Soy Bean and Linseed Loaf


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes



Appears in

Bourke Street Bakery

By Paul Allam and David McGuinness

Published 2009

  • About

A great healthy alternative for a sandwich, this is the loaf we use for the vegetarian sandwiches we make at Bourke Street Bakery. It has a lovely crunchy texture that makes you feel like you are living longer. You will need to soak the soy beans the day before you wish to make this loaf.


  • 30 g (1 oz) dried organic soy beans
  • 300 ml (10½ fl oz) water
  • 890 g (1 lb 16 oz) sourdough dough
  • 20 g (¾ oz/ tablespoons) linseeds (flax seeds)
  • 30 g (1 oz/ cup) soy flour


Put the soy beans and water in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside overnight to soak. Drain the beans and set aside until needed.

To make the soy bean and linseed loaf, follow the instructions for mixing sourdough until you can create a window. Slowly sprinkle the linseeds over the sourdough. Lightly mix in the soy beans and soy flour. You can do this by hand by lightly folding the ingredients through the dough until just combined, or simply add it to the bowl of an electric mixer and mix for 2–3 minutes on slow speed. Lightly grease a container with oil spray and sit the dough inside. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside at ambient room temperature (approximately 20°C/68°F) for 1 hour to bulk prove.

To knock back the dough, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface and press out into a rectangle, about 2.5 cm (1 inch) thick. Use your hands to fold one-third back onto itself, then repeat with the remaining third. Turn the dough 90 degrees and fold it over again into thirds. Place the dough back into the oiled container and continue to bulk prove for a further 1 hour.

Use a blunt knife or divider to divide the dough into two even-sized portions, about 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) each. Working with one portion of dough at a time, continue to shape the loaves following the instructions for shaping a batard loaf.

Line two small baskets with a tea towel (dish towel) in each, lightly dust both with flour and place a loaf inside each, seam side up. If you are using a traditional cane basket, you don’t need the tea towel and can simply dust the basket with flour. Alternatively, you can place the loaves on a baking tray lined with baking paper, seam side down. Place in the refrigerator loosely covered with a plastic bag for 8–12 hours.

Preheat the oven to its highest temperature. Remove the covered loaves from the refrigerator and let them rest in a humid place (25°C/77°F) — this could take anywhere between 1 and 4 hours — until each loaf has grown in size by two-thirds. If the loaves push back steadily and quickly when you push lightly into them with a finger then they are ready. Score the loaves and place in the oven.

Spray the oven with water and bake the loaves for 20 minutes, then turn the loaves or trays around, and bake for a further 10 minutes, watching carefully to make sure that the loaves do not burn. Check the base of each loaf with a tap of your finger — if it sounds hollow, it is ready. Baking should take no longer than 40 minutes in total.