This tangy, tasty sourdough loaf is enhanced with whole grains and a generous topping of whole flax seeds.
Ingredient Section Dough 1 cup sourdough starter, fed and ready to use* 3 1/2 cups European-Style Artisan Bread Flour or King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour 1 cup malted wheat flakes (for best flavor), or old-fashioned rolled oats 1/2 cup sunflower seeds 2 teaspoons salt 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast *Sourdough starters vary quite a bit in consistency. Use enough water to make a soft dough.
Topping 1 to 2 tablespoons whole flax seeds
Directions In a large mixing bowl, or the bucket of a bread machine, combine the fed sourdough starter and 1 cup of the water, mixing until smooth.
Add the remaining dough ingredients, and mix and knead — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — until you've made a soft dough, adding additional water as needed. Cover the dough in the bowl, and let it rise until it's almost doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased work surface and gently fold it over a few times to deflate it. Shape the dough into a large round. Grease a Dutch oven or baking crock, and place the dough into it. Cover the crock, and let the loaf rise until it's very puffy, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Just before baking, brush or spray the loaf with water, and sprinkle with seeds. Use a lame or a very sharp knife to make several slashes across the top of the loaf, in the shape of a pound sign. Place the covered crock into a cold oven, set to 450°F, and turn on the oven. Bake the bread for 35 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until the bread is deep golden brown, about 10 additional minutes. Remove the bread from the oven and turn it out of the crock onto a rack to cool. Yield: 1 large loaf.