The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Seeds, Seeds and More Seeds Sourdough (Sesame, Amaranth, Millet, Sunflower, Flax, Buckwheat)

Danni3ll3's picture

Seeds, Seeds and More Seeds Sourdough (Sesame, Amaranth, Millet, Sunflower, Flax, Buckwheat)

No story! Just needed to use up some of my stash! 😊





Makes 3 loaves


Seed Soaker

50 g Sesame seeds (I used half black and half white)

30 g Amaranth seeds

30 g Millet seeds

70 Sunflower seeds

30 g Buckwheat groats

175 g room temperature water

30 g plain yogurt


Main dough

600 g strong baker’s unbleached flour

150 g high extraction Selkirk flour (175 g berries)

150 g high extraction Red Fife flour (175 g berries)

100 g high extraction Rye flour (115 g berries)

50 g freshly ground flax seeds

600 g water + 50 g

22 g Pink Himalayan salt

250 g levain (Procedure in recipe)

Extra bran or wholewheat flour for levain builds


Mid afternoon the day before:

  1. Take 18 g of refrigerated starter and feed it 18 g of filtered water and 18 g of bran or wholewheat flour. Let rise in a warm place. 
  2. Mill the berries and sift to obtain the needed amount of high extraction flour. Save the bran for the levain or another use. 
  3. Place the required amounts of the high extraction flours in a tub and add the unbleached flour to it. 
  4. Add the freshly round flax seeds to the flours. Cover and set aside.

The night before:

  1. Toast all the seeds either in the oven or in a dry frying pan until fragrant. Be careful not to burn them. Cool.
  2. Add the room temperature water and the yogurt to the cooled seeds. Cover and leave on the counter overnight to ferment.
  3. Before going to bed, feed the levain 36 g of water and 36 g of AP flour flour including any left over high extraction flour. Let that rest in a warm spot overnight.

Dough making day:

  1. Feed the levain 72 g of filtered water and 72 g of AP flour and let rise 6 hours in a warm spot. 
  2. An hour or two before the levain is ready, mix the water with the flour and seed soaker, and mix on speed 2 until all the flour has been hydrated. Let sit until the Levain has doubled. 
  3. Once the levain is ready, add the salt, and the levain to the bowl. Mix on speed one for a couple of minutes to integrate everything, then mix on speed 2 for 5 minutes.  I added the extra 50 g of water here because I felt the dough was too stiff. 
  4. Remove dough from bowl and place in a covered tub. Let rest 30 minutes. 
  5. Do 4 sets of folds at 30 minute intervals, then do another set an hour later. Let rise for another hour then place the dough in a cold fridge for 3 hours. The dough rose just over 50%. 
  6. Tip the dough out on a bare counter, sprinkle the top with flour and divide into portions of ~800g. Round out the portions into rounds with a dough scraper and let rest one hour on the counter. 
  7. Do a final shape by flouring the rounds and flipping the rounds over on a lightly floured counter. Shape the dough by “cinching“. Then cup your hands around the dough and pull towards you, doing this on all sides of the dough to round it off. Finally spin the dough to make as tight boule as you can.
  8. Sprinkle rice flour, then extra sunflower seeds and sesame seeds in the bannetons (Oops! I forgot to do this!). Place the dough seam side down in the bannetons. Let rest for a few minutes on the counter and then put to bed in a cold (38F) fridge for 9-10 hours. 

Baking Day

  1. The next morning, heat the oven to 475F with the Dutch ovens inside for 45 minutes to an hour. Turn out the dough seam side up onto a cornmeal sprinkled counter. Place rounds of parchment paper in the bottom of the pots, and carefully but quickly place the dough seam side up inside. 
  2. Cover the pots and bake the loaves at 450 F for 30 minutes, remove the lids, and bake for another 17 minutes at 425 F. Internal temperature should be 205F or more.




syros's picture

Danni, they are simply gorgeous and I’ll bet they taste divine. Thank you for such detailed instructions. Do we get a crumb shot or were these all given away? I don’t mill my own flour, so I would be using an organic red fife, all purpose, and rye. What is Selkirk flour vis a vis a bread flour or all purpose. Is it a white whole wheat?

Thanks, Sharon

Danni3ll3's picture

but there will be a crumb shot coming. 

