The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Surprise Sourdough with Chia Seeds

NetherReine's picture

Surprise Sourdough with Chia Seeds


An adaptation of Norwich Sourdough by Susan @ Wild Yeast


360 g ripe 100% hydration sourdough starter (I use wholewheat starter)

100 g chia seeds

510 g bread flour (I use King Arthur)

510 g white wholewheat (I use Wheat Montana Prairie Gold)

710 g water at 75 degrees Fahrenheit

25 g salt


Mix the flour, water, chia seeds and starter on low speed until combined. (About a minute in my KA mixer).

Autolyze the dough for 30 minutes.

Add the salt and mix on medium speed (depending on your mixer) until dough reaches a medium level of gluten development. (4 minutes in my KA)

Place dough in an oiled container – I always use olive oil.

Ferment for 2.5 hours with two stretch and folds at 50 minutes apart. (I ferment in my “oven proofer” (oven with pan of hot water) at about 80 degrees Fahrenheit).

Turn the dough onto counter that has been sprayed lightly with olive oil. ( I never use flour for counters). Divide dough into 3 equal parts and preshape into balls.

Cover the balls with a tea towel or plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.

Form loaves into desired shape (I usually make batards) and place in proofing containers. (I use bannetons dusted with rice flour to prevent sticking).

Cover bannetons with plastic and proof for 2 to 2.5 hours. I put mine back into the “oven proofer” at around 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

After 1.5 hours I pull the dough from the oven and preheat to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. At this time I am also preheating my baking stone and cast iron skillet (which I use for steam). The dough continues to proof on the counter for the remaining hour.

Once the dough is fully proofed (use the “finger poke” method), turn them onto parchment. Slash each with your preferred method and design.

Turn the oven temperature down to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and place the loaves, parchment and all, onto the baking stone. Pour 1 to 1.5 cups of hot water into cast iron skillet (or use your preferred steaming method). Bake with steam for 10 minutes and then remove the skillet from the oven. Rotate the loaves at this time for even browning. Continue to cook another 15-20 minutes until the crust is very brown and the internal temperature of the bread is approximately 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cool bread on a wire rack.

NetherReine's picture

NetherReine's picture

NetherReine's picture

This knife is so amazing.  Seems pricey until you use it.  Worth every penny!

Francine's picture

Chia seeds are neutral and they will aquire the flavor of that which they are commingled with. I also found that the bread that I bake using Chia has a little longer shelf life; I'm not too sure why that would be? BTW I'm coveting your bread knife...




NetherReine's picture

I read that chia seeds have a very long shelf life because they are so rich in antioxodants.  Perhaps that is why they extend the shelf life of the bread?  Do you find that the bread you make with chia is more dense than your other breads?  Is there any way around it?  Or should I just let it go and enjoy a really good bread and leave perfectionism behind?  Ah, the knife.  I have owned several bread knives and this one is light years better than any of them.  It was given to me as a gift - otherwise I doubt I would have ever paid $80 for a bread knife.  However, after years of struggling to slice home baked bread (especially artisan sourdough loaves), the ease with which this knives glides through even the toughest bread is truly a revelation.  If anything happens to this knife I won't hesitate to buy another one!


carblicious's picture

Curious about the use of chia seeds.  Is this your regular sourdough, and simply adding chia seeds?  Or did you adjust your formula to take into account chai seed's reaction to H2O?

Also, does it taste any different?  I find chia kinda neutral in taste, but am curious.


NetherReine's picture

I did add a little extra water, even so, the chia loaves are a bit more dense than my regular sourdough.  I wonder if the "gel" action of the chia seeds is the cause of this?  I do notice a distinct "nuttiness" from the chia seeds that my family (and I) really enjoy!

dabrownman's picture

I'm guessing the chia seeds make all the difference.  I like them too.  Thye are very nice in combination with nigella seeds and I have also used basil seeds with both to make a very savory YW bread but, I am preetty sure that all three separately or together will work well with SD too.