Sesame durum bread

Adapted by
May 2019
Yield: Five 1-kilogram loaves


100 grams bread flour
100 grams 100ºF-water
50 grams sourdough starter
200 grams bread flour
200 grams 100ºF-water
Final Dough:
1.688 kilograms bread flour, plus additional for dusting
830 grams whole grain durum flour
90 grams unhulled sesame seeds . toasted
25 grams wheat germ
2.145 kilograms 100ºF-water
63 grams sea salt
Raw unhulled sesame seeds


For the Starter

In a nonreactive container, combine all ingredients, cover loosely, and set aside 12 hours at room temperature, about 70ºF.

For the Levain

Four hours before mixing Final Dough, combine flour, water, and 40 grams of the Starter in a 4-quart, nonreactive container. Cover and ferment at room temperature. After about 4 hours, Levain should be bubbling and increased in size by at least one-third. To test doneness, put a small piece in water. If it floats, Levain is ready for the Final Dough.

For the Final Dough

In a 12-quart, nonreactive container, combine flours, toasted sesame, wheat germ, 2.045 kilograms of the water, and 300 grams Levain. Mix until thoroughly combined, with no trace of dry flour. Cover and set aside to autolyse for 30 minutes. Mix in salt and remaining water. Ideally, the temperature of the dough should be between 80 to 84ºF. (Make necessary adjustments to ambient temperature to keep dough within that range.) Set dough aside 45 minutes. Fold dough, take temperature again, and make necessary adjustments. Fold twice more at 45 minute intervals. Rest dough 1 hour, perform another float test, and, if dough sinks, rest a little longer. If it floats, dough is ready for pre-shaping. Turn dough out onto bench. Using a metal dough knife, divide dough into 1 kilogram portions and hand-round each portion, creating tension in the dough-round with as few movements as possible.Rest dough 30 to 45 minutes. Shape dough into boules and place on damp towels. Flour bannetons (or linen-lined baskets or towel-lined bowls). Roll boules in raw sesame seeds. Place seeded boules seam side up in bannetons; rest 30 minutes. Proof in refrigerator 12 to 20 hours. Heat a steam injected deck oven to 515ºF. Turn dough onto a peel. Score and place in oven. Steam 5 seconds and immediately decrease temperature to 490ºF. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, releasing steam after 25 minutes; cool.