Sourdough Flaxseed Rye Heaven

Flaxseed or linseed sourdough rye breadI made this bread yesterday and realised that I have in fact made it before when I first got my copy of Bread by Jeffrey Hamelman, before I started baking systematically through the book with the Mellow Bakers group.  I love this bread and I can’t think why I haven’t made it again till now. So I am really pleased to see it turn up in this month’s breads.  That’s the only trouble with wanting to bake everything you read about and only having so much space for carbohydrate consumption.

I love the clean sourdough taste you get with this bread. I love the subtle texture and moistness that the flaxseed (linseed to us English) gives; I love the colour of the crust; I love the fact that the dough is easy to work and shape; I love the way it is easy to slash; and I love eating it. I am an unashamed rye fan, I think rye and sourdough go together beautifully, it is the taste of my childhood, the taste of family lunches and holidays. I am a rye sourdough soul through and through.

So here it is, from the pre-fermented magic of the starter; 20 grams of mature rye sourdough was all it took plus eighteen hours of cool time, to forming a mounded bowl of sourdough preferment, with its little holes peeping through the surface – a spoon cut through reveals the aeration:-  Then to the fun of mixing the mucilaginous gooey loveliness of well soaked linseeds. It all looks so unlikely somehow. Thanks to Carl and Choclette for your help with vocabulary and info today.  From Choclette’s tweet ‘CT has come to the rescue on this one, the linseed mucilage is a polysaccharide – a mix of different sugars, so definitely carbohydrate’. I know budgies are supposed to sing when you feed them linseed. Don’t worry you can’t hear me tootling away on the internet (yet). Anyway it’s good for you! It works, every time.

There is enough gluten provided by the very strong flour to support the rye component in the dough and I think the linseed juice adds magic glue too! The formula gives you enough dough to make either two big or one big and two little loaves which is what I did here.

I forgot the proving doughs in their banettons on the windowsill and they had an hour longer than they should have done, and were almost fully proved when they went in the oven, though they still had enough spring for the slashes to open up.

Don’t be put off making this bread by what it sounds like, the seeds aren’t crunchy in the bread, nor do they stick in your teeth. If you really don’t like rye, try adapting your regular sourdough formula to include a linseed soaker, or make Dan Lepard’s lovely soya and linseed bread. There’s more than one way to put a loaf together after all and if you get a taste for this sort of bread try this favourite recipe of mine.

For this batch I only had Shipton Mill’s  lovely and useful light rye flour left on the shelf and a little french rye so the bread had a very light colour.  If you want to see an image of the first time I made this it’s the one in the sidebar. So don’t skip this one whether you are a Mellow Baker or not, give it a go! Ulrike has made it here with darker flour as written and has the details on how she made it for anyone who doesn’t have this wonderful, highly recommended book. As she says, ‘it’s a keeper’, aber doch so ist es!

Hamelman's Linseed Rye Sourdough

Edit: A little more on flaxseed – A simple search on Wikipedia reveals there are two colours of seed, brown and yellow, and as you can see I have used the yellow or ‘golden linseed’ here. A little further googling around reminds that one should always soak linseed before consuming it.  On a related note, linseed/flaxseed oil is sold as a ‘health supplement’ in many stores as it has lots of GLA. It is good for the bowels providing it is soaked. Bet you wanted to know that!  On one site though I came across a warning that if one was taking blood thinners or had epilepsy one should avoid taking the oil capsules. I don’t know if this applies to the whole seed, but it is worth consulting a pharmacist or doctor if you are concerned.

24 thoughts on “Sourdough Flaxseed Rye Heaven

  1. Abby

    Love of all of your beautiful process photos for this one, Joanna! And I didn’t know that flaxseed=linseed, so today I learned something new. =) I just had the last slice of this one with my lunch today…so yummy!

  2. drfugawe

    What a beautiful complex loaf – Carb overload? Tell me about it.

