After a few months I’ve had enough experience making the basic country loaf from Tartine Bread that I’m confident I can get a consistent great tasting and looking loaf every time. I’m gradually branching out in the book and trying new recipes, but so far had just made the basic country loaf and a sesame semolina.
Last weekend, I decided to give one of the whole wheat recipes a try. The process, which I describe extensively in my basic country bread post, is identical. Whole wheat bread can have a reputation for being dry and tough, but as expected this was nothing but the opposite.
The seeds added a really nice texture on the inside and outside, and didn’t burn, which I was a little worried about.
I made this again yesterday for a Game of Thrones premiere party I went to. There was some pretty amazing food. We had (in addition to my bread) cod cakes (from Winterfell), stuffed hot peppers (from Dorne), Arbor Gold, cheese and onion pie, pastries, and fried apple slices.
Ingredients (Makes 1 loaf)
- 100 grams fed starter
- 400 grams water
- 350 grams whole wheat flour
- 150 grams AP or bread flour
- 10 grams salt
- 1 cup flax seeds
- 1 cup sunflower seeds (lightly toasted)
The night before you plan to make the dough, refresh your sourdough starter. Discard all but a few tablespoons, and add in 200 grams water, 100 grams AP flour, and 100 grams whole wheat flour. Cover loosely and let sit overnight. The next morning, you know the starter is ready when it floats in water.
Disperse the starter in the water. Add all the flour and mix by hand until you do not see any dry bits of flour. Cover the dough and let rest for 45 minutes.
After the rest, add the salt and use your fingers to cut it into the dough, making sure it is well mixed. Once everything is incorporated, cover the dough again. For the next 2 hours, ‘turn’ the dough every 30 minutes by grabbing the underside of the dough and stretching it over the rest of the dough. After the first half hour add in 1/2 cup of the flax seeds and 1/2 cup of the sunflower seeds, setting the rest aside for later. After 2 hours, wait an hour to turn the dough. Let it rest 30 minutes to an hour after the final turn (3.5 to 4 hours total rise time).
Once the first rise is complete, turn the dough out onto an unfloured surface. Flour the top of the dough, then flip it over so that the floured side is down. Work the dough into a round shape and let rest of the counter for 30 minutes.
After the rest once again flour the top of the dough and flip it over. Fold the third of the dough closest to you inward (like you’re folding a letter in thirds), and then stretch the dough out to the sides. Fold the right, and then left, sides in toward the center. Fold the top of the dough inward, and then wrap the bottom part of the dough over it all. Work this into a round shape. Before placing in a proofing basket, roll the top of the dough in the remaining seed mixture. If your dough isn’t wet enough, lightly wet your hand and rub it on the dough. Place seam side up (seeds down) in a proofing basket (See my earlier Tartine post for pictures of this process).
Let rise for 3-4 hours (or overnight in the refrigerator). Before baking place a dutch oven, with the lid on, in the oven and preheat to 500 degrees. Once hot, turn out the dough into the pan and score the loaves. Immediately place the top back on and return to the oven. Turn the heat down to 450 degrees and cook for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, remove the top of the dutch oven and rotate the pan. Continue to bake the bread for another 20-25 minutes, until the crust is deeply caramelized. Enjoy!
Recipe from Chad Robertson’s Tartine Bread.