The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Tartine sourdough with walnuts, walnut oil and fresh sage

CAphyl's picture

Tartine sourdough with walnuts, walnut oil and fresh sage

It's my husband's birthday, so I wanted to make something special and different. Inspired by so many bakers on this site, I tried something new in making this bread, improvising a bit on the ingredients. I felt a need to incorporate some fresh herbs from the garden, so I decided to alter the Tartine recipe I typically use to add a few ingredients that may be tasty together.

We just had some for lunch, and it was nutty and tangy....really tasty.  The sage wasn't as visible, but we could smell it and spot it in a few places. My husband liked it, so I am pleased.

It's always fun to get the starter going. (Complete recipe is below).

It really popped up overnight.

The dough smelled wonderful during the autolyze phase.

I picked fresh sage from the garden, washed it and let it dry out on the cutting board as I didn't want to add any more wetness to the Tartine dough, which is very wet.  I used California walnuts, of course.

I gently patted the dough down to put the ingredients inside before shaping.

I thought the bread turned out well.  It flattened a bit during the baking, but that may be because I stuffed so many nuts and bits of sage in there. I was hoping for a more open crumb, but it was OK. My husband (engineering background) likes a more uniform crumb.

Tartine Sourdough with Walnuts, Walnut Oil and Fresh Sage


  1. 55g ripe starter (I used a mix of AP, WW and dark rye starter)
  2. 200g water
  3. 200g whole wheat flour (I actually used sprouted whole wheat)

Mix the starter and water together in a medium-sized glass bowl until the starter is fully absorbed.  Add the flour and mix well.  Cover and leave on the counter at room temperature overnight.


  1. 250g (25%) leaven
  2. 500g (53%) white bread flour (I used AP as I thought it was my bread flour!)
  3. 250g (27%) whole wheat bread flour (I used mostly sprouted whole wheat, as I had a bag open. Regular ww is fine)
  4. 150g (16%) dark rye flour
  5. 20g (2%) salt
  6. 730g water plus 50g water in reserve for after you add the salt (step #6 in Method below)
  7. 10g walnut oil
  8. 10-15g fresh sage, sliced in very thin strips, for each loaf; 20-30g total (2.5%)


  1. Add the 250g of the starter to a large mixing bowl
  2. Pour in 730g water and mix until the water and leaven are completely mixed and dissolved
  3. Add all of the flours and mix until all the dry flour is incorporated
  4. Mix in the 10g of walnut oil
  5. Cover your bowl with a towel and let autolyse for 40-50 minutes
  6. After the autolyze phase add 20g salt to the dough and slowly pour your 50g reserved water on top
  7. Use your dough scraper to turn the dough several times.

Now, leave this on the counter covered with a towel for the bulk fermentation phase of about four-five hours with frequent turns. For the first step, let it sit for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, turn the dough several times with your dough scraper. Now, turn the dough with your scraper every 30 minutes for two hours.  After that period, leave the dough to rise untouched for another two hours.


As many of you know, Tartine bread has high hydration and can be tough to handle. I lightly floured my surface and eased the dough on the top of it.  At this point, let the dough rest for 30 minutes.


I used the dough scraper to divide the dough in half before shaping into boules. Try not to add much flour.  I coated my hands with the walnut oil and put a little on the surface. I shaped it twice, letting it rest in between shapings.  Then place the shaped dough into a banneton dusted with brown rice flour and retard in the refrigerator overnight.


Preheat your oven with your covered baker inside at 500 F (260C) degrees.  Remove the tray from the oven, use a bit of cornmeal at the bottom to prevent sticking, place the dough into the tray and score.  I sprayed with just a touch of water to get the nice crust.  Bake with the dome on for 30 minutes at 500 degrees, then remove the dome and bake at 435F (224C) convention for 15 minutes or so; 450F/232C  if you don’t have convection).  I usually bake a bit longer to get the bold crust.  Just check it during this phase and thump the bottom to be sure it is done.

If you don't have a covered baker, place your baking stone in your oven pre-heat to 500F (260C). You can take your loaves out of the fridge to warm up while the oven is preheating.

Place the dough onto the stone, score it, get your steaming apparatus in place and turn the heat down to 450ºF (232C), bake for approximately 45-50 minutes until you have the crust color you desire.

