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I’ve always wanted to bake a Volkornbrot, and Peter Reinhart’s Version in “Wholegrain Breads” was appealing enough, though challenging too. The Recipe involves a soaker and a biga, as usual. However, the Biga was in the form of a Stiff Rye Sourdough, and the soaker was a Mash/scald. I have elected to skip the called for yeast, and went by the baking instruction of Hamelman’s version of volkornbrot in “Bread”.



120 g      Whole Rye Meal

300g       Water

3T           Flaxseeds

½ tsp     Malted Flour


- Preheat oven to 200F (93C)

- Add all ingredients except flaxseeds to a 165F (74C) water, stir, cover and insert into the oven. Reduce temperature immediately to 150F (66C). Leave the mixture in for 1-3 hours at 66C.

- When done, remove the mixture, and taste it. It should quite sweet. Add the flaxseeds, stir, and cover. The Mash can be used within 24 hours at room temperature, or up to 3 days in the refrigerator. (Note: On baking day, remove the Mash from the fridge 2 hours early to de-chill)



 213g     Whole Rye Meal

170g     Water

71g (1/3cup) Mature Sourdough Culture


 - Mix all ingredients well, cover and let ferment at room temperature from 6-8 hours until the mixture is well ripe. Degas it by stirring it, cover then refrigerate for up to 3 days.(Note: On baking day, remove the Mash from the fridge 2 hours early to de-chill)



454g     Sourdough

425g     Mash / Scald

255g     Whole Rye Flour

50g       Water

42.5g   lightly toasted Sunflower Seeds

1 ¼  tsp   Salt


 - Mix All Ingredients together to a thick sticky paste. If the consistency isn’t so, add water/flour as needed. Oil a bowl, and insert the paste into it. Cover and let ferment at room temperature for 10-20 minutes. Scrape the paste onto a floured surface (Rye flour), and work the paste into a log shape, incorporating as little Rye flour as possible. Insert the log into an oiled + Rye Floured pan, cover and let ferment for 45-60 minutes at 82F.

- ½ hour prior to the bake, preheat your oven to 460F and prepare your steaming method. 5 minutes, before the bake time, insert the steaming device. Finally, insert the pan carfully into the oven, as dough is fragile at this stage, and turn down the oven to 370F. Bake 10minutes under steam, and 45 without. During the last 15 minutes, remove the loaf from the pan, and bake bare until it brows evenly.

- Remove the loaf and immediately wrap in a kitchen towel for 24-48 hours prior to slicing.

The aroma of the baked Volkornbrot was as expected, fragrant, and sweet. 24 hours after the bake, the crust was chewy, and the crumb was moist and tender, and speckled with toasted nuts, and seeds. The Typical earthy Rye sweetness lingers in your mouth minutes after you swallow, with a pronounced sour note.

The Mash has created a very manageable dough, unlike most Rye bread without mash/scald. Flavor-wise, the mash did add up to the subtle sweetness of the crumb.





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I've blogged about this bread many times before, however, this time i wanted to stay true to the spirit of Hamelman. Mixing instructions for this recipe, as with most recipes in BREAD call for moderate gluten development, and i have lately deviated from his mixing instructions by applying hybrid mixing, where french slap and fold, Laurel's kneading using a bench scraper, and other mixing techniques. What i wanted was to have a well developed soft dough that raises well in the oven. Not applicable to all breads! I should not have overlooked the significance of mixing instructions of hamelman.

I mixed the ingredients slowly, adding a batch of flour at a time, to avoid lumps. I increased the hydration by 108 grams. then, when everything was incorporated (including yeast), i scraped the dough down to a work surface, and kneaded using the conventional way for 5 minutes, rested for 5 minutes, and then kneaded for another 5 minutes. I then oiled a bowl, insterted the dough, and covered for a 2 hour fermentation. I folded (letter fold) half way through, and placed the dough back, i was surprised at how silky and smooth the dough became after such a minimal initial mixing.

At the end of final fermentation, the dough was very smooth, extensible, and pliable. While preshaping and shaping , i made sure not to aggressively form the dough, to retain as much gases as possible.

Here is the result: The tallest crumb profile i achieved for a wholewheat multigrain, with superb flavor.


