Tartine Whole Wheat with Flax and Sunflower Seeds

August 13 2019, Tags: Flax, Sunflower, Sourdough, Bread, Tartine whole wheat

My first attempt at the whole wheat dough from Tartine Bread.


Autolysed in 22C ambient temperature overnight.


I built the levain at the same time as the autolyse:


The levain was about 12 hours when I made the dough:

Combined roughly into the autolyse.


The book contains a variation on this dough that adds flax seeds and sunflower seeds. This combination happens to be a house favorite, so I decided to try it, even if I hadn't tried the base recipe. The recipe calls for:

I incorporated the seeds after the second turn, and immediately knew I'd made a mistake. The base recipe is 70% whole wheat and 80% hydration - a very slack dough. After adding the seeds, the total hydration is at a breezy 130%, and the dough was just a mess.

Bulk fermentation

I continued to give the dough turns at 30 minute intervals, hoping it would come together, but it stayed a mess throughout, possibly with a little bit more hold towards the end.


I spent a good hour trying to shape this awful mess. I incorporated a metric shit ton of raw flour in the process, but after four rounds, I was able to move the sticky piles into a plate of sunflower seeds, and then into proofing baskets. I stuck the baskets into the fridge for retarding, and to set the skin, so I would be able to transfer the breads into Dutch ovens to cook.


I cooked these after 12 hours, and they turned out better than feared, if somewhat flat.

Done breads

They came out quite dense, almost closer to seeded rye breads than a typical wheat bread. The crumb was tight, and sticky, almost wet. I probably should have cooked them a little longer. They're probably way off from the potential in the recipe, but they were still edible.