Chia Quinoa Bread

Hippy bread. That’s what my mum would probably say if I told her what the loaf of bread sitting beside me was called.

Maybe it should be called superfood bread? Both chia and quinoa seem to be happily sitting under the superfood umbrella at the moment. Basking their superfood bodies in the healthy food spotlight. Rightly so, as this loaf certainly feels good and healthy on eating. I’d picked up some locally grown quinoa in Tasmania and already had some chia lounging in the back of the fridge. I was ready to jump back into the sourdough making after being away and these two super heroes had their names written down for my upcoming loaf.

After we had got back from Tasmania, checking the sourdough starter in the fridge was one of the first things I did. Actually I checked both of them, as I had put two in different bowls in different positions to try to make sure something was still happy when we got back.

Why so pedantic?

It all started a few weeks back. Β There I was on an everyday Monday, with a head full of things that left very little room for much else. I needed to make bread and while in my whole heartedly distracted state, I used all my starter. Yes. Allll my starter. My starter that I had been gently nurturing for over a year, providing my family with abundance of loaves of bread, and I had just used it all.

A sharp intake of breath, a slight sweating of the brow, and a quickened heart beat. Oh, oh, oh….

It’s ok! I’ve got a frozen bit for back up. I had recently used another frozen portion to see how the whole bringing it back process actually worked. I’d also written a draft post on it. It was going to be fine. It was going to be fine…

But it wasn’t. It wasn’t fine. I gave that little frozen starter so much love it clearly didn’t know what to do with itself. An encouraging one teeny tiny bubble a day kept my hope alive. Come on little thing, you can do it, I softly whispered.

It turned grey. I changed bowls. I added more water. I added more flour. I added honey. I added rye… It smelt funny.

I suspected death was around the corner and in a last attempt before quietly putting her in the bin, I turned it to three different bowls with three different ways of encouraging the starter to grow to her old bubbly self. One bowl died immediately, and two decided to give themselves one more go. Two bubbles…three bubbles, four bubbles. Frog spawn! Oh the joy! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Yes, I could have got some starter back from friends who have now embraced the sourdough pilgrimage. I could have made another, and I could have just let it rest awhile and played with commercial yeasted bread. I could have, but I didn’t want to. I wasn’t the only one who had despaired at the thought of no sourdough. Mr Chocolate had looked on with horror when I had explained what had happened on that first distracted day. Horror again at the thought of his lunch going to have to come from shop bread…

So that’s what happened. But now, the old girls back. She was clearly itching to get cracking with some loaves of bread this time around, as it didn’t take long for those reassuring bubbles to come back at all, (thank goodness.)

Chia Quinoa Bread

2 tbls chia

150g quinoa

300mls water


300g starter

450g strong bakers flour

375mls water

300g cooked quinoa and chia (I had a bit left over)

1 1/2 tsp salt

In a pot add the quinoa, chia and water. Cook for about 10 minutes or so. When the water is all absorbed and grains have softened, cool a little. Add starter, flour and water. Mix together and then I left it for about half an hour. Add the cooled quinoa and chia, mix well (I used a dough hook) then add the salt. A 30 second knead/fold on lightly floured surface and back in the bowl for an hour or so. Another 30 second knead/fold and then back in bowl, covered and into the fridge for a cold sleep for about 12-ish hours. Back out, getting a tight knead together, than into the banetton for about 4 hours.

Out on to tray, slash, steam, and bake at 240 for about 40 minutes.

*This post submitted to the lovely yeastspotting


41 thoughts on “Chia Quinoa Bread

  1. Bravo little starter! Well done in coming back from the brink like that. Wipes brow delicately. That is one hippy happy looking loaf there, Does it have that slightly spongey bite to it, a bit like a rye bread? And what does chia taste like? Never tried it, I am remiss on the superfood front… πŸ˜‰


    • It’s a quite soft loaf to bite into. A bit like when you put linseed or soaked oats in. Chia, as I’m still pretty new to both of them, I’m not really sure what the taste is. It just seems to be there in it’s superfoodness making things work together!


  2. No Way!! I have my very first chia loaf planned for today!! The Chia Gods must be out in force this week..too funny. SO glad your baby made it’s way back from the edge of oblivion..what a relief! πŸ™‚


  3. Hippy bread- that’s funny!
    My mother called my bread- Hunky bread- because I used her mother’s Eastern European recipe, I guess!
    I’m so happy you saved your starter- I’ve had some close calls over the years. Once- while I was out of town, my husband threw away a starter I had had going for 10 years+. I forgave him- made him swear he would never do such a dastardly deed again- and started over. ( But I never completely trust him either- I have a batch in the freezer and another container in the downstairs fridge!) Your bread is lovely and the crumb shot is perfect!


