I am so excited to share this recipe today! I’ve always enjoyed the look and taste of sourdough bread with a coating of seeds, but they do interfere with a more elaborate slashing of the surface. Since slashing the bread is quite likely my favorite part of bread baking, seeds posed a problem with no satisfying solution. But then, Alex, tent-baker extraordinaire, tagged me on a post on Instagram, as we had been discussing the issue for a while. His tagging started my virtual journey through #sourdoughrose, and I could not wait to try the technique. Basically, a portion of the dough is rolled out thin, brushed with oil.  The main dough is shaped as a ball, and coated with seeds. The oil prevents the film of dough from sticking during baking, so it more or less peels away, to reveal the seeds underneath.  I dyed the outside dough black, hoping for a more dramatic contrast.

(from the Bewitching Kitchen, inspired by Ana is Baking)

makes one very small round loaf

150g water
55g starter at 100% hydration
100g bread flour
60g semolina flour
55g whole-wheat flour
1 tsp honey
4.5g salt
activated charcoal powder (optional)
seeds of your choice (I used black and white sesame, nigella, and white poppy seeds)
olive oil to brush laminated dough

Dissolve the starter in the water,  add all other ingredients and knead until smooth (by hand or using a KitchenAid type mixer).

Proof at room temperature for 3 hours, folding every 30 to 45 minutes. After 3 hours, remove a small portion of the dough (about 65g) and dye with charcoal powder if you want to make it black. Leave it plain if you prefer.  Roll this portion as a circle (about 6 inches in diameter), then brush the center with olive oil, leaving a margin without oil, so that it will stick to the main dough.

Shape the dough as a round ball, spray the top with water and roll over the seeds that you can spread on a flat tray. Immediately place the ball of dough over the laminated component, so that the seeds are in touch with the oil. Wrap the dough around, place it, seam side up in a banetton and leave it in the fridge overnight. It the dough seems very mad at you, don’t worry, he’ll get over it as the fermentation proceeds.

Next morning, turn the oven to 450F.  Once ready to bake, invert the bread over parchment paper, and score the surface in a pattern that will allow it to open in some interesting way. Make sure you cut all the way to expose the seeded component underneath.

Bake for 30 minutes with steam (Dutch oven closed), then remove the lid and bake for 5 to 10 more minutes. Allow it to cool completely over a rack before slicing.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments: Obviously, the way you slash the dough will have a huge impact on the look of the final loaf. Most bakers go for the design of a rose, and that was my goal, as  you can see in the picture below:

However, I think my decoration ended more in the direction of a crown. Might be my love for all things Game of Thrones.  I want to do this type of bread again, trying to coach the first slashes in the center to open in a more parallel way to the surface. It will be fun to try other designs also. The bread has a lower hydration level than my regular sourdoughs, so the crumb ends a bit tighter, but I love the softness given by the semolina flour.

I am not sure pumpkin and sunflower seeds could work, maybe they are a big too big, but you never quite know until you try it. Just a few more things in that big list of baking and cooking projects for the future.

As you slice the bread, the laminated dough falls off, so you get bread and some bonus crackers, very delicious too…

Alex, thanks so much for bringing #sourdoughrose to my attention! It is exactly the kind of technique I was hoping for, slashes and seeds, co-existing together in perfect harmony…

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