Sourdough Diaries. Flaxseed and Oats.

Wait till it cools!
Wait till it cools!

Over the last year, the St Andrews Bakery was blessed with a gifted baker. His Finnish flaxseed rye sourdough loaf was ‘to die for’. I would buy a few loaves to freeze each week and was surprised how moist they remained once sliced open. He had studied bread making at the San Francisco Baking Institute and worked in that fine town for 12 years, before returning to Melbourne, and then to the famous authentic wood fired bakery of St Andrews. He left around last March, to pursue other fields or bakeries, and now I am left with a gaping need for his flaxseed sourdough bread. Come back here young man!

Enter Celia to the rescue with her excellent tutorials on sourdough bread making.  After reading various articles about flaxseed ( linseed) I decided to incorporate it into a basic sourdough loaf with 30% wholemeal and 70% baker’s white flours.


Flaxseed and Oat Sourdough Bread

Before retiring to bed, soak

  •  2 tablespoons of whole flax seed ( linseed ) and
  • 1/4 cup of rolled oats in a small bowl

with just enough water to cover.

On the morning of baking, add the following to a large bowl:

  • 150g ripe starter
  • 250g water
  • 25 g olive oil
  • 170 g wholemeal flour
  • 330 g baker’s white flour
  • 10 g salt

Mix roughly to combine, then add the soaked ingredients and mix again with your hands.

Proceed with Celia’s instructions re short kneading, proving, shaping, second proving and baking.

Another proving station on the mantlepiece.
Another proving station on the mantelpiece.

Notes. If the dough is a little moist at the first kneading stage, add a bit more flour to the mix. Only your hands can tell.

Verdict. Very tasty, my favourite to date. Still eating well two days after. Next time, the same recipe but with rye flour and more flax seeds. Or maybe I’ll try ground flax seed as well.


A little quote regarding the soaking of  flaxseeds – “By soaking, enzyme inhibitors are neutralized, the beneficial enzymes are activated and the vitamin content increases. Soaking makes seeds, nuts and legumes easier to digest and the nutrients more easily absorbed.”


20 thoughts on “Sourdough Diaries. Flaxseed and Oats.”

  1. That looks really wonderful Francesca! I love the flavour of San Francisco sourdough but even more I love the sourdough rye and seed breads of Germany. I can either neither these days, but am glad to have had my share in previous years! I’m glad I’m not the only person to be soaking my nuts and seeds and legumes. It does make a difference to my ability to digest them. Very interesting post.


  2. Francesca, that was our darling friend Craig the baker!! He’s the best baker I know! He’s now working in Newcastle – I’m sending him this link as he will be SO chuffed! I’m so glad the starter is keeping you happy! (PS. Craig’s scones are in the round up!) 🙂 🙂


    1. i spoke to Craig earlier this year and was going to do a long post on him- linking his work at the bakery with that of the original baker, Paul Merry, a friend of ours, who re-located to England and who has a business there called Panary where he runs breadmaking workshops. Craig’s bread was so good and I was so deeply p** off when he left. Now I know where he is- up your way. Not fair. Shall look at is scones.


  3. Beautiful bread! I also soak my seeds before adding to bread – including oat groats which might be nice with this bread. You’ve given me some ideas for my next loaf… That’s what this blogging lark is all about – sparking ideas, getting feedback …well, just communicating. Looking forward to more entries in your sourdough diaries.


    1. Thank you kindly. Yes I agree, the sharing aspects of his world have really opened my eyes. As we are still the depths of winter here, I can think of nothing better to do than study baking. Come summer, the freezer will need to be well stocked with bread. Love being connected in a more meaningful way than FB ( don’t tell my children )


      1. Feel the same about FB, but it is useful to keep up with distant cousins and ex-students this way. Wish I had a freezer big enough to hold stores of bread! But, it never really gets that hot here, so baking year-round is doable.


  4. I am going to enter the sour dough world soon but I have a few promises to fulfill before that occurs. A fully musical day today prevented me from finishing yesterday’s wonderful work. Thanks, Francesca, for this post and by osmosis, introducing me to Celia’s wonderful blog.


  5. Oh I am so envious of you and Celia with your bread making! I had planned to do much of it this winter, having just retired from full time work, and then I broke my foot. Sigh…. soon, soon! Beautiful recipe xo

    Liked by 1 person

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