Butterfly Pea Flower Sourdough

I’ve been following Kirsten of FullProofBaking on Instagram and have been interested in trying her Butterfly Pea Flower Sourdough for sometime. I finally purchased some butterfly pea flowers on Amazon and decided I’d try to bake this.

Butterfly pea flowers 14.5 g dried flowers, green leaves and stems plucked off. Steeped in 360 g boiling water x 10 mins and cooled, then 342.5 g added to flour during autolyse.

Total Dough Weight 900 g

Bread flour 80%

Whole Grain 20%

Prefermented flour 9% 45.5 g

Bread flour 380 g

Whole Grain flour 78 g

Water 76% 342.5 g

Salt 2% 10.1 g

Diastatic malt 0.5% 2.5 g

Levain 91 g

Levain build 1:2:2

20 g mature starter

20 g bread flour

20 g whole grain flour

40 g water

  1. Liquid Levain (0:00) — I build mine at around 1:2:2 and let it sit at about 80°F until it more than triples in volume and “peaks”. For my starter, this takes approximately 5-6 hours.

Flour for my starter feeds is composed of a mix of 10% rye, 90% bread flour

  1. Autolyse (+3:00) — This is a pre-soak of the flour and water. If concerned about the hydration hold back some of the water. You can add it back later, if necessary. Leave the autolyse for anywhere from 2-4 hours (I prefer 3 hours) while the levain finishes fermenting.

  2. Add Levain (+6:00) — Spread on top of dough and work in using your hands. This is a good time to evaluate the feel (hydration) of the dough.

  3. Add Salt (+6:30) — Place salt on top of dough and work in with hands. Dough will start to strengthen.

  4. Light Fold (+7:00) — With dough on a slightly wet bench do a Letter Fold from both ways. NOTE: If baking more than one loaf, divide the dough before folding.

  5. Lamination (+7:30) — Place dough on wet counter and spread out into a large rectangle. Do a Letter Fold both ways.

  6. Coil Fold (+8:15) — Do a 4 way Stretch and Fold (Coil Fold) inside the BF container.

  7. Coil Fold (+9:00) — Do a 4 way Stretch and Fold (Coil Fold) inside the BF container.

  8. Coil Fold (+9:15) — Do a 4 way Stretch and Fold (Coil Fold) inside the BF container.

  9. End of BF - Shaping (~11:30) — The duration of the BF is a judgement call. Shoot for 50-60% rise (assuming my fridge temp is set very low). Warmer fridge (above 39F) means your dough will continue to rise… so in this case, bulk to more like 40%. Divide and shape

  10. Retard Overnight & Bake — Score cold and bake in a pre-heated 500F oven for 20 minutes with steam

  11. Vent Oven 20 minutes into the bake — Vent oven and bake for 20 or more minutes at 450F.

As with many bakers in the northern hemisphere we have been getting warmer temperatures recently and yesterday in particular was much warmer. I didn’t compensate well enough for this and the bulk fermentation went too far I think because of this. I think I should have cut BF sooner than I did, I base this on the shape of the loaf and the relative short and squat end profile. Obviously the crumb will tell the tale of this bake.

The butterfly pea flower really makes this dough far more extensible than usual, something that Kirsten mentions in her post.


I have been as well! I can’t say I think the butterfly pea flower tea adds anything to the taste or texture of the bread, but the color is amazing.

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Nice bake Kevin. I don’t think will have as good a crumb.

Well, that is not a photo of my first or only attempt at butterfly pea flower sourdough and a bit of cherry picking may have been involved in the selection of photos. LOL!

My goodness, Benny. Lovely loaf indeed. Was wondering how the crust would turn out when baked. Its fascinating to see this colour dough turn out a normal looking crust but its hiding the colour in the crumb.

Thanks Abe. I’ll post crumb shots tomorrow. It is incredible that the crust can become so browned when you know how purple it was when you take the lid off. I guess it doesn’t add much to the flavour, but if I can get the fermentation down and get good tension in the dough then maybe I can get a very open crumb in the future given the extra extensibility the butterfly pea flower gives the dough.

OK I’d like some opinions, but I think I did over proof this by allowing bulk fermentation to go too long given the warm temperatures in my kitchen. What do you think based on the tightness of the crumb and the relative lack of oven spring?

I cannot discern any flavour that the butterfly pea flower contributes to this bread and I wasn’t really expecting to be able to.

To me it looks under fermented. Large air pockets dispersed in a tight crumb structure points to under. The crust is golden and thin. It bloomed well with the scoring opening up. This doesn’t point to over fermented.