Filled Sourdough Breads Bake-off

The response we had in April's Spelt Bake-off was incredible (you guys are super!!!), so I reckon we are game for more?

For the month of May (though, not confined to it), let's treat ourselves, our friends and families with breads completely raised with a sourdough starter (fed on any flours you like) and filled with anything you fancy.

I love picking Celia's creative brain, because here's what she suggested...

... sweet or savoury, loaves or buns, free-form or baked in a tin
... three cheese pull apart loaves
... stuffed keema rolls
... chocolate sweet buns (I'm hankering after these...hint, hint)
... olive and rosemary bread
... calzone pizza
... filled focaccia
... and many more!

That should be wide enough to keep y'all going for a month.. Smiling

Thanks, C!

Have fun!


Hello from the newbie!

I arrived too late in the game for the spelt bake-off, but loved the idea and enjoyed reading the discussion (and looking at the photos!). 

I have a question about the term 'filled' --- by 'filled' do you mean a pocket of stuff in the dough (like the jam in the middle of jelly donut).... or stuff spread on the dough and rolled up (like a cinnamon roll).... or stuff mixed into the dough (like a fruit and nut bread) and distributed evenly ... or everything above (like anything beyond four, water, salt etc)?  This is just for clarification --- because I don't think of caraway (in caraway rye) as 'filled' - but it (caraway) is an addition much the same as olives or rosemary... what do you think?  The brain and books are primed!


Thanks for asking!

1. Actually, you're not too late for the spelt bake-off. April is just the month, where, together, we baked with spelt, but it continues on...forever and ever, amen.

2. Caraway as a filling? Definitely A-ok for this bake-off. When's the loaf coming out of the oven?

See ya!

A note to all: A filling, for the purpose of this bake-off, can be pocketed, stuffed and spread.

see that, off to another category when I just finished baking a 100% loaf!


OH well, gonna do an olive when I get a chance!



I made two loaves of this today, with half of the dough from my buttermilk starter.  Granted, there's a little yeast added to the dough, but not much considering it makes 4 good-sized loaves.  I'll be using the completely commercial-yeast-free starter tomorrow, and if it works out well, I'll probably cinnamon-swirl that one too.  I always brush the dough with water before sprinkling on the cinnamon/sugar, by the way; it doesn't separate while baking that way.


Your breads sound delicious! Do you have pictures? I'm really curious about your buttermilk they work without any baker's yeast? I can't find buttermilk here though. I did, around 10 yrs ago...powdered buttermilk...but they didn't come with any instructions to reconstitute. Not the same thing, but, now, I just use milk+vinegar or lemon juice for any recipes which calls for buttermilk.

Thanks for the tip on how to make sprinkles stick.

i just procured a couple of kilos of 'chocolate' malted barley from the microbrewery attached to my restaurant. it makes the most bizarre but spectacular bread...does this count as a filled bread?

nowonmai, unless you plan to have those barley


into your bread....nope, isn't a filled bread. Come on...think of more add-ins.

Gosh! A couple of kilos? You're going to be baking a lot of bread...lovely plump breads.

There's some dry yeast in the starter, but now that it's been going strong for over a month now, I suspect the initial addition of dry yeast has been killed off by the acid in the starter.  I do add a little dry yeast to the final dough to make really soft, panned loaves, but I've also baked boules without adding the extra yeast and got some really beautiful, chewy, ww sourdough bread with lots of holes and that texture peculiar to sourdough breads.  I'm not sure the cinnamon swirle would work with that, but I'm making some commercial yeast free bread today with a flour/water/wild yeast starter, and I'll let you know how it turns out.  You would need a good supply of buttermilk to keep that starter going, but I've got a recipe for a buttermilk 'plant', using fresh yeast, water, and milk, which would, according to Irish writers, keep you well supplied with buttermilk.  I've yet to try it because I can't get my hands on fresh yeast and I'm loathe to try it using dry yeast.


