The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Fennel&Dates&Rye Levain

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WoodenSpoon's picture

Fennel&Dates&Rye Levain

Today I baked off this fennel&date sourdough, 

To make the levain I mixed 10g 100% hydration chef with

                     20g whole rye

                     20g warm water and let it ferment for six or eight hours at room temp, then to that I added 50g whole rye and 50g cold water and fermented that at room temp for roughly 12 hours untill it was right on the verge of falling.

To make the final dough first I toasted some fennel seeds and chopped some fresh dates. Having done that I took

700g KABF (91%)

140g Rye Levain (9% water 9%rye)

546g water (71%)

116g chopped fresh dates (15%)

16g toasted fennel seeds (3ish%

15g salt. (2ish%)

autolyse 1hr

add salt

slap&fold 6min

rest 5min

slap&fold 3 or so min

rest 10 min

stretch&fold a few sets

bulk retard around 20 hrs with one set of stretch and folds about 5 hours in.


proof 3 hrs

bake. around 30 minutes each at incrementally decreasing temps starting at 550 and going to 450


This bread is so darn good, though I did cut it while it was still piping hot (amateur hour I know) and kinda smeared the otherwise a little bit better crumb.



dabrownman's picture

I'm trying to get my head around fennel and dates -Yummy!  Fennel and figs sounds double FF...ish for some reason :-)

Well done and happy baking

WoodenSpoon's picture

Thanks man! as i was wandering around the store muttering the things I needed to get, namely fennel and dates I had to keep reminding my self that it is not figs that I was after. I think at one point I found myself holding a pile of figs and wondering how I got there. 

isand66's picture

Love this one.  I did a version of formula Khalid (Mebake) posted last year with dates but no fennel and I loved it.

Great crumb and awesome crust.


WoodenSpoon's picture

Thanks Ian, I think fennel and dates go together so darn well, and the fennel smells so good both when toasting it and when the bread is baking that its pretty much worth it just for the aroma.

Mebake's picture

Love the photography, WS! and inspiring combination of dates and fennel.

The loaves are miniatures?! What brotform size have you used?


WoodenSpoon's picture

Thanks!  The boule was 500+g and the oval was 700+g

Cadrabkin's picture

i don't think I've ever seen a fresh date in Kansas.....would dried work?

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Almost put dates in my fruit and nut levain bake today but opted against.  We have dates almost daily as a snack after dinner to get rid of the sweet tooth in a more healthy way.  These look very nice and will probably taste great with all that rye.  Did you Medjool or another kind?