Sourdough

Poppy + Sesame Sourdough


Prep Time : 30 Minutes | Cook Time : 30 Minutes | Total Time : 18 hours | Difficulty : Sourdough

Hello my lovelies! All sourdough all the time here. Made three different doughs last week. This one. Some playing around with barley. And sourdough flatbreads for a dinner with friends on the weekend. This one is a whiter base loaf and we’ve given it a classic and comforting seedy combination. There’s still a bit of whole wheat in there to help the starter along. If you are looking for a simple whiter loaf give this one a go and play around with and without the seeds. I’ve keep the level of water (hydration) manageable so the dough is easy to handle and gives a balanced texture inside (crumb). If you want to experiment with more water and test what you like then you absolutely should!

I’ve given a range of times in the instructions for some of the steps and these are influenced by the weather/season. It’s the middle of summer here so I’m erring on the short side here and there as the lovely microbes are happy and warm and fermenting quickly. Where there is water in the ingredients I recommend using tepid water in the cooler months and straight room temperature water in summer. For general non-obsessive bread baking that we are doing here running the tap till it’s warm is totally fine.

First up is making the pre-ferment the night before. Just before bed mix the flours, water and starter for the preferment in a large bowl. Cover and leave to one side.

In the morning the preferment will have risen up and when you look underneath there will be bubbles all through it.

Add the first measure of water for the dough (180 grams) and the honey and give it a stir to distribute the honey. Add the bread flour and seeds and mix until it comes together. Work the dough a little longer by folding the edges into the middle for about 5 minutes. It will feel kind of firm now and that’s ok. Cover the bowl and leave the dough to rest (autolyse) for 30 to 60 minutes.

After the resting time is up mix the second measure of water (30 grams) and salt together in a small bowl and add it to the dough. Knead it in the bowl to distribute the salt thoroughly. This gives you a few more minutes of kneading to round out the process.

Cover the bowl and leave it to ferment for 2 to 3 hours in a warm place. If you leave it for 3 because you got busy that’s fine. It will affect the final result a bit and you can experiment to see what you like over time. Go for two hours in warm weather and longer in cold weather.

After the bulk ferment has done its thing you need to start stretching. This wakes the gluten back up and traps pockets of air in the dough so that when you bake the loaf. You need to do four sets of folds in all. Do them around 20 to 30 minutes apart. No one will die if you are distracted and one of them is a bit later. To do a set of folds moisten your hand and reach under the dough on the side of the bowl furthest from you. Pull a handful up and fold it down towards yourself onto the rest of the dough.

Rotate the bowl 90 degrees and repeat. Go all around the bowl doing four folds in all. Cover and leave for 20 to 30 minutes and then repeat until you’ve done four sets. If the dough is resisting you a lot and won’t really stretch then do 3 sets of folds about 45 mins apart instead. That resistance is gluten and if it’s already happy that’s good. After the last fold leave the dough for around an hour to chill out.

Put the oven on to 250C (485F). Put your clean cast iron casserole dish in the oven including the lid to heat up. If you have a cane or pressed conifer proving basket then dust this liberally with flour. Rub it it well so it coats the surface. If you don’t then dust a linen tea towel heavily with flour and lay it into a medium bowl.

To shape a loaf I like to dust the bench heavily with flour and then turn the dough out onto the flour. I then use my fingers to stretch the dough over the top and pinch it together. This will create a taught surface on the bottom of the dough which is also well floured. Shape the loaf to fit your basket or bowl. Don’t handle the dough more than you need to. We want to retain the air bubbles that are in there so they can expand into a lovely open crumb when we bake.

Lift it gently into the proving basket or bowl and lay it flour side down. You will be inverting this later so the smooth side that is on the bottom now will become the top later.

Cover and leave to rise for between 40 and 90 minutes. It shouldn’t fully double in size but will be about half as big again. You will get to know what this looks like with practice. I know that a loaf this size is ready to bake when it crests out of the basket I use by about 2 inches. How long this takes will depend on the weather and temperature.

Cut a piece of baking paper big enough that as several inches clearance in either side of your unbaked loaf. You need room for handles. Lay the paper over the top of your dough.

Support the dough with one hand and use the other to gently tip the basket/bowl over. Do this near the bench surface so the dough doesn’t fall.

You will feel the dough release from the surface of the basket/bowl. If it doesn’t just give it a few seconds to let go. Don’t pull on the basket or tea towel or you can tear the surface of the dough.

If you wish to slash your loaf you can. It helps control how the loaf will rise and adds some flair. We could all do with some flair. Use a lame, the very sharpest serrated knife you have or a razor blade with a sticking plaster on one side. I have tried all sorts of other craft knife and Stanley knife blades and they aren’t a patch on a razor blade. Keep a dedicated container out of reach of small hands to store them in.

Put a wire rack on the bench next to the oven. Open the oven door and take out your pan and set it on the rack. Remove the lid and set that on the rack next to it. Quickly lift your loaf by the baking paper and lower it gently into the pan.

Put the lid back on and put it back in the oven and shut the door. Bake for 15 minutes with the lid on. Remove the lid and behold your beautiful well risen loaf.

Bake for a further 15 to 20 minutes with the lid off. I always go for the longer time to get a good dark crust.

Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. You should let the loaf cool completely before slicing. I know I know. Cooking is still happening in the middle of the hot loaf. Cutting it while it’s warm can squish the crumb and let excess moisture escape so the un-eaten part will be drier.

Like this recipe? Pin for later or Print for right now:

Poppy + Sesame Sourdough


Prep Time : 30 mins | Cook Time : 30 mins | Total Time : 18 hours | Difficulty : Sourdough

Makes : 1 medium loaf

Chewy soft white sourdough studded with sesame + poppy seeds..

