The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Broken wheat and sunflower sourdough boule

Xenophon's picture

Broken wheat and sunflower sourdough boule

This is a 3-stage bread, I started out with a small quantity of 100% rye wild yeast starter, built a white flour biga and finally integrated this with some wholewheat flour, white bread flour, toasted sunflower seeds and broken whole wheat to arrive at a 70% hydration dough that was shaped as a boule and baked it.  It was just an experiment but turned out well so without further ado:


40 grams of 100% hydration wild yeast sourdough rye starter

200 grams white all purpose  flour

123 grams water



200 gr. of wholewheat flour

300 gr. strong white bread flour

300 gr. preferment 

8 gr. lo-salt*

2 gr. bread machine yeast**

40 gr. broken whole wheat kernels (2 mm fragments)

50 gr. toasted sunflower seeds

370 gr. water***

Black sesame seeds and flour for dusting.




Combine sourdough culture, water and white bread flour, allow to ferment (covered with a loose fitting lid) at room temperature (18-21 centigrade) for about 14 hours.

Retard overnight in a 4 centigrade fridge


Toast sunflower seeds until slightly browned, reserve and let cool.

Combine water, preferment (biga), bread machine yeast and flours, mix at speed 1 for 2 minutes or until everything is incorporated.

Autolyse for 25 minutes

Add salt, broken wheat (no soaking required but make sure the fragments are small (about 2 mm)) and toasted sunflower seeds.

Mix at speed 1 for 3 minutes, followed by 5 minutes at speed 2, the dough will be quite soft and somewhat sticky.

Bulk ferment at about 25 centigrade for 1.5 hours or until doubled, giving one fold after 45 minutes but be gently and don't expel all gas

Divide if desired, stretch and fold gently, shape into a boule and place into a floured  banneton.

Final proof of 45 minutes or until doubled, gently place on a silpad covered baking sheet, the dough will be sticky and flatten out a bit but no worries.  Spray with water, apply poppy seeds.

Score and place into a preheated oven at 230 centigrade in which you generate some steam (I toss a cup of boiling water in a stainless steel baking tray sitting on the bottom).

After 5 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 195 centigrade.  Bake for another 40-45 minutes until the crust is brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. 25 minutes after insertion into oven, carefully open the door and quickly remove the tray with water.  

The resulting loaf should have a nice brown crust, airy crumb structure and present a slight sourdough flavour (certainly not excessive) and good complexity of taste.  Nothing extraordinary, just a plain, tasty and honest all-purpose loaf.

* Adjust salt as desired, I don't use much but that's the way I prefer my bread.

** The extra bread machine yeast is not really required, if omitted bulk fermentation will just take a little longer.

*** Depends on the flours used, the idea is to end up with a soft, slightly sticky dough, 370 gr. is what I used and should be used as an indication.

Apologies for the crappy picture, this was taken inside under artificial lighting with my cellphone.


Bon appétit!







Bakingmadtoo's picture

It looks very nice! I love to see what everyone is baking. You have good oven spring on that.

Xenophon's picture

Yes, it turned out well, especially considering that I was just throwing some stuff together.  My wife like it too, she immediately instructed me to write down the recipe for future reference (I have the bad habit of just throwing some stuff together without taking notes, of course 4 months down the road I can't recall exactly what I did when she asks me to bake a specific bread again ;-)

I've only started in earnest with sourdough 6 months back and it';s a learning process.  While it takes a lot more time than a straight dough/yeast recipe I find it a lot more rewarding, almost a Zen-exercise that allows me to relax after hectic days at work.