Sunflower seed sourdough

This loaf was inspired by one in the Bread Baker’s Apprentice; a sunflower seed studded sourdough with great taste and texture. Mine is much lighter, which comes from substituting rye flour with strong white flour, whilst still using a rye starter.
I have also added more sunflower seeds, and ground half of them in a pestle and mortar to really get the flavour through the entire loaf.

My rye sourdough starter turned two at the weekend and is still going strong, so this was the perfect opportunity to try it out on a new loaf.


Sunflower seed sourdough makes one large boule

200g rye starter @ 100% hydration
700g strong white flour
400g water
12g salt
70g toasted sunflower seeds, half ground

1. Refresh the starter the night before
2. Mix all of the ingredients except the seeds. Autolyse for 20 min.
3. Work the seeds into the dough, kneading for about 5 min.
4. Bulk ferment in a bowl for 5 hours. Stretch and fold the dough six times: every half an hour, for the first three hours.
5. Turn the dough out onto a clean bench and shape into a round. Rest for 5 min, reshape, and place into a banneton or bowl that is well floured with rice flour. Proof for 2 hours.
6. Preheat oven to max with a Dutch Oven on the middle shelf.
7. Turn the loaf into a floured peel or the back of a baking tray. Slide into the Dutch Oven and place back onto the middle shelf. Bake for 30 min with the lid on, then remove the lid and bake for a further 15 min. Reduce oven temperature slightly if needed.
8. Cool on a wire rack.






15 thoughts on “Sunflower seed sourdough

      1. I’ve been musing on that technique for a while, with results like that it’s definitely encouraged me to try it. Any problems getting the dough in/loaf out?

      2. In can be tricky: I use a small bread peel covered in semolina flour- out is easier provided you don’t burn yourself. Just tip the loaf out. When you take off the lid the first time, make sure to leave a towel or something on the handle so you don’t accidentally grab it when you put it back on.

      3. I wondered about the lack of control dropping in the dough, seemed like it might knock some of the air out but your loaf doesn’t look to have suffered that fate.

      4. I’m getting a similar effect from a 30mm slab of granite. The downside is it needs a good hour to warm up. I probably need to bake more bread in one go than the couple I’m making currently. Still, the experimentation is all good fun! Thanks for the book ref, the one I’m working through right now is Bread Matters by Andrew Whitley.

      5. Haven’t seen that one- Wild Sourdough by Yoke Mardewi was the first ‘real’ bread book I bought, followed by BBA. Forkish’s book and dan lepard’s the handmade loaf are both good too

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