Breads (Sourdough) - Open Crumb

Butterfly Pea Flower Open Crumb Sourdough Bread

June 25, 2019 | Recipe by Bake with Paws
Butterfly Pea Flower Open Crumb Sourdough Bread

Butterfly Pea Flower Open Crumb Sourdough Bread

Butterfly Pea Flower Open Crumb Sourdough Bread

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Thanks is due to Kristen of Full Proof Baking for the inspiration and basic open crumb sourdough bread recipe. 

I have shared Butterfly Pea Flower Open Crumb Sourdough Bread last year in this page.  Since then I have rebaked it few times and have finally got the crumb and loaf I have been wanting.  I have replaced my previous recipe with this improved recipe which supersedes the older recipe.
I also have learned a few tips from very kind baker friends which I have updated in the notes below.

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.  Do tag me on Instagram @Bakewithpaws if you attempt on this recipe.

How To Make Butterfly Pea Flower Open Crumb Sourdough Bread 


270g bread flour (I used Japanese high gluten flour) - 90%
30g whole wheat flour - 10%
224g butterfly pea flower water - 77% final hydration
60g levain (active sourdough starter - 100% hydration) - 20%
6g sea salt - 2%

Butterfly Pea Flower Water:
6g dried butterfly pea flowers tops (removed stem and discarded), boil with 230g water, steeping for 30 minutes, strain to get the blue water and keep aside to cool (I used 80 dried flowers)
  • Please refresh  your starter several times before baking day in order to get a better result if you do not feed your starter daily or regularly.
  • Please reserve some liquid and not add it all in one go as each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently. 
Banneton (proofing basket)'s size - 6.5" oval shape
Ambient temperature after adding in levain:  25C - 26C 

  1. Feed starter - Feed ratio of 1:1:1, keep at room temperature (28C – 30C) and wait until tripled, around 3 - 5 hours.  Please feed your starter at the ratio that fit your schedule as long as the starter is at its peak when use.  
  2. Autolyse - Mix flour and butterfly pea flower water, stir until there is no more dry flour with a spatula.  Cover and leave for 1 to 3 hours.
  3. Levain & Salt- Wet your hand, add 60g sourdough to the dough and sprinkle all the salt on top. hand mixing until incorporated, about 5 - 7 minutes. Cover and rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Bench Fold - Lightly mist the counter top with water.  Wet your hand and scrapper.  Transfer dough to the counter top.  Pull and fold the four sides, flip over and round the dough.  Return to the same bowl.  Cover and rest fo 30 minutes. 
  5. Lamination -  Lightly mist the counter top with water and wet your hand.  Pull from centre out to form a rectangle shape.  Pick up one edge and fold into the center.  Pick up other edge and fold into the center over first section.  Fold the top down half way.  Fold the bottom up.  Put dough in a new dish (square pyrex dish).  Cover and rest for about 40 - 45 minutes or until dough spread.
  6. Coil Fold 1 - Fold dough in the dish. Cover and rest for about 45 - 60 minutes or until dough spread.
  7. Coil Fold 2 - Repeat the same.  Cover and rest for about 45 - 60 minutes or until dough spread.
  8. Coil Fold 3 -  At this stage, the dough is quite strong and not so extensible and will be the last coil fold.  However, if the dough is still quite extensible and spread a lot, then you will need one more coil fold.  Fold the dough in the dish.  Cover and rest for 60 - 90 minutes or until dough rise 50% - 60% in size since you added the levain.  
  9. Shaping - 
    1. 60 - 90 minutes later, the dough had risen 60% in size since adding the levain.  The dough should look puffy.  It should jiggling when you slightly shake it.  This is the end of bulk fermentation.  The total fermentation time for this bread is 5 hours and 30 minutes.  
    2. Flour the counter top. Shape and transfer to a  flour banneton.  
  10. Proofing On The Counter - Proof at room temperature for 15 minutes.  
  11. Cold Retard - Then retard overnight in the fridge (4C) for 12 - 16 hours.  This bread is about 14 hours.
  12. Baking -  
    1. Preheat oven with the dutch oven (cast iron) at 250C (top & bottom heat) for at least 30 minutes before baking.  I usually preheated for 1 hour.
    2. Take bread dough out from the fridge, invert onto a parchment paper and scoring.(Slash the dough approximately 0.5 inches deep at 45-degree angle).  Immediately transfer the dough with the parchment paper to your preheated dutch oven.
    3. Bake at 250C (top and bottom heat) with cover on for 25 minutes.  Remove the cover and lower the temperature to 220C (top & bottom heat), continue bake for another 10 - 12 minutes.
    4. Remove bread from oven and dutch oven. Let it cool on rack completely before slicing.


