The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

The Much-Needed Sunshine: Quintuple Golden Sourdough

Elsie_iu's picture

The Much-Needed Sunshine: Quintuple Golden Sourdough

After a few not-so-successful bake, I decided to cheer myself up with a loaf of golden sourdough bread. To be exact, it’s quintuple (aka five times) positive energy sourdough. So how does it add up to five? I’ll count it for you.


Masa harina      


Golden tea leaves

Toasted white sesame seeds  

See? I didn’t lie to you!


Quintuple Golden Sourdough


Dough flour:

150g      60%       Whole wheat flour

60g        20%       Whole Spelt flour

60g        20%       Masa Harina


For leaven:

10g       3.3%       Starter

10g       3.3%       Bran shifted out from dough flour

10g       3.3%       Water


For porridge:

45g         15%       Medium stone grind cornmeal

135g       45%       Water

0.25g    0.08%       Salt


For tea-infused liquid:

217g    72.3%       Water

54g      18.1%       Whey

3g             1%       Kenyan golden pekoe tea leaves


For dough:

290g     96.7%      Dough flour excluding bran for leaven 

271g     90.3%      Tea-infused liquid

30g          10%      Leaven

9g             3%       Powdered toasted white sesame seeds

9g             3%       Vital Wheat Gluten

5g          1.7%       Salt

3g             1%       Turmeric powder



21g          7%        Toasted white sesame seeds

45g        15%        Raisins


(Excluding the porridge)

305g       100%      Whole grain

286g      93.8%      Total hydration 


Shift out the coarse bran from the dough flour, reserve 10g for leaven. Mix the rest back into the dough flour or soak them in equal amount of whey taken from dough ingredients for a minimum of 4 hours.

Combine all leaven ingredients and let sit until doubled, about 6 hours. Soak the raisins in a little hot water to re-hydrate.

Make the porridge. Bring the water to a boil and dissolve a pinch (0.25g) of salt into it. Stir in the cornmeal and keep whisking until no lumps remains. Cover the pot and let stand stove off for 30 minutes. Let the porridge cool to room temperature and refrigerate until needed.

Infuse the tea leaves by pouring 30g of hot water over them. Let steep for 20 minutes before pressing the mixture through a sieve to extract as much of the tea essence as possible. Discard the tea leaves. Pour in enough water to measure 217g and combine with the whey. Refrigerate until cold (skip if your kitchen is cool).

Reserve 10g of the liquid and roughly combine all dough ingredients except for the leaven and salt. Autolyse for 30 minutes. Combine the reserved liquid with the leaven. Knead it into the dough along with the salt and polenta porridge. Let it ferment for 8 hours (Mind you: my kitchen is 27°C currently).

Fold in the sesame seeds and raisins and let the dough rest for 20 minutes. Shape the dough and put in into a proofing basket. Leave it on the counter for 20 minutes then retard for 8 hours. 

Take the dough out of the fridge and let it rest on the counter for 1 hour. At the same time, preheat the oven at 250°C/480°F and pre-steam at the last ten minutes.

Score the dough and bake at 250°C/480°F with steam for 15 minutes then without steam for 25 minutes more or until the internal temperature reaches a minimum of 205°F. Let cool for at least 3 hours before slicing.

The crust is extra-crispy thanks to the cornmeal, which gives a nice contrast to the creamy crumb. The oven spring is not as much as I’d hoped for but I’m not too stressed over it since this is just the 2nd time I try retarding the dough. Hopefully, I’ll get a better grasp on the timing after a few more bakes.

The crumb’s colour is a stunning yellow even with just 1 tsp of turmeric. I doubt there’s any natural colour that won’t be masked by the pigment of turmeric. As expected, the crumb is rather closely-packed but very moist and creamy due to the incorporation of polenta porridge. The slight under-proofing might also have contributed to that to some extent. Next time, I’ll let the dough proof for 30 minutes instead of 20 minutes before retarding to see if it’d improve the situation.

To be honest, the turmeric, tea and corn flavour are rather subtle. Though I already tried to tone down the taste of sesame by using a lower percentage of it, it is still the dominant aroma of this bread. Doubling the tea leaves and halving the sesame might achieve a more balanced profile. 


Let this golden bread lift your mood up!




Beatrice's picture

Well done! The yellow from the tumeric is stunning, I love it and I think I'll include some in my next loaf. 

Your bread looks great and I think that the crumb is on point as a bigger one would be difficult to obtain because of the presence of the porridge and the raisins. 

I am a beginner baker and for this reason my opinion isn't so important, but I think you did a very good job!


Elsie_iu's picture

And in case you haven't noticed, it's 60% whole wheat and 20% whole spelt but there's hardly any brown color observable!

Your comment is definitely much valued. I'm a new baker as well!

I'm glad you like this bread. I believe the crumb could be a bit more open even for whole grain porridge bread. I actually bulk fermented the dough for only 6.5 hours since it's time to go to bed... So letting it ferment for 8 hours should allow it to attain its full potential.

Ru007's picture

It's a good looking loaf! I think the raisins were a good idea too.

Well done Elsie


Elsie_iu's picture

Nice to meet you! I joined TFL when you were taking a break but I've seen all the amazing porridge sourdough you've been baking. 

Really look forward to your next post!

pmccool's picture

Absolutely lovely as is. 


