The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


browndog's picture


This is a lovely sourdough, my current favorite. I found the recipe on the now-defunct Dan Lepard forums,  and unfortunately cannot credit the original baker who posted it.  Beautiful golden yellow and with just a bit of a kick from the chilies, you can also add a teaspoon or so of cardamom and fennel for added flavor and interest, but it is utterly charming without. I have assumed in the instructions that you have a basic knowledge of sourdough technique--if not I am happy to field any questions.

I never have got the beautiful open airy crumb that many bakers seem able to produce, but nevertheless this is a tender loaf with an excellent texture, just enough chewiness for your teeth to feel as though they were being useful. I use store brand unbleached or a mix of regular unbleached and one of the higher protein all-purpose flours like King Arthur.

starter {twice refreshed} 240g
water 264g
pumpkin (cooked weight) 320g
strong white flour 840g
salt 18g
sunflower seed 100g
crushed chili

Called Pumpkin Sourdough but any winter squash will do and butternut
squash is particularly nice. Because squash can vary a lot in water content you have to be
prepared to juggle the amount of water in the recipe. Halve and seed squash.
Splash with olive oil, sprinkle with crushed  chili to taste and bake til soft.
Cool. Puree with the water.

Mix and knead using your preferred method. I fold twice at fifty-minute intervals. Bulk fermentation about 4 hours, although it can be a bit lively.
Form into two boules or batards, let rest 15 minutes, shape and set in proofing baskets.
A few sunflower seeds and a sprinkle of crushed chili in the bottom of the basket looks pretty
on the baked loaf.
Prove 3-4 hours or in the refrigerator overnight.
Carefully turn out onto a floured baking sheet. Slash and bake using preferred steaming method. I bake under rinsed stainless steel bowls for 20 minutes, then remove the bowls and another 20 minutes does the trick.
Bake in preheated 440 degree oven for about 40 minutes.






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