Monday, 8 August 2011

Cooking: Soy and linseed sourdough

I've mentioned before on the blog how culinary enlightening I found my trip to New Zealand ten years ago. One of the things I first ate in New Zealand was soy and linseed bread and I've enjoyed it ever since.

Liking the subtle nuttiness and flavour of the linseeds I decided to bake a loaf. Turning to my trusty Bourke St Bakery cookbook I realised that this was the first time I wouldn't be sequentially moving through the recipes in the book. I'm a man that likes order!

I'll admit that I was a little bit disappointed in the bread. Every loaf had been getting better and better, but this time I feel like a took a step backwards. On the positive side there was a thin and crispy crumb. The flavour also seemed to get better over time. More sour notes were definitely come out on the third day of eating the bread.

On the disappointing side the bread felt like it was trapped between two flavours. It didn't have a strong sour like my white loaves, but wasn't distinctly soy and linseed either. I'm struggling to put my finger on what I think could be tweaked to improve the bread. I shared some of it round the office today and despite the probing only got generic "I like it" and "tasty". No concrete feedback there either...

Baking Notes
For the first time I used the starter at the 'correct' time, approximately eight hours after the final feed instead of twelve which I've been doing before. Did it make any difference? I'm not particularly sure it did.

I thought the soy beans would be hard in the bread having only soaked them and not cooking them before adding them to dough. Luckily they were nice and soft, without being mushy, in the finished loaf.

You add the soy flour and linseeds to the dough at the end. I found it difficult to mix them through and thought I was going to be left with clumps of linseed. Luckily I had an even spread in the final loaf. I think this is where a mixer would make life a lot easier.

I had trouble shaping the loaves, but the end result didn't look too bad.

Things to try next time:
Upping, potentially doubling, the soy beans and soy flour.
- Increasing the linseeds (although not doubling).
- Going back to a plain white loaf, I want to taste the sour again.
- Using my banneton next time.


  1. Just cave in Richard... you know you want a mixer!

  2. I really do. I've got a tiny kitchen and I'm worried about buying on here and having to transport it back to the UK. I'll cave in eventually....