Sourdough seed bread

In this hectic world, there’s nothing I love more than to lose myself in making sourdough bread. One of the first things I’ve learnt about wild yeast, is that you can’t hurry it. You can’t ask the bread to proof faster because you have a deadline or a friend coming over, because you have to be somewhere, to run an errand or finish up with your home chores. This is the type of bread that humbles you, that teaches you how to wait and, in the end, after you’ve sacrificed yourself to it, you find that it has given you the best gift of all: freedom. Not only from the tyranny of store-bought-chemical-yeast bread, but mostly from yourself, from the things you think are important to you but are actually not. For what’s more important in life then the time we allocate to our inner self, to watching things grow, what’s more important than hearing that inner clock beating to the rhythm of a timeless bread romance?

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Sourdough bread shouldn’t be taken too lightly, but also not too seriously. I’m not the type of artisan baker that strives for perfection, for that flawless crust or crumb. What I seek is a reflection of me, a product made by my hands, in my home, in my oven, one that is clean and loved from even before it was born. Our forefathers used to make sourdough bread without precise electronic scales or proofing chambers with controlled temperature and I simply want to be more like them. I want to make bread by instinct, learn from my mistakes and not punish myself too much for them. Of course, a certain rigor is mandatory, but what I’m saying is that I prefer to situate myself somewhere on a blurred line :)

My favorite sourdough bread is packed with seeds. Sunflower, nigella, caraway, fennel, pumpkin, sesame, linen. I feel their nourishing power, I feel how they enhance me, how they better me. It’s a dense, extremely aromatic bread, friendly with my hands when folding and shaping. It’s kind to the heart and lack of experience of a beginner, it rewards the timid baker with splendid results and incredible flavors. Did I make you love it already? I hope I did, it’s a deserving bread.


I borrowed this recipe from my favorite baker in the whole world, Codruta, one of the most talented and passionate artisan bakers I know. I must warn you though that this recipe is more for the sourdough baker enthusiast, because it does not go into the details of how to make a starter, how to shape or how to bake sourdough bread. That is such a long process and involves so many explanations that I prefer to do it in another, more detailed post…

Sourdough seed bread


    Starter (127 g)
  • 52 g white flour
  • 65 g water, room temp
  • 10 g liquid levain 100% hydration
  • Soaker (96 g)
  • 24 g linen seeds
  • 72 g water
  • Toasted seeds (61g)
  • 41 g sunflower seeds
  • 20 g sesame seeds
  • Final dough (about 700 g)
  • 265 g white flour
  • 28 g rye flour
  • 127 g liquid levain (all the above)
  • 96 g soaker (all the above)
  • 122 g water
  • 8 g salt
  • 61 g toasted seeds (all the above)


  1. Prepare the starter and hydrate the seeds. Mix 10 g 100% liquid levain with 65 g water and 52 g four in a plastic bowl then cover with a lid. Let preferment for about 12h. Separately, cover 24 g linen seeds with 72 g water, cover the bowl with cling film and let hydrate for the same amount of time as the starter - 12 h.
  2. After 12 h, start making the bread: in a non-stick pan, toast 41 g sunflower seeds and 20 g sesame seeds, making sure not to burn them. Remove from pan and let cool on a dry paper towel, for about 30 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer) mix the white and rye flowers, the water, soaker and liquid levain (127g), just until incorporated. Cover with a towel and rest for about 20 minutes, for autolyse. Add the salt and cooled seeds and start mixing, for about 3-5 minutes by mixer and 10 minutes by hand, until the gluten develops.
  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled plastic container for fermentation at room temp, for 150 minutes, with two stretch and folds at 50 minutes intervals. Make sure to cover the container tightly, either with plastic foil or an airtight lid.
  5. After 150 minutes, pre-shape as a boule (round bread), rest for 20 minutes, then shape in whatever form you choose. I prefer batards. Place the breads in your bannetons and let proof for 8-16 h in the fridge or 2-3 h at room temperature.
  6. Bake in preheated oven at 240 C for 40-45 minutes. Don't forget to add steam in the first 20 minutes!

Every time I make this bread I can hardly wait to taste it. I know I have to wait until it cools down, or I’ll ruin it, but sometimes it’s too hard of a challenge. The smell is so penetrating, so inviting! I love to spread it with butter and jam and just enjoy it like that, in its pureness, in its simplicity: after all, it’s just bread. Add some compote or a cup of tea and that’s all I need in the world. Of course, on lazy week-ends I like to show off with some fancy omelette packed with veggies and whatnot. Can’t blame me, can you?

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Love and sourdough bread!

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