The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

kmcquade's blog

kmcquade's picture

Organic Sprouted Wheat Berry with Whole wheat and Rye & 50% Sourdough Starter.

 400 gm.  Organic AP flour

  60 gm.  Organic KA WW

  30 gm.  Organic Medium Rye

  11 gm.  Kosher salt

1 TPSP Brown Sugar (Just cause I thought a little sweetness would go well with the wheat berry taste)

300 gm. H20

250 gm. 100% hydration starter fed twice

~ 1/8 tsp instant yeast (just to help in my cold damp Seattle kitchen J)

~ 1 cup sprouted wheat berries


I soaked Wheat berries over night, then spread them out between wet paper towels for another 24hrs or so until they began to sprout


I started to mix up the flours at about 8pm after dinner and between episodes of “The Protectors”  (a Netflix Danish series I got hooked on ).  I Autolysed the flour combo and H20 for ~1 hr.  - At this point the dough was fairly dry (60% hydration)


Flour and water after autolyse


About 9:30PM I mixed in the starter by hand, added the salt , and a pinch of  instant yeast – This was a lot of starter ( 50% of the total flour) which made a very wet dough requiring a fair amount of stretch and folds to get in mixed well and under control – In another hour, I did  a couple more stretch and folds.  According to my calculations the final dough adjusting for the Starter Hydration and high amount of starter was ~ 82% hydration.


Stretching and folding


Bulk ferment overnight on the counter  ~ 10 hrs ( room temp was ~ 65F)

Sunday morning at 7:30am, I folded in the sprouted wheat berries as much as I figured the dough could handle – Then into a cloth lined banneton for proofing for about 2.5 hrs. ( its cold in my house). At 2hrs, I turned on the oven with the cloche in it .  I like to use my bannetone but when the dough is too wet it will stick to it so I need to line it with a floured cloth.


Score & Bake in a covered Cloche 475F for 15 min then uncover reduce to 450 for 15min  - I checked the temp and feel, at this point and decided it could use another 10 min, but I reduced the temp to  425 F. Lately I have found that serial reduction in the temp results in a longer lasting crispy crust.


Results – Take a look Great crust and crumb Crunchy with the wheat berries With just a touch of sweetness J






kmcquade's picture

Sometimes I look through recipes and don’t have what they require or just want to use stuff up that I have. Lately I have been enjoying my seed and grain breads, and mixed flour breads. I had some nice organic brown rice and some millet I wanted to use up. Personally, I think the hydration in dough is often the deciding factor in a quality outcome so I try to pay attention to that and try to determine it for recipes I review.

 OK, so first I needed to decide how much bread to make. For this experiment I figured I would start with a 1kg loaf just to test.

  • I was shooting for about 70% hydration.
  • I wanted to use my nice organic Starter about 30%
  • I figured about 1 cup of the cooked rice and millet would be a good amount
  • I wanted some milk contribution for softness
  • I wanted some organic brown sugar for sweetness

So here is the method I used.

So my initial plan was to use 500gm Organic AP flour

  • 150 gm. Starter (30% of 500)
  • 113.5 gm. cooked millet (about 4oz)
  • 113.5 gm. cooked organic brown rice (about 4 oz.)
  • 113.5 gm. Milk (about 4oz) (2% low fat  is all I had )
  • 2TBSP Brown sugar
  • 1.5 TSP Salt – just from experience about the right amount.

Also just to hedge by bet, I spiked with about ¼ tsp. instant yeast in case my starter is not behaving – I did feed the starter 2 times prior to use.

Water? How much water should I add?

Given a 150 gm. of a 100% starter, that means it contains 75gm flour and 75gm water

So my total flour was 500+ 75 = 575

For basic 70% hydration this would need .70(574) = 402gm water

 But,  there is already 75 gm. of water from the starter, and there is a lot of water in the cooked rice and millet ? How much you ask?

Well I assumed a 2:1 ratio because I used 2 cups of water for 1 cup of rice

This would mean that if I used 113.5 gm. cooked rice  A little math shows that:

The rice was 37.83 gm. and the water was 75.66 gm.

Here is the math for those interested

                        R=rice , W = water.

(eq 1) R+W =113.5

(eq2) W= 2(R) (water is twice as much as the rice weight)

            Substitute EQ 2 into eq 1

(eq3)  R+ 2R = 113.5

            Solve for R

R(3)= 113.5

R= 37.83

W=2R = 75.6

 I was not sure about the millet, because I did not take exact measures when cooking it so I assumed that same 2:1 ratio  - and used 75 gm. for the water component of the millet too.

 Ok so now we have:  desired water 402 gm. – 75gm (from the starter) – 75gm (from the cooked rice) – 75 gm. (from the cooked millet)  = 177gm

But don’t forget I have 113gm of milk,  so 177-113= 64 gm. of water needed to get close to a 70% hydration.

So what happened – Theory meets reality.

When I mixed it all up the dough seemed too dry, so I needed to add another 30 gm. of water or so. I believe I overestimated the water contribution from the rice and the millet. What I should have done was precisely measure the rice and millet  and water separately. Even that, it’s hard to determine the amount of water evaporated during cooking anyway.

 If I just used my original estimates and added 30 gm. H20  I get a hydration of 64% which is about how it felt under my hands – close to the hydration of a French bread ( 65%) but of course heavier because of the grains . My final dough weight was 1,117 gm. pretty close to my 1,000 gm. initial goal.

 On to phase 2 – the dough was on the cusp of being able to hand knead vs. having to do stretch and folds  ( I might add ,all my breads are hand needed – no mixer) .  I let it bench rest for about 1 hour in a cold Seattle Feb kitchen and did a couple stretch and folds then placed in the fridge overnight.

Pretty sticky dough

 Day 2

Out of the fridge the next morning for a few hours because it is cold in our kitchen – then shaped and proofed if for about 1.25 hrs. Bake in a cloche 475F covered 15 min, uncover and bake for another 15min at 450. It still was not reading hot enough inside probably because of the rice and millet, so it took another 15 at 420. (I find I get a crispier crust if I progressively decrease the temps.)

Result See picts

Moist Chewy sweet crust with that nice millet essence and color.



Subscribe to RSS - kmcquade's blog