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Ocean bread

Ocean bread

The idea for this bread was inspired by an amusing coincidence: the proportion of salt needed for good bread is 35 g of salt per litre of water, which just happens to be the exact concentration of salt in the Atlantic Ocean. So it's possible to make bread using sea water to provide all the salt needed, rather than normal fresh water. Not only does it work, the resulting bread is excellent!

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Last modified on: October 24th 2017

For 1 Ocean bread, you will need:

How long does it take?

PreparationRestingCookingStart to finish
17 min.4 hours 10 min.40 min.5 hours 7 min.
Preservation: Several days in a towel bag.
At what time?When will I finish if I start the recipe at a certain time?
When should I start for the recipe to be ready at a certain time?
Work this out...

Step by step recipe

1 Ocean bread : Photo of step #1Filter 300 ml sea water to strain out any little impurities it might contain. 1 min.
2 Ocean bread : Photo of step #2Pour the sea water into the food processor bowl, add 125 g leaven and mix briefly. 3 min.
3 Ocean bread : Photo of step #3Add 500 g plain white flour (French Type 65) then ½ teaspoon yeast and knead for 5 minutes on minimum speed (1), then for a further 5 minutes on speed 2.

You could also chech the dough by trying the window-pane test.

Note: For the best way to knead, see: A few tips for effective kneading at home.
10 min.
4 Ocean bread : Photo of step #4Tip the dough into a large clean bowl and cover with a plastic sheet. Leave to rest for 10 minutes. 10 min.
5 Ocean bread : Photo of step #5At the end of this resting time, take a wooden spatula or a dough cutter and lift the dough, stretching it upwards...
6 ...then fold it over on itself.

Give a quarter turn to the bowl and repeat the operation. Continue like this until the bowl has made at least one complete turn. In French this kneading manœuvre is called a "rabat".

Cover the bowl again and leave to rest in a warm place for 20 minutes.

This sequence of "rabat" + 20 minutes resting should be done 3 times.

Note: The "rabat" technique is rather hard to describe, so you can watch it in the video on the right.
2 hours
7 Ocean bread : Photo of step #7Cover the bowl and leave to rest in a warm place for 2 hours.

After resting, tip the dough out onto your worktop.
1 min.
8 Ocean bread : Photo of step #8Shape it into a nice round ball by folding the edge under until the top becomes a smooth dome. 2 min.
9 Ocean bread : Photo of step #9Put this ball into a banneton (rising basket), dust with flour, cover and leave in a warm place for 1 ½ to 2 hours. 2 hours
10 Ocean bread : Photo of step #10Preheat the oven to 240°C (460°F).

Turn the loaf out of the basket, slash the top and bake for 30 to 40 minutes.

Note: As when baking any bread, you should ensure that the oven is filled with steam for the first 15 minutes of baking. This page shows you how; it really is the secret of golden-brown, crusty loaves..
40 min.
11 Ocean bread : Photo of step #11When the loaf comes out of the oven, see how crunchy the crust is and how light the loaf is inside.


This recipe only works well with ocean water (Atlantic, Pacific, Indian); the water from the Mediterranean is too salty, so needs to be diluted with a little fresh water.

In spite of the name, there's no "sea" flavour to this bread. Delicious as it is, you'll not find any trace of the slight iodine taste of the sea (no doubt this disappears during cooking). To get this flavour, you would need to add seaweed extract or other seafood.

Nutritional information

Whole recipe
CaloriesProteins CarbohydratesFats
200057 gr422 gr9 gr
100 %22 %40 %1 %
Per 100 g
CaloriesProteins CarbohydratesFats
2166 gr46 gr1 gr
11 %2 %4 %<1 %
% are calculated relative to a Recommended Dietary Intake or RDI of 2000 k-calories by day for a woman (change to a man).

How much will it cost?

For 1 Ocean bread : 0.93 €

Note : These prices are only approximate.

Change currency:

Source: Home-made, but warmly dedicated to Clairette and Tom-Tom who are sailing somewhere between the Azores and the Canary Isles.
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More recipes?

This recipe use (among others)
Plain white flour (French Type 65)Plain white flour (French Type 65): You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: French baguettes, Olive and pesto bread, Mixed seed grissini, Roscoff loaf, Ali Baba bread, ... [All]
Sea waterSea water: You can check-out other recipes which use it, like for example: How to make fleur de sel (salt flakes), ... [All]
LeavenLeaven: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Bacon rolls, Seeded loaf, Saucipain, Benoîton, Peanut rolls, ... [All]
YeastYeast: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Liège waffles, Cornmeal baps for Anne, Classic French white bread, Rum babas, Kugelhof for Nanou, ... [All]

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