Once you learn how to make a basic sourdough or yeasted dough, adding inclusions in your dough is an easy way to change up the flavor and texture of your bread. Generally, the amount of inclusions is 10-20% of the dough weight. Inclusions should be incorporated at the end of mixing process, before fermentation begins.
- Seeds: They should be soaked in water for at least 1 hour. When possible, let the seeds soak in water overnight. Toasting develops more flavor in fat-rich seeds like sesame, sunflower and flax. - Nuts: Flavor will be better when toasted. Make sure that they are cooled completely before adding to the dough.
- Dried fruits: Bread with fruits will brown more quickly due to the sugar content. Make a smaller or skinnier loaf to avoid having to bake for a long time.
Grains: Cracked grain can benefit from soaking in hot or boiling water. Cracked or whole grain can be cooked like porridge - soak in water overnight if using whole berries, then cook in a plenty of water over a low heat until tender.
- Spices and herbs: Use in small quantity as they have a stronger flavor. Do not use a large amount of spices with antibacterial property (cinnamon, turmeric etc), as it may slow down the fermentation activity.
- Cheese: Quantity should be adjusted depending on intensity of the flavor. Be careful not to use a lot of salty cheese - excess salt may slow down fermentation activity.
- Olives: Wash the brine off and pat dry to remove excess salt. When using chopped olives, use a smaller amount as it can release more salt to the dough.