A Stir The Pots Post

Sun bread

by | Jul 24, 2011 | Bread



As a sourdough purist, sometimes I find myself without levain to bake. At such moments, you're tempted to replace it was Saccharomyces cerevisiae, otherwise known as "bakers yeast." Honestly, it happens often. A refridgerated levain is not ready to bake, sitting there active but dormant, not ready to transform into fulfilling my vision of great bread. That said, I'm still an idealist, even in this recent heat wave. 

This weekend, I found myself with a lifeless looking rye levain, unfed with hootch on top with the temperture just above 100 hundred degrees, I decided to feed it and try leaving it out in the sun for about four hours. Returning to it, low and behold, I found it bubbles forming, with humidity condensation on the jar, but with a sweet smell of rye. Apparently bacterial magic had been charmed by the scorching day.

Here's a recipe for Sun Bread, leveraging the method I'll call "viva la heatwave." 

Requirements: Dormant rye levain, baker, very hot sun and infernal temperatures.



100% flour

53%  water

31% levain

.02% salt

101F heatwave

Mix, bulk, fold, pre-shape, final shape, rise, retard, bake….voila!




Oven spring, retarding, and bake all done. Taste? amazing notes, of multi grain flours, wheat, rye, spelt, low acidity. Delicious golden crust, with a nice honecomb crumb, even from a low hydration in overall dough of 53% total. Not that I am advocating global warming conditions, but this was a sunny loaf.


  1. Maureen

    This bread looks nothing short of amazing!

  2. Gregoire Michaud

    Great looking crust and crumb Jeremy! Love it and love the story behind it! 😉


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