Rosemary, Sage, and Wild Rice Levain #BreadBakers


Our Breadbakers theme for this month is Spiced Savory Breads and our host is Renu of Cook with Renu.  Having already baked my bread, it's amusing to me as I write this post that I want to make it again with different spices.  Don't get me wrong, it was lovely with the fresh rosemary and sage picked right out of the garden!  I just think it would also be fantastic with Za'atar next time too.  In a week with cooler temperatures, I will also take the time to make this in the full 48 hours with an overnight rise in the refrigerator!  This helps develop the flavor and structure of the sourdough.  However, with company visiting and higher than comfortable temperatures on the only day I had to bake, I was left to condense my time line to a single day bake.  It's okay though, it still turned out a lovely bread.  I love that bread just wants to be bread.
This is a somewhat sticky dough with a higher hydration, but still easy enough to work with.  The wild rice may be cooked to desired doneness.  Feel free to add nuts like chopped pecans if desired!

Rosemary, Sage, and Wild Rice Levain
makes 1 large or two small boules
30g 100% hydration starter
30g water
30g bread flour (all purpose works)
Final dough:
90g leaven
320g water
320g bread flour (all purpose is fine, bread flour helps with structure)
85g whole wheat flour (I used Edison wheat flour)
20g rye flour
9g sea salt

85g cooked wild rice
~1 tbsp each, chopped fresh sage and rosemary

Optional: extra whole sage leaves for garnish

In a bowl, combine the leaven ingredients, cover and leave to ferment until bubbly and active.  (This only took a couple hours for my recently fed starter but could take up to eight.)

Add the water and flours for the final dough and knead until the dough is cohesive and all the flour has been hydrated.  Let rest for 20 minutes.  Mix in the salt.  Then fold in the rice and herbs until evenly distributed throughout the dough.  Let the dough rise for a few hours, turning and folding every half hour or so.  Turn out the dough and divide if desired for smaller loaves.  Preshape the loaf and let rest for 15 minutes, covered.  Prepare a banneton with either a liner, or misted and floured with non-glutinous flour.  Use the whole leaves to decorate the top of the loaf, or place them in the bottom of the banneton.  (I attached mine to the loaf using a bit of water to moisten the dough and allow them to stick.)  Place the loaf, bottom side up, into the banneton.  Cover and allow to rise overnight in the refrigerator if time permits, or on the counter for 2-3 hours.

If the loaf has been chilled, allow to come to room temp for at least an hour.  Preheat oven to 500ºF.  Place a Dutch oven on the lowest rack to preheat for 20 minutes.  Sprinkle some semolina on the bottom of the loaf that is upside down in the banneton.  Gently turn out onto a piece of parchment with the seam side now down.  Score as desired.  Carefully remove the preheated Dutch oven and gently place the loaf with its paper into the pot.  Cover with lid and place back in oven.  Reduce temperature to 470ºF and bake with the lid on for 20 minutes.  Remove the lid and bake for an additional 12-20 minutes until the crust is deeply browned.  (If the bottom crust is getting too dark in a cast iron oven, remove carefully and finish baking on a baking stone or directly on the rack.)
Allow to cool completely 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 our lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.



Be sure to check out the rest of the savory offerings by our other bakers:


 Recipe adapted from Sourdough Recipes for Rustic Fermented Breads, Sweets, Savories and more.


  1. Happy to have a new sourdough recipe and as you say the flavor options are endless. You could have a new flavor every day.

  2. Wow look at the air pockets in that slice of bread. Perfect sourdough bread. Love the flavors you have got here

  3. That is beautiful sourdough loaf. I am yet to try wildrice combo. I need to try it.

  4. What a gorgeous bread Kelly. Using herbs from garden is so beautiful. I loved the patterns made with herbs on the bread. The crumb is awesome.

  5. Such pretty decorating and scoring! I love wild rice in bread. It reminds me of Peter Reinhart. And yes, bread just wants to be bread!

  6. That's a beautiful bread love the color and use of wild rice.


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