Flaxseed Meal Sourdough Bread

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Wow! I agree with Eric, beautiful looking loaf Melissa! This definitely goes on my list of recipes to try. Just confirming, you are using a100% hydration starter, right?

Could you use home milled wheat with this recipe Melissa ?

Thanks, @djd418 : ) Yes, it’s 100% hydration starter. You can adjust the water in the recipe and use a stiffer starter though.

@Locksley Sure, and the fermentation might even go a little faster with whole grain home-milled wheat.

I’ve been adding ground flaxseed to my bread loaves for a few years now; I usually add 1 ounce (~28 grams) to 23 ounces (652 grams) total flour, from which I make 2 small pan loaves. I use fresh ground whole grain flour, usually a 50:50 mix of turkey red and kamut or spelt. I also add other ingredients, such as toasted seeds (sunflower, chia, flaxseed, sesame), pre-soaked rye or wheat whole grains, or dried fruit and nuts (eg, raisins and chopped walnuts), depending upon how I feel.

I’ve never done such a beautiful score; I just cut lengthwise down my little loaves after they’ve risen in my pans. I use a hydration of about 88-90%, following Josey Baker’s suggestion of Whole, Wild, Wet, Slow, and Bold: Whole grain flour; Sourdough starter; High hydration; Long ferments; and Long baking times. Especially the latter, if I ignore my timer for too long.

We eat the bread as open face sandwiches, or toasted. Nothing fancy. But totally delicious!

PS: I’ve been cutting back on salt; I’m now down to 4.5 grams of salt per 24 ounces of total flour (which is about 0.6%). This is less than half the amounts I started with. Has anybody left out the salt altogether? If so, what are the results?

The loaves you describe sound absolutely delicious. I like the Josey Baker set of words too. I’m putting your approach/blend of possible ingredients on my to-bake list (which is a bit unmanageably long at the moment, I’ll admit lol).

@Leah1 uses very little salt I believe. And some Italian breads are salt-free if I recall correctly.

Melissa, this loaf is absolutely gorgeous! I think I would give it an 11 out of 10!
On the scoring, the text mentions marking with baking string. I understand that the deeper cuts are made with a sharp knife, but do you score the string lines at all with the knife? The reason I ask is that I’m a bit surprised that if they’re only marked with string, and not cut at all, they would remain so visible in the baked loaf.
This is definitely one I’ll be trying, not only for the nutrition, but also for the visual appeal. Thanks for your instruction!

Thank you!

I don’t know why the string lines showed up so well even after baking. I dusted the boule pretty thick before making the lines and scoring, but no, I didn’t score the lines.

The pattern for the score comes from this baker/loaf

And if you scored the dividing lines, it might come out a bit like this, though probably not as open

I’ve been incorporating soaked flax seeds as per Chad Robertson’s Tartine recipe but I find this process somewhat difficult if not slimy. I wonder if just adding the ground flax in the beginning wouldn’t be ten times easier, and just as if not more nutritious and flavorful.

@Fermentada Yes, Melissa, I use very little salt for my husband’s health reasons. I tried making a bread once with no salt in it. It was SO bland I found it unpalatable. My challenge and compromise to tasteless salt-free bread was to develop a safer level of salt in the recipe to give that needed flavor boost but not be a problem medically. I found that using approximately one-third the amount of salt called for in any recipe accomplished that for me. So if a recipe calls for 1-1/2 teaspoons of salt, I only use 1/2 teaspoon of salt. The bread tastes wonderful and I’m able to keep it lower sodium. I automatically make that salt adjustment on every bread I bake whether its for us to enjoy personally or one I’m gifting to someone else. I hope that information helps.

@muchohucho Interesting about the slime… I guess that makes sense since flaxseeds are used as a vegan egg substitute.

@Leah1 thank you for the salt info for @Jaen It’s amazing how small differences have an impact. I recently halved the honey in some homemade granola and caused an uproar on the home front. I guess 2/3 next time :joy:

@Fermentada You’re welcome, Melissa. I hope @Jaen finds that it works for her as well as it does for me.


I am new to the sourdough world, and have been working at it since last fall. This is the first time that I have used flaxseed meal and loved the taste. My only problem, as you can see from the picture is that my dough rose beautifully during fermentation, but when I put in oven it just spread out and did not form the higher loaf I was hoping for. We love the taste and texture. Should I change the hydration by maybe putting in less water? Thanks so much for a recipe I will be making again.

Yes, lowering the hydration is a good plan, especially if the dough felt soupy when you were coil folding it.

If it didn’t feel too wet, then a shorter final proof, tighter shaping, and popping the banneton into the freezer for 20 minutes before scoring and loading it are also options that could increase height.

I’ve heard from another person who found the dough to be wet, so I’m going to edit the recipe a bit. I believe that the absorbency of flaxseed meal can be quite variable, likely depending on the fineness of the grind.

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Thanks Melissa, I’m going to try it again this weekend. I failed to mention that I did put it in a proofer at 80 deg because my kitchen is usually around 67deg. I’ll try a little less water and put banneton in freezer for a bit. I’ll let you know how it comes out.

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I also had a rise issue. I’m going to try it again with revised hydration level. Eating the toast now though, although not Instagram worthy, it’s delicious!

Thank you for all your prompt help with addressing my hydration issue Melissa!

@LindaGoetz @pjmjazz I look forward to hearing about your next bakes.

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Hi Melissa, I have baked a 2nd and 3rd loaf now. Both turned out excellent with great crust and crumb. I went from 100% hydration to 78 and then 70%. It may have been my flaxseed meal which I bought at a Natural food store. I will try Breadtopia Flaxseed next and see if that makes a difference. We love the taste and texture. I’m still learning so much about baking bread, but Breadtopia recipes and tutorials are the best I’ve found thus far.My neighbors loved it also. This recipe is a keeper.

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