The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Seedy Whole Wheaty Sourdough

wassisname's picture

Seedy Whole Wheaty Sourdough

I haven't been able to get pumpkin and sunflower seeds out of my head since Franko posted about the combination here.  In the end I went in a little different direction, using 25% whole wheat instead of rye and adding flax seeds.  No special reason for either change - the flax seeds just happened to be beside the other seeds in the freezer, so in they went, and I've been on a light whole wheat kick lately that isn't quite out of my system.  So, I came up with this:

The pumpkin and sunflower seeds were toasted in the oven at 375ºF for 6-7 minutes.  The flax seeds were soaked in all the cold water they could absorb for about 8 hrs.  I drained the flax seeds before adding them to the dough so the water used does not figure into the formula at all.  I should note that the weight in the formula is the dry weight of the flax seeds.  I didn't think to weigh them after the soak... hmm... throws my formula off, doesn't it... sorry, too late now.  Between the toasted seeds and the wet flax I think I came out about even on the hydration.

For the final dough the white flour and water were autolysed for 20 minutes.  The starter and salt were then added.  I kneaded until the WW starter and white flour portion were fully incorporated.  Easy to see because of the color difference.  Then I added all of the seeds by flattening out the dough, spreading the seed mixture over it and folding repeatedly.  When it turned into a sticky mess with seeds falling out everywhere I gave it a five minute rest.  It behaved much better after the rest and I kneaded another minute or two until everything was evenly incorporated.  The dough was given 3 S&F's at about 45 minute intervals before I went to bed.

The weather had turned chilly so I decided to use an overnight bulk ferment in one of the cooler corners of my house.  That corner turned out to be considerably cooler than I expected and by morning was 42ºF.  Oops.  So much for shaping the dough first thing in the morning!  It took a couple of hours more in a warm place before it looked even close to ready .  Probably could have used longer but I was tired of waiting. 

Final proof was about 3 hrs (75ºF - 80ºF).  I baked at 450ºF for 15 minutes with steam, then about 40 minutes at 410ºF.

The result was delicious!  The smell filled the house and was almost too much to bear.  The "bread" turned out mild and tasty but the seeds are, of course, front and center.  I mixed a little honey and butter "just to see how it would go with the bread" and went weak in the knees.  More seeds please!




Franko's picture


The loaves look and sound absolutely delicious Marcus and nicely scored as well, but the crumb stands out as the star. Nice bake and many thanks for including the mention and link to my blog, as well as sharing your formula. I know what you mean about the aroma from these toasted seed breads, one of the most fragrant type of breads I've run across.

I'd love to be able to find some of those linen brotform liners you show in your photo. May I ask where you found them?

All the best,


wassisname's picture

Thank you for the kind words Franko, and thanks for putting the idea in my head.  I'm not quite sure how the crumb turned out as well as it did, but I'll take it! 

I'm pretty sure I ordered the liners from, after not being entirely happy with the way my loaves came out of the unlined bannetons.  I should note that they are cotton, not linen, but I do like them a lot.


breadsong's picture

Hello Marcus,
That is a wonderful-looking bread.
:^) breadsong

wassisname's picture

Thank you so much breadsong! 

PiPs's picture

Winning combination there.

Great bake Marcus. The honey and butter mix on a warm slice would be heaven


wassisname's picture

Thanks Phil!  Can't believe I didn't try this sooner.  Which reminds me, the box of red quinoa that's been in my cupboard for a while may be destined for a future loaf after seeing your quinoa-sunflower rye.  That was a beauty!


ww's picture

you know how you can make this better? throw in sesame seeds. I assure you the combination of flax, pumpkin, sunflower + sesasme seeds will make you weak in the kneeds as it's baking. I first tried that combination with a Hamelman bread that has many fans on TFL. It is so flavourful you don't need to eat it with anything else. But in case you do, peanut or some other nut butter complements it perfectly i find.

that middle shot of the crumb should be an ad for bread or sth. the warm lighting and the fluffy, pretty crumb flecked with seeds and ringed by a thin, crackly (i'm imagining) crust... sigh.

wassisname's picture

Sesame seeds too?  Sounds fantastic!  I'll go check the cupboard...


lumos's picture

Really, really great looking crumb! Must've tasted wonderful, too.  Wish I'd had add some seeds in the dough that's retarding in the fridge since this morning......

wassisname's picture

Thanks lumos, it is being thoroughly enjoyed, I assure you!  I'm guessing that whatever you have in the fridge is going to be pretty amazing, even without seeds =)


ananda's picture

Gorgeous crumb, Marcus.

