Butterfly Pea Flower Open Crumb Sourdough Bread

by - June 25, 2019

Butterfly Pea Flower Open Crumb Sourdough Bread

Butterfly Pea Flower Open Crumb Sourdough Bread

Butterfly Pea Flower Open Crumb Sourdough Bread

Butterfly Pea Flower Open Crumb Sourdough Bread

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 be;ow.

Please read the below notes before baking for beginner.


A healthy starter is very crucial as advised by Baking with Gina.  It is advisable to feed your starter daily if you want nice big crumb bread that rises nicely and to use the starter (levain) at its peak.

If the mother starter is not strong, the bread dough will not rise much even though the starter is used at its peak.

My daily feeding schedule:
9.00 am - Ratio 1:5:5 @ room temperature of 26 - 28C
9.00 pm - Ratio 1:5:5 @ room temperature of 26 - 28C

I learnt making sourdough starter from "How To Make Starter From Scratch" by Full Proof Baking.  Thank you to Full Proof Baking for the detailed video which proved invaluable.


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. Warm ambient temperature will shorten the fermentation time while cooler ambient will extend fermentation time.  For this bread, we prefer a longer fermentation as this allows you to have more time to develop the gluten structure . Therefore, short fermentation in  warm ambient doesn’t allow you to work the dough as well.  Credit to Janet The Soprano

The ambient temperature that worked for me is between 24C - 25C and bulk fermentation time is between 4.5 hours to 5.5 hours.  At the end of bulk fermentation, my dough would have increased 40% - 50% in volume. 

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 24C - 25C.
  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 24 - 25 C.
  3. Cooler bag - Place ice cooler packs inside a cooler bag.  Then rest the dough inside the cooler bag during bulk fermentation.  Try to maintain temperature 24C - 25C.

The number of coil folds is not fixed and very much depends on the strength and extensibility of the dough.   Over-working the dough may affect the crumb structure and oven spring.  

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 & pull?
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. 

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.

Recipe - Butterfly Pea Flower Open Crumb Sourdough Bread 


Total Flour: 300g + 30g (from levain) = 330g

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

Butterfly Pea Flower Water:
50 - 80 dried butterfly pea flowers, boil with 230g water, steeping for 30 minutes, strain to get the blue water and keep aside to cool (I used 80 dried flowers)

Banneton (proofing basket)'s size - 6.5" oval shape

  1. Feed starter Feed ratio of 1:1:1, keep at room temperature (28C – 30C) and wait until tripled, around 2 – 3 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.  Or use a stand mixer with paddle attachment for 2-3 minutes at low speed.  Cover and leave for 1 to 3 hours.
  3. Levain - Wet your hand, add 60g sourdough starter to the dough and hand mixing until incorporated, about 3 - 4 minutes. Or use a stand mixer with hook attachment and knead for 6 to 8 minutes until window pane stage.  Cover and rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Sea Salt - Dilute sea salt with the balance of 10g flower water.  Pour on top of the dough, use hand to mix in the sea salt water.  It takes about 5 minutes until it is fully incorporated.  Cover and rest for 15 minutes.
  5. 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 for about 30 + - minutes or until dough spread.  Please watch and feel the dough and not the clock.
  6. 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 30 +- minutes or until dough spread.
  7. Coil Fold 1 - Fold dough in the dish. Cover and rest for about 30 +- minutes or until dough spread.
  8. Coil Fold 2 - Repeat the same.  Cover and rest for about 30 +- minutes or until dough spread.
  9. Coil Fold 3 - Repeat the same.  Cover and rest for 60 - 90 minutes until dough rise 40 - 50% in size.
  10. Shape - Flour the counter top.  Shape and transfer to a heavily flour banneton.  
  11. Proof - Proof at room temperature for 15 - 20 minutes.  Then retard overnight in the fridge for 12 - 16 hours.
  12. Preheat oven, with the dutch oven at 250C for 30 minutes before baking.
  13. Take bread dough out from the fridge, invert onto a parchment paper and scoring.  Immediately transfer the dough with the parchment paper to your preheated dutch oven.
  14. Lower the temperature to 230C (fan-forced) and bake with cover on for 20 minutes.  Remove the cover and lower the temperature to 220C (fan-forced), continue bake for another 10 - 15 minutes.
  15. Remove bread from oven and dutch oven. Let it cool on rack completely before slicing.
  1. Usually 3 coil folds should be enough.  But, sometimes you may need extra coil fold if your dough is spread and not enough gluten develop.

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  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 :)