A healthy starter is very crucial as advised by Baking with Gina.   It is advisable to feed your starter regularly if you want your bread to rise nicely and to use the starter (levain) at its peak.  A starter that is fed regularly will be more active in general.  If the mother starter is not strong, the bread dough will not rise a lot even though the starter is used at its peak.  


The liquid measurement given is also a guide.  It is advisable to always reserve some liquid and not add it all in one go.  This would give you the opportunity to adjust if necessary. If dough is too dry, add the reserve liquid one tablespoon at a time until the right consistency.  This is because each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently. 


Bulk fermentation starts when you add in levain to the dough and ends when the dough is ready for shaping.  


Ambient temperature plays a very important part in sourdough baking.  It will affect the dough temperature and eventually affect your fermentation time.  The cooler ambient temperature will extend the fermentation time.  The greater degree of proof, the stronger the dough will be as explained by Trevor J. Wilson. 

The ambient temperature that worked for me is between 25C - 26C and bulk fermentation time is between 4.5 hours to 5.5 hours.  At the end of bulk fermentation, my dough would have increased 50% in volume.   The dough should look puffy.  It should jiggling when you slightly shake it.  This is the end of bulk fermentation.  

But, my kitchen ambient temperature (without air-conditioner) was 29C - 30C.  So, I have to bring down the temperature. 

How to bring down ambient temperature?
  1. Air-conditioner room - Rest the dough in air-conditioner room during bulk fermentation.  I used this option sometimes.  I turned on my air-conditioner when I added in levain and try to maintain temperature between 25C - 26C.
  2. Home oven (that's turned off) -  Place ice cooler packs inside along with an ambient temperature thermometer.  Then place your dough during bulk fermentation in the oven. Keep an eye on that thermometer and try to keep between 25C - 26C.


Too strong (tension or elastic) dough will take a longer time to increase (proof) in volume.  So too strong dough may not have good oven spring and open crumb.  While too weak dough (extensibility) dough may not hold it shape and rise with good oven spring too.  

So over-working the dough (too strong dough) or under-working (weak dough) may affect the crumb structure and oven spring.  

The number of coil folds is not fixed and very much depends on the strength and extensibility of the dough.  

As demonstrated in an experiment by Kristen (Full Proof Baking) the over-worked dough rose super tall but was smaller in overall size and had a more dense crumb while the control dough rose tall during the oven spring and had a better overall result.

How do we know when it is enough and no more coil folds are needed? 
We usually do 3 coil folds for this method.  However, if by the second coil fold the dough is strong with less extensibility as you lift up a part of the dough then it should be the last coil fold, or just do a half coil folds instead of full. The resistance of the dough to being folded should be an indication to refrain from folding further.

How do we know when to do the next coil fold or stretch & fold?
When the dough spreads. Please do not rely on the time given in the recipe as it is just a guideline.  Please watch your dough and not the clock.  


You may wonder why most of the recipes asked to add salt after autolyze and adding levain.  Salt will tighten the gluten and make it harder to stretch. 


  1. I love the color and the crumbs. Would love to try this out once my starter is strong enough.

  2. Hi there, thank you for your comment. Welcome to sourdough baking. You will be going to enjoy it.

    Cheers :)

  3. Hi, thanks for sharing.
    I don't have sourdough starter, if i change to instant yeast will it turn out this purple colour too?

    1. Hi, thank you for your comment and question. Yes, it will as long as you use a lot of butterfly pea flowers. I used a lot for this bread.

      Cheers :)

  4. Hi thk u for sharing such a beautiful bread. I need some of your advice. I tried to bake my sourdough, however each the scoring are gone cant see the ears after went into oven. I'm using normal bread flour, is it due to flour or oven temperature ? Any good tips? Thks in advanced.

    1. Hi, thank you for visiting my blog. I think you have over proofed your dough during bulk fermentation. Could be our warm temperature here.

      Please see my general notes in my post.
      Room temperature in your kitchen plays very important part in sourdough baking. If you want to have nice oven spring, please do not over proved dough during bulk fermentation. Warm temperature in your kitchen may cause over proved dough. The best temperature is 25C - 27C. If you are in tropical climate, turn on air conditioner or rest the dough in air conditioned room. Or you can shorten the bulk fermentation time.

      Cheers :)

  5. Thank you for sharing all your lovely bread baking recipes. May I know what time do you usually feed your starter and what time you put the dough into the fridge to Retard? My bread tends to be a little gummy. Is it due to over proofing at bulk fermentation stage or Retard too long in fridge? Appreciate your reply.

    1. Hi, thanks for trying this recipe.
      I usually feed my starter at around 9 am. I will add in levain at around 1 pm. I retard my bread around 6 pm. Retard too long or over proof will not make your bread gummy. I think it be the butterfly pea flower. I used a lot of butterfly pea flower for this recipe. My is abit sticky too.

      Cheers :)


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