Yesterday, I made one of my husband's favorite breads, the classic sourdough. His birthday celebration goes all week!

I was pleased with the open crumb.

I also made one of my husband's favorite dishes for dinner last night, "no cook" heirloom tomato sauce with homemade pesto and a parmesan crisp. Lots of fresh tomatoes, basil and garlic.  We are lucky in California to still have the tomatoes growing in our garden and heirlooms still at the farmer's market. Yum! (If you want recipes, let me know).

The celebration continues tonight when we go out to dinner and a show. I'll probably bake him another special loaf soon. I enjoyed my Tartine experiment!  Phyllis


dabrownman's picture

This bread is one of our favorite for 2014 and in the running for the top 3 of the year.  We love this bread.  Our version had whey for some of the liquid and we mashed some of the walnuts with the walnut oil to make a paste.  The sprouted grains really give it a different flavor for sure. - how do you like it?

Your version of 'Sprouted Super Human Bread'   is just perfect inside and out and that classic SD is a keeper too.  The home grown tomato and pesto pasta looks delish.  Your husband is one lucky chap!  Well done and

Happy baking Phyllis

CAphyl's picture

It was really delicious and had a very different taste.  I have to say that we both really enjoyed it.  I think making a paste is a good idea, and I will try that next time. I am sure it will add to the unique taste.   I have to admit that I did not make the sprouted whole wheat from scratch.  You and others have talked about it, so I found some at the store and got a big bag (which I finished with this bake), and I really like it. I will be sure to get some more.  I bet this bread would be good with some other herbs from the garden.  Any suggestions?  Thanks for the inspiration and your comments.  It means a lot coming from you.  I shall keep experimenting with different tastes.  Best,  Phyllis

ElPanadero's picture

Lots of flavours in there, must taste great.

I'm getting convinced there's something squiffy with your camera because the pics always seem a bit yellowy and washed out. Maybe it has some setting that is trying to compensate for your lighting conditions? No big deal, I'm just sure it's not always doing your lovely loaves justice.

CAphyl's picture

ElPanadero: I have been resizing them because I have had a heck of time posting photos, and then they wash out.  The originals look great.  I will have to see if I can try something else.  Thanks for the kind words on the bread.  Best,  Phyllis

isand66's picture

Awesome loaf Phyllis!  This one has to taste great.  I have yet to try sprouted grains other than the flour I bought.  I'm going to wait until I get the new Peter Reinhart book at dive into it then.

Your crumb and crust look spot on and that dinner looks super.  My crop of tomatoes this year were not very good and I wish I could still get some fresh tomatoes from my garden or better yet, yours!


CAphyl's picture

My husband really liked the bread and actually mentioned how much he enjoyed it when we had dinner last night, so it's a keeper.  With California weather, we never know how long the tomatoes will last.  Fingers crossed, we can keep harvesting some for many more weeks.  Thanks for your very kind words and good luck with the new Reinhart book and recipes!  Best,  Phyllis

Kiseger's picture

Lucky husband, birthday bread...what more could a man want??  I just love sage, it is an under-used herb and has really good flavour when fresh.  I wonder if thyme or rosemary would work with the walnuts?  How about fresh sage and caramelised onions?  That might be a good combination.  So much to try!! Your new photo test came out well, but even these photos show off your beautiful breads, great crust and crumb! Well done!!

CAphyl's picture

I wondered the same thing about the other herbs.  I think I will try another combination to see how that works.  It is fun to experiment.  Hope your husband's nose is better. Thanks again for your support and encouragement.  Look forward to your posts.  Best,  Phyllis

bakingbadly's picture

If I were your husband, I'd treat you to something really, really nice. Dinner, spa, road trip, I don't know. I mean, as a baker, it would be incredibly heartfelt to be gifted a personalized and handcrafted bread.

Well done on the walnut sage sourdough, a combo that's new to me. I sincerely hope your husband appreciated your efforts.

Cheers and jolly bakings,


CAphyl's picture

My husband made toast out of the bread this morning for breakfast, and he really enjoyed it.  I will definitely make it again.  I told him about your German weekend restaurant and the menu, and he was quite interested.  I will have to show him your post with all the great photos.  Enjoy your weekend (it's already almost over for you, and I am sure you are working hard!)  Best,  Phyllis