#CSSCommunity Seaweed Sesame Spelt Sourdough


This week's challenge to the #CSSCommunity was baking bread and Becky rose to the challenge admirably! Bread baking seems to be a lockdown activity many of us are turning to, but trying your hand at sourdough takes it a step further. 

Becky @eatbakebread, head chef @slice_of_cornwall shared her Seaweed Sesame Spelt Sourdough with us - give it a try!


Seaweed Sesame Spelt Sourdough

Here is an interesting flavour combination to fire up your taste buds with Peppery Umami and Organic seaweed flakes. Baking these seasonings into the crust really brings out the flavour of these natural local ingredients, and gives you a beautiful textured loaf, especially when paired with sweet and nutty spelt flour. 

The process of creating a starter, bulk fermentation, folding, pre-shaping and final shaping can be found in many online tutorials. Practice makes perfect! Folding and shaping is important to build strength in the gluten network to achieve a good oven spring. Recommended @tartinebakery @thesourdoughschool @danlarn @grainandhearth 

Recommended equipment 

  • A large bowl
  • Dough scraper
  • Scales
  • Tea towel
  • Cast iron Dutch oven or casserole pot with a lid

 Ingredients for one sourdough loaf

 For the dough (75–80% hydration)

  • 100g Active sourdough starter – I use a Strong white starter 1:1 water to flour
  • 350g Tepid water, plus 50g for additions as required
  • 400g Strong white bread flour
  • 100g Wholemeal spelt flour
  • 7g Cornish Sea Salt – fine flake
  • 5g Peppery Umami Cornish sea salt
  • 7g Organic mixed seaweed flakes Cornish seaweed company

For the crust coating

  • 20g Sesame seeds
  • 6g Peppery Umami
  • (a damp tea towel or water mister to dampen the surface of the dough allowing toppings to stick)

Combine the active sourdough starter with 350g of tepid water. Your sourdough starter is ready to use if it floats in the water. 

Add the flour blend and mix until there is no remaining dry flour. No need to knead your dough, the beauty of this sourdough method! Cover with a tea towel and rest for 40 minutes.

Once rested, add the Cornish sea salt, Peppery Umami and seaweed flakes to the top of your dough. Using the extra warm water as required to help dissolve the salt, squeeze the flakes into the dough until the dough comes back together. To perform the first turn, with a wet hand lift and fold the dough over itself 3 to 4 times around the edge until evenly stretched. Cover, and rest again for 30 minutes.

Bulk fermentation - For the next 2 to 4 hours, repeat the turn process gently, being careful not to knock out the air, resting for 30 minutes between each turn. The dough will become more elastic, airy and smooth over time. The dough is ready when it has increase around a third in volume, and air pockets form around the edges. The time taken will depend on the ambient temperature in the kitchen.

On an unfloured surface, gently ease the dough out of the bowl and pre-shape. It is useful to have a dough scraper at this stage. Fold the dough gently over itself again, and use the dough scraper to lift the dough and turn it over on the bench seam side down. Using the scraper, build tension in the round by stretching the surface until the dough holds its shape and has a smooth top. Lightly dust with flour, cover and rest for 30 minutes. 

While the dough rests, prepare a proving basket or floured tea towel lined bowl, a damp tea towel or water mister, and a shallow bowl or plate with the crust coating mix. 

The final shaping involves a series of gentle folds. Dust the surface of the round lightly with flour. Using the dough scraper flip the dough back upside down. Fold the nearest side over by a third, fold the sides over by a third one at a time to form an open envelope shape, then fold the top edge over all the folds to bring the underside back to the top.

To coat the dough (optional but tasty!), lightly coat the surface with water. Gently pick up the dough using the scraper and lower topside down it into the prepared coating. Lift the dough topside down straight into the prepared proving basket or lined bowl, and pour the remaining topping over the dough. Cover the dough with a clean tea towel, and place in the fridge to slowly prove for a minimum of 8 hours or overnight.


When ready to bake, remove the proving vessel from the fridge and preheat the oven containing a cast iron pot or Dutch oven to maximum temperature. A baking tray can be used, but a Dutch oven will trap steam and stop the crust developing too quickly, giving you the best oven spring. 


Once the oven reaches temperature, carefully remove the Dutch oven. Gently tip the dough out of the proving basket into the pot being careful not to burn yourself! Slash the surface of the dough using a sharp knife or razor blade, replace the lid and place back in the oven, reducing the temperature to 230c. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the lid and bake for a further 20-25 minutes until golden. The loaf should feel light, and hollow when tapped on its base. Cool on a wire rack before cutting.