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May 10, 2013

Sourdough Bread Twists

sourdough seeded bread twists

These sourdough bread twists are amazing.

I love bread. I love sourdough. But you knew that. These little sourdough pull-apart bread sticks are ideal for a dinner bread basket.  They are also awesome for appetizers spread with an olive tapenade or a fabulous cheese. I like to dip them in oil and balsamic or slice them in half and toast them with butter, garlic, and parmesan. Keep them attached to each other until you serve them to preserve freshness.

sourdough seeded bread twists

Aren't they gorgeous?

sourdough seeded bread twists

adapted from Amy's Bread, Revised and Updated: Artisan-style breads, sandwiches, pizzas, and more from New York City's favorite bakery.



57 g (1/4 C) active 100% ratio (flour to water by weight) sourdough starter
1/4 C water
142 g (1 C) unbleached all purpose flour


1/4 C warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
3/4 tsp active dry or instant yeast
680 g unbleached all purpose flour
130 g pumpernickel flour
2 T Kosher salt
212 g Levain
2 1/2 C cool water
50 g/1/3 C sesame seeds (not toasted)
34 g/1/4 C poppy seeds
4 T extra virgin olive oil, plus additional for brushing on the finished bread
Kosher or sea salt for sprinkling



  1. Mix the ingredients together with a dough whisk or your hands until somewhat combined, and then knead by hand until you have a dough, about two minutes. 
  2. Place the dough into a small dough rising bucket or straight sided container (so you can see when it has doubled), cover with plastic wrap, and let it sit until doubled in size, usually about 6 hours. 
  3. If you are not going to use it right away, refrigerate the levain up to 24 hours. 


  1. Mix the warm water and yeast in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Whisk the flours and the salt together in a bowl. 
  3. Add the levain and the cool water to the warm water/yeast mixture and incorporate with your fingers. 
  4. Add the flour/salt to the levain/yeast mixture. Mix with a dough whisk or a dough scraper until the dough resembles a floury mass. 
  5. Knead the dough in a stand mixer or by hand for about 6 to 7 minutes. The dough will be sticky, but as you work it, it should begin to get more elastic and cohesive. Once you have an elastic dough, form it into a ball and cover with oiled plastic wrap and let it rest and rise for about 20 minutes. 
  6. Knead the dough by hand on a lightly floured surface for about 3 minutes. Form it into a ball and place it into an oiled bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough sit for an hour at room temperature. 
  7. Turn the dough back out onto a lightly floured surface and gently flatten it into a 12 inch square. 
  8. Mix the seeds together and sprinkle a third of the seeds on the dough rectangle. 
  9. Fold the dough into thirds, like a letter to form a 12 inch by 4 inch piece of dough. Gently seal the seams. 
  10. Mist the dough with water and sprinkle both sides with the rest of the seeds. 
  11. Brush both sides of the dough rectangle with the olive oil and lightly sprinkle with the salt. 
  12. Place the dough in a parchment lined half-sheet pan and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise for about 45 minutes. 
  13. Place the dough onto an oiled surface and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle again lightly with sea or Kosher salt. 
  14. Cut the dough into 16 equal pieces (about 1 inch wide) with a bench scraper. You can also use a knife, but take care with your kitchen counter. 
  15. Stretch each piece to about six inches long, twist it, and place it on the sheet pan. Continue with each piece, place each against the last piece. In other words, the pieces of dough should touch each other. 
  16. Cover the dough with oiled plastic wrap and let it rise for about 35 minutes until puffy. 
  17. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F with a baking stone on the second lowest rack and a broiler pan on the lowest rack (If you don't have a stone, don't worry, just bake the twists in the pan on the second lowest rack). 
  18. Boil one cup of water and fill a spray bottle with water. 
  19. Mist the dough with with water and place the pan on the baking stone (or the second highest rack). 
  20. Carefully pour the boiling water into the broiler pan (shield your oven window with a kitchen towel) and shut the oven door. 
  21. After a minute, open the oven door and spray the bread about 8 times with a water mister and shut the oven door. 
  22. Bake the twists for 15 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees F and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown. 
  23. Brush the twists with olive oil and cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before serving. 
  24. Admire, photograph, and serve. 
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Would you like to comment?

  1. Delicious. Bet these would be great brushed with garlic butter too.

    1. Oooh oooh that sounds like a fabulous idea!


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