The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

For the Birds Sourdough

Danni3ll3's picture

For the Birds Sourdough

I loved David’s San Francisco recipe and decided to add some seeds to it and change the flour combo. I got the inspiration for the seed mixture from a guy named Josh (JoshFox Bread) that I follow on Facebook. He has a micro bakery thing happening similar to what I do but on a larger scale. His breads always look so delectable! So between David’s recipe/method and Josh’s combo of seeds, I hope I have a winner!




63 g starter

63 g water

110 g unbleached flour

15 g freshly milled Rye flour



668 g strong bakers unbleached flour

116 g freshly milled Durum flour

116 g freshly milled Spelt flour

96 g freshly milled Rye flour

800 g filtered water

23 g pink Himalayan salt

30 g plain whole milk yogurt



40 g toasted sesame seeds

40 g toasted sunflower seeds

40 g toasted flax seeds

40 g toasted millet

40 g toasted poppy seeds


A few days before:

  1. Get your starter up to speed by feeding it two or three times. I fed mine 3 times with rye and unbleached flour.


Two nights before:

  1. Mix the starter with the water and then add the flours. 
  2. Let ferment at room temperature (70 F or so) for 12 hours. 
  3. Refrigerate until the morning of making the dough. For me this was about 24 hours.


The night before:

  1. Mill and measure out your flours and set aside covered.
  2. Toast all of the add-ins in a dry frying pan. Cover and reserve.


Dough making day:

  1. Remove the levain from the fridge to warm up to room temperature.
  2. Mix the flours and the water in a stand mixer and mix on low for one or two minutes until you have a shaggy dough and no dry flour. Let autolyse for a couple of hours.
  3. Add the salt, the yogurt and the starter in chunks. Mix on low for 1 minute to mix the ingredients and then mix on the next speed up for 9 minutes to develop the gluten.
  4. Add the toasted seeds gradually and mix for a minute or two to distribute the seeds throughout the dough.
  5. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover. Place in a warm spot (82 F-My warm spot is my oven with the lights on and the door cracked open) and let ferment for 3 and a half hours with two sets of stretches and folds at 50 and 100 minutes. My dough rose about 30% by the end of bulk fermentation. 
  6. Tip the dough out on a bare counter, sprinkle the top with flour and divide into portions of ~760g. Round out the portions into rounds with a dough scraper and let rest 30 minutes on the counter. 
  7. Do a final shape by flouring the rounds and flipping the rounds over on a lightly floured counter. 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. 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. Place the dough seam side down in rice floured bannetons. Cover and roof in a warm spot until dough has risen 50%. When I made this recipe the last time, the dough had risen 50% in two hours but this time, it was ready after only one. ? 
  9. Then refrigerate for at least 12 hours. This particular dough was retarded for 17 and a half hours.

Baking Day:

  1. The next morning, heat the oven to 475 F 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. I was surprised at how light the loaves felt and hoped that they weren’t overproofed! ?
  2. Cover the pots and bake the loaves at 450 F for 25 minutes, remove the lids, and bake for another 22 minutes at 425 F. Internal temperature should be 205 F or more.

I think I caught them just in time. I have ears on most of them so happy about that! 


bottleny's picture

Josh used to post in FL, as golgi70.

Danni3ll3's picture

I had no idea! I love his loaves and now I have an idea of his recipes!

Danni3ll3's picture

No idea why pictures are sideways. 

Isand66's picture

Your crumb looks perfect.  I can just taste the seeds by looking at it.

Happy Baking!


albacore's picture

Beautiful loaves - inside and out. The crumb almost looks custardy, like a porridge bread.

One to add to my baking list!


dabrownman's picture

change a bread so drastically.  Josh is a fine baker and he crafted some great recipes.  I loved his method of doing 2 levains, a white and a dark, for the same bread to bring out a different flavor profile than using one or the other.  He opened his own bakery at his house and now we never hear from him - but we remember when:-)  For some reason, this one didn't seem to bloom and spring as much as it could have -maybe over proofed?  The one great thing about over proofing is that the bread usually tastes better to make up for the looks!

This one has to taste great!  Well done and happy baking Danni

Danni3ll3's picture

because they really felt airy as I loaded the loaves into the pots. At least, I did get some oven spring! Better than none!

Elsie_iu's picture

Although I personally prefer cheese and spices, most people love seeds and nuts. Surely your customers would enjoy the loaves.

P.S. If you didn't type that, I wouldn't have noticed the photos are sideways at all!