 The aroma of the bread was very sweet as a result of the the multigrain soaker (cracked wheat, flax seeds, buckwheat, rolled oats). The crust was crunchy, and the crumb tender, yet intact. Toasting will take the flavor up to another level of excellence.

The moral of this post is, (note to self), never underestimate the mixing instructions.







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This is baked from Hamelman's "BREAD", in levain section. It is naturally leavened, with 10% wholewheat or so. I increased the hydration from 68% to 78%, as i like a softer dough. everything went as scheduled, but i ended up in bed at 1:00 am! a chronic symptom of my late sourdough baking...!

Therefore, i thought of an idea, which is reducing the prefermented flour to 10% to allow 21 hours retarded bulk fermentation, and consequently allows me to continue baking next day without having to sleep late.

I have not turned the oven down from 500F once i loaded the loaf in, and this is the crust i got:

The cavern at the loaf's top is a result of ignoring the significance of patting the dough even during preshaping.

The flavor is not bad, considering that it recieved no retardation. As dull as it may seem, the flavor will awaken once a slice is toasted!


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Once more, reminded by Karin's blog, i bake another recipe out of Hamelman's "BREAD". The recipe, cast away behind Volkornbrot with flaxseeds in Sourdough Breads section, was unintentionally overlooked. Karin (hanseata)has Praised the bread, and i had to bake a mutigrain SD sourdough sometime, so i did.

The Recipe is 75% Bread flour, and 25% Whole rye flour. The hydration was 99% with all the grains, but i felt it needed 100g more water to the final dough. The dough was sticky, as noted by Hamelman. I slaped and folded the dough in 5 minutes intervals for 30 minutes, in order for the dough to have enough strength. At the end of the slap and fold, the dough was finally coherent and held shape. i suspect that such moderately intensive kneading did leach out much flavor from the Bread flour. How could it be avoided?

I adhered to Hamelman's instructions to the word, including final yeast addition. The fermentation with this dough is very fast, with bulk fermentation of 1 hour, and final fermentation of 1 hour. No folding was required.

The crumb was delightfully open, and was soft, not chewy. The crust was crunchy, and full of wholegrain flavor.

However, i would say that i was somewhat disappointed with the flavor, initially. The flavor will develop in time, but i believe that this bread lacked the intense SD flavor associated with the removal of yeast from final dough. God willing, I'll try this next without the yeast. However, i believe this bread excells when toasted!

Added by Edit:

This is a photo of  tweaked steaming method i used for this bread:


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This is my second take at Golden date bread, the recipe found in Laurel’s Wholegrain baking book.  As I did in my previous post here, I have added a poolish to the formula to increase the extensibility of this dough, and improve flavor.

This time, however, i reduced the date puree to 50% of the original formula, as I found it to be on the sweet side, and increased the final dough water by 50 grams to compensate.

Admiring fellow TFL baker’s loaf shaping skills, like Janet and Breadsong, and Txfarmer, I tried shaping rolls in a pan myself. I’am impressed with the results.

Added by edit: It is note worthy to say that i have heeded Andy's advice of autolysing the flour and water first , and avoid adding the Dates puree at the beginning as they tend to compete with flour for water. I did that but i autolysed everything except the puree for 30 minutes. It worked! thanks Andy.

The bread was soft, light, yet wholesome. It was not sweet, but has a hint of dates flavor. The crust was soft too.

This bread is best eaten alone, and needs no accompaniment. Top Notch!

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 One year after Txfarmer showcased her lovely bake of Laurel's Oatmeal bread,  I decided to bake one myself. It is a 100% wholewheat, enriched direct dough, leavened with commercial yeast. Having excess rolled wholegrain oats at home, i decided to give the recipe a try.

The dough was very thirsty. I ended up adding 240g of water to the dough. Intensive kneading for this dough is a must, otherwise the bread will be dense, due to all the oatmeal.

I used finely milled wheat flour for this recipe.

The crust is crunchy, and the crumb moist and tender. The intrinsic qualities of this straight dough bread shows most when toasted.

If i want a wholesome toast for a meal, this is the bread to go to.


