Do the loaves above remind you of something? They're supposed to, especially the one on the left.
It's a traditional scoring pattern that depicts a head of wheat.
Here's how we got here from a sticky, impossible mess of dough.
Sourdough starter: 90 g
Wholewheat flour: 180 g
Water: 360 ml
Flour: 210 g
Water: Enough to make up 70% of the flour
Salt: 10 g
35g of mixed seeds (I used a mix of sesame, flax and peeled melon seeds)
Whisked together the sponge ingredients and left alone, covered, in a cool place until frothy.
Added all the dough ingredients except salt, and kneaded a bit. After 30 minutes, added the salt and kneaded again. Left in the refrigerator overnight.
The next morning, I gave the risen dough a brief knead and shaped it into 2 loaves.
I scored them and left them to rise for a couple of hours, covered with a lots of flour and a damp cloth.
Then into the oven they went, at 250ºC for 12 minutes. Sprayed them and the inside of the oven liberally with water every few minutes.
I turned the heat down to 180ºC and let the beauties bake for another 35 minutes until they were crusty, brown and hollow when tapped.
Broke a few of my own baking patterns for these beauties.
I used 70% water and not the 80-90% I normally use. The loaves were a little denser than usual, but that could also be because the whole wheat flour I used was ground for chapatis, and had lost its gluten zing.
Scored the loaves before the final rise, and not just before they went into the oven. The central slash opened out more than expected, but the others behaved well.
I was so enamoured of the pattern that I didn't cut the bread for the longest time! The taste was ok, and the crumb was a bit more uniform than usual.