Seeded Turmeric and Leek Levain #BreadBakers

One to share and one to give away, right? With this recipe, my kids were not entirely pleased that I had given one away.  They finished off an entire loaf themselves in well under 36 hours and very promptly stated that I needed to make more.  This was similar to the sweet potato onion bread, a.k.a. Elbow Lick bread, that we made in January, only lighter in texture and density.  But just as good with Boursin!

We love turmeric too, so this one was even more popular with the kids.  And I just happened to have the exact amount of leeks on hand that I needed for a full batch.  By the way, our #breadbakers theme for this month is: seeded breads.  I solicited outside opinions on what seeded bread I should make, since I admittedly often gravitate to sweeter options.  There was an enticing and altogether typical option of a pumpkin, cranberry and pepita loaf; an interestingly named Lumberjane loaf, with apricots, pecans, millet and poppy seeds; and this leek and turmeric loaf.  The enthusiastic response from my friend was for the savory option, and while I will definitely be making the others in the future, I will also definitely be making this one again.  Yum!

So thank you to The Mad Scientist's Kitchen for choosing the theme this month and to Stacy at Food Lust People Love for being there to co-host this month!

Seeded Turmeric and Leek Levain
adapted from Sourdough: Recipes for Rustic Fermented Breads, Sweets, Savories, and More
makes two loaves

50g 100% hydration starter
50g water
50g bread flour (I used all purpose)

150g leaven
525g water
485g bread flour
150g high extraction wheat flour (I used freshly ground spelt, sifted)
75g whole wheat flour (I used freshly ground sprouted einkorn, sifted)
40g medium-grind rye flour (I used freshly ground rye, sifted)
15g sea salt

185g leeks, cut into 1-inch slices
40g extra-virgin olive oil
½ tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp black pepper
50g shallots, diced (my two halves ended up around 64g, happily used it all)
10g poppy seeds
15 g golden flax seeds

Prepare the leeks first:  Place the leeks, oil, and pepper in a pan over medium heat and saute for 2 minutes.  Add in the turmeric and continue to saute for another 3-5 minutes, until the leeks are soft and starting to brown.  Remove from heat.  Toss together in a bowl with the shallots and seeds and refrigerate, covered, until ready to add to dough.

The night before (or 8-10 hours before making the final dough):  Make the leaven by stirring together the water and starter in a bowl.  Add in the flour and stir until smooth.  Cover and let ferment at room temperature.

Make the dough:  When the leaven has become bubbly, add the water for the dough and stir together.  Add all the flours and mix to hydrate and remove lumps.  Cover and let rest for 20 minutes.  Sprinkle and mix in the salt well.  Add the prepared leek mixture and work it into the dough until uniform in color and distribution of ingredients.  Proof for 3-4 hours, adding in folds every 30 minutes.  (We were out of the house and my dough got to bulk proof for a good 5 hours with no turns.  I added quite a few folds and a little more time at the end.)

Shaping:  When the dough has almost doubled, turn out onto a floured work surface.  Divide into two pieces and pre-shape the loaves.  Cover and let rest for 10-30 minutes.  Form the final loaves and place seam side up in a well-floured banneton or baker's couche.  (Rice flour works best to prevent sticking.)  Cover with a towel, then plastic, and refrigerate up to 24 hours.  (I am less fond of chilling after shaping, though it does add flavor, and so I baked my loaves after proofing for a while at room temp.)

Bake:  Preheat oven, with baking stone on middle rack, to 500ºF.  Have the lid of a roasting pan standing by.  If the loaves have chilled overnight, allow to come to room temperature while the oven heats.  Dust a peel with semolina or bran, or line with parchment.  Gently turn out the loaves onto the peel and score as desired.  Spray the inside of the roasting pan with water.  Slide the loaves onto the hot baking stone and immediately cover with the roasting pan lid.  Turn down the heat to 450ºF and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove lid and continue baking for another 20 minutes or until the crust is a dark golden brown and loaf sounds hollow when thumped.  (My loaves' internal temperatures were around 205-208ºF when done.)

Cool on a wire rack before slicing.

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all of our lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.
We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.


Check out our other seeded selections this month:

Approximate nutrition for one slice of bread:


  1. What an intriguing flavor profile. I'll bet it was delicious.

  2. The texture of the bread looks perfect, interesting flavors as well.

  3. Oh Kelly, the leeks in that loaf with the lovely crumb are calling my name! What a wonderful combination of flavors! Cannot wait to try it.

  4. Savory: Yes!
    I will be trying this one out soon!

  5. Hello Kelly, the loaves look beautiful. What lovely flavours in the bread. And the crumb is simply superb.

  6. Love, love, love the lovely texture of your loaves, Kelly! Those airy holes are something I aspire to when baking bread. My hat's off to you!

  7. Loving this bake completely. The texture says it all, plus addition of leeks is something completely new to me.

  8. I hear that complaint from my family too when I give something away that ends up being a favorite. Your bread looks amazing and I can see me trying this recipe soon.


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