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Walnut Sourdough With Swiss Dark Flour

A hearty and sweet bread for the dark autumn nights

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  • 300 g Ripe sourdough starter (refreshed approx. 8 hours before mixing the dough)
  • 500 g Swiss Dark Flour
  • 500 g Strong white flour
  • 700 g Water
  • 20 g Salt
  • 250 g Peeled walnuts + water for soaking


The night before mixing the dough:

  1. Refresh the sourdough starter (I used a starter at 100% hydration with equal amounts of rye and bread flour).
  2. Toast the walnuts in an oven heated to 200°C for a few minutes. Then cool the walnuts and leave to soak in cold water overnight.

Next morning:

  1. Mix the flours and water and let them stand in the mixing bowl for 1 hour. This autolyse step hydrates the flours and gives gluten forming proteins a good start at building the gluten network.
  2. After the autolyse period, add the sourdough starter. Mix the dough until the starter is evenly distributed. 
  3. Knead the dough for 10 minutes on the table. Then add salt and knead for a further 5 minutes.
  4. Place the dough back into the (lightly floured) bowl and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
  5. Drain the walnuts.
  6. Take the dough out of the bowl, stretch it out on the table and sprinkle the walnuts on top. Fold carefully a few times to distribute the walnuts evenly in the dough. Shape the dough into a ball and put it back in the lightly floured bowl.
  7. When the dough has roughly doubled in size (about 2-3 hours later depending on temperature and the activity of your starter), divide the dough in three pieces.
  8. Shape each piece into a round loaf and place in a proving basket.
  9. Leave the breads on the kitchen counter for a final proof, or do as I did and place them in the refrigerator to slow down to fermentation and build a sweeter and more interesting flavour.
  10. Pre-heat the oven to 250°C.
  11. Bake the breads in a dutch oven or on a baking stone at 230°C for 45-50 minutes. If you use a dutch oven, remove the lid after 25 minutes in order to get a good, dark crust.
  12. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!


Added by: jarkkolaine

Tags: Bread Rye Sourdough

Add comment
Absolutely delicious

I haven't made a sourdough in a while so I made two small loaves using half the quantity of dough. It's a well behaved dough, easy to knead (I kneaded it in the bowl) and shape. I've spent 90 minutes waiting for them to cool so that I could slice in to them and they're delicious.

LottieH 30 May 2021

When to add the starter?

Did you add the starter to the flours and water and then autolyse, or afterwards during the kneading? I followed the recipe, and then realised that when I started to knead, there was no starter, so added this then. This is a question from one who has not made too many sourdoughs, so maybe very basic. If you would like to help other bakers like me, it would be helpful to update the recipe. Nice to have a recipe to bring out the best in the Swiss flour. I have separated by dough, one large plain, and two with walnuts and fennel.

Mrs Noelle Mace 17 December 2014

RE: When to add the starter?

Very good point! I can't believe I missed this... Yes, the starter should be mixed in after the autolyse, before the kneading. Good to hear you managed to bake the bread and enjoyed it!

jarkkolaine 18 December 2014

RE: When to add the starter?

I learnt several techniques. I was particularly pleased with the roast the nuts then soak technique. I used the soaking water in the bread too, was I right? The first nutty loaf which I have cut was full of holes which is the first sourdough in which I have been able to achieve this, and is absolutely delicious. I am so pleased that I shall post pictures on my blog.

Mrs Noelle Mace 19 December 2014

Baked this at the weekend...

I reduced the hydration slightly as the dough was quite difficult to work. Also, retarded proof in baskets in fridge for 8 hours followed by 2 hours on the counter gave a great flavour and lovely open crumb - I'd add a picture if I could

Richard Hutley 29 September 2014


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