Selkirk wheat is just an old variety of regular wheat so you can replace it with any whole wheat or just more Red Fife. 

Thank you for your compliment. I can’t wait to cut into one and taste it. It smelled divine while baking. I think the sesame seeds and the sunflower seeds really make a difference. 

syros's picture

I’m making the 5 grain levain bread again and cut down on the flax seeds, and added sesame seeds, half black and half brown. I also used red fife for the whole wheat portion of the recipe. I wanted to use white kamut, but was a bit leery of using it in this recipe. I’m not that brave yet to mess around with recipes. This time my starter was 125% hydration - not 100%- because between a couple of TFL explanations and Abe’s help - I managed to make a 125% hydration. Math is not my strong suit! Really looking forward to your crumb shot!


Danni3ll3's picture

Don't be afraid of swapping out flours especially if your are doing whole grain with whole grain that has fairly similar amounts of gluten. I interswap Kamut, Spelt, Red rife, durum, Selkirk all the time. Rye doesn’t  make the grade because I know it has lower gluten. So I use smaller amounts of rye. Durum is really high gluten so if you have a weaker flour, including it can make up for some of the weaker ones.  Or it you have a lot of add-ins. Most of the time, this works just fine. 

David R's picture
David R

I didn't know Selkirk wheat was that old! (It is.) But I think my dad was still growing Selkirk-type wheat of some description in the 1980s.

Danni3ll3's picture

The place I get my grains from is organic and they grow it because it hasn’t been tampered with like modern wheat. 

Danni3ll3's picture

Could be more open. I’ll have to go back to my other shaping method because the dough felt really nice and I expected a lacier crumb. 

syros's picture

Danni, that is a nice looking loaf. When you say your previous method, what do you mean? I’m making the 5 grain bread again, and it’s so sticky, that I’m not sure I could do more than one stretch and fold, and then shaping. 

Danni3ll3's picture

which means I really pulled the two sides out, folded them over each other in the middle, rolled it up pushing down to seal and then I rolled it up again the other way. I think I knocked a lot of the gas out of it. The dough felt really nice going into the oven though. 

What I was doing was the method Sarah Owens uses: Gently stretch the dough out into a circle. Pull and fold the third of the dough closest to you over the middle. Pull the right side and fold over the middle and do the same to the left. Fold the top end to the center patting out any cavities. Finally stretch the two top corners and fold over each other in the middle. Roll the bottom of the dough away from you until the seam is underneath the dough. I don’t pull a lot when doing this method. 

Last week, I did half one way, and half the other way. The oven spring was the same so I guessed that the crumb was the same. I didn’t keep track so I don’t know which method I used with the two loaves I cut into but the crumb was kind of weird. Some big holes but a lot of tight crumb in between those. I assumed it was the weight of the fruit that caused that but maybe I am wrong. At least the crumb is more even this week. 

Danni3ll3's picture

The dough is super sticky for the first one or two, but then magically, it pulls together and becomes cohesive. I do the folds right in the bucket. 

Elsie_iu's picture

I'm guessing that the starch from the soaked grains made the dough stickier than usual?

Danni3ll3's picture

I don’t worry about stickiness any more. I know I use good flour and with the folds, the dough really changes. I have pulled dough out of my mixer that was like thick cake batter and two sets of folds later, was behaving like bread dough should. 

Tons of things can make the dough sticky from gel from the flax seeds to extra water in the dough. Keep your hand wet and do those folds. 

isand66's picture

Nice and tasty chock full of goodies this bake is!   With so many seeds I think the crumb is more than open enough.  I'm sure it tastes just fine too.



MontBaybaker's picture

Danni, this looks so tasty; can't wait to try it.  

I haven't used black sesame in a dough.  If you don't toast them, does the color leach into the dough?   I plan to make bulk salt-free everything bagel blend plus several additional seeds to use in/on whatever if I'm not following a specific recipe.   It's hard to find the basic salt-free blends > 9 oz.   Thanks! 

Danni3ll3's picture

I never considered that the colour might run. 😳 They are a bit tricky to find here as only one store carries them but they are really attractive in a loaf of bread. 

MontBaybaker's picture

Bleeding color if sitting on water is something I read in my online baking browsing recently (can't find the reference now).  That made me wonder about overnight BF.