Spiced Orange & Sultana Sourdough

This is an adaptation of a Spiced Orange Hot Cross Bun I used to do as a yeasted bun.  This recipe turned out beautifully soft, spicy and sweet.  I'm not used to the sourdough recipe writing that I've been reading on this forum, so I'm putting the recipe up as I did it, but without percentages etc.

The Dough

Ingredient Weight US Volume Bakers Percentage
Wholemeal Flour (organic) 100 g 3.53 oz 0.78 cups 20.00%
Plain Flour (organic) 400 g 14.11 oz 3.14 cups 80.00%
1 Orange 175 g 6.17 oz 0.77 cups 35.00%
Sugar 50 g 1.76 oz 4 tbspns 10.00%
Butter 50 g 1.76 oz 3.52 tbspns 10.00%
Sultanas 125 g 4.41 oz 0.55 cups 25.00%
1tsp Salt 5 g 0.18 oz 0.32 tbspns 1.00%
Milk 200 g 7.05 oz 0.88 cups 40.00%
1tsp spices (cinnamon, clove, pimento, star anise etc) 5 g 0.18 oz 0.32 tbspns 1.00%
Starter 150 g 5.29 oz 1.18 cups 30.00%
Total Weight: 1260 grams / 44.45 ounces
Total Flour Weight: 500 grams / 17.64 ounces

Bakers percentages are relative to flour weight (flour equals 100%) and every other ingredient is a percentage of this. Flour from the Starter is not counted. Note: This recipe was uploaded in grams and has been automatically converted to other measures, let us know of any corrections.


  1. Blend up the orange and warm milk til smoothish
  2. Mix the flours, sugar, sultanas and salt in mixer bowl
  3. Add orange/milk mix, starter and butter
  4. Knead
  5. First prove as required
  6. Shape & second prove
  7. Bake 230C for 15mins, then down to 180C for 30 mins.


I've just mixed a spelt milk loaf dough. If I had seen this, I would have made it...looks so good.

Mr P, did you make the lame yourself? Or is it one of Bill's?

By the way, you need a spreadsheet or calculator to get those baker's percentages. Your recipe, in this format, is A-OK with me.



I've just cooked myself a slice that i'm having with home made apricot and earl grey jam.  It's delicious!  You'll have to save this til next time TeckPoh.  
The lame is one I made myself.  Just bought some square dowel and screws, then with a drill and a bit of sandpaper, whoala!  I stained it with avocado oil to keep it all foodie too.  It works a treat, so much so I've sent a couple off to friends (the piece of timber I bought was about 6ft long!!!)  I'd be happy to put one together for you if ya want.


...for your kind offer for such a handsome handmade objet d'art. A couple of generous forum friends have sent me (different types of) lames; it would appear too covetous of me to grab it.

But, I'm unashamedly coveting that bread together with "homemade apricot and earl grey jam", a most fascinating combination. Do you make an infusion of earl grey tea, then cook the apricots in it?



Nope, no tea infushio.  I just cook up a regular batch of apricot jam, then just as it's taken off the heat I put in some loose leaf earl grey tea. The heat from the jam brews the tea through the jam and also softens the tea so it's not all 'bitty' in the jam.  It looks fantastic with the threads of earl grey through it and tastes really nice.  I also do an apricot and rosemary jam, delicious!  And a few weeks ago did strawberry, vanilla and rosewater. Also delicious!!!
 I wanna try doing a strong brew of Earl Grey tea and use it to make an Apricot Earl Grey Fruit Loaf soon too.  Reckon it'd be great.


from all these SENSATIONAL ideas! Must bookmark this. Perhaps we should have an Ideas Thread...as if most of us don't hv enough to play with.

Thanks, I'll have 'sweet' dreams tonight.



Just had 2 lots of starter ready tonight and wondering what to make this weekend and I came across your wonderful looking spiced orange & sultanas. Only problem was no oranges so I made do with a little mixed peel and orange juice.
Can't wait to see the result.. thanks Mr P for the inspiration.

 I'm not used to the sourdough recipe writing that I've been reading on this forum, so I'm putting the recipe up as I did it, but without percentages etc.