Elsie_iu's picture

Golden raisins are less common here but it's not too difficult to get. I've totally forgotten about their existence! The deep purplish blue raisins make a great contrast to the golden crumb yet golden raisins would produce a golden-inside-out kind of bread. Truly hard to decide which is better...

Thanks for taking the time to comment, Paul. Happy baking!

Cedarmountain's picture

Elsie, a beautiful looking bread!  I like your approach to bread baking, it has a very unique and personal sense to it that shows in the breads you bake. The crumb looks very it as soft and tender as it looks in the pictures? I am wondering if you might try adding some yogurt or cream to the dough to create a soft crumb?  I wish I could taste the bread, all the subtle flavours of the tea, turmeric, masa, cornmeal porridge, raisins, I am sure it is uniquely delicious.  Well baked Elsie!

Elsie_iu's picture

I struggle with a lot of things when baking bread: over-hydration, over/under-proofing, poor shaping, dragged slashing... to name but a few. Obtaining a moist crumb, however, is one of the few things I seldom fail to achieve. The crumb of this bread is pretty soft and creamy already due to the polenta porridge and whey, so it might not require the extra help of yogurt or cream. Moreover, I learnt from Danni that adding yogurt to bread would produce a softer crust. Since I already have difficulty baking the crust to the hard-and-brittle state, I worried that adding cream/yogurt would make it even more challenging to produce... My tiny oven (I can barely put my 10.25 inch cast iron pan into it) seems to struggle with maintaining a high temperature once the dough gets loaded in. But thanks so much for the suggestion!

I'm flattered to know that my bread caught your attention! You're such a great baker so I'm glad to be able to learn from you. I love experimenting with different combinations that is inspired by different people or just pop up in my mind suddenly. Apparently, I'm one of those people who can hardly stand using a formula twice. That's why I can never master any particular bread formula...

Can't wait to see your next masterpiece. Congratulation for the home page featuring! 

dabrownman's picture

so pretty and tasty.  Years ago Lucy did a Mellow Yellow Bread after Derek did one down under and te 3 GMA's did a yellow version .  She was so proud of herself.  It was one of her first Chacon's exactly 5 years ago in May.  It is the only bread she ever put Apricots in.  with about 10 or 12 different yellow things if I remember right she even put a used yellow kitchen sponge in it.

They Call Me Mellow Yellow

Yellow is a good thing in bread as your fione example shows.  Well done and happy baking

Elsie_iu's picture

I haven't read that post before. There's so much yellow going on! Why didn't you put apricots in your other bread? One reason I seldom use them in my bread is that I prefer savory over sweet bread (read: cheese, nuts and salty condiments over dried fruits). Also they tend to be broken down into a paste when I mix them into the dough unlike raisins and cranberries which are used whole.

Yellow is a tasty colour indeed. Just think cheese, pineapple, corn, lemon, bell peppers, eggs and not to forget the candy-like golden cherry tomatoes! 

dabrownman's picture

pre-staged a bit to tee it up for greatness  What ever we do today with bread has likely been done by at least a few bakers over the thousands of years bakers have been making bread.  This is why Roman Emperors had someone speaking into their ear saying, as they drove their triumphant chariot in Rome during their return from a successful campaign,  "All glory is fleeting".  We just forget the past too easily and never give our predecessors credit for all the things they did long before we ever existed.  Humans are lazy at heart and why they create things to make their lives easier every day.  Lucy invented the NMNF rye starter for me to use because she knows I am too lazy to maintain a starter otherwise.  It was probably invented by a German Monk in the middle ages or earlier:-)

Happy baking the yellow way!

Elsie_iu's picture

especially when I'm dealing with anything related to science. New knowledge is always discovered based on those developed by our ancestors. I remember one of the natures of science is that it is the product of the collective effort of scientists, not limited by any time or geographical barriers.

But there's also a quote from a science nobel winner's grandmother (I can't remember who). It's the grandmother's response to the young scientist's thought that everything is discovered by someone else in the past. The message is something like ' Don't you worry. There's still plenty left for you to discover". I think she's right. Maybe you will (or perhaps you have already) discovered something that no one has experienced with before!

dabrownman's picture

teacher said in College - 97% of all scientific facts have been proven false and replaced with new supposedly better scientific facts discovered by later scientists .....only to have them overturned later too!  Science's one true rule is that all glory is fleeting:-)

Elsie_iu's picture

what Feynman and all other scientists have said. A theory can never be confirmed because the evidence that falsify it may just have yet to make itself known. Who knows if Einstein's Theory of General Relativity would fail someday? 

PalwithnoovenP's picture

I think it will go great with a curry or anything curry flavored.

Elsie_iu's picture

My kitchen gets to about 28°C (I kept the kitchen door closed to save energy) recently as the temperature outside approaches 33°C. You can tell how much I enjoy baking to be willing to crank up the oven. This act rises the kitchen to 30°C so I have a good sweat every time I bake.

Eating this bread with a pot of steaming hot curry is a sure way to get dehydration by sweating:) Indian food is one of my favourite cuisine that I'd cook up a pot of curry (served with homemade naan), biiryani or khichdi as least once a week in cooler months. Now it's so hot that the thought of standing over the stove for just 5 minutes is killing me! 

Just saying, I think your Guo Kui may go well with curry as well.