  4. I decided to start a starter from scratch. Didn’t measure the water, just the half cup starter and one cup flour each morning – one with spelt, one with rye. Somewhere I read that using early starter that had not properly doubled was not good so I have been going now for three weeks and I can honestly say this morning both sets have risen to double in the last 24 hours. I thought the cold weather of late – northern N.S.W. might have been the reason. This recipe is very timely….. thank you.


  5. oh thank goodness there was still some life left in the old girl. I tried to make my own starter back in November and the baby only lasted a week and it faded into nothing. I haven’t the heart to start another one at the moment. My partner and I don’t really eat bread often enough to maintain one. Richard offered me some of his and I may just take him up on his offer.


    • Here’s the link to making your own starter If you do use this method, let me know how it goes, I hope it all makes sense!
      Chia is still a bit of a mystery to me too. Superfood, ancient, comes in black and white, Australia grows quite a bit (not sure where you are located, and I buy it in the health food shop…. and it tastes good in bread! πŸ™‚


      • Pleased to hear your starter is back in action. I’ve just started experimenting with keeping in mine in the fridge between bakes (as I don’t use it during the week) and reducing the feeds as I found I was using so much flout. It seems to be holding up pretty well.

        I have now put some in the freezer as a back up as well!


  6. I’m glad she’s back safe and sound! Scary moments! We’ve been using the same starter now for five years, but I’m sure the ones I’ve passed on have now evolved – friends feed them differently, they live in different houses picking up different airborne influences – so I don’t know what I’d do if I lost mine!

    I’ve never had any luck with frozen starter – it always dies on me – but you can dry some out and it seems to keep quite well. Just spread a little on a plastic plate and leave it in a warm spot to dry for a few days, then flake it off and store it in a plastic bag in the fridge.

    Your chia quinoa bread looks very delish, and most befitting the blog of a Hippy Girl in the City! πŸ™‚


    • Thanks Celia πŸ™‚ The frozen starter intrigues me. After I did it the first time I found Dan’s seemingly easy way of resurrecting the frozen lumps, but was too nervous to try it straight after I used all my mother as a small panic had set in, and I just did it the way I had before. He does make it look easy though, so will have to his way a crack at some stage.


  7. I’m having a bit of a ‘delicate’ moment with my starter – may have overfed her in my enthusiasm to schedule a bread-off this weekend. She’ll come good but suffice to say I’ve taken your approach and frozen some in anticipation of the day that I do the same! Amazing looking loaf – that first pic is a winner.


  8. My new starter has been a little reluctant to really kick off – I suspect it is the very cold weather, but is now (after 2 weeks) finally looking a little more excited. I hope to bake from it in the next day or two.


  9. phew! you really need to name your starter phoenix! I have a bag of chia seeds that I don’t know what to do with and now I am wondering about using them in bread – not quite at sourdough stage but maybe in one of my yeasted loaves


  10. i’ve just switched from feeding mine with rye, to using spelt. it looks kind of sluggish, but the bread it produces is still good. do you know why this would be, oh wise one?

    …and i saw that diggers were selling quinoa seeds. imagine growing your own! but wa quarantine laws prevent it from being sent here. bugger. will have to track down another source.



    • Oh so not the wise one. Hack baker at best! The why’s and how’s of sourdough are still a perplexing beast that one day when I’m 30 years from now, may have a grasp of.
      Could it be gluten content or lack there of that makes it seem sluggish? If you compare a white starter to a rye, that always looks different, maybe the spelt is a step down again????

      Growing your own quinoa…now that would be a bit exciting. I can just imagine a field of it surrounding your beautiful new house.
      (it’s quite an appealing looking crop!)


  11. i wanted to make this but am not quite ready for sourdough – but it has inspired me to look for yeast versions of a chia bread – and have started trialling chia seeds in the olive oil bread of yours that I love so much


  12. Pingback: slowing it down to eat some rye bread « Cityhippyfarmgirl

  13. Oh man, this looks absolutely awesome. I just created a new starter, haven’t even made a load with it yet, although I have been dipping into it for sourdough pancakes for a taste! I think this chia quinoa bread will be my first bake. πŸ™‚ thanks for sharing the recipe!


  14. Hello, I gave this bread a go. It was a very wet dough. My loaf didn’t bake too high. Is your starter 100% hydration? When your say strong baker’s flour, would mean bread flour?


    • Hi REbecca. Any flour that falls under the bread flour umbrella will be fine to work with. Flours differ with their protein percentages, generally falling within the 12-14% bracket. You can get quite geeky with it. The different flour will also differ slightly with your water amounts and your starter consistency. If it’s too wet, try it again and simply add slightly less water. If the loaf didn’t much of an oven spring, perhaps your starter is a bit too acidic, in which case give it three feeds in 24 hours before baking and make sure you bake at the height of the bubbles. Hope that helps.


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