Updated: Jan 12
I wanted to make a loaf of bread that can be ready within a day, has deep flavor, and is naturally leavened. This is my go-to mix for getting bread made in one day's work.
There's something romantic to me about this dough because I like to approach it in the simplest way possible. I like to have a heavy coat of flour on my work surface, and I like to shape it with a lot of tension. Warm, well-fermented dough can be one of the most relaxing doughs to work with. This version will be seeded to help ensure the bread is flavorful, while a long and cold fermentation can add a unique flavor profile. Good seeded bread needs two important things to me: a good seed combination and a crisp, toasty crust.
What You'll Need (Levain Build - makes more than you need)
100 grams mature sourdough starter
150 grams King Arthur Organic Bread Flour
170 grams warm water
What you'll need (final mix):
600 grams King Arthur Organic Bread Flour
200 grams King Arthur Organic Whole Wheat Flour
200 grams King Arthur Organic All Purpose Flour
20 grams Kosher Salt
200 grams levain (see build below)
800 grams warm water
40 grams Pumpkin Seeds
20 grams Sesame Seeds
20 grams Flax Seeds
40 grams Sunflower Seeds
30 grams Oats
If you don't have a mature sourdough starter, check out my simple five day process on creating one from scratch.
Here's What You Need To Do
The levain takes four hours until its time to incorporate. You can start soaking your seeds at this point, or you can soak them overnight before baking. You can also opt-out of soaking them if you want to minimize your efforts.
Four Hours after feeding your levain, add about 80% of your total water into a bowl.
Dissolve the 200 grams of levain into the water. It may not dissolve completely, which is fine.
Slowly add your flour with one hand while mixing with the other. You will, at some point, need both hands. Your goal is to incorporate the water into the flour. Once it starts to come together and feels dry, let it rest for 5 minutes.
Proceed to slowly add the remaining water, but save about 10-20 grams for when we add the salt and seeds in step 7. I usually will add 50g at a time, mix, and let it rest for 5 minutes.
Once all of your desired water is added and there is no dry flour, transfer to another tub or bowl and let rest for an hour. It's wise to transfer from the bowl you mixed in because you will start to get dried up flour particles interfering with your folds later on.
After an hour has elapsed, add the salt, the seeds, and the last bit of water. Squeeze the water into the dough, but don't tear at it. The water and salt will absorb with squeezing and gentle folding for about 5-7 minutes. Trust the process and be patient, as at first, it does not seem like the water will incorporate.
You'll essentially be massaging the water and salt into the dough, and making sure the seeds get evenly distributed. They will incorporate a bit better once you start the stretch and folds.
After the salt and seeds are incorporated, perform a gentle "stretch and fold" every 30 minutes, for a total of 2 times. You can also get away with no stretches if you aren't a perfectionist and just want to eat good bread. On same day bakes, I often just let it ride without any stretching and get great bread as a result.
Depending on your ambient temperature, your dough may need up to 5 more hours to finish its first fermentation. Signs to look for are a smooth surface, bubbles, elasticity when you pull at the top, and a slight web-like structure at the bottom when you turn the dough out of the table.
Once you're ready to shape, flour your work surface and divide the dough into 2 pieces.
I love to use a nice coating of flour to de-gas each piece and roll it into a tight log. Check out my Instagram feed for some tension shaping videos.
Have a plate of dry seeds and oats nearby to roll the top of your shaped loaf into and place into your proofing basket or bowl. If you are baking seam side up for a rustic score (see step 17), you can roll the seeds on the side with the team.
Proof in baskets or bowls for 2-3 hours, or until you get a nice rise and the dough wiggles when moved.
You can bake these in cast iron pans or on pizza stones. Preheat either of these items with the oven to 500 degrees. BTW, I use the Ooni pizza stones as it is designed to withstand high heat. I've had plenty of cheaper stones crack at 450 degrees.
If using the cast iron, no need to spray the oven or add extra steam. If using the pizza stone, use a spray bottle after loading your bread into the oven and spray the sides and back.
For this loaf, you can bake it seam side up to get a rustic crackling, or you can score with a razor blade and load into the oven.
Lower your oven to 475 or 450 depending on your oven. Bake the loaf for 20 minutes on the stone/in the cast iron.
Let the steam out and then transfer your loaf to the top rack for another 20 minutes. I like to bake dark, so sometimes I go a little extra. I finish my bake with the oven door open to let all the moisture out.
Let your loaf cool (or not), but do enjoy!