Quinoa and Spelt Sourdough

This delicious sourdough bread with red, black and white quinoa is absolutely delicious. It is has slight nutty flavour with the characteristic sourness of a good sourdough loaf. It is delicious, filling and healthy to boot. Did you know that regular consumption of quinoa is supposed to lower your bad cholesterol? This is such an easy way to incorporate more quinoa into your diet without noticing. You can also add some chia seeds for omega 3 and sunflower seeds. Anything goes and you won’t regret it.

Quinoa and Spelt Sourdough Loaf

Sometimes I feel like the only person who is still baking sourdough in May- to be fair living in Germany I can find a murky, cool and overcast day in the middle of summer to get my sourdough on. Not only does it taste better than any bread from the grocery store it is also so much more digestible than bread containing yeast. Big thumbs up for fermentation. Also big thumbs up for being able to find flour again and for spelt flour being the one that has not gotten more expensive than before. Cake flour has almost doubled in price, which is rough for any avid baker.

Quinoa and Mixed Seeds Spelt Sourdough Bread

Anyway, this was my first attempt to incorporate more quinoa into my and my familiy’s diet and it was a huge success. It is really delicious, the nuttiness of the quinoa just adds a little more complexity to the flavour of the sourdough. It is hearty without feeling as heavy as a seeded bread. You can make it with just quinoa or mix quinoa with some seeds. I tried both and the loaf with sunflower and chia seeds is even tastier. It is well worth the little bit of extra effort to cook a little extra quinoa.

Quinoa Sourdough Bread

Yield: 1 loaf* Difficulty: 3/5 Time: 1 hour working time + proof time + 1 hour baking time


  • sourdough starter (5%, 10% or 15%)**
  • 450 gr luke-warm water (60% hydration)***
  • 750 gr bread flour (wheat or spelt, can use part whole wheat)
  • 13 gr kosher salt (1.8%)
  • 200 gr cooked quinoa (any colour) or 100 gr quinoa and 100 gr mixed seeds (e.g. sunflower seeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds)


  1. Making the Dough: Mix the flour and salt in a bowl until well combined. In the bottom of the mixing bowl dissolve the sourdough starter in 350 gr luke-warm water and add the flour mixture. Begin kneading the sourdough with the dough hook attachment, adding the rest of the water as needed until a smooth and homogenous dough has formed. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl and be a little tacky without being too wet. Keep kneading the dough for 7-10 minutes whilst adding the quinoa and/or seeds. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes before proceeding to slap and fold.
  2. Slap and Fold: Develop the gluten of the dough further by stretching one side of the dough and folding it over to the other side four times. Repeat this step all thirty minutes for 2-3 hours until it passes the window pane test (dough stretches until see through without tearing).
  3. Bulk Rise: Leave the dough to prove until it has visibly grown in volume. Don’t rely on it doubling in size but rather test whether the dough springs back when being poked. Well proven dough will spring back about halfway, if it bounces back fully it is under-proofed. If the indentation fully remains it is over-proofed.
  4. Shaping of the Dough: Preshape the loaf by lightly flattening out the dough and rolling it over itself. Let the dough relax for 30 minutes. Prepare a proving basket (or bowl) with a lined dish towel and flour it well. Shape the sourdough loaf on a lightly floured surface by stretching the dough out and folding in the sides and before folding in top and bottom. Stitch the seams together before flipping the dough over. Either with a bench scraper or your hands shape the dough into a round (boule) or oval (batard) shape. Flip the dough over and place it with the bottom up in the proving basket, sprinkle the top with some flour and fold the tea towel over. Let it prove for its final rise until it has grown in volume and it passes the proving test above. 
  5. Baking the Sourdough: Preheat the oven to 250°C with a Dutch oven (if you don’t have one you can bake it in a preheated baking dish or on a baking sheet) inside for 30-45 minutes. Flip the sourdough onto a piece of baking parchment and slash the top with a sharp knife. Transfer the dough into the Dutch oven with the help of the baking paper and put the lid back on. Bake it for 10 minutes at maximum heat before reducing the heat to 200°C. After 20 minutes remove the lid and keep baking for another 40 minutes until the crust has achieved the desired colour. Turn the oven off and open the oven door, let the sourdough bread cool inside the oven. Don’t slice the bread before it has fully cooled.

*By baking two oval loaves or one round and one oval loaf you can fit two loaves of bread into the oven at once. 

**Make sure to use your starter at peak after feeding. To check you can make the float test by putting one teaspoon starter into a bowl of water. If it floats your starter is ready to be used. You can use more or less starter depending on how much time you have, less starter equals a longer rise. The kitchen temperature also influences how fast or slow it will rise.

***You can add more hydration for sourdough loaf with a looser crum. Different types of flour have different hydration rates, so it is easier to hold some water back and add more as needed while kneading

Well, there you have a delicious recipe for quinoa and spelt sourdough bread. Making your own bread from scratch is really rewarding experience, I am always so proud of my loaves. Sourdough is also so much easier to digest than yeasted bread (the Benefits of Sourdough Bread). Even bread specifically called sourdough often contains yeast, which is very annoying. The quinoa also adds something flavourwise, unlike many healthy breads that taste like a mouth full of birdfood. It is good for you and tastest good- a win-win situation. I hope you enjoyed this recipe and have a great day!

Quinoa- Nutrition Facts, Health Benefits and Cooking Tips

Easy Sourdough Bread Guide Part Two- Baker’s Percentages, Equipment, Proving and Sourdough Dictionary

Quinoa and Bean Burger

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