    I’m afraid all we know about linseed over here is its use in paints – the natural foodies may be well aware of it, but the rest of us ignorant folk still think of it as a paint additive.

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      I think most people here would probably associate it with oiling cricket bats or furniture, it’s most known as a bread ingredient in Germany I suspect, Doc :)

  3. heidi

    Hmm. My flax seed is black. I’m wondering if it has a seed jacket still on it.
    This bread looks heavenly- and I AM a rye/sourdough lover, myself- so I think I must make this bread. MUST make this bread.
    AND soon.

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      I’ve never been to Finland, though I am very fond of all things Moomin and have cultured a Finnish type yoghurt culture called Piima – I think I still have some in the freezer, though I don’t know if it is viable. I imagine Finland is wonderful in the summer, and very very dark in the winter ;)

  4. Joanne Jones

    Lovely loaves! I really love rye bread, particularly dark rye, but sourdough rye breads just make my mouth water! I still haven’t found a local source for rye berries or rye flours, and only managed to pick up a small amount of flour on a trip several months back. I have been hoarding it, to use in sourdough bread, but wasted some in the last loaf I made! Hoping I have enough to try this loaf. My flaxseed is black, but I think it is simply a different variety. Your loaves simply look wonderful! Enjoy a slice or two for me…

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      That must be very frustrating, can you order it online or is the cost of shipping prohibitive? And I think you’re right as Heidi says too that her flaxseed is black. Try googling ‘golden linseed’ and see if it comes up. Sometimes healthfood stores carry it :)

  5. Amanda

    Another inspirational post with gorgeous photo’s, thanks Joanna.
    Although, like Heidi, linseed here is dark too.

      1. drfugawe

        No, I’m over here in the American NW, and the only flax I know is the golden stuff – so maybe, like sesame, it comes in different colors.

  6. jan trounce

    That truly is such beauty. The bread proving in their baskets in the sunshine with the spring green garden beyond and the washing on the line: the development of the dough and the loaves baking in the oven are beautiful, happy soul things. I really enjoyed that – ‘course I’d enjoy it more if I could get my greedy little jaws around a piece of it too. My poultry book says that linseed is a useful tonic for moulting birds – “it supports the demands of the body for feather growth” – so not only will you be tootling like a budgie, but you will also have blooming lovely plumage, Joanna.

  7. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

    Jo, you are a superlative bread maker! Such amazing definition in overproved loaves!

    I recently was given the most gorgeous rye bread – 100% sourdough rye studded with seeds and rolled in sunflower seeds. It’s inspired me to make another attempt at rye bread, and your post has just sealed the deal for me, thank you! :)

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      I think the slashes always work well with the linseed component, I talked to Mick about this once, he wasn’t sure, but I am sure it does something to the texture of the dough. I do hope you try it. Thanks as always for saying such lovely things Celia !

      I am more and more convinced that the bread makes itself these days ;)

  8. cityhippyfarmgirl

    linseed = flaxseed, well there you go, I had no idea. I’m glad Amanda mentioned they were dark here, as I only associate linseed with a darker colour. I’d like to give this one a crack, and if I can get my slashes half as good as yours I’d be a happy woman. Cooler weather for us so the sourdough just started taking a whoooole lot longer process.
    So many breads to make and not enough meals in the day!

  9. Anet

    What lovely loaves and all those generous photos. My heart yearns to make the exact same bread, with the yellow variety of flaxseed. (I’ll put it on the to-do list.)
    Where I live we do have both darker brown and yellow flaxseeds in the Whole Foods/organic store, but I have only tried the brown in my breads. Any taste difference do you know between the two?

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      Hi Anet, I don’t know if there is a noticeable taste difference. I would have to buy the other sort and see or maybe if you make it, do half with one sort and half with the other? I would be interested to know too :)

  10. Pingback: Sourdough bread with rye and linseed » Carl Legge

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