The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

crunchy's blog

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Last weekend I finally had time for baking, after a long and exhausting week. Continuing the exploration of Hamelman's book "Bread", I ventured into the Detmolder method section. I love ryes and I love a good challenge, so naturally the three-stage 90% rye had to be made. My rye starter is always very lively, but to my surprise, it was going out of control by the end of the third build. The final dough was a sticky mess; in fact, it resembled clay more than any sort of dough. Hamelman warns not to add more flour even if the dough is tacky. I stuck to his advice. This is what came out of the oven.

I waited a day before cutting into it to let the crumb set fully. This loaf was sweeter than any other rye I've made before. The crust was delectably crunchy and almost nutty. The crumb was dense, as could be expected of a 90% rye, yet moist and airy.Det90ryecrumb

That same weekend I also made a whole wheat muligrain (pg.169). Hamelman recommends some grains, but leaves the choice largely up to the baker. I used a combination of wheat and rye berries, corn meal, millet, and sunflower seeds. The flavor was incredibly rich and deep, with a tender whole grain presence in the middle and a lingering sweet honey finish.

And finally, there was a Vermont sourdough (pg. 153), also delicious. The dough was a pleasure to work with. This book is a tremendous resource, I can't recommend it enough.

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I bought Hamelman's book "Bread" last week on the recommendation of David, Floyd, Howard, and many other TFL members. Of course, it did not disappoint. I wish there were more photos, but as it is the book is full of great tips, recipes, and more. My first attempted recipes were flaxseed bread (pg. 211), since I love both rye and flaxseed,

and Pointe-a-Calliere miche (pg. 165).

The flaxseed dough, which is 60% rye and 40% bread flour, was tougher to work with than the rye breads I've been making from Local Breads. I usually don't add any commercial yeast to my sourdoughs, but decided to follow Hamelman's recipe exactly the first time. I'm glad I did:

And the miche, which is true sourdough, turned out well too. To approximate high extraction whole wheat I used 90% KA 100% whole wheat flour and 10% bread flour. The loaf rose well and had good oven spring (I put water in a roasting pan for steam and sprayed the loaf a couple of times during the first 5 minutes of baking).

Can't wait to try out some more recipes!

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