It’s been a while since I baked a loaf of sourdough bread, Dan, my poor starter was definitely feeling neglected. This time, I decided to make something heavily loaded with seeds, but not big ones like pumpkin or sunflower. More delicate, seeds that would disperse nicely in the crumb. My starting point was a recipe from Josey Baker’s book Bread, but I added a few twists and modified the method slightly. Very pleased with the way it turned out.

(adapted from Josey Baker’s Bread)

for seed mixture:
1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds (80 g)
1/4 cup poppy seeds (40 g)
1/2 cup hot water (120 g)

for dough:
240 g sourdough starter at 100% hydration
240 g water
300 g bread flour
75 g spelt flour
12 g salt (2 tsp)
all seed soaker

The day before, feed your starter and make sure it is all bubbly and ready to go. Prepare more than you need, so you can save some for future bread baking.

Prepare the seed soaker by mixing sesame and poppy seeds in a small bowl, adding the hot water on top. Mix and let it sit for one hour.

Prepare the dough by mixing all ingredients in a large bowl.  Mix until it’s a shaggy mass, leave it covered with plastic wrap for 30 minutes.

Knead or fold the dough (ten times or so).  Cover and let it ferment for 30 minutes.

Knead or fold the dough again. Cover and let it sit for 30 minutes. Perform two more cycles of kneading 30 minutes apart.  Knead again and let it sit for 1 hour.

Shape the dough. Place it inside a banneton or other appropriate container, seam side up. Let it ferment for 2 hours. Place it in the fridge overnight, or around 12 hours.

Remove from the fridge one hour before baking, as your oven heats to 450 F.  Invert the dough on parchment paper, slash the top and bake for 45 minutes with initial steam (use your favorite method for that). I bake inside a Dutch oven, covered, and uncover after 30 minutes to brown the crust.

Allow it to completely cool on a rack before slicing.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments:  I’ve been trying to work on more “artistic” slashing, inspired by greater bakers such as Elaine from foodbod. Evidently, I need to bake more often and practice. The thing is, slashing is so…. final!  Once you do it, that is it, there’s no going back to fix it a little, and the finality of it makes me nervous and a bit paralyzed. Maybe that’s the same problem I have with golf. Once you take that golf club back, it’s over, my friend. Either you get it or it is a disaster of dire consequences. Usually option two happens for me, particularly with the 5-iron. But I digress…  Independent of my slashing skills, the bread tasted exactly how I hoped. Sesame is such a nice flavor, and the seeds gave a pleasant extra chew to the bread.

Most important step in the recipe: make sure the dough is proofed enough. It needs the seal of approval of experienced eyes.

Yes, Mom. It looks perfect. And smells great too… Now, if only you would leave the premises for a few minutes….

I close the post with the mandatory crumb shot. This bread was particularly awesome with Brie cheese.


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  1. That looks amazing. Love the shot of Bogey QT. I think that scoring is overrated (mostly because it is not my strong suit) and the proof is in the flavor of the bread.

    P.S. That’s what I hate about golf. The worse you do, the longer it takes, unlike tennis. If you stink, it ends quickly and mercifully.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am a huge fan of sourdough bread! And like you, I don’t eat a lot of bread, but unlike you I can’t bake bread to save my life. If I could make a bread like yours I’d be in heaven. (It’s the 4-iron that gets me, by the way…)

    Liked by 1 person

    • You handle a 4-iron? Well, I don’t even HAVE it in my bag because there is no way I could master it. EVAH! No, the 5-iron already gives me enough trouble.

      NOw the woods are interesting. I have a 5 wood and a 7 wood – I call them Tale of Two Cities – it was the best of shots, it was the worst of shots.. I simply never know which will be.


      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Modish Taste | SESAME AND POPPY SEED SOURDOUGH

  4. That crumb shot is certainly warranted. Gorgeous loaf! Tell me, does Bogey like bread as much as Stella? (the girl will run straight into traffic to pick up someone’s tossed bagel bit). ps, very sexy slashes 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kelly, Bogey likes food. Period. If he hears plastic wrap being handled or ripped open, he will wake up from the deepest of sleeps! Just yesterday I was opening a package of batteries – and there he comes, already drooling…. what, Bogey, you’d like a few AAs? Need some energy? 😉


  5. Of course you should use a very sharp blade for the slash since dough is going to resist. But why not practice first? Take the pressure off. Plop the blob on the board and just have it. Slash slash slash. I think the trick is in the wrist to get a nice curve on the slash. Then when you’ve massacred the dough, turn it over, knead it back into a blob and slash away again. In this way, you’ve had a lot of practice before you take the risen dough out and do the final slashing. It’s like any great skill. You want to warm up and practice before you go on stage.

    The bread is beautiful. I’ve been a baking fool of late as well, baking all of the bread being consumed at this house. I love whole-grain German rye and it is so hard to find. I’m doing a lot of experimenting with all of the “no-knead” and “dutch oven” recipes. Still haven’t hit on “the one” but I will keep at it.

    Happy baking!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love the “slash slash slash”

      and yes, that movement of the wrist – I see the pros doing it, with such grace… I am more like a drunk butcher… oh, well


    • Hummmmm…. I like your additions! I hope it turns out wonderful… I am baking bread this weekend, but I think I’ll do a very simple white and rye sourdough….


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