Elevate your sourdough game with delicious fruit and nut sourdough bread. This sourdough is so chewy and airy, and has a signature crunchy crackly crust. It is so tasty and packed with dried figs, raisins and crunchy walnuts, and topped with pumpkin and sunflower seeds. The best part? You only need to put in 15-20 minutes of actual work to make this bread. So easy.
Weekends over here are for baking with sourdough bread. Ever since we created our mature sourdough starter, it's been a fresh loaf of bread every week (thank you Danny!) like our small batch sourdough bread, green olive artisan sourdough bread, and seeded whole wheat sourdough. This fruit and nut sourdough bread might actually be my new favourite. It's so delicious and feels so festive.
Ingredients in Fruit and Nut Sourdough Bread
- sourdough starter - make your own sourdough starter using flour and water. It takes about 7 days to create a mature starter.
- flour - both all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour used in this recipe.
- dried fruit - I used dried figs and raisins. You can use any dried gummy fruits such as dried plums and apricots.
- nuts - I used walnuts but feel free to use any nuts. Pecans, almonds and pistachios are great options.
- seeds - a mixture of pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds) and sunflower seeds. You can also add in some sesame seeds, flax seeds and poppy seeds.
How to Make the Best Fruit and Nut Sourdough Bread
The steps in making this fruit and nut sourdough are essentially the same as making our regular small batch sourdough bread. All that you do differently is adding in fruits and nuts and topping the bread with seeds. In summary, here is what you need to do:
- Prepare the starter. If your sourdough starter is stored in the refrigerator and is not ready to go, take it out and feed it 12 hours in advance. Then, let it rise for 6 hours or until doubled in size. You can do a float test to check if it is ready.
- Prepare the dough. In a large mixing bowl, add sourdough starter, all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, and water, and whisk to combine. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 30 minutes. Add salt and fold into the dough a few times to combine.
- Build the gluten in the dough. You can choose to either knead the dough by hand, OR stretch and fold the dough:
- To knead the dough by hand: Transfer the dough onto a clean dry surface and knead for 5 minutes. Cover the dough and let it rest for 5 minutes. Then knead again for another 5 minutes until smooth and supple. Cover and let the dough rest in a large bowl for 2.5 hours, or until it almost doubled in size
- To stretch and fold the dough: Apply some water on your hands and stretch and fold the dough in the bowl by folding the edges over to the centre, one edge at a time. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 30 minutes. Repeat this stretch and fold step followed by a 30-minute rest, two more times. For the final rest, let the dough rest until it almost doubled in size, up to 90 minutes.
- Add fruit and nuts. Fold in the dried figs, raisins and walnuts into the dough, until evenly distributed.
- Shape the dough. Transfer dough to a floured surface and sprinkle dough with a little flour. Shape the dough into a tight ball by folding the edges over to the centre. Stretch the dough a little and fold all four sides to the centre like wrapping a present. Turn the dough over and use a bench scraper to push the dough back and forth to create a tight ball. Repeat this motion until the surface of the dough appears tight.
- Add seeds. Mix the pepitas and sunflower seeds together in a shallow bowl. Dampen the surface of the dough by lightly pressing the dough on a clean damp dish cloth and then dip it into the seeds. Swirl the dough to cover it evenly with seeds.
- Proof the dough. Place the ball of dough, with the seeded side down into a floured proofing basket (or a floured dishcloth-lined medium bowl). Cover and let it rest it at room temperature for approximately 3 to 3.5 hours (OR transfer bowl into the refrigerator and let the dough rest overnight for 8 to 12 hrs).
- Score the dough. Remove dough from bowl and place upside down into the centre of a 9x9-inch piece of parchment paper. Score the dough with deep cuts no more than ½ inch deep by gently snipping with scissors or carefully use a scoring blade. It may be harder with the blade as the top is covered with seeds. Place the dough with parchment paper back into the same bowl and cover with a towel until the oven is preheated.
- Bake the sourdough bread. Place a 4-quart Dutch oven with lid (or a medium oven-safe cooking pot (9-inches) with a metal lid) into the oven and preheat to 450° F. Carefully place dough with parchment paper into the preheated Dutch oven. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Then, remove lid and continue to bake for another 20 minutes. Remove bread from the pot, and allow it to cool completely on a wire cooling rack for 1 hour.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I make sourdough starter? You will need 7 days create a fully mature starter using flour and water. Please refer to my sourdough complete starter guide for help. The guide also includes the top frequently asked questions.
- What is a float test? A float test will determine if your sourdough starter is ready for baking. To conduct the test, take out a spoonful of newly fed starter and drop it into a glass of room-temperature water. If it floats, the starter is ready. If it sinks, you either need to let the starter sit longer to develop more bubbles, or feed it again and let it sit until it passes the float test (usually 6–12 hours).
- How does the dough rise without commercial yeast? The dough will rise if using a fully mature sourdough starter (wild yeast). A lively and mature sourdough smells yeasty and a little fruity. You can check if your starter is ready by doing a float test. If the starter is not mature, the dough won't rise.
- How do I know the dough is well-kneaded? A well-kneaded dough is smooth and can hold its shape. When you give the well-kneaded dough a firm poke with your finger, the indentation should bounce right back. If it doesn't bounce back and stays like a dimple, keep kneading for a few minutes.
- Why did my dough not rise? There are a few reasons why this could happen. If you used a mature starter, then a possible reason for why the dough did not rise could be that it was over proofed. Do not over proof the dough. Over proofing will make the dough sticky and slack with a stronger sour taste. It will not rise and will be flat instead. You can prevent this by letting the dough rise at cooler temperature (such as in the refrigerator overnight).
- How do I know the bread is done? To check if the bread is done, you can tap the bottom of the bread with your finger. The bread will sound hollow when it's done.
How to Store Sourdough
This fruit and nut sourdough bread will last for up to 2 days at room temperature. Cover it so that it does not dry out. You can also store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Slice and toast in the toaster or oven.
To freeze, wrap the sourdough tightly in plastic cling wrap and place into an airtight container or freezer bag, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. If freezing, I would recommend slicing the bread first so that it is easy to reheat a slice or two at a time.
More Sourdough Recipes
- Small Batch Sourdough Bread
- Artisan Green Olive Sourdough Bread
- Seeded Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread
- Savoury Chive Pancakes with Sourdough Starter
- Sourdough Cinnamon Roll Twist Bread
- Sourdough Discard Crackers with Sesame Seeds
- Small Batch Sourdough Pizza Crust
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.