Sunday, 3 March 2013

Honey & Sesame Bread

This loaf has a higher proportion of wholewheat flour than I usually use, a third of the main dough flour in fact. I fancied something a bit more rustic and I do like the bite as well as the flavour of sesame seeds.

To make this loaf you will need:

For the ferment,
1 tablespoon of starter from the fridge
150g of strong white bread flour
50g of whole grain rye flour
200g of water

For the main dough,
all of the ferment
800g of strong white bread flour
400g of strong wholewheat flour
100g of sesame seeds
2 tablespoons of runny honey
600g to 700g of water
22g of salt

Begin by making up the ferment, mix all the ingredients in a bowl and leave covered for 24 hours to activate. This time may vary according to how warm your house is, mine is chilly and 24 hours is enough to allow the ferment to achieve a thoroughly vigorous action, lots of bubbles!

Place the ferment in a large bowl and add the remaining main dough ingredients, all but the sesame seeds and salt. I hold back some of the water to make sure my dough is as I want it to be. many recipes that include seeds will recommend soaking them first, I don't do this because adding them dry to begin with allows me to have a wetter dough for the initial rise (the autolyze period without the salt) this is when a great deal of activity goes on and I find the gluten is "worked" more easily the wetter the dough. Adding the sesame seeds along with the salt 8 hours later means some of the extra water in the dough is taken up by the seeds rehydrating. It all sounds far more technical than it is, I just do it this way because it works for me. I mix the main dough ingredients together as described above, leave the dough covered, overnight and in the morning add the salt and the seeds and mix well to ensure even distribution of both.
Leave the dough to rise now for its main proving, a period of 3 to 4 hours, with hourly stretching and folding to strengthen the gluten. Divide the dough into 2 or 3 loaves depending on the moulds you have and the finished loaf you desire. This time I chose to divide it in half and made 2 large round loaves. Leave for a final time for 2 hours then bake in a hot oven 220C for 30 to 35 minutes.

The honey in this recipe doesn't result in a sweet dough, the yeast feeds on the sugar and produces more of the sourdough flavour I like.


  1. What a beautiful crust. I just gave away some starter to someone who wants to make their own bread. Hopefully they get as much pleasure out of making it as I do and if they turn out loaves like yours they couldn't help but be blissfully happy :)

    1. I think the crust is possibly the part of the loaf most affected by using wild yeast, both in texture and flavour. The chewy crust delivers great depth of flavour. Thanks again for your comments, always a joy to read. Best wishes, Tôbi.


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