You don't have to write your recipes like you have seen on this forum.  I think we can make your bread just fine the way you have it written up.  You can play around with my spreadsheet that calculates Baker's Percentage for you.  The spreadsheet is located here.  
[quote=LeadDog] You can play around with my spreadsheet that calculates Baker's Percentage for you.  The spreadsheet is located here.  

Thanks for that LeadDog, I'll check it out.  Being a chef, I'm used to running w recipes and techniques over this sort of chart.  Can you explain the benefits of using such a % chart to me?  I just don't get the purpose.  

So.. I'm very happy with how this came out. Only problem was while I baked it for the recommended time, there was one little doughy bit in the middle. I need to adjust a bit for my crappy oven. But I absolutely love the taste of this bread. 
Now if I could just get my hands on some of Mr P's apricot and Earl Grey Jam!...yummo :)

That's a serious rise you've managed there, Johnny! Looks like that baby veritably exploded through your slashings!

MMM - must have a go at this recipe. Thanks Mr P!
Thanks for that LeadDog, I'll check it out.  Being a chef, I'm used to running w recipes and techniques over this sort of chart.  Can you explain the benefits of using such a % chart to me?  I just don't get the purpose.  

I'm sure the more experienced bakers will have better reasons for using Baker's Percentages but for me it makes it really easy to scale up or down a recipe.

Okay I looked up in the book "Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes" the benefits of Baker's Percentages.

1) Everything is weighed, meaning precision.
2) It is a common language of bakers the world over.  This makes it easy to share a formula.
3) It is easy to scale a formula up or down.
4) He claims it is the easiest method to use.

In Baker's Percentages the flour is always 100% and the other ingredients are expressed as a percentage of the flour.  I can with about four lines give a formula that any baker can make.  For example.

Water 67%
Salt 2%
Preferment 25%

Flour would already be known since it is always 100%.  The only unknowns left would be the percentage of of the hydration of the preferment and the type of four to use.

Your spiced orange and sultan sourdough would of course take more lines but it would be easy to do since you only have a few ingredients that are measured by volume.
That's a very clear explanation of the benefits of bakers' percentages.

So Mr P, when you say add one orange do you mean the WHOLE orange?  Chop it up and blitz the heck out of it type thing?

My favourite fruit bread for the longest time has been Dom's Raisin bread/Basic fruit loaf (http://sourdough.com/recipe/raisin-breadbasic-fruit-loaf) which is an absolute cracker, and I make pretty much every weekend.  I give some to one of my friends and she hides it away and doesn't even share with her family!!

I'd love to try this one, but just want to get the orange thing sorted out first.

Thanks, K.


So Mr P, when you say add one orange do you mean the WHOLE orange?  Chop it up and blitz the heck out of it type thing?


Hey Karniecoops, that is indeed what I mean.  Just chop it up and blitz it in a blender.  That way you're getting delicious peel, fruit and juice.  It makes a great flavour.  It's how I used to do Hot Cross buns at a cafe i was working at instead of using peel pieces which some people find offensive.  

thanks for the explanation leaddog, that makes sense to me now.  I also guess, with the percentages I've seen on first preferment and second preferment, it means that everyones starters would be very similar in hydration, making more accuracy.  
Very well explained.  thanks.
Johnny, you stole the show with that photo!  your loaf looks amazing, wish i could edit my message and remove the photo of my loaf now!!!  

Don't do that it really is quite lovely:O   Why else do think we all want to try your recipe?

I have just one question, how long are your proving times er ~ about? 

["5. First prove as required

6. Shape & second prove"]


Okay maybe two...:)  About how much do you think the orange is by weight?  I have some lovely clementines.  I'm wondering if the size or juiciness will affect the moisture content.


I have some starter going since its the weekend and was thinking of some nice fruity bread...




[quote=rossnroller]That's a serious rise you've managed there, Johnny! Looks like that baby veritably exploded through your slashings!

Yeah the rise looked good and I think it was from taking the dough straight out of the fridge (where it had been overnight), a quick slash and straight into a very hot oven. The fall was when it looked so good I couldn't resist cutting into it before it had cooled only to find that doughy bit in the middle. So I think I should have let it warm up first and with the butter content all cold and hard in the middle, cooked it longer at a lower temp....still as I said it tastes great. We had some toasted for brecky on the ARL grand final day. 