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This bake was triggered by Karin's tease bake here. The recipe is from Peter Reinhart's Wholegrain breads. The bread is an enriched bread that contains lots of seeds, such as sesame, flax, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds (i used crushed walnut instead).

The Bread is also 100% Wholegrain, and contains Rye flour too. I mixed all the ingredients on day two ,but the seeds, as they tend to hinder the development of the dough. When the dough was coherent and moderately developed, i added the seeds and kneaded for a while longer.

Added by edit: I accidentally re-read the recipe again today, and found that it actually is 50% wholewheat as the biga is bread flour. So, my bake isn't really the transitional one in the book. Anyway, who cares? The bread was spectacular!

Obviously, i scaled a 1kg dough for a 1.2kg pan.

This Bread was SO popular with family, it was deemed to be the Best tasting bread i've baked!

To me, it was a really nice nutty bread, that is sweet, wholesome, and healthy. This is one of those breads that is best consumed alone, with no topping whatsoever, save for some butter.

This bread is extremely recommended! Thanks for the reminder, Karin!

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Having lusted over High percentage, multistage Rye breads for some time now, and being inspired by recent posts such as Phil’s and Cordruta’s, I finally took the plunge.

This is one time consuming, precariously scheduled recipe, that leaves you wondering at the end, whether or not crafting this bread is worth it.

Medium Rye is not available where I live, and so I improvised by sifting whole grain rye flour. The resultant flour consistency is close to a medium rye (I think).

I followed Hamelman’s instructions, including 1 tsp of yeast at the end. As usual, this is a paste rather than a dough, and therefore to boost the 20% bread flour strength , I added 1 Tbl Vital wheat gluten to the final mixture.

The Paste, rounded by wet hands. Bowl oiled slightly with water.

 The paste, divided and rounded by wet hands.

Smooth top Heavily Dusted with whole Rye flour.

Inverted into a 50% bread flour, 50% rice flour dusted kitchen towel.

 After 50 minutes of proofing.

Inverted on to parchment, with corn meal at the bottom.

32 hours later.

Lovely slightly moist crumb, and chewy rye-infused flavored crust. Very typical of German Rye.

The verdict: worth it, only if i could afford a whole day at home.

What spreads would best complement this bread? anyone?

This was my last bread of 2011, happy New year everyone!



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As i browsed through Laurel's Cookbook for Wholegrain Breads, i came across a recipe that utilizes Dates! and i live in a region where Dates in most forms are abundant all year round. The recipe calls for Pitted dates, that must be simmered first, and the resultant cooled goo is to be added to the dough. I had some date paste (used for confectionary, and pastry), and used it instead, so its not technically Golden Date Bread. I also added poolish to the recipe, and adjusted the formula accordingly. This bread, is a 100% Whole Wheat enriched bread, that is leavened by commercial yeast.




The Dough was quite thirsty, due to all the fiber, and was mixed longer for proper development.


The dough received two deflations, prior to preshaping. Final proofing was tricky, as i had

Pointers to the final fermentation time. Seems i underproofed slightly.


Today morning, i've had a few slices for breakfast. WOW! the first morsel struck me with its date-sweetness. The sweetness is very pleasent, and dates really lend a well bodied flavor. The bread is packed with fiber, from both wheat and dates. No bitterness of wholewheat was evident. The crumb is smooth and soft, not dense, and the crust is tender.

Very Recommended.

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At long last, i've baked a challah, a 100% whole wheat version from Peter Reinhart's Whole grain breads. I have to admit, i'am new to braiding, and daring to braid four strands was a little too much for me, especially with a high hydration dough.

I have made several mistakes:

 1 - I did not mix in more whole wheat flour to reach to the desired consistency for a challah. This lead to a very sticky dough (feels like 80%).

2 - I screwed up the braiding pattern.

3 - I over-browned the crust.

However, i managed to transfer the gloppy braid to a parchment lined sheet, and baked it at the right time (I had to load it to the oven sooner, as higher hydration means faster fermentation).




The Crust was somewhat crunchy, and the crumb was soft, light, and Rich. It smelled of Poopy seed and Wholewheat. The flavor was slightly sweet, and very pleasently whole -wheaty. It Toasts very well too!

Lovely Bread! Healthy too!


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