The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Ru007 inspired Cornmeal Sourdough with Sunflower and Pumpkin Seeds

Danni3ll3's picture

Ru007 inspired Cornmeal Sourdough with Sunflower and Pumpkin Seeds

Ru007's post on her Sourdough with Polenta, Sunflower seeds and Pepitas motivated me to try her recipe since it looked amazing! I didn't have any Polenta but thought that cornmeal might be close enough and with her encouragement, I went ahead and used cornmeal.

The plan was to double her recipe and be done but my starter was 100% hydration as opposed to 80% like hers and my math got wonky when I started using the baker's percentages instead of the actual weights after I had soaked my cornmeal. No matter, I am really happy how it turned out.


Make Soaker: Pour 220 g of boiling water over 80 g of medium grind cornmeal and let sit for several hours (5 hours or so)

Levain: Feed starter with a 1:2:2 ratio of part rye, part whole grain flour and water. Let sit 6 hours.

Add ins: Toast 75 grams each of hulled sunflower and pumpkin seeds in frying pan. Let cool.

Autolyse: Mix 275 g of cornmeal soaker with 300 g wholegrain wheat flour, 700 g unbleached all purpose flour, and 560 g of water. Let sit for an hour.

Mix dough: Sprinkle 22 g of sea salt over the dough and add 200 g of the levain. Pinch and fold to incorporate. I also added 20 grams of water here because the dough felt too stiff. 

Fermentation: Do a series of 4/5 folds every half hour at the beginning of fermentation and every hour later on until risen by 30-50% which took about 5 hours. Add in seeds during the second set of folds. I used the slap and fold method to get the seeds evenly distributed since the pinch and fold method wasn't doing it for me and my hand was getting sore.

Divide and Pre-shape: Divide the dough into two loaves and used the letter fold method to pre-shape. The loaves sat uncovered on the counter for about 40 minutes.

Shape: Flip the balls upside down and do the letter fold method again. I got a nice tight skin by pulling the dough towards me on the counter. Let it sit for a few seconds and then put it seam side up in floured (all purpose and rice) baskets. Put the baskets into plastic bags to prevent the dough from drying out.

Proof: Let proof on the counter for one hour and then into the fridge for 20 hours and 20 minutes. 

Baking: Heat oven with baking stone and dutch ovens to 500F for 45 minutes. When oven is ready, turn out dough onto counter sprinkled with cornmeal. Remove dutch ovens from oven and sprinkle bottom with cornmeal. Gently drop loaves in dutch ovens and score with razor blade. Bake at 500F for 20 minutes with lid on, drop oven temp to 450 and bake for 10 minutes longer. Remove lid and bake for another 30 minutes.


I let it cool for about 20 hours before cutting it up to go into the freezer in slices. I am really pleased with the crumb!

I ate the ends and I was really pleased with the flavour. Thank you Ru007 for your post and your inspiration!


Ru007's picture

Wow!! I'm not really sure what else to say, my jaw is still on the floor :) Crust and crumb are winners! 

I'm so so glad this turned out well for you with the cornmeal, and you like the flavour too. 

Thanks for trying this recipe :) Now that you've tried it, is there anything you'd want to change? More seeds, more cornmeal etc? 

Great job Danni! 

Happy baking :)

Danni3ll3's picture

more cornmeal since the flavour is a bit lost with the toasted seeds or maybe, I should try it without toasting the seeds. What do you think, Ru?

Otherwise, I am pleased that I have finally found a method that works for me getting the crumb I want and allows me flexibility in terms of baking times. This means I can take advantage of lower electrical costs at certain times of the day and on weekends and keep hubby happy with the hydro bill. 

And thank you so much for your kind words and for being my inspiration!

Ru007's picture

the amount of polenta, but i since i had changed the make up of the flour so much, i decided to hold off on that, but its definitely on my to do list. I actually found the flavour of the polenta to be a bit more prominent in this loaf compared to the one with 100% white flour, which was unexpected. 

As for the seeds, i prefer them toasted, but i get what you mean, the flavour from the toasted seeds is strong. Maybe you could try less seeds? 

LOL! I'm glad this loaf is easy on the electricity bill, that's probably the only downside to bread baking, it takes up so much energy :)

PalwithnoovenP's picture

Wow! Crumb and crust is perfect. The flavor must be very nice. More corn meal for the win. Congratulations!

dabrownman's picture

Has to be tasty too!  Love that bold bake.  

Well done and happy baking 

Danni3ll3's picture

I hope you all know that I would not be where I am if I didn't have your support and your willingness to share your knowledge. This site is awesome and is made up of an amazing community of bakers. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being here!

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

and I will definitely try this one soon. Thanks, Ru and Danni, I love so many of your breads and appreciate your posts!

dabrownman's picture

the crumb shots.  That is from having flour on the work surface when shaping.  You have beautiful wood surface to make bread on, like my old one, so no flour is required at all once it is seasoned with a bit of flour, rubbed into the surface well and the rest totally removed with dough scraper before shaping.  Otherwise it can get in there and case those white streaks.  Now if you want white streaks, which is fine by me,  you know how to get them in there:-)  Weird I didn't see them the first time but my eye sight is really getting bad....Happy baking.

Danni3ll3's picture

They are the result of glare from the window on the crumb.  The actual loaf is streak free. Ha ha!

And yes, I agree with you about my island counter. It is a lovely surface and I am working on using less flour on it. :-)

ifs201's picture

Thanks for this great recipe. I just tried to make it myself and am really pleased with the results! I think it might be my best loaf since I started experimenting with bread two months ago.