Mr P your bread looked so good don't you dare remove it!

5. First prove as required

6. Shape & second prove


... About how much do you think the orange is by weight?  


Hey Millciti,
having another look over the recipe, you'll notice it calls for one orange (175 grams)!!!   ;)

Regarding proving, I did my first prove for around 7 hours overnight at room temp (but I live in a pretty cold environment on the south coast of Australia) then the second for only a few hours in my proving box (at 25 celcius).  Was a pretty juicy orange too.  I've made the hot cross buns with this recipe using clementines and using honey murcott mandarins too.  All worked really well.  Good luck.  Let me know how it all turns out.

Mister P.

Sorry about that, I think I just got distracted by the Clementines... by the way it took almost 2.  I was thinking that the dough was a little dry till I realized my starter was somewhere between 55 and 65 percent hydration.  So I added about 50g of water.  The final dough was still at about the same weight, so it may have been a bit moister than yours by hydration.  When I had noticed it was getting a little dry I slowed down adding flour.   I proved at 65-68 F for around 5.5 hours then shaped and allowed to rise for close to 2.5 hours. 

 I also held out the spices till the end.  The dough was interestingly spongy and the smell was fantastic.  I have been reading about things that inhibit yeast.  One spice that inhibits yeast is cinnamon, and one that encourages yeast growth is ginger.  I also used caramom, which I forget what effect it has, but it seems to enhance the flavor of cinamon.  I held the spices until I formed the loaves, and saved back about 5g of sugar to mix with them to make them flow easier.  My efforts seemed to work well the dough developed beautifully.

Everything was going great till I put them in the oven, then one developed a huge gringe on one side.  Then the second stuck to the top of the pan I was using for steam and fell on the oven door upside down.  Despite this they still came out pretty lite and most of the evidence was quickly destroyed... er consumed.  Later I will put up a picture of the gringy one.  Thanks for the really delicious bread!!  So will you be posting a formula for the tea jam to go with this perfect Tea Bread?  Or could we twist your arm into posting that apricot Earl Grey loaf?




Made a loaf of this on the weekend Mr P and it turned out wonderfully!  My friends are all very happy with me!  The couple of slices I managed to keep for myself I couldn't bare to put anything other than butter on, as the flavour of the bread was so great! Thanks for sharing the recipe :o)


 Hey there stranger

I'm all over this recipe, looks totally amazing - will give it a crack as soon as I can drag myself away from this most awesome of websites!!!

Yo Goodtimes.  Good luck with the loaf.  See you in a couple of weeks!!!


I followed Mr P's recipe (thank you!) quite closely, except I added sunflower seeds and used dried cranberries instead of sultanas. I left the spice out, wanting to get maximum flavour from the orange. Alas, I didn't drain my cranberries well after washing and soaking....when I introduced them to the dough after the bulk fermentation, the dough got wet and sticky in spots, horrors! Panic struck...whatever I did after that deflated all the (sniff) bubbles. I'd certainly make this again. The orange flavour was intense! Pictured here, toasted, with homemade mandarin orange marmalade.

How did you make the starter Mr P?

I made your recipe today. I haven't tried it yet, its still cooling, but I took a picture before the sun went down.

It smells fantastic, I can't wait to try some. Thanks for posting Mr Punchy.



 Certainly looks yummy Matt

 Thanks. This is going to be a regular, it tastes fantastic. Next time I'm going to make small flutes to give away and spread the love!


Hey all, and here's where the idea all began.  So last easter I thought I'd give the Sourdough loaf a shot as a hot cross bun.  I put the crosses on (just flour and water into a paste) for the final ten minutes, then glazed the buns with a sugar syrup of sugar/milk that I heated up to dissolve the sugar, and brushed it on once they were out of the oven.  These were DELICIOUS!!!



Well crikey if they don't look like the most delicious things I've seen all week!  Nice Mr P! And I like the idea of putting the crosses on in last 10 mins, I put mine on prior to popping in the oven and they didn't look as fab as yours do - thanks.

