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+ servings
slices of homemade flax and chia sourdough

flax and chia seed sourdough bread

recipe for 2 loaves (~1000 kg each) of chia flaxseed sourdough, a naturally leavened bread with no commercial yeast. 3 to 4 hours of bulk proofing followed by a 1 -2 hour final or a 12 hour overnight cold proof
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 12 slices
Calories 420kcal
Author Marie


For the levain build:

  • 20 grams Ripe starter
  • 120 grams Water
  • 120 grams All purpose flour

For the dough:

  • 200 grams Levain build up to 250 g in cold climates
  • 800 grams Water divided, 750 g + 50 g
  • 600 grams Bread flour
  • 300 grams All purpose flour
  • 100 grams White whole wheat flour
  • 20 grams Fine sea salt

For the seed mixture:

  • 80 grams Chia seeds
  • 80 grams Flax seeds
  • 160 grams Water

Final dough baker's percents:

  • Bread flour 60%
  • All purpose flour 30%
  • Whole wheat flour 10%
  • Chia and flax seeds 16%
  • Water 96% (80% plus 16% for the seeds)
  • Levain 20%
  • Salt 2%


To build the levain:

  • Add 20 g of ripe starter to 120 g of water, combine, and then add the flour
  • cover the mixture and place in a warm area of the kitchen
  • Let sit for 4 to 12 hours, until it has risen and a small portions passes the float test (take a teaspoon of the mixture and drop it into a glass of water. If it floats, it's ready to use - save this, don't discard it.)
  • Depending on how vigorous your starter is, it should be ready within 4 to 8 hours.
  • If you'd like to prepare this the night before, add a shake or two of salt to slow down this process so it will be ready at about 12 hours or so
  • The levain begins to lose its power when it falls back from its peak rise

To make the dough

  • Add 200 to 250 g of the risen levain to a large bowl or deep container along with 750 grams of water. Mix and then add the flours.
  • Combine until you get a shaggy mass, cover, and let it sit in a warm place for about 30 min (autolyse)
  • after 30 minutes has passed, combine the salt with the remaining 50 grams of water and add it to the dough
  • Mix the dough well with your hands, cover, and let stand for 30 minutes
  • In the meantime, add the seeds to a separate bowl with 180 grams of water and let sit for 20 to 30 minutes. The seeds will absorb all of the water
  • about 30 minutes after you added the salt and extra water, stretch and fold the dough - you will do this every 30 minutes for the next 3 to 4 hours (ie, bulk rise)
  • Before doing the second set of stretch and folds, add the seeds.
  • The dough is ready to be divided when it has risen and appears to be bubbly; the dough will release nicely from the container

To shape the loaves

  • Pour the dough out onto a clean work surface, divide the dough into 2 equally sized pieces, and gently pre-form the pieces into desired shape (ie, round or oval, etc)
  • Let the dough rest for about 20 minutes.
  • if the edge of the dough has flattened after 20 minutes, the dough didn't proof enough - you may preshape again with the goal of strengthening the gluten.
  • Form the final loaves using your preferred shaping method
  • Place dough in lined or floured bannetons and allow to rise for 1 to 1.5 hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator

To bake

  • Preheat oven to 500 degrees with baking steel or stone in center of oven
  • Gently remove dough from bannetons and place on parchment paper or in combo cooker and score top with lame
  • Load the loaves into the oven and cover if using combo cooker or steam if not
  • Reduce oven to 475 degrees and bake for 20 minutes
  • After 20 minutes, remove steam (or cover to pot) and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until the loaves are ready


Calories: 420kcal | Carbohydrates: 77g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 656mg | Potassium: 178mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 3.2mg