My sourdough culture is nice and bubbly and active these days. I haven't made any full-on sourdough in a while, as it takes more planning than I've been able to muster; I usually end up supplementing with some dry-active yeast. This loaf was in honor of our chickens ~ I used a couple cups of their seeds in the dough. They eat a wholesome mix of millet, flax, spelt, wheat, and sunflower seeds (maybe and sometimes others) ~ all whole grain and organic. I ground some into flour that I added to the starter, and I soaked some whole in water with whey for several days, and added it to the final dough, which was largely spelt and (whole) wheat. Then I covered the loaves in sesame seeds (because I love sesame seeds). Although the starter was very active, the dough didn't expand as I expected, and the loaves hardly expanded at all. Despite this (including how long I let it sit in hopes of rising), the final product tasted delicious, though ~ the sourness was distinct, but not overpowering. The whole seeds, however, which I expected to be totally soft and chewy, were as hard as if I'd never soaked them! They felt like little bits of gravel ~ so much so that Austin asked whether I'd accidentally included some of the oyster shell that the chickens also eat! As tasty as the bread was, I couldn't eat much because it felt as if I might break a tooth.
So, sourdough = good; seeds = bad, and I'm really not sure why.
But the photo is nice, don't you think?