Wish I could get up and make some right now, but can't as have my leg in a cast and can't stand long enough to make bread!  I'm gonna just about die as have this blimmin thing on for at least another 4 weeks ........... while I'm thinking about it, I must go and feed my starters so they don't shrivel up and die in the meanwhile!  Will just have to drool over everyone's posts until I'm back on 2 feet.

Damn Karnie, that sucks!  I'm running through the A-Z of recipes in the Bread Baker's Apprentice book at the moment.  Most are yeasted breads, but i thought it'd be a great way to learn more of the art of bread baking.  Might post it up as a blog I think.  I've only started on A for Anadama so far.  It was a very rich loaf, but delicious with jam.

Here's hoping your leg heals nice and fast.  Good luck.



What did you do, Karen? Not training with the All Blacks again, surely...?

No Ross, I had to retire from the All Blacks due to bread-making committments!  Unfortunately slipped over on some water on my dining room floor and broke my fall with my right knee.  managed to smash my patella into about 6 pieces.  so now I have a couple of lovely pins, screws and wire holding it all back together!  Just have to wait for the bone to join itself up again, so fingers crossed.  Very tired already (and its only been 2 weeks) of only being able to sit and lie.  I'm a little stubborn and like to be able to do things for myself, so very frustrated with having to rely on other people to help me out - but love my friends, neighbours and family, they are being wonderful, but I'm sure will be all kinds of happy when I'm up and about again!  Could be worse!

That's a shocker. I dislocated my patella as a teenager - horrendously painful and traumatic, but nowhere near as bad as multiple breaks. Hope your recovery is swift.

Go easy on yourself, karniecoops.


Them yeast and flour can wait. Just get well soon.



Thanks guys.  As luck would have it, taking it easy is all I can do at the moment, so hopefully I'll be back on my feet making bread in about a months time!


Thanks guys.  As luck would have it, taking it easy is all I can do at the moment, so hopefully I'll be back on my feet making bread in about a months time!

I like your idea about working your way throught the Bread Baking Apprentice Mr P - you should join up with the Bread-baking-babes, they post blogs but are quite a way through the book already.  I would like to do it with Local Breads, but keep getting stuck on my favourite recipes.  One day.


I made this today and it looked great coming out of the oven but was too doughy inside. I tried to put it back in the oven for a while but those efforts were in vain. I followed the recipe except that i added crushed walnuts and used chopped dates (the only dried fruit i had) instead of sultans. I also added cardamon, cinnamon and clove. Love the flavor, but wish it would have cooked through. I am guessing i need to try for lower temps and more time in my oven? The volume didn't increase much at all with either of my proofs... but seemed to rise OK in the oven. Perhaps it was the cinnamon?
By the way i am new to baking sourdough, so any help would be much appreciated, thanks :)

Hello SourdoughAng,

You didn't give any indication of how long your development and proving times were or what your room temperature might have been.  One possibility is that you didn't give enough time.  Rich doughs tend to need a lot longer to prove.  One recipe that I make takes a full 24hours at room temperature.  You should go on how the dough looks and feels rather than just following what is published with the recipe as it does depend on temperature.

As far as your oven goes first just be sure that it is calibrated for Celsius or that you do the conversion (the temperatures given are Celsius) if it is graduated for Fahrenheit.  If you have, or have access to, an oven thermometer it would be an idea to check that the thermostat is accurate.  From your photos and description I would hazard a guess that it has been low for whatever reason.

The variations in the ingredients used are unlikely to be of great significance.

Let us know how you go.


Thanks for the response and ideas Farinam! I proofed overnight in the fridge the first time, then 3 hours for the second proof at room temp (65ish F). I thought my oven might be hot since it looks so done on the outside but not on the inside but you are guessing it is actually on the cool side? I'll try proofing longer next time out of the fridge. I did convert the Celsius to Fahrenheit. I will try this loaf again as the flavor was amazing, i'll let you know how it turns out when i do.

65F is 18C so I think that quite a bit longer before baking could certainly be the go.  Don't be frightened to give it longer and the  guide of doubling in volume is one option to look for.  The other is the 'poke' test though some people have a bit of difficulty with that.

You didn't mention what your stages and timings were for dough development before it went into the fridge.  That would be interesting to know as well.

Keep on bakin'