Easy Seeded Sourdough Bread

By Amanda Paa – Updated April 25, 2022
4.87 from 23 votes
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Making seeded sourdough bread isn’t any more difficult than making an every day loaf! There’s just one main difference that I’ll walk you through, with step by step instructions for making this pepita and sunflower seed sourdough. It has a springy, chewy crumb with flavorful nuttiness, and a golden brown crust.

seeded sourdough loaf cut in half, with one half crumb side up.
seeded sourdough bread slices cut in half, with a bowl of butter to it's bottom left, and on the bottom right a blue plate with toasted pepita seeds

I’d been thinking about my ideal breakfast bread when I started to test this recipe – you know one with seeds, a bit of whole grains, with lots of feel good vibes… without being a cardboard like “health bread”.

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This Easy Seeded Sourdough is EXACTLY what I want to start my morning with. A hearty loaf without being dense, a good dose of nutrition, and complex flavors. A total winner.

The crust has a lovely crackle while the crumb is soft and springy, with toasted sesame seeds and pepitas scattered throughout. And the aroma while this loaf is baking is a real good thing.

Ingredients for Seeded Sourdough

  • Pepita Seeds
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Bread Flour
  • Whole Wheat Flour
  • Water
  • Salt

I’ve used a blend of whole wheat flour and bread flour to give it great structure and make the dough easy to work with, while still adding some nutrition from the whole grain. It’s very similar to making my Everyday Sourdough Bread recipe, actually!

toasted sesame and pepita seeds in a swirled pattern on a white plate.

Adding Mix-In’s To Sourdough

Combined with the depth of sourdough, seeds, nuts, dried fruit, herbs – they can all transform a basic loaf into something undeniably delicious. In this particular loaf, the seeds provide a bit of protein as well as fiber, and layers of flavor. If you’re looking for a loaf with dried fruit, try my Poppyseed Crusted Sourdough with Dried Cherries!

A double win – totally nutritious and still an everyday loaf that every member of your family will enjoy.

Toasting the pepita and sesame seeds draws their natural oils to the surface, intensifying their rich nutty essence that infuses the bread.

pouring water onto pepita and sesame seeds that are on top of bread dough, in a glass bowl.
woman performing stretch and fold of seeded sourdough. dough is in a glass bowl.

When to add seeds to sourdough:

I like to add the seeds on top of the dough right before the 2nd set of stretch and folds, with a tiny bit of water. I then do my normal stretch and fold technique, and let rest for 30 minutes. Repeating that stretch and fold 2 more times, for a total of 4 stretch and folds. The seeds will further distribute through the dough with each subsequent set of stretch and folds.

Do I need to soak the seeds?

Part of the reason people soak NUTS before adding them to sourdough is so they’re easier to bite into. In this recipe, we’re working with SEEDS that are naturally softer in texture than something like almonds or walnuts, so NO SOAKING is needing. Additionally, toasting the seeds changes their structure in a way that they will not soak up much moisture from the dough. In fact, we’ll add a bit of water when we add the seeds to the dough.

Other seeds like chia and flax need to be soaked before adding to sourdough because they soak up LOTS of liquid, which would drastically affect the hydration of your dough.

seeded sourdough bread with beautiful scoring

Bakers Schedule for Making Easy Seeded Sourdough Bread:

  • 9am: Feed sourdough starter
  • 2pm: Mix dough and let autolyse (rest)
  • 3pm: Work salt into dough during 1st set of stretch and folds
  • 3:30pm: Add seeds to top of dough with 15 grams of water, and perform second set of stretch and folds (video here) to work them in. Repeat the 30 min rest and stretch/folds 2 more times.
  • 4:30pm: You will complete your 4th set of stretch and folds. Now cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let dough finish its bulk ferment.
  • Between 8 and 9pm, check your dough. When it has risen 40-50%, and has a smoothish top and is a bit jiggly, the bulk fermentation is finished.
  • Take dough out of bowl and place on floured counter for a 20 minute bench rest.
  • Around 9 or 10pm: Shape your dough and put in a garbage bag, then place in refrigerator. Refrigerate overnight for a cold retard.
  • Between 8 and 11am, preheat your oven to 500 degrees F. When your oven is preheated, remove dough from fridge. Score and place into dutch oven or bread baking pan, replace lid.
  • Then place pan in oven and bake for 25 minutes covered, 20 minutes uncovered.

What to put on your sourdough bread:

So you’ve baked this rustic sourdough beauty, now it’s time to eat! Here are some of my favorite spreads to put on toasted slices.

seeded sourdough bread, up close image

More Sourdough Bread Recipes:

seeded sourdough loaf cut in half, with one half crumb side up.

