly.


Step 6: Shape the loaf (Day 1 – 6:30 pm)


Pre shape the loaf into a round and let it sit for 10 minutes uncovered. Then shape it into a loaf. To do so flip the dough over; stretch the edges of the dough out to the sides and then fold them into the middle. Look at the photos in my small batch sourdough recipe or watch the video pin at the end of this blog where I demonstrate the shaping technique.


Place the shaped dough in a banneton or in a loaf pan lined with a clean kitchen cloth. Cover the loaf and let it rest in the fridge overnight.


Step 7: Bake the seeded sourdough bread (Day 2 – 9:00 am)


Preheat the oven with a dutch oven in the oven at 450 F for 45 minutes. Remove the dough from the fridge and tip it onto a piece of parchment paper. Dust the loaf with flour and score the loaf and then place it in the dutch oven and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the lid of the pan and continue baking for 15 – 20 minutes until the loaf is nicely browned.


Let the loaf cool for an hour before slicing.


To help you keep track of timing I’ve included a sample baking schedule.


Feel free to adapt this if you need to. For example I start at 8 am on the first day but if you prefer to start and 10 am that’s totally fine, just make the adjustments that work for you. Similarly baking on day 2 can happen whenever you like, there’s definitely no need to bake first thing in the morning if that doesn’t work for you!


Day 0EveningFeed your starterDay 18:00 AMMix Levain12:00 PMMix autolyse and soak seeds1:00 PMCombine levain, autolyse, salt and water1:30 PMAdd the seeds to the dough and mix2:00, 2:30, 3:00 and 3:30 PMStretch and fold4:00 PMBulk rise begins6:30 PMShape the dough6:50 PMPlace dough in the fridge overnightDay 29:00 AMPreheat oven9:45 AMScore and bake the dough10:30 AMBread should be cooked – let it cool for an hour before slicing.
Seeded Sourdough Bread (Big Batch)
Recipe details
  • 6  people
  • Prep time: 1 Hours Cook time: 35 Minutes Total time: 1 hr 35 min
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Ingredients
Levain:
  • 20 g sourdough starter
  • 40 g bread flour
  • 40 g water
Autolyse:
  • 320 g bread flour
  • 80 g whole wheat flour
  • 280 g water
Seed soaker:
  • 1 tbsp flax seed
  • 10 g warm water
First Mix:
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 10 g water
Second Mix:
  • 1.5 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 1.5 tbsp pumpkin seeds
Instructions

First thing in the morning around 8 am combine the levain ingredients in a small jar or bowl. Cover and leave to rise for 5 hours until the levain is bubbly and risen.
At noon (an hour before your levain is ready) combine the autolyse ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the dough by hand until there’s no dry flour left and then cover the bowl and let it sit for an hour.
While the autolyse is sitting combine the seed soaker ingredients in a small bowl.
At 1 pm add the levain, salt and 10 g of water to the autolyse and mix by hand by stretching and folding the dough repeatedly until the levain is combined with the dough. Cover the dough and let it sit for half an hour.
Add the ingredients for the second mix as well as the seed soaker to the dough mixture and stretch and fold the dough to incorporate the seeds into the dough. It doesn’t need to be fully combined at this point because you’ll keep stretching and folding it over the next couple hours. Cover the dough and let it sit for another half hour.
Stretch and fold the dough every half hour for the next two hours (4 sets of stretches and folds). For each set you want to stretch the edge of the dough up and out and then fold it over onto the dough, repeat this for each side (i.e. four folds).
Once the stretching and folding is done (it should be around 4 pm now) leave the dough covered for 2 and a half hours for the bulk rise.
At about 6:30 once the dough has risen nicely and you can see bubbles in the dough it’s time to start shaping the bread. Dust the counter with flour and tip the dough onto the counter and shape into a round. Let it sit uncovered for 10 minutes.
After it’s rested shape the dough into a loaf following the video demonstration shown in this post or using your favorite method. Then place the dough seam side up in a banneton or in a loaf pan lined with a clean kitchen cloth. Cover the loaf and place it in the fridge overnight.
The next morning place a dutch oven in the oven and preheat to 450°F for 45 minutes.
Once the oven is hot take the dough out of the fridge. Flip it out onto a piece of parchment paper, dust with flour and then score your loaf.
Place the dough in the dutch oven and bake covered for 25 minutes. Uncover the dough and let it bake for another 15 – 20 minutes until the crust is dark golden brown. Remove and let it cool for an hour before slicing.
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