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dmsnyder

On Fleur-de-Liz's strong recommendation, I made Hamelman's Mult-grain Levain yesterday - a double recipe, in fact. Not incidentally, this was the first bread I've mixed and kneaded using my new Bosch mixer. (See my previous blog entry for details.)
 I had a slice ... well, two slices actually ... for bedtime snack last night and some more, toasted, this morning.
 

This was a very heavy dough because of the high proportion of seeds and grains in the soaker. The calculated hydration was 98%. Once kneaded, it acted like a "normal" dough of 68% or so to me. It was still on the sticky side of tacky when I formed the boules.
 

The bread baked up with a nice looking crust, but, presumably because of the high water content, it softened during cooling. Toasting crisped it up nicely, though. The crumb was moderately open, and it was nice and chewy. The taste was very nice. It has 2/3 bread flour and 1/3 whole wheat, not counting the bulgar I substituted for 1/2 of the cracked rye called for in the recipe. It had a pronounced whole wheat flavor with an overlay of flavors from the sunflower and flax seeds. The rolled oats, which were in the soaker, contributed to the aroma more than to the taste. 
 


This is a very good bread, but I can't say it is going to be a personal favorite. Of course, the competition for places on my favorites list gets stiffer every week it seems.

Hamelman's Multi-grain LevainHamelman's Multi-grain Levain

Hamelman's Multi-grain Levain crumb

Hamelman's Multi-grain Levain crumb
 

David

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dmsnyder

I think I gave my new Bosch Universal Plus mixer an adequate first trial this afternoon.

Last week, when I was effusing about how wonderful Hamelman's Sourdough Seed Bread was, Fleur-de-Liz came back with something to the effect that it was okay, but Hamelman's Multi-Grain Levain is really good.

This intelligence merged with my wanting to give each of my office staff a loaf of home-baked bread tomorrow, which is our last work day before shutting down until after New Year's Day.

So, last night I mixed the levain, soaked the soaker and, this afternoon, started making bread.

Now this reportedly wonderful bread has a bit over a pound of levain, a pound and a half of soaker, consisting of mixed grains and seeds, and a pound and a half of flours (plus water, salt and yeast). It's a somewhat wet dough, although it doesn't act like the actual hydration level of ... ready? ... 98%. That's because of the water in the soaker. The dough is heavy with coarse grains and seeds. The formula weighs 4 lbs., 11 oz.

I subjected the Bosch to a double recipe. That's over 9 lbs of dough.

Well, it pretty much filled the bowl of the mixer. I got nervous. The mixer yawned and just did it's job.

Hamelman's instructions, which are for a spiral mixer, call for 3 min. mixing on 1st speed and 3 minutes kneading on 2nd speed to get "moderate gluten development," whatever that is, and a dough temp. of 76F. At 3 minutes kneading, the dough was nowhere near developed, so I kept going. I stopped every couple of minutes, checked the gluten development and took the dough's temperature. It seemed to have my idea of "moderate gluten development" and the right temperature after about 9-10 minutes of kneading.

After 2 hours fermentation (at 69F) with a folding after about 45 minutes, the dough was really nice and developed - smooth and tacky but not sticky.  I made 5 boules (5 at 1.5 lbs. and 1 of about 2 lbs, with the remainder.

I wonder if the kneading time with the Bosch is generally so much longer than Hamelman specifies for a spiral mixer. I thought it would be shorter than the KitchenAid, but then maybe 2nd speed on the Bosch is slower than on the KA. How much can I generalize from the bread I'm making to levains without such a high proportion of soaker?

Any comments, experiences and suggestions from users of Bosch or DLX mixers would be gratefully welcomed.

 Davd

 

P.S. Photos and review of the bread are pending cooling, slicing, tasting, posing, etc.

