Black Sesame Sourdough Bread

Making sourdough bread is such a rewarding activity even if you make it just as a hobby. I know many of you are making sourdough because of its health benefits but the pleasure to do it, to put your hands in dough, to watch it growing during the proofing, to score it or stencilling it, to wait in front of your oven watching it blooming and then waiting impatiently for it to cool before taking a bite is another level of accomplishment. Baking and cooking, in general, could be seen as such a witchcraft: combine individual ingredients in a certain way in a pot, baking it and coming up with a gorgeous result that taste heavenly, isn't this looking like a sorcery? Just kidding, let's put the feet on the floor and talk about this bread.

Though, there is something magic about this bread and its about the combination of sourdough with seeds. The seeds bring a nutty flavour that combined with the mild sourness of the sourdough bread are making from this bread an exceptionally tasty one.

I found this recipe being close to perfection in terms of taste and crumb, however the dough handling is not for a beginner. The dough is wet and the addition of rye and spelt makes the dough sticky. I do not want to discourage you from making this recipe but I want you to be prepared about what kind of dough to expect. Having a bit of skills in reading and handling the dough will definitely help and reach you to success from the first attempt.

I did this recipe 4 times in a row, to test changing little variables, to observe the results. Some changes were good, some were less good. Now I can conclude that my perfect formula for this recipe is: 10% rye, 10% spelt (the rest strong bread flour), 77% hydration and 70% dough increase (in the aliquot jar) before the fridge retard.

Here they are, 2 fantastic loaves. You'll hardly see an ear for this loaf (I've got half of an ear twice from 8 loaves) but the crumb.... oh this crumb looks to me perfect. Opened at the perfect size, not over open crumb, and for sure not a dense one. This is for me the crumb to satisfy all the wishes. 


  • 175g sourdough starter (100% hydration)
  • 700g strong wheat flour (14% proteins) 
  • 85g spelt flour
  • 85g rye flour
  • 650g water
  • 17g salt 
  • 50g black sesame seeds


  1. [Day 1, Saturday, 9:00] Scaling. Start by scaling your ingredients using a balance and put them on the table to ensure that nothing is forgotten.
  2. Mix water + flours. Mix only the flours with water until well combined. Do not knead at this stage, just ensure there is no unincorporated dry flour resting in the bowl and that's it. I used warm water heated in the microwave for 1-2 minutes. The exact temperature is not that important because, during the autolyse, it will arrive at the right temperature. For this recipe, the dough needs to stay during the resting periods at 27ºC. I actually set the bread proofer to 27ºC and kept the dough inside. However, due to the manipulation of the dough at room temperature (colder in the winter), the dough temperature was 2-3ºC less.
  3. [Day 1 Saturday, 11:00] Sourdough starter. Add the preferment over the dough and mix with a standing mixer for 10 minutes.  After mixing, let the dough relax for 1 hour.
  4. [Day 1 Saturday, 12:00] Salt. Add the salt and mix for 5 minutes. Then, let the dough relax again for 1 hour.
  5. [Day 1, Saturday, 13:00] Divide and Stretch and Fold. Take the dough out of the bowl put it on the slightly wet table board and divide it into 2. Stretch and fold each piece on the board and place them in squared glass bowls. Let them sit covered for 1 hour.
  6. [Day 1, Saturday, 14:00] Lamination. Take each piece out of the bowl and do the lamination. It is now that the black sesame seeds can be sprinkled over the laminated dough and they will be well distributed. Let the dough rests covered for 1 hour. 
  7. [Day 1, Saturday, 15:00] Coil fold 1. Start now a set of 3 coil folds performed straight in the bowls. Do the first coil fold set in each glass bowl and let them sit for 1 hour.
  8. [Day 1, Saturday, 16:00] Coil fold 2.  Do a second set of coil folds in the glass bowls and let them sit for 1 hour.
  9. [Day 1, Saturday, 17:00] Coil fold 3. Do a third set of coil folds for each dough and let them sit for 1 hour covered.
  10. [Day 1, Saturday, 18:00] Shape the loaves on the lightly floured board. The shaping must take place when the dough volume increased reached 70% (measured in an aliquot jar). Place the dough face down into well-floured bannetons. Repeat the process for the second piece of dough. Place the bannetons covered with a plastic bag/shower cap in the fridge overnight. 
  11. [Day 2, Sunday, 9:00] Score. Before scoring, you need to preheat the oven with a baking stone inside at 270ºC. 
    Take the dough out from the fridge and reverse the banneton on a baking sheet. Score and decorate the bread as you like.  
  12. Bake. Immediately after, slide the loaves on the hot baking stone in the oven and bake for 15 minutes at 270ºC. Generate also steam inside the oven to improve the oven spring. After these 15 minutes, reduce the temperature to 220ºC and continue to bake for 25 minutes, this time without steam.
  13. [Day 2, Sunday, 9:40] Cool. The bread needs to cool for at least 2 hours until it reaches room temperature. The cooking process continues slowly even after taking the bread out of the oven, so this is why it is important to not skip this step and to resist cutting it too early. If you can, of course...
  14. [Day 2, Sunday, 11:40] Cut. Now is the big moment to enjoy a slice of delicious bread... 


Giorgi said...

Excelent !

HungryShots said...

Multumesc tare mult!

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