Prep 20 mins
Cook 4 hrs
This is a hearty, and heart smart bread because Flax seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids, which help elevate your good cholesterol. This is a modified recipe from Dr. Ed Wood's second book, "Classic Sourdoughs : A Home Baker's Handbook". Dr. Wood is also the author of the treasured "World Sourdoughs from Antiquity". Even thought I'd love it, I've made the seeds optional as my DH doesn't care for 'seedy' breads.
- 2 cups active sourdough starter
- 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds (optional)
- 1⁄4 cup flax seed (optional)
- 1 tablespoon poppy seed (optional)
- 4 1⁄2-5 cups unbleached white flour
- 1⁄2 cup flax seed meal
- 1 1⁄4 cups cold bottled water
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons honey
- (Optional) Put the sunflower seeds, flax seeds, and poppy seeds in a hot, clean, dry skillet and stir them. Let them roast, with frequent stirrings, until they become fragrant. Be careful to make sure they don't scorch! Toasting the seeds makes them - and the bread - much more tasty. You may also roast the seeds in a 375F oven for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Mix the active starter, water, oil and honey together. (I use my Kitchen Aid with the dough hook for this process.).
- Add the (optional) seeds.
- Stir in the flax meal.
- Add the salt and then stir in the flour one cup at a time until the dough is too thick to stir.
- Pour the dough onto a floured work surface (or turn up the speed on your Kitchen Aid) and knead until the dough is resilient. The dough is a rather sticky dough; it's important not to over-flour the dough.
- Once the dough is well kneaded, turn it out into an oiled bowl, turn and cover.
- Let it rise until doubled.
- Deflate the dough, knead briefly, cut and shape into rough loaves.
- Let the dough sit, covered, for 30 minutes, then shape into final loaves.
- Let rise, covered, until doubled.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Bake 30 to 45 minutes.
- Flax seeds are easily found in health food stores. The oils in them can become rancid, so either buy just what you need, or store the seeds in the refrigerator or freezer.