A friend gave me some dried wakame (Japanese seaweed) today, to try a loaf inspired by Richard Bertinet's book Dough.

I made a 75% hydration loaf, stuffed with rehydrated wakame, date and preserved lime chutney (homemade), provolone cheese, and ham.  It was absolutely delicious, and I ate half the loaf for dinner...

Heheh. I had a feeling I'd get loads of ideas with this title. Thank you, Celia!!! What a great idea...they do look delicious! Goody, I've got some wakame.

Thanks, Paddy, for the details on your buttermilk bread. Sounds very good, too.

i have the perfect bread methinks......will give it a crack and see how it goes

Same dough, but with just wakame and sesame seeds - nice combo.

[color=blue]After my abysmal failure at a white starter feta basil pesto twist....

...that sat like a fossilized turd... this morning I made an old standard Sourdough Rye with Caraway seeds (Leader) to rekindle my faith...

This starter is only 2-3 weeks old and tastes wonderful.  Each loaf weighs just over 2.5 lbs.  I used the trick I saw somewhere on this forum of placing a pan and pouring water into it twice in the first 3 mins in the oven  --- and the spring was amazing and the crust was crisp and crunchy (much better than anything I've had before) --- so it was worth joining this forum just for that!
And for TP --- the (slightly out of focus) crumb shot...

This is not my 'offical' entry :) in the  bake-off --- I'm going to have another go at the feta/basil white sourdough once I have my confidence back in the flour.
C [/color]

The basil pesto twist sounded so good! Wonder why it didn't rise? Congrats on growing your very own starter and making such wonderful bread with it!


Nice job, Cat ! Y'know, I always have difficulty getting sourdough to work in a plait/braid form - I find the definition just proves out during the final rise.  Maybe a spiral might work better for the pesto loaf ?

Cheers, Celia

Green olive and rosemary spelt loaf, at 75% hydration, with gluten added.

...getting beautifully home-baked breads of all flavours every day.

We haven't been eating much breads lately, as we have yet to eat through the stash of noodles (all sorts!) I've been buying. However, after I learned about Heston Blumenthal's nifty trick of putting the pizza on a preheated pan and sticking it under the grill, I had to try it. [I put a link for that but it seems to have thrown the post awry so I'm removing it...anyway, it's easy to google]. Here's our dinner, sourdough pizzas (overloaded) with salami (for one pizza) and german ham (for another) together with pineapple cubes (the children INSIST), oven-dried tomatoes, capsicum, mozarella, and a homemade tomato sauce. Each ready in 2 minutes!

Y'know, I always have difficulty getting sourdough to work in a plait/braid form - I find the definition just proves out during the final rise. 

[color=blue]Maybe, that is exacly what happened... I can hear my mum's voice in my head saying don't overwork the dough (she had this theory that scones were better when the dough was sloppy and not manhandled).  I had picked up a Maggie Glezer's A Blessing of Bread at the second hand bookstore and was anxious to try some of the different shapes --- and just got over zealous I suppose. 

Thanks for the compliments --- and it right back at you all (everything so far looks so yummy) --- I am feeling very inspired!

TP, the Heston clips were fantastic !  I was wondering though - if you have a cast iron pan, why you couldn't get your pan blazing hot on the cooktop, then actually slide your pizza into the pan (right side up), and THEN put them under the grill ?

I actually spoilt one pizza because altho' it's a 30cm pan, the bottom is only 26cm. My pizza was too big and I had to do some fast folding in, and some of the overindulgent filling was dropping off. As you can see, my pizza is far from perfect. Your suggestion of cooking the pizza right way up in the pan will be much less stressful...and tidy. Definitely.

Wonderful Heston clips they are!

Jeremy suggested that I try making Bialys after I posted my Bagels a while ago.
Actually I have never tasted or seen the real article, but the section in Maggie Glezer's book makes them sound wonderful, so I had been planning for a while to make them.

