The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Additional ingredients to sourdough

TheBrickLayer's picture

Additional ingredients to sourdough

I've pretty well mastered (okay, not "mastered," but definitely gotten the hang of) reliably baking a good, well-risen loaf of APF naturally leavened bread. I'd be happy doing that for the rest of my life, but my wife has been pestering me for months to add stuff to the bread---garlic, dried fruits, etc---to  make it more fun and interesting.

I wouldn't mind starting out with some garlic. My questions are various and predictable: How much should I add? Chopped, diced, etc? At what point in the bake---autolyse, folding, shaping---do I put the garlic in? Do additional ingredients affect the bake time? What does it do to the oven spring and crumb?

I'm sure that a lot of the answers to these questions depend upon variables like flour, hydration, temp, etc etc. So just give me some general answers, if possible. 




suave's picture

Hamelman has a good variety of sourdough breads of the kind you seek.  There are no valid reasons not to own a copy of his book.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

so it is best added while shaping.  Try to avoid mixing garlic into the initial mix, opting to layer it in after deflating a bulk rise.  There are many ways to go about adding garlic.  You can also cook or lightly fry some first before adding.  It can be pressed, chopped, sliced or cooked and mashed.  

A bit of cooked mashed potato or cream cheese with roasted garlic in butter makes a nice thin layer of filling, jelly roll style into a loaf or as a filling inside rolls.   Chives and green onions add a little colour.   

Unless you are adding large amounts of garlic, there will be no obvious changes in baking time.

DanAyo's picture

The following are excerpts from various post in the past. It mostly deals with seeds and grains. Maybe something will be of interest to you. “Toadies are a great way to add depth of flavor to most any bread.


...excerpts from various post.


Karin aka hanseata

I usually don't soak seeds or nuts, because I like it crunchy - except for flax seeds. If those are not soaked for 12 hours or more, they are totally indigestible.

Otherwise, you just have to keep in mind that seeds will absorb liquid.


Yes, I read about them in DBM's recipes. I haven't used the specific toadie mixture, but I would treat them like bran, and add about 10% of the total flour weight, and consider the water absorption (50 g bran will absorb 100 g water).

DBM often extracts 15% coarser parts from his freshly milled flour, to include them in a soaker. I like adding old, toasted bread crumbs for a heartier taste. I definitely agree with you about the seeded breads. 



I often toss seeds in dough

without soaking them but I also toast them in a dry frying pan first. That seems to help with lessening the amount of water they steal from the dough. Whole flax and chia seeds are the worse culprits for that. They soak up huge amounts of water. 


All my breads include flax for health reasons as well as soaking up extra water. I find the initial mixing of flour and water difficult by hand (It’s a pain in the neck when you make four batches of over 2200 g.) so I tend to add a little extra water and the addition of ground flax helps to firm the dough up during the autolyse. I grind the flax seed is a “bullet”. So I take advantage of the flax’s properties. I think mutantkid is where I saw ground flax added in for the first time and I have done so ever since



If you love crunchiness


You'll love hemp hearts, the hull-less seeds are great!    

I dump in a lot of various seeds, so don't hesitate to add them in.  If you're not sure of the hydration of the dough, check on it half an hour to an hour after mixing the seeds in.  You can always squish in some more water into the dough or make the dough loose and add more seeds to soak up the extra moisture.  Wet hand kneading is very practical in that respect.  

Pop some of the seeds or mixtures into your mouth while trying to decide, if you need more moisture, not only can you test the combined flavour, your mouth will let you know if they are a bit too dry to just toss in without any additional liquids.  Don't forget about other liquids such as pickle juice, soup, coconut milk, pressed berries (check the freezer) canned unsweetened fruit juices, tea, wine and beer.  You're only limited by your imagination.  Grated or finely diced or shredded fresh veggies can add water too along with interesting crumb effects. Wash well and blanch root vegetables.  

Some seeds soak up more than others, the ones that form gels around themselves like chia, flax, oats and grain flakes are big soaker uppers. Nut flours and ground seeds tend to soak up water and liquids as well.  You can use them as water bearing tools to hold water in the dough (to be released while baking) while making a lower hydration dough that is easier to handle.  




Feb 9 2018 - 8:58pm

I'm with Karen and Mini


I just toss them in and if the dough needs a bit more water it is easy to work in during the stretch and folds.  Flax seeds need to soaked or you will not digest them and they will just pass through.  i usually just run them through my seed mill.  My standard Toady blend is the bran and sifted middling from whole grains, plus ground, sesame, flax and poppy seeds toasted till they start to turn brown and smoke a bit it a dry pan in medium heat,  Toadies give you even more flavor enhancement from the seeds.

Karin got Lucy hooked on Hemp seeds and she has never been the same since.  Karin is known as the Queen of Seeds around here



Toadies were sort of invented by


a Fresh Loafian -  They originally were made up of wheat germ and wheat bran mixed and dry toasted until golden.  I added sifted middlings and oat bran to the mix and called it Toadies after Now it could be just about anything dry toasted.  Toadies are one of the great bread flavor enhancers of all time and work especially well in scalds and low temperature bakes.



I took some wheat bran, oat bran, 6 grain cereal and wheat germ in equal amounts and added this to an equal amount of sifted middlings from some rye, spelt, kamut and WW that I had ground up in the Krups coffee grinder.  Then we browned them, not burning, in a dry skillet until they were toasty, nutty and ....toady.  This ungodly tidbit mix really does put a Toady Tom flavor in just about anything bread and one of the many useful things I have have picked up from so many Fresh Lofians  this past year.


...copied from various post.