Easy Seeded Sourdough Bread Recipe

Add extra flavor and nutrition to sourdough by folding in toasted pepita and sesame seeds. It's an easy technique, folding in the seeds during the stretch and folds. The finished loaf has a golden crust and soft, chewy crumb.
4.87 from 23 votes
Prep Time :15 minutes
Cook Time :45 minutes
Additional Time :15 hours
Total Time :16 hours
Yield: 1 loaf
Author: Amanda Paa

SCALE:

Ingredients

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place seeds on a baking sheet and toast for 5-6 minutes, until browning and smelling toasted. Remove and transfer to a plate to cool.
  • Mix active sourdough starter and 310 grams water until starter is dissolved. Add flours, and mix with hands until a shaggy dough forms, with no dry bits of flour left. Add salt to top of dough.
  • Cover with damp cloth and let do rest (autolyse) for 45 minutes.
  • After the rest, work salt into dough, pinching it into the dough and working the dough between your hands for 2 minutes. Then perform your 1st set of stretch and folds (video tutorial). Then let dough rest for 30 minutes.
  • After that rest, add seeds to top of dough with 15 grams of water, and perform second set of stretch and folds to work them in. Repeat the 30 min rest and stretch/folds 2 more times.
  • After your 4th set of stretch and folds, cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let dough finish its bulk ferment on the counter.
  • Between 4 and 5 hours later, check your dough (assuming the air temp in your home is around 72-75 degrees F). When it has risen 50%, and has a smoothish top and is a bit jiggly, the bulk fermentation is finished. You should go off of look and feel rather than time, which is why the hours given are just approximate.
  • Take dough out of bowl and place on lightly floured counter for a 20 minute bench rest.
  • Shape your dough, put in banneton, and cover with a shower cap, or place in a garbage bag to make sure your dough doesn't dry out.Refrigerate overnight for a cold retard.
  • Between 8 and 11am, preheat your dutch oven in your oven, setting oven to 450 degrees F. When your oven is preheated, remove dough from fridge. Score and place into dutch oven or bread baking pan, replace lid.
  • Put dutch oven into oven and bake for 25. Then take cover off, turn heat down to 435 degrees F and bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown on top. Let bread cool for 1 hour before slicing.

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January 14, 2021

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25 comments

  1. Charlotte

    5 stars
    This turned out beautifully ! My new go to for a seeded sourdough ! I substituted buckwheat flour for the whole wheat and added some flaxseed and hemp seed. Delicious with raspberry jam! Thank you Amanda!

    • Amanda Paa

      Oh that sounds amazing! Thanks for making the recipe!

  2. Joey Sundvall

    Can I use your all purpose flour sourdough recipe for this? Thats the only sourdough bread I ever make.

    • Amanda Paa

      Hi Joey! I think that should work. Maybe decrease the seeds by a total of 15 grams just to be sure.

  3. Jan Fitzpatrick

    5 stars
    Oh wow! This is a brilliant recipe, the bread was chewy, crusty, open and delicious!

    • Amanda Paa

      So glad you enjoyed it, Jan!

  4. Beata

    I’m in the process of making this loaf. I will not have time to proceed tomorrow morning. Is it ok to delay by 9 hrs or so? Or should I just finish today?

    • Amanda Paa

      I’d recommend the fridge retard and hold until tomorrow. You’ll have better flavor!

  5. Mary

    The baking temperature is different in the story (bake at 500 degrees) vs the recipe (450/435) Which do you use now? Thanks!

  6. Mary

    When you enter the bulk proof phase with the recipe as written, what is the initial volume of the dough prior to proofing? Mine is too rounded to get an accurate measurement so I can approximate the volume when has risen 50%,other visual cues aside…thank you

  7. Rob

    Why would you “put it in a garbage bag” overnight? Is this code for “proofing basket” or something? I’ve never heard of a garbage bag for proofing.
    Thanks

    • Amanda Paa

      You want to cover it with something that won’t let it dry out in the fridge. That’s why it works well to slide the banneton into a garbage bag if you don’t have a plastic shopping bag.

  8. Alison

    I see that you mentioned chia and flax seeds would require soaking because of the moisture they absorb… but wondered if you had ever used hemp seeds? My dough is in the bulk rise phase now and I’m looking forward to the results!

  9. Martha

    5 stars
    Thanks for sharing. I love seeded breads and made this with a mix of black sesame,sunflower and pumpkin seeds which I toasted on a pan. First time doing it without soaking the seeds and it turned out really well. I added 8g of olive oil together with the salt as I wanted the dough to be a bit softer.

    • Amanda Paa

      oh, i’m going to try it with black sesame next!

  10. Florence Wong Jia Yi

    5 stars
    love this recipe!

  11. Florence Wong Jia Yi

    5 stars
    Easy and perfect recipe even for beginners!!

  12. Laura

    5 stars
    What a great recipe!! It‘s absolutely delicious and the instructions are easy to follow even for a beginner. Can‘t wait to bake another one.

    • Amanda Paa

      Yay, so glad you liked this seeded sourdough, Laura!

  13. Natalie Davis

    5 stars
    Delicious! Used heart beet kitchen starter and it turned out beautifully!!!

    • Amanda Paa

      yay! your loaf was beautiful, thank you for sharing the picture with me!

  14. Amanda

    5 stars
    This was a really easy recipe to follow. The instructions are excellently written. On a personal level, I was intimidated by the idea of adding in seeds to my loafs because of the step of soaking, but this recipe created another option for me. Its now one of my regulars that I keep in rotation on a weekly basis.

    • Amanda Paa

      so glad you liked the recipe and found it is easy to follow. happy baking!

  15. Vivianne Holland

    Excellent recipe and love the step by step pictures with instructions and explanations. I love making sourdough bread using greek yogurt (instead of a starter) and wanted to add pumpkin and sunflower seeds. This recipe was perfect!

    • Amanda Paa

      So glad you liked the recipe, Vivianne!