Friday, August 22, 2014

Flax & Oat Sourdough

Passion? Obsession?

There is a very thin line separating the two. For people who have an OCD tendency, the line is often blurred and it is so easy to cross over to the other –not so pretty- side. My family thinks that my passion for bread has become an obsession. They do not mind though. At least we do not starve ;)

Whenever I see another sourdough recipe, if I can’t make it soon, I would think of it until it ingrains in my unconscious mind. Sometimes I even have a lucid dream where I ponder the recipe in my dream and then wake up only to think about that recipe. This unrealistic behavior would stop if the bread in mind is already kneaded and baked. Although when the result is not as imagined, the whole pondering process will start again. Devious, devious cycle!

But let’s not bore you with me "Lecter-ing" myself.

Lol! I can't help it. I'm a hard core Hannibal fan.

Anyhow, let’s talk about this sourdough that contains oats and flax seeds. This bread had been haunting me for some time. When I first saw the title, I was smitten and saved it right away. Sadly, I was so busy at that time I couldn’t make it as soon as I had hoped. So fast forward to several weeks later, I exorcised that demon.

Adapted from
2 tbs unfed sourdough culture 
140 gr water
140gr bread flour

280 gr bread flour
112 gr whole wheat flour
130gr water
All of the levain
2 tsp salt

¼ cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons flaxseeds
1 tbs poppy seeds, optional
Enough water to cover the oat/flax/poppy mixture

Approximately 7 hours before making the dough, mix the sourdough culture and water until fully dispersed then add the flour. Cover with plastic and let rest.

Mix the oats, flax, and water. Cover with plastic and let rest.

Make the Dough
-Mix the Levain with water, add flour and mix just until the flour is wet. It should look like a shaggy mess. Cover with plastic and let rest for 30 minutes.
-Add salt and Soaker then mix just until the salt and soaker is incorporated into the dough. Do not over mix here. It should not be a tight ball of dough yet.
-Stretch and fold every 30-45 minutes for 6 intervals. Cover with plastic while it rests.
-Shape however you want it and proof at room temperature for 1½-2 hours. 

-Preheat oven to 230C 
-Carefully plop your bread on the pan and make a slash.
-Bake for 40-45 minutes until a dark crust has formed.
-Let cool at room temperature for approximately one hour>> THIS, is the hardest part.

That is the picture of the loaf right after I took it out. 


This is the close up of the crust several minutes after it sat on room temperature.

The crust cracked slowly but sure because the temperature dropped from extremely high to just room temperature. The crumb was still 'cooking' on the inside because of the heat it retained and the crust was experiencing the gradual coolness from the outside. Being able to witness this process is a very rewarding experience. Bakers call it "Sing". Yes, you can hear the bread sing. The multiple crackling sound is very audible and it is the song this type of bread sings. 

About the excess flour on the crust, I tried substituting all purpose flour with rice flour for my couche. It worked WONDERS! The dough did not stick at all. Of course as you can also see, I put too much rice flour. But no problemo. It's a matter of aesthetic preference.

Let's check the crumbs..
--I failed to refrain myself from cutting it before it was completely cool. Sinner!

Creamy, delicate, delicious

It is a loaf you would want to bring on a picnic with your family and friends. Accompanied by some butter and a bottle of wine, if possible, it would make your day picture perfect. 

This recipe does take longer to make but it really is easier to handle because the dough is not that wet. The resulting bread is also seed packed, healthy, and very delicious it pays off all you hard work. Though next time I would add another 10 grams of so of water just like in the original recipe to have bigger holes in the crumbs. 

See? See?

That is why I love bread. Always, there is a room for improvement. 

But that is another project for another day, another glorious self-torturing day. Now let's just enjoy the bread with what we have in the pantry, in this case, Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette. Amiko's favorite.

Happy Baking,

Submitted to YeastSpotting
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  1. So the sourdough we're using can just be straight from the fridge, unfed?