 

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dmsnyder

This morning I proofed and baked  Jeffery Hamelman's "Sourdough Seed Bread" from his book, "Bread." This is basically a pain au levain with toasted seseme and sunflower seeds and a soaker of flax seeds. Hamelman is clear that this bread's flavor benefits from slow fermentation. You can spike the dough with commercial yeast, but it's better not to. You can bake it the day it's mixed, but it's better to let it cold-retard. I went for all the flavor I could get, and I got it in abundance!

 

 This bread is really full of seeds. The fermenting dough is lumpy with 'em. It rose pretty well during bulk fermentation, but, after overnight in the frige, the boules rose maybe 30% in 3.5-4 hours, so I dumped, slashed and baked. They had amazing oven spring and bloom. After cooling, I sliced and had some with freshly made Italian bean soup for lunch.

 

I really expected this to be a rather dense bread. I thought all the seeds would wreck havoc with the gluten strands, and the minimal rise seemed to confirm that. It turned out to have a much more open crumb than I expected and, while certainly a substantial, chewy bread, it was lighter chewing than expected. And the flavor! The toasted sunflower seeds really came through. The seseme seeds were just an overtone.  Flax seeds baked into bread have a flavor I love, especially in a whole wheat sourdough. The bread itself had a nice tang and sweet, crunchy crust.

 

 I Hamelman's Sourdough Seed Bread

Hamelman's Sourdough Seed Bread

Hamelman's Sourdough Seed Bread

Hamelman's Sourdough Seed Bread

Now Fleur-de-Liz claims Hamelman's multi-grain levain is even better tasting than this one. It's hard to imagine, but, if she says so, I'm going to have to bake that next. (Hey! No crowding in line!)

David

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dmsnyder

Daniel Leader's Pain au Levain formula in "Local Breads" is a mixed white, whole wheat and rye bread. I have made it once before with sunflower seeds, but I thought I should try the "straight" recipe at least once. It turns out, I like it better without the seeds. The whole wheat flavor comes through better, at least fresh out of the oven (cooled for 50 minutes).

 I followed Leader's instructions, except i didn't knead at Speed 4 for 8-10 minutes. I did run the KitchenAid at 4 for bursts of up to 2 minutes. After 9-10 minutes, I got my first window pane! Woo-Hoo!

 We had the bread with dungeness crab cakes, a green salad and a domestic pinot gris. I'll definitely make this bread again. My wife announced I'm having it tomorrow morning as French toast. I think I can stand it. ;-)

 Leader's Pain au Levain

Leader's Pain au Levain

Leader's Pain au Levain - Crumb

Leader's Pain au Levain - Crumb

Preview of coming attractions: I have another Pain au Levain, Hamelman's levain with 3 seeds, in the refrigerator to finish proofing and bake tomorrow.

 David

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dmsnyder

I've ordered a new mixer.

 I've reached the limit of what I can reasonably expect from my Kitchen Aid Accolade 400. It has served me well, and I've certainly learned a lot using it to mix and knead breads. But I want to mix larger batches of dough. I want to try formulas that demand longer kneading times, higher kneading speeds or both. And I don't need to prove that the Kitchen Aid isn't up to a job by destroying it.

 Over lunch (Salami sandwich on my own sour rye, of course), I had a good talk with Deanne at Pleasant Hill Grain.  Several on this site have been very pleased with their Electrolux DLX mixers from that vendor. When I visited their web site, I found they also sell the Bosch"Universal Plus" mixer. The Bosch and the DLX are more similar than different in capabilities, with each having a slight edge in one feature or another.

 Without going through a blow-by-blow description of my decision making, I'll just say I have ordered the Bosch Universal Plus mixer. Honestly, the biggest draw of the DLX was that I know there are bakers here who know that machine and whom I could count on for tips and to answer questions as I get to know it.

 Well, I guess we will have an opportunity to compare notes. That's something.

 I expect to get the Bosch mixer next week. I couldn't possibly be lucky enough to get it before the weekend!

 David

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dmsnyder

Rather than creating a new topic each time I want to post messages and photos of what is coming out of my oven most recently, I'm going to try blogging. Maybe I'm the last person on the planet to set up a blog, but this is a first for me, so here goes ...

David

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