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Sourdough #9 : Toasted Pine Nuts, 20% Whole Wheat

Updated: Dec 27, 2021


TIPS: It is recommended that you use active starter to build your Levain when making sourdough bread. If you have been keeping your starter retarded in the fridge, bring it out to and leave at room temperature and feed it twice a day three days prior to using it to make your sourdough loaf. To know if your starter is active to use to build the Levain, with a 1:1:1 (Flour:water:Levain) ratio it should start to increase twice its volume within 4 to 6 hours at room temperature of 20°C - 26°C.

Let's get Started!

Taste profile : Slightly sour but not over powering with a mild nuttiness.

Total hydration = 80%


Prepare the night before

60 g Water 21°C

75 g White Baker's Flour

15 g Rye Flour

30 g Ripe Starter


400 g 80% White Baker's Flour

100 g 20% Whole Wheat Baker's Flour

410 g 82% Water (reserve 20 g water for later)

10 g 2% Fine Salt

125 g 25% Ripe Levain


30 g Toasted Pine Nuts


Method and Schedule

Friday 9 pm Make Levain

The night before, mix all the ingredients for the Levain together and store them in a jar large enough for it to triple its volume with a loose lid.

Tie a rubber band on the outside of the jar level with the Levain to monitor the natural levain activity.

Leave the Levain at room temperature to ripen overnight. This process should take around 12 hours before ready to use. The Levain will double its volume and be very bubbly but not sinking in the center.

To test if the Levain is still okay to use, place a small spoonful in a jug of water. If it floats to the surface, it means it is good to use. If it sinks to the bottom of the water, you will need to leave it to ripen for a little longer.

Note: If the Levain in the jar has sunk in the center and gives out a sharp tangy smell to it, this means that the wild yeast has exhausted itself from the food source and is no longer strong enough to leaven bread. You will need to restart the Levain again with a higher hydration for a shorter ripening process. This may take another 5 hours. It is best to restart and wait than using a weak Levain that is bound to give a disappointing result.

The above Levain left at room temperature should still be good after 12 to 14 hours providing that the ambient of your kitchen are not too warm and humid.


Saturday 7 am Autolyze

10 hours later

(The next morning and 2 hours before the Levain is estimated to be ready for use)

Add the 390 g water (reserving the rest of the 20 g water for later) with all the flours and mix until well incorporated and there are no lumps of flour present in the mix. Cover with a tea towel and leave to autolyze for 2 hours.

Saturday 9 am Add Levain

2 hours Later and Levain passed the Float Test

Test the Levain using the "Float Test".

If it passes the test, weight out 125 g of the Levain and spread it over the autolyzed dough and mix with hands to incorporate but stretching and folding the dough. This process take me approximately 3 minutes.

Cover and leave to rest for 30 minutes.

You should have at least 30 g of left over Levain to make fresh ones for next loaf.

9:40 am Add Salt and some of the remaining reserved 20 g water

30 minutes later

Sprinkle the fine salt over the dough and wet the salt with some of the reserved water to help dissolve the salt. Incorporate in to the salt and mix until you cannot feel any grainy bits of salt.

Cover and leave to rest for 40 minutes.

10:10 am Lamination and incorporating the toasted pine nuts

30 minutes later

Lightly wet the work bench with water, then transfer the dough on to it. Gently stretch the dough out to a rectangle ensuring that it is even in thickness. You do not need to stretch it too thin for this step, just enough for you to fold it on to each other.

Spread half of the toasted pine nuts on top of the dough. Fold the top 1/3 towards the center of the dough then fold the bottom part over to full cover the top. Fold the left side over 1/3 of the way to the center then fold over the left side over the top.

Do a Coil fold by lifting the folded dough from the center with your hands and let the North and South ends of the dough to fold over to the bottom. Repeat this with the east and west ends of the dough.

Place it in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and let it rest for 30 minutes.

Note: For easier handling, wet your hands a little with water.

10:40 am First Stretch and Fold

30 minutes later

Perform the first stretch and fold by very gently stretching the sides of the dough and folding it over its opposite ends until you form some strength.

Cover and rest for 30 minutes.

If the dough is sticking too much to your hands, dip your hands in some water. Do not be tempted to do too much of this as this can add more water than you need.

11:20 am Second Stretch and Fold

30 minutes later

Repeat the Stretch and fold for the second time

12 pm Third Stretch and Fold

30 minutes later

Perform the third stretch and fold and leave to rest covered for 30 minutes.


12:35 pm Last Stretch and Fold

30 minutes later

Leave for another 2 hours for the rest of the bulk proofing.

2:30 pm Pre-shaping

2 hours later

Rest for 15 minutes

3 pm Final shaping and retard

15 minutes later

Final shape the dough then lightly dust the banneton and the surface of the dough with flour. Tilt the dough upside down and place it into the banneton. The seam side should be facing out.

Leave the shaped dough in the banneton at room temperature covered with plastic for an hour or until it starts to dome a little on the top before placing it into the fridge to retard proof overnight to be baked the next morning.

4 pm Place dough into fridge to retard overnight
Sunday 6 am Pre heat the oven and cast iron pot

14 hours later (Next day) - 1 hour before baking

Pre heat the oven with the cast iron pot and lid in the oven at 210 °C and let it stand for an hour.

At this point the sourdough is still sitting in the fridge at 4°C


7 am Scoring and Baking

15 hours later and the amount of hours the dough was retarded in the fridge

Remove the dough from the fridge.

Light dust the dough with some flour, place a cut out parchment paper slightly larger than the dough on top and gently tilt the dough over to release.

Dust the dough with activated charcoal for patterns or simply dust with equal amount of corn flour + Baker's Flour (optional)

Remove the cast iron pot from the hot oven, then place the dough gently into the pot. Holding the lid with one hand, spray a generous amount ot water over the top of the loaf with your other hand. Quickly close the lid to trap the moisture (this will help the bread rise better without the crust hardening prematurely which can create resistance to the rise)

Place into the oven to bake for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, remove the lid and place the pot back in to the oven and bake for a further 35 to 40 minutes (longer if you want a darker crust).

Once the bread is ready, tilt the pot over and release the dough over the wire rack to fully cool before cutting.


Moments of truth

This loaf is perfect! It has the right amount of tang to it but not over bearing. The toasted nuts adds some crunch to the bite which was really great.


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