The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Seed Loaf

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Syd's picture

Seed Loaf

After bookmarking it more than a year ago, last weekend I finally got round to making Karin's Saatenbrot.  It turned out really good and was made extra special by the freshly ground bread spices which I roasted and ground up.  Not everyone in the family liked it, though.  They thought it too heavy and too strongly flavoured.  I had also baked them too dark (should have taken the baking stone out of the oven but didn't think of it) and consequently at least one of the loaves got slightly burned which gave it a hint of bitter.  I love bitter so that was fine with me but didn't sit so well with everyone else. :)

So I set about thinking how I could still keep the spirit of the bread, but lighten things up a little and make it my own. 

Essentially, I cut down on the rye, halved the seeds (I didn't have hemp so I used sunflower instead) and added a tangzhong.  All these elements combined to make a light seed loaf, with a soft, moist crumb but with a firm bite provided by the seeds.  It makes excellent sandwiches but really comes into its own when toasted and lightly buttered.  The seeds get an even nuttier flavour.  


Rye Preferment

  • 25g mature whole wheat starter
  • 100g rye
  • 100g water

I made the preferment, the soaker and the tangzhong in the morning.


  • 100g whole wheat flour
  • 30g flaxseed
  • 2g salt
  • 130g water


  • 40g bread flour
  • 200g water

To make the tangzhong, mix 40g of flour with 200g of water until lump free.  Over a low heat bring the mixture up to 65 degrees C whisking all the while.  It will start to look like glue. Remove from heat immediately and keep whisking for another minute or two.  Allow to cool to room temp and refrigerate until needed.

Final Dough

  • all the preferment, soaker and tangzhong
  • 210g bread flour
  • 30g sesame seed
  • 30g sunflower seed
  • 2.5g instant yeast
  • 7g salt
  • 2g bread spices*

*  I used this recipe which I found on the internet to make the bread spices.  It consisted of:

  • 2½ tsp of caraway seeds
  • 2 tsp of fennel
  • 1 tsp of anise
  • ½ tsp of coriander seeds

 I mixed up the final dough in the afternoon when the rye preferment had peaked.  The dough was really sticky at first and I had to knead for about 10 - 12 minutes by hand until it got to the point where it stopped sticking to my hands and the counter.  That was somewhere between 600 and 800 slap and folds (Bertinet style).  Eventually I even managed to pull a decent windowpane from it.  I let it relax for about 20 to 30 minutes and then shaped it and put it in the loaf tin.  I was going to bake when it had proofed fully but had to go out for four hours so it got refrigerated and was baked later that evening.  I forgot to take it out of the loaf tin half way through the bake and it was only taken out for the final ten minutes.  This accounts for the somewhat pale sides as opposed to the nicely browned top.  

Here's another shot of the loaf from a slightly different angle and the clouds playing funny with the light.  Unfortunately I cut the loaf before I considered taking pictures of it so I don't have any of the uncut loaf.



David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Nicely baked. I do love hemp seeds and recommend trying them in the next version.

Syd's picture

Have never tried hemp seeds and was a little apprehensive/embarrassed about asking around for them lest someone suspected my reason for acquiring them!  Now that you have recommended them, I shall be braver and ask around for them. :) 

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Hemp Seeds are readily available on Amazon, but if you don't want to buy food through the mail, your best bet is to go to a health food store or a Whole Foods (if in the U.S.) where you should be able to find them.

Janetcook's picture

Hi Syd,

Love how you changed the formula into a nice seeded sandwich loaf.  Looks very soft and flavorful….a bread I will have to remember when I want a seeded sandwich loaf .

Thanks for sharing.

Take Care,


Syd's picture

You summed it up perfectly, Janet; a soft, seeded, sandwich loaf.  Actually, another reason for wanting to change the formula was because I found I was getting indigestion after only two slices of the original recipe.  Not sure if it was the amount of seed in it or if the culprit was a particular seed (like flaxseed) but it gave me heartburn.  Haven't had the problem with this loaf.

Thanks for commenting Janet,


SylviaH's picture

What a gorgeous open crumb and loaded too!

Though I'm not eating any grains at present.  I love your beautiful sandwich loaf and I have post marked it.  


Syd's picture

Thanks Sylvia!  Hope you are able to eat grains soon.  I still use your steaming method even though I scorched a pair of towels once! :)

All the best,


emkay's picture

I like that you used both a preferment and the TZ.  Sometimes nothing beats a good sandwich loaf. 

Syd's picture

Thanks emkay. :) Yes, it is obviously not as strongly flavoured as Karin's original formula but it still has a lot of flavour from the rye preferment.  The tangzhong adds  tenderness and moisture and the seeds bring even more moisture.

isand66's picture

Beautiful bread Syd.  You can't please everyone but this sure looks like a winner to me.



Syd's picture

Thanks Ian,

Fortunately everything worked out smoothly the first time so it can go straight into tried and tested.  Everyone liked this one too so I will definitely be making it again.  



dabrownman's picture

if there ever was one!  I liken the changes you made to the original formula too. Love everything about this bread especially the TZ.  Well done and

Happy Baking Syd

Syd's picture

Thanks DA.  It rose higher than I expected.  Probably something to do with the TZ and the extensive kneading.  

All the best DA,

Syd :)

varda's picture

Syd, I love your sandwich breads and have tried to bake a few of them.   Nice customizing for your family.   The concept of bread spice is still a bit foreign but this looks fantastic.   -Varda

Syd's picture

Thanks Varda,

You could leave the bread spices out if you don't want them.  I left them out the second time I made it and I prefer it without them.

Can't wait to hear more about how it is going at the market for you.  Do post when you have time. :)

All the best,


Mebake's picture

That looks superb, Syd! Tall and soft, and full of seeds.  can't get much better than that.

Well done.


Syd's picture

Thanks Khalid.  I was very happy with the way this one turned out.  

Keep well, :)