This bake-off provides a good excuse. So here is my first entry in the bake-off.

Jeremy - you'll have to let me know if these look anything like the local ones in NY.
This was a moderately stiff all white dough (58% hydration), shaped into rounds, and retarded overnight so that I could bake in the morning. (I don't think the retarding is traditional, but then neither is the sourdough). Not sure why the onion went pink!

There is a little Greek deli at a local market that sells olives, cheese etc. We have been often tempted by the owner into buying some of his sundried tomatoes and sweet ginger. I don't know quite what he does with the ginger - it is not the sort of sickly sweet ginger in syrup that you can buy (which I also happen to like). But it doesn't have the kick of fresh ginger. It is a heavenly combination with the sundried tomatoes in pasta, or just on sandwiches.

So this loaf is a mostly white sourdough (10% Spelt), at ~67% hydration. The tomato and ginger were laminated in at an early fold.

And the obligatory crumb shot

(Note on the photos. That is the bialy dough in the background above.
The hatched pattern on the left loaf comes from banneton I used for that loaf - It is a gorgeous German cane banneton that I got from Graham a couple of years ago. I don't think he sells them in the shop though.)

Furiously flipping to the page...yes! I just got Amy Glezer's book on Thursday! Mmm...lovely bialys and incredible crumb for your ginger/tomato combo bread.

Dom, you do know how big an influence you are in determining the direction of my breadmaking!



you are very kind, but I am very much the amateur - both in terms of photography and bread. Your breads (and cakes) are gorgeous. (Is your business from home still going?)


Dom, you are the king of holey bread !  I'd never considered ginger as an addition...thanks for the suggestion...

I made spelt fruit loaf yesterday - it tasted like Christmas.  Sultanas, currants, cranberries, Drambuie-soaked persian figs, medjool dates and mixed spice.

now you've made me wishing for christmas in May...

Christmas is always busy with so many things (baking or otherwise) going on that I don't get to slowly savour the food. It is a great idea to serve christmas food in other times of the year.

how is it you guys are able to post pics on the forum? i have heaps of new ones, but cant seem to upload them still. help?

because we parked them in our personal websites and linked from there. The gallery here isn't working at the moment. have been busy!


You can use hosting sites or online albums. There are plenty on the web. I use photobucket, but there are lots of others.
Hi all.

The Gallery at still works. You can upload photos, but need to select "Upload Applet" not "From Web Browser" when you upload items. I always use the Upload Applet is a very convenient way of uploading files.
[quote=Danubian]You can use hosting sites or online albums. There are plenty on the web. I use photobucket, but there are lots of others.

I read here that flickr doesn't allow hotlinking.

thanks as always! filled bread pics will be up next week, but in the meantime have put some other breads up in blog. I work at a winery, and am now doing the bread for the entire complex, all sourdough. its somewhat of a challenge to say the least, especially scaling my home recipes up for up to 20 loaves at a time. the funniest thing is, the results are better than i have ever done! (this is not visibly filled bread, but bear with me while i sort the photo thing out...and thanks TP for the photo advice, coming along nicely) white sour ciabatta, and a sour rye made with shiraz grape pressings fresh from the winery.
thanks as always for your help!

I'm glad we helped you in some way to put up your bread pix...such gorgeous breads they are too! The people in your building are so lucky to have you bake for them. More, please!

Y'know, given that the bake-offs came about because Jeremy and Boris were going to teach the "rebel sheilas" a thing or two about baking to percentages, they've both been surprisingly quiet.  Jeremy made a spelt loaf, but Boris' contribution has been sorely missed (and noticed).  Did we girls scare you off ?


Celia, we may not be seeing his breads soon, but, with the Darling Harbour event, I'm sure Graham will capture for us some footage of Pin-Up Boy in action.

This focaccia-ish bread is inspired by Celia. Filling is oven-dried tomatoes and wakame. Thumbs-up from all. Yep, the gallery is working fine.