I bet the taste is sensational

Best wishes


wassisname's picture

Thanks, Andy.  I'm getting used to using a stronger white flour and it really made a difference in the structure.


linder's picture

Thanks so much for this recipe.  My husband wanted some 'seedy' bread.  I did not use flaxseeds but used white sesame seeds that I toasted along with the pumpkin and sunflower seeds.  My bread scoring needs work and the bread would have benefited from longer ferment for the starter build (I did only 6 hours).  Also this is my first loaf with higher hydration dough that got some reasonable holes in it.  I think the dough could have gone for more gluten development, but I'm getting there.  Otherwise, I'm pretty happy with the loaves.  They don't look as good as yours, Marcus, but I'll work on it.  This bread will be great toasted with some cheese on top accompanying a bowl of homemade soup! 

wassisname's picture

Your loaves look great, linder! Thanks so much for sharing your bake. I’m happy (and relieved) that the recipe worked out for you. I thought the crust color on my loaves was a fluke, but yours have the same beautiful glow! I’m planning on trying sesame seeds in my next version as well since so many folks have recommended them.  Really, there are so many great "seedy" breads posted at TFL I get dizzy just thinking about which to try next!

Your photos are making me hungry for this bread all over again. A little cheese and a bowl of soup… heaven!


linder's picture

Thanks, Marcus, for the kind words.  I'm having trouble leaving the bread alone, it tastes REALLY good, the sour really comes thru, but I've got to save some for tomorrow's lunch.  I wrapped 'em up and put them away for the night.

Szanter5339's picture

Congratulations! Beautiful and delicate.

wassisname's picture

Thank you for the kind words!

bwalker187's picture

I've made this bread a few times now and it's amazing! Can you tell me what size brotform basket you used? I've been searching for an oval basket that will accommodate a 2 pound loaf.

wassisname's picture

I'm happy to hear the formula is working for you.  I checked my brotforms and they measure 10.5 inches long at the top.  It's been a while, but I'm pretty sure this is the one I bought - 10.5 inch brotform.  Happy Baking!


bwalker187's picture

I've made this bread several times and absolutely LOVE it. However, it seems like the photos with the recipe aren't working. Is there a way to make them work, or can someone message me the recipe? I was hoping to make it again this weekend. 


pmccool's picture

in the hope that he may still be around to see it and respond.  Otherwise, unless someone else here has copied it and could share it with you, you're out of luck. 

Photobucket recently required all users who want to link to their photos to sign up for a membership that costs in the neighborhood of $400/year.  Most have not, so Photobucket has disabled those links. 

Hmm, one other possibility: see if you can find wassisname"s photos in Photobucket.  Not sure if that is practical but you might get lucky. 


wassisname's picture

Hi bwalker,

I haven't disappeared altogether :)  Just lots going on and not getting a chance to bake or post.  (I had three starters die of neglect before I finally admitted that I needed to put the bread on hold for a while)

I only just recently noticed that Photobucket pulled the plug on my pics, as Paul explained.  I can't justify the cost for the little that I use Photobucket's service and can't imagine I'll have time to find a workaround anytime soon.  So it is what it is.

But I'm so glad you are enjoying this bread!! 

Here is the formula.  The formatting got a little wacky, sorry.

Happy baking!



Whole Wheat Flour237100%
Initial Starter5925%
White Flour834 
Pumpkin Seeds110 
Sunflower Seeds110 
Flax Seeds55 
Whole Wheat Flour27025%
White Flour83475%
Pumpkin Seeds11010%
Sunflower Seeds11010%
Flax Seeds555%
Total Prefermented Flour 25%
Initial starter contribution in grams  
Whole Wheat Flour3457%


AM - build starter, ferment 8-10 hrs at room temperature.


Toast pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.

Soak flax seeds in cold water (drain excess water before using).


PM - Mix flour and water, autolyse 20 minutes.

Add salt and starter (cut into pieces).

Knead 5-6 minutes.

Add all seeds.

Knead 1-2 minutes to fully incorporate.




Form two loaves.


Proof 3 hrs


Preheat baking stone to 500ºF

Bake 450ºF for 15 minutes with steam

Bake 410ºF for 35-40 minutes



bwalker187's picture

Thank you so much!!! I've got Thursday off this week and can't wait to bake.