The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Seeded sourdough loaf

Raluca's picture

Seeded sourdough loaf

I haven't been here in a while. Life has been busy..hectic..sometimes tiring..

But, I am not here to complain, but to tell you about the good things that happened:

I took a bread baking course at the E5 Bakehouse in London and loved it! That's why I went back and wrote an article about them for the amazing Bread Magazine - the August issue.

I didn't do much baking after the course, unfortunately, but I did visit an English institution: Shipton Mill, one of the last traditional mills in the country and wrote another article about them for the October issue of Bread Magazine.

I loved the visit and most of all I love the fact that I bought some amazing flours and two of them I used in the making of this loaf, that is now our favourite: Canadian Strong White Bread Flour and Seeded White Organic Flour.

Sooo, here it is all about the loaf.


Time schedule:

Day 1: Make the preferment, leave for 12 hours at room temperature to mature. I don’t know exactly what the temperature in my kitchen was over night, I guess not above 21C, so I've left mine for about 13 hours and a half. I usually leave my preferment for around 12 hours until it’s nice and bubbly and has not sunk. You can test if it’s ready by putting a spoon of it in a bowl of water, if it floats it’s ready, otherwise it needs more time.

Day 2: Make the bread

    • Mix the preferment with the water and flour.
    • Leave to rest for 30mins (autolyse)
    • Add the salt and mix for 3 minutes on low speed and another 2 minutes on medium speed
    • Leave to rest for 50mins
    • Perform 1st stretch and fold
    • Leave to rest for 50mins
    • Perform 2nd stretch and fold
    • Leave to rest for 50mins
    • Preshape the bread
    • Leave to rest for 15 minutes
    • Shape the bread
    • Proof it for 110mins
    • I've baked the bread on a pre-heated baking stone at 230C for 5 minutes then reduced to around 215C for the next 40 minutes - this is because my oven is very small and the bread is too close to the heat.

Sourdough culture: For this bread I used a 100% hydration, 100% white sourdough culture.


Recipe for 1 loaf (aprox. 67% hydration):

Flour: For this loaf I used Canadian Strong White Bread Flour and Seeded White Organic Flour. from Shipton Mill.

Ingredients for the preferment:

Make it 12 hours before you want to start on your bread.

IngredientQuantityBaker's %
Strong Canadian Flour115gr100%
Sourdough culture15gr


Method for the preferment:

Dissolve the starter in the water. Add the flour and mix until well combined. Cover tightly with cling film and leave it to rest at room temperature for about 12 hours or as I said above: until it’s bubbly and floats.


Ingredients for the bread:

IngredientQuantityBaker's %
Seeded White Organic340gr100%
Water 192gr56.50%


Final baker’s percentage (including preferment):

IngredientQuantityBaker's %
Flour mix455gr100%

Seed mix: I bought a seed mix from Waitrose and used that one to seed the bread on the exterior. Not sure exactly how much I've used probably around 100gr.

Method for the bread

I dissolved the preferment in  the water and then added the flour. Mix until you have quite a weird and not smooth mass of wet flour coming together. Do NOT add the salt at this point. I covered the bowl and left it to rest for 30 minutes for the autolyse. When the 30 minutes are up add the salt and mix for around 3 minutes on low speed and another 2 minutes on medium speed. I use a Kitchen Aid with hook attachment for this. If you want to knead it by hand do it for about 10-15 minutes. Transfer the dough to a clean greased bowl (I used an oil spray to grease the bowl), cover it with cling film and leave it to rest for 50 minutes.I use shower caps for this ;).


When the 50 minutes are up you are ready for your first stretch and fold.

I did my stretch and folds directly in the bowl, but you can either tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface or you can initially place your dough in a large rectangular container so you can do them directly in there.

Now cover the bowl again and leave to rest for another 50 minutes. Do another stretch and fold (the last one) and again leave to rest for 50 minutes.

After this final rest you need to preshape your bread. I preshaped it as a boule and left it to rest on my counter covered with a kitchen towel for 15 minutes. Then I shaped it as a batard. 

I've rolled the battard on a wet kitchen towel, to make sure the seeds will stick to it and then rolled one side (the smooth one) on a bed of seeds (I've just sprinkled the seeds generously on a different kitchen towel).

I then moved it in a floured banneton, seeds side down, placed it in a plastic bag that I closed tightly and left it to proof for 1hour and 50minutes. You can find here a clip on shaping and scoring a batard.

You will need your oven to reach 250C so start pre-heating sometime after the proofing period has started, depending on your oven.

To bake the bread I use a 3cm thick granite baking stone, that I've left in the oven for 2 hours at 250C, to heat up properly.

So, after 1 hour and 50minutes of proofing, I tipped my bread on a baking sheet scored it with a long score and put it in the oven.


I also keep in the oven one of the trays, while it is pre-heating, so it gets hot hot. Then, immediately after transferring the bread on the stone, I add a cup of hot water to the tray below to create some steam and shut the door quickly.

Take the water tray out of the oven after first 20 minutes, otherwise the crust will not form properly.

You will need to bake this bread for 45 minutes at 230C. For me the baking was 5 minutes at 250C and then, because I have a really small oven, I reduced the temperature to 210C for the rest of the 45 minutes. To get a nice crust I've opened the oven door 5 minutes before the baking time is up, to release some of the steam and then left the bread in the oven for another 5 minutes oven turned off and door closed.

Resulting bread:

Amazing! Rich nutty flavour, a good crust improved by the crunchy seeds and a lovely buttery crumb.


Casey_Powers's picture

Your bread looks lovely!  The crust and crumb are so rustic.  I like the crust and crumb that you have so beautifully graced with nuts. you have taken a nice photo that really enhances the bread's beauty.

Warm Regards,


Raluca's picture

I am really proud of how this loaf turned up! Never managed a score like this so far ;)

Floydm's picture

Beautiful loaf!

Raluca's picture

I wasn't expecting it to look so good! Chuffed that it did!

Janetcook's picture

As others have said this loaf is a beauty.  Simplicity at its best just begging to be eaten in a very relaxed manner that nourishes not only the body but the soul as well.

THanks for sharing!


Raluca's picture

Thank you very much for your kind words, Janet!

dabrownman's picture

bread should look like.  Wouldn't change a thing.  Has to taste as good as it looks.

happy baking 

Raluca's picture

Thank you! It did taste amazing both out of the oven and as toast the next days!

Happy baking to you too!

Les Nightingill's picture
Les Nightingill

It looks just lovely. Well done.

For those of us who don't have access to Shipton Mill flour, what do you estimate the weight of the seeds is in the 340g of their Seeded White flour? Is there any info on the flour bag?

Raluca's picture

Thank you! I was really lucky this time, hope to be able to recreate it with the same success next time.

So the seeds in the mix are: sunflower seeds, pumpkin, linseed, poppy seeds and millet seeds - a total of 14% which means to get 340gr of seeded flour, you would need:

- 47.6gr seeds

- 292.4gr flour.

By the way the flour is a mix of: white wheat, whole wheat, malted barley and rye.

Hope it helps! Good luck!


isand66's picture

Beautiful looking bread.  Love your crust and crumb.

Raluca's picture

Thank you very much!

Foodzeit's picture

The ear, the crumb, a fantastic bread that is well executed and sure must taste awesome, it's on my list of things to bake, which is already too long :)

Raluca's picture

Thank you! I know about lists, need more time :)