Much to busy to join you Sheilas, but I have had some success with potato levain at work, as well some spelt in a pot!


Happy baking, hey listen to David Aplin from Cliffsidebakery talk on my blog, he is from Toronto and a big fan of this site!

Graham hello!

Edited by TP to show pix here instead of links.
Jeremy dear, do you mind labelling them?

Psst...Celia, he heard you.

Let's pause for some Salient Instructions to observe in Bake-off Threads.

Would appreciate if you guys stick to The Topic. Yes, we love to see nice breads, but, if this thread is about Filled Breads, please show Filled Breads, and not your other gorgeous bakes. There are appropriate threads for those...or you can start a new thread. This would make it easier for future reference or oogling.

Thank you. Carry on, please.


Et Voila it's filled!

Jeremy: I'll have to start charging you for having to edit your picture links every time you post them. BTW, the sandwich (your cheat filled bread) looks soooo gooood! TP

hopefully the customers feel the same way! so far i've had luck, and in the last two days have processed over 40kg of dough!! not bad for a home baker hehehe. have got a rye and caraway sour and a white and barley sour proving atm, and will have pics next week...hope the customers like them!!
thanks for the encouragement as well

Semi-dried tomatoes, basil and smoked scamorza (brined mozarella) - made rolls and a loaf.

Celia, you did it again! You keep coming up with so many combos of  X-treme Filled Breads.

Y'know, given that the bake-offs came about because Jeremy and Boris were going to teach the "rebel sheilas" a thing or two about baking to percentages, they've both been surprisingly quiet.  Jeremy made a spelt loaf, but Boris' contribution has been sorely missed (and noticed).  Did we girls scare you off ?


You wish!

You've missed mine; but you and others are doing a fine job without me and besides I've never baked with spelt and haven't even had it in my hand, excepting in a bag at my local Macro store. I'm endeavouring to get some and bake a few samples soon.

Pin-up boy Wow you are gonna be really disappointed, TP. LOL
Hey Dom,
Been so busy and TP reminded me you asked about bialy's, when I get a chance I will go down to kossars and snap a photo, hell I will maybe pick up a few too! Look good, the pink is weird? And I want to mention usually there are poppy seeds in the middle as well, been years since I ate one too, they are a different creature then bagels for sure!

Your ginger bread looks great!

Spelt, with onion marmalade, proscuitto crudo and pecorino romano cheese.  Will send this to school for lunch on Monday ! :)

TP, your foc looks GREAT !  I'm having a lot of fun with this, but we need more people to join in ! :)

I agree....the more the merrier!

Celia, if this is meant for Monday, how are you keeping it? From experience, anything with onions can't be in room temperature for too long.

I made three rolls, one we'll eat tonight, and the other two will go into the freezer as soon as they're cool (which is what I always do when I'm making things for school).  They'll defrost perfectly !

The onions are also in homemade onion marmalade (jam), so they've already been caramelised.

I love caramelised onion jams! Yes, I find that breads don't suffer much (if, at all) from freezing, especially, if you slightly toast them.

Raisin and walnut sourdough with cinnamon swirl.

this is a version of Peter Reinhart's fruit bread from the Breadbakers' apprentice.

(the cinnamon sugar made a bit of a mess in the bread tins, not sure if it was wise to retard it overnight)

thanks Jeremy - look forward to seeing pictures of real Bialys. Perhaps you will make some for us to show us how it is supposed to be done?

[color=blue]Half white spelt, half organic white using my wholewheat starter (still struggling to get a white one going!) --- this loaf with Golden raisins, cranberries and pecans... and a hint of allspice.  Delicious! Can you see the steam rising from the cut loaf? [/color]

Lovely raisinesque breads, Dom and Catharina!

Dom, line your tin with parchment next time. But, thanks for the note, I'd think twice before retarding sugar-filled breads in future.

Catharina....cutting your bread before it has a chance to cool? I can imagine the call of the bread was too strong for you to resist, lol.