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!
164K 6 10 3.5
Grade this recipe:

Last modified on: October 24th 2017

Keywords for this recipe:
For 1 Ocean bread, you will need:

Change these quantities to make: 1 Ocean bread 2 Oceans bread 3 Oceans bread
How long does it take?
Time required for this recipe:
PreparationRestingCookingStart to finish
17 min.4 hours 10 min.40 min.5 hours 7 min.
At what time:
  • When will I finish if I start the recipe at ... ?
    When should I start for the recipe to be ready at ... ?
  • Work this out...

Step by step recipe

Stage 1 - 1 min.
Ocean bread
Filter 300 ml sea water to strain out any little impurities it might contain.

Stage 2 - 3 min.
Ocean bread
Pour the sea water into the food processor bowl, add 125 g leaven and mix briefly.

Stage 3 - 10 min.
Ocean bread
Add 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.

Stage 4 - 10 min.
Ocean bread
Tip the dough into a large clean bowl and cover with a plastic sheet. Leave to rest for 10 minutes.

Stage 5
Ocean bread
At the end of this resting time, take a wooden spatula or a dough cutter and lift the dough, stretching it upwards...

Stage 6 - 2 hours
...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.

Stage 7 - 1 min.
Ocean bread
Cover the bowl and leave to rest in a warm place for 2 hours.

After resting, tip the dough out onto your worktop.

Stage 8 - 2 min.
Ocean bread
Shape it into a nice round ball by folding the edge under until the top becomes a smooth dome.

Stage 9 - 2 hours
Ocean bread
Put this ball into a banneton (rising basket), dust with flour, cover and leave in a warm place for 1 ½ to 2 hours.

Stage 10 - 40 min.
Ocean bread
Preheat 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..

Stage 11
Ocean bread
When 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.
Several days in a towel bag.
Home-made, but warmly dedicated to Clairette and Tom-Tom who are sailing somewhere between the Azores and the Canary Isles.
Nutritional information
Whole recipe
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
1,837 Kcal or 7,691 Kj56 gr422 gr9 gr
92 %22 %40 %1 %
Per 100 g
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
198 Kcal or 829 Kj6 gr46 gr1 gr
10 %2 %4 %<1 %
% are calculated relative to a Recommended Dietary Intake or RDI of 2000 k-calories or 8400 k-joules by day for a woman (change to a man).
Possible allergens in this recipe: Gluten
How much will it cost?
  • For 1 Ocean bread : 1.02 €

Change currency:

Note: Be careful, these prices are only an estimate, you can consult the table of prices by ingredients used for this estimate.
This recipe uses (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, Pizza dough, New leavened bread, Seeded loaf, Cretan 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: Yeast-based flaky dough (for croissants), Old style brioche, Benoîton, Jura bread, Naan, ... All
YeastYeast: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Pizza dough, Flaky brownie brioche, Dipping bread with cheese, Rolled chestnut and apple brioche, Yeast-based flaky dough (for croissants), ... All
Other recipes you may also like
Hamburgers don't have to be the greasy flabby things you find in fast-food outlets, well-made they can be excellent. It's a very convivial recipe as everything goes on the table, and everyone assembles their own burger according to personal taste.
409K4.8 33 min. December 6th 2015
A very classic recipe, but which can easily fail due to two main errors: too much water in bottom of dish because endives give off a lot, and endives that are too bitter so that children hate it. Here is a method which avoids these two problems.
307K5 1 hour 29 min. February 14th 2012
Apple and almond gratin
Apple and almond gratin
Imagine a gratin, but sweet, made with apples and toasted ground almonds. This delicious dessert combines apples and almonds with a vanilla custard-like mixture - simply yummy!
47K4.6 1 hour 5 min. February 8th 2017
Chestnut cake
Chestnut cake
This delightful cake is doubly chestnutty: it contains chestnut flour, and sweet chestnut purée.
322K5 1 hour 13 min. May 8th 2020
Fruit crumble
Fruit crumble
A fruit pudding: very easy to do and delicious: just a layer of fruit with a golden crunchy topping.
346K4.0 1 hour 11 min. February 21th 2011
News list of cooking-ez.com

Sign up to receive the latest recipes (next batch due to be sent on 2024-05-26)

Your first name or nickname
Your e-mail
I am not a leaving thing
Note: We'll never share your e-mail address with anyone else.
Post your comment or question
Posted by:
I am not a leaving thing
Your 6 comments or questions on this recipe
  • I'm afraid no, because of the jet boil, not really usable for bread.
    Posted by jh july 29th 2019 at 22:39 (n° 6)
  • I love your recipe but wondered if it can be modified to be made while Ill be with my colleagues ocean rowing with basic kitchen facilities and only a jet boil to cook with?
    Posted by Ian july 29th 2019 at 13:26 (n° 5)
  • Fascinating...I'll be saving this link to share with my visitors on the east coast. Just think, all the time I lived on Long Island, New York, I could have been baking this bread. Of course, you know, I'm not much of a baker:)Thanks for sharing, jh...
    Posted by Louise november 25th 2010 at 17:21 (n° 4)
  • Thank you, I found the link, as per your instructions.Best regards,Dolores
    Posted by Dolores november 9th 2010 at 03:34 (n° 3)
  • Hello,Sure, just click on "leaven" in the list of ingredients.
    Posted by jh november 7th 2010 at 17:07 (n° 2)
  • Hello, Could you please provide the recipe for the particular levain that you are using? Thank you.
    Posted by dolores november 7th 2010 at 12:12 (n° 1)
Follow this recipe
If you are interested in this recipe, you can "follow" it, by entering your email address here. You will then receive a notification immediately each time the recipe is modified or a new comment is added. Please note that you will need to confirm this following.
I am not a leaving thing
Note: We'll never share your e-mail address with anyone else.
Alternatively: you can subscribe to the mailing list of cooling-ez.com , you will receive a e-mail for each new recipe published on the site.

Back to top of page