Poppy Seeds Sourdough Bread

Should I call this Poppy Seeds Sourdough Bread or Poppy Seeds with Sourdough Bread?

When baking for yourself you can be generous with the fancy ingredients you add. Bakeries would first calculate the costs and then add them to the dough. To be honest with you I did not measure the quantity of poppy seeds I added at the lamination phase. I added a lot (maybe a bit too much) but I do not regret it at all because the specific poppy seed flavour was predominant in this bread.

Unlike the previous bake, the seeds were not soaked in water. I just sprinkled them over the dough straight from the container. 

Let's see the recipe...


Ingredients: (2045g, 67.4% hydration)

  • 400g whole spelt flour
  • 600g strong bread flour (Manitoba )
  • 625ml water
  • 300g sourdough starter (100% hydration) [built the night before from 30g of mother starter+ 135g Manitoba flour + 135g water]
  • 20g salt
  • 100g poppy seeds

  1. [Day 1, Saturday, 8:00] Scaling. Start by scaling the ingredients using a balance and putting them on the table to ensure that nothing is forgotten.
    [Day 1 Saturday, 8:00] Mix water + flours. Mix only the flour with water (slightly warmed up for 1 minute in the microwave) until well combined. I generally use a standing mixer for this but it can be done manually as well. Do not knead at this stage, just ensure that there is no unincorporated dry flour resting in the bowl and that's it. Put the dough in a bread proofer set at 29ºC. No bread proofer? Find a warm place in your house or use the oven with the light on. The dough temperature is generally 3-4ºC lower than the setting on the bread proofer. Then let it sit for 2 hours for the autolyse.
    [Day 1 Saturday, 10:00] Sourdough starter. Add the starter over the dough and mix it with a standing mixer for 10 minutes.  After mixing, let the dough relax for 1 hour.
  2. [Day 1 Saturday, 11:00] Salt. Add the salt and mix again for 5 minutes.  Then, let the dough relax again for 1 hour. 
  3. [Day 1, Saturday, 12:00] 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. Do a few stretch and folds for each piece on the board and place them in squared glass bowls. Let them sit covered for 1 hour. 
  4. [Day 1, Saturday, 13:00] Lamination. Take each piece out of the bowl and do the lamination. Spread the poppy seeds over the dough when completely stretched and fold the dough after. Repeat for the second piece of dough. Let the dough rest for 1 hour and 30 minutes. 
  5. [Day 1, Saturday, 14:30] Coil fold 1. Do a set of 2 coil folds straight in the bowls. Do the first one and let them sit for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  6. [Day 1, Saturday, 16:00] Coil fold 2.  Do a second set of coil folds in the glass bowls. Let them sit for 1 hour.
  7. [Day 1, Saturday, 17:00] Shape the loaves on a lightly floured board. Place the dough face down into bannetons. Repeated the process for the second piece of dough.  Place back the bannetons in a warmer place (in the bread proofer) and let them sit again. How much? Well, it depends. I left them for extra 2 hours but other times I reduced the time to 1 hour as the dough had a very nice rise. Then, put the bannetons in the fridge overnight.
  8. [Day 2, Sunday, 9:00] Score. Before scoring, preheat the oven to reach 270ºC. 
    Reverse the bannetons on a peel and score them. Immediately after, slide the loaves into the oven. Add some hot water to a tray under the baking stone to create steam. When I baked this bread I actually made it in a wood-fired oven as my kitchen oven died when preparing this dough. I was then forced to use my outside oven where baking is a bit more complex.
  9. Bake at 270ºC for 20 minutes then reduce to 220ºC and continue for 20 minutes more. 
  10. [Day 2, Sunday, 9:40] Cool. The loaves need to cool for at least 2 hours until they reach 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.
  11. [Day 2, Sunday, 11:40] Cut. Time to enjoy a slice of bread... 


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