Ingredients:

For the preferment:

  • 50 grams whole wheat flour
  • 100 grams strong bread four
  • 150 grams water (tepid in winter, room temp in summer)
  • 50 grams sourdough starter

For the dough:

  • all of the preferment
  • 180 grams water (tepid in winter, room temp in summer)
  • 20 grams honey
  • 350 grams strong bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 30 grams water (tepid in winter, room temp in summer)
  • 12 grams salt

– If using metric cups, reduce volume measures by 1 tablespoon for every cup of dry or liquid ingredients – 

Equipment:

  • Bowls and spoons
  • Large cast iron casserole dish with a lid
  • Proving basket or bowl lined with a linen tea towel
  • Very sharp serrated knife, razor blade or lame (for scoring the loaf)

Directions:

First up is making the pre-ferment the night before. Just before bed mix the flours, water and starter for the preferment in a large bowl. Cover and leave to one side.

In the morning the preferment will have risen up and when you look underneath there will be bubbles all through it.

Add the first measure of water for the dough (180 grams) and the honey and give it a stir to distribute the honey. Add the bread flour and seeds and mix until it comes together. Work the dough a little longer by folding the edges into the middle for about 5 minutes. It will feel kind of firm now and that’s ok. Cover the bowl and leave the dough to rest (autolyse) for 30 to 60 minutes.

After the resting time is up mix the second measure of water (30 grams) and salt together in a small bowl and add it to the dough. Knead it in the bowl to distribute the salt thoroughly. This gives you a few more minutes of kneading to round out the process.

Cover the bowl and leave it to ferment for 2 to 3 hours in a warm place. If you leave it for 3 because you got busy that’s fine. It will affect the final result a bit and you can experiment to see what you like over time. Go for two hours in warm weather and longer in cold weather.

After the bulk ferment has done its thing you need to start stretching. This wakes the gluten back up and traps pockets of air in the dough so that when you bake the loaf. You need to do four sets of folds in all. Do them around 20 to 30 minutes apart. No one will die if you are distracted and one of them is a bit later. To do a set of folds moisten your hand and reach under the dough on the side of the bowl furthest from you. Pull a handful up and fold it down towards yourself onto the rest of the dough.

Rotate the bowl 90 degrees and repeat. Go all around the bowl doing four folds in all. Cover and leave for 20 to 30 minutes and then repeat until you’ve done four sets. If the dough is resisting you a lot and won’t really stretch then do 3 sets of folds about 45 mins apart instead. That resistance is gluten and if it’s already happy that’s good. After the last fold leave the dough for around an hour to chill out.

Put the oven on to 250C (485F). Put your clean cast iron casserole dish in the oven including the lid to heat up. If you have a cane or pressed conifer proving basket then dust this liberally with flour. Rub it it well so it coats the surface. If you don’t then dust a linen tea towel heavily with flour and lay it into a medium bowl.

To shape a loaf I like to dust the bench heavily with flour and then turn the dough out onto the flour. I then use my fingers to stretch the dough over the top and pinch it together. This will create a taught surface on the bottom of the dough which is also well floured. Shape the loaf to fit your basket or bowl. Don’t handle the dough more than you need to. We want to retain the air bubbles that are in there so they can expand into a lovely open crumb when we bake.

Lift it gently into the proving basket or bowl and lay it flour side down. You will be inverting this later so the smooth side that is on the bottom now will become the top later.

Cover and leave to rise for between 40 and 90 minutes. It shouldn’t fully double in size but will be about half as big again. You will get to know what this looks like with practice. I know that a loaf this size is ready to bake when it crests out of the basket I use by about 2 inches. How long this takes will depend on the weather and temperature.

Cut a piece of baking paper big enough that as several inches clearance in either side of your unbaked loaf. You need room for handles. Lay the paper over the top of your dough.

Support the dough with one hand and use the other to gently tip the basket/bowl over. Do this near the bench surface so the dough doesn’t fall.

You will feel the dough release from the surface of the basket/bowl. If it doesn’t just give it a few seconds to let go. Don’t pull on the basket or tea towel or you can tear the surface of the dough.

If you wish to slash your loaf you can. It helps control how the loaf will rise and adds some flair. We could all do with some flair. Use a lame, the very sharpest serrated knife you have or a razor blade with a sticking plaster on one side. I have tried all sorts of other craft knife and Stanley knife blades and they aren’t a patch on a razor blade. Keep a dedicated container out of reach of small hands to store them in.

Put a wire rack on the bench next to the oven. Open the oven door and take out your pan and set it on the rack. Remove the lid and set that on the rack next to it. Quickly lift your loaf by the baking paper and lower it gently into the pan.

Put the lid back on and put it back in the oven and shut the door. Bake for 15 minutes with the lid on. Remove the lid and behold your beautiful well risen loaf.

Bake for a further 15 to 20 minutes with the lid off. I always go for the longer time to get a good dark crust.

Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. You should let the loaf cool completely before slicing. I know I know. Cooking is still happening in the middle of the hot loaf. Cutting it while it’s warm can squish the crumb and let excess moisture escape so the un-eaten part will be drier.

Cook’s Notes:

  • This is a simple mostly white sourdough base – change up the seeds as you like or leave them out altogether for a simple loaf.
  • If you wish to shape this dough as rolls or baguettes, set them either in a floured couche or on baking paper to prove before baking on the heaviest baking sheet/pizza stone/cast iron griddle you have which has been preheated in the oven. Put a dish of boiling water on the tray beneath for the first 10 minutes of baking to enhance the crust.

 – Keep sourdough at room temperature but not sealed in plastic and it will last for up to a week. – 

© 2018 Wellington Bakehouse. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , ,

Leave a Reply