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.
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”.
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
Whole Wheat Flour
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 1 minute. 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 70-75 degrees F). When it has risen 40-50%, 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 and put in a garbage bag, then place in refrigerator. Refrigerate overnight for a cold retard.
Between 8 and 11am, preheat your dutch oven in your oven, setting 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 dutch oven in oven and turn down heat to 460 degrees F bake for 25 minutes covered. Then take cover off, turn heat down to 435 degrees F and bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown on top.