Sunday, 18 July 2021

Lemon and Sesame Sourdough Bread

Today I bring you a sourdough bread I made in Melbourne's lockdown 4.0.  It is quite shocking to think that it only finished a month ago and on Friday we started lockdown 5.0.  Lockdown 4.0 went for 2 weeks and I found myself having more energy for bread baking than I have had for a while.  That means not just the bare minimum of energy needed to churn out some bread, but a desire to experiment on something different.  With a tree full of lemons, I remembered a Mollie Katzen Sesame and Lemon Bread that I had baked years ago. 

The recipe made a bigger batch of dough than I usually make.  I ended up with a large loaf and 10 rolls.  (usually I have a medium loaf and 8 rolls).  This was very welcome as I enjoyed having bread with some flavour.  I particularly enjoyed it warm with butter and vegemite.  Great comfort food!

And during the last lockdown I needed as much comfort food as I could get.  Two weeks was such a long time.  This current lockdown was tentatively planned for 5 days.  At the moment I am not sure that we will be released on Wednesday.  Meanwhile Sydney is in a terrible lockdown as they work out how to deal with the very infectious Delta virus.  There is a lot of commentary about the slowness of the vaccine in Australia, the success of the vaccine in the UK and USA, and the concern about "Freedom Day" in the UK tomorrow.  So much change this year that was meant to be settled after 2020.

I was quite disappointed I could not go and see my family in Geelong on the weekend and then to an art exhibition.  Even once we are in lockdown I have a few plans ahead that I fear will be affected.  However I actually have caught up with a few people this weekend.  I met a work friend yesterday and a local friend today to walk and talk.  And this afternoon my neighbour made cake and invited the people in our units to sit on our verandahs with a piece of cake and chat about life and lockdown.  And I baked sourdough bread today.  But tomorrow I am back to working from home and remote schooling which is challenging.  Here's hoping for some good news on new cases and easing of restrictions soon.

More interesting sourdough breads on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Carrot, onion and poppyseed bread

Charcoal sourdough bread

Malted loaf with chocolate, figs and brazil nuts

Overnight sourdough bread with mashed potato

Roast potato and rosemary bread

Lemon and Sesame Sourdough Bread
A Green Gourmet Giraffe recipe
Makes 2 large loaves or 20 rolls

300g ripe sourdough starter
160g tahini
1 medium lemon - juice and zest
18g salt
12g honey
12g olive oil
550g water
600g wheat flour
400g spelt flour (or more wheat flour)
semolina, for dusting surface

A few hours before making the loaf, take sourdough starter out of the fridge and feed it so it gets nice and bubbly. 

About an hour before going to bed (or first thing in the morning) mix everything together.  It is easiest to mix starter, tahini, lemon, salt, honey, olive oil and water, then flours.  Use hands to mix if required.  Set aside covered with a tea towel for half an hour.  Knead in the bowl for about 15 seconds.  Cover with greased clingwrap or a bowl cover and leave at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours.

Scrape dough out onto a lightly floured board.  Shape into a loaves (or cut and shape into rolls - if doing rolls I let them rise in the casserole as they don't need much in the way of slashing but slashing loaves is hard in the casserole dish.)  Place on a floured surface and cover with the lightly greased clingwrap or beeswax.  (I used semolina to dust the surface here.)  Set aside to rise for 30 minutes.  While the loaves rise, preheat oven to 240 C.  I use enamel casserole dishes and don't heat them but used to heat them when I used ceramic casseroles.

Slash the loaves and put in the heated casserole dishes with lids on (or on a tray or in a tin).  Bake for 20 minutes with lid (or foil cover) on.  Remove lid/foil and bake another 20 minutes.  Bread is ready if it sounds hollow when tapped.  If needed, return to oven for another 5-10 minutes to make sure the crust is crispy and sounds hollow.  Cool on a wire rack for at least an hour before slicing.

NOTES: I would have liked sesame seeds on top but adapted this from my usual sourdough bread and seeds would not stick so maybe the seeds might need to be on the surface where the bread is turned out onto or to have an eggwash or milk wash for the seeds to stick to.  I used spelt flour because I had it but using regular flour instead would work fine.

On the Stereo:
A Short Album about Love: Divine Comedy


  1. I am sorry to read that you are now in your 5 lockdown, no comfort i know, but i am certain the UK will be going into its 3 in not too long with the state of things and i really detest the use of 'Freedom day' too. I do feel 2020 has somehow embedded itself in 2021. Your bread though, as always and i know i say it often, but its amazing and the rolls.

  2. A tree full of lemons sounds fabulous indeed. Lockdown not so much. Having said that, I prefer lockdown to the free for all we've currently got. Your sourdough flavours sound so good. I'm a bit boring when it comes to sourdough bread and tend to stick with what I know.

  3. This bread looks wonderful! I can almost smell it baking. Yes we're in the midst of it here. Hopefully there is an end in sight but it doesn't really look like it.

  4. I have never thought about lemon as a bread flavour really, but combining it with tahini and honey as you've done here is very appealing! What a nice gesture from you neighbour, to share cake at a distance.


Thanks for dropping by. I love hearing from you. Please share your thoughts and questions. Annoyingly the spammers are bombarding me so I have turned on the pesky captcha code (refresh to find an easy one if you don't like the first one)