The Fresh Loaf

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Exploring Multigranularity

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GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Exploring Multigranularity

It should come as no surprise to you that I need to lose weight.   My weight-loss regimen is not from a book.   No one would buy a book called “New Diet Secret: Eat Less, Exercise More and Lose Weight!”   This diet along with a crazy busy work life has kept me from baking much lately.  And when I bake, I experiment with “healthy breads”.   I figure I’m not consuming empty calories if my bread has millet or whole oats or cracked wheat.  Plus, some of these more nutritious breads taste really great.

Today I baked a batch of Professor Hamelman’s “Five-Grain Levain”.  The formula includes bread flour and whole wheat flour and calls for a soaker of cracked rye, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, and oats.  I may be missing something, but I only count three grains there: wheat, rye and oats.  Maybe he’s including the seeds in the grain count. He is a professor, so he must be right.

Anyway…I couldn’t find any cracked rye and my rye-cracker is in the shop.  So I substituted cracked wheat, thus producing a two-grain levain with seeds.   Otherwise, I followed the formula.  I made two batards, one about 1.5 pounds and one about 1.8 pounds, and a few rolls.  The rolls were semi-retarded at 55 F  (San Francisco November) while the loaves baked and the oven re-heated.  Here’s a family photo:

This bread is very moist and light of crumb, with a crispy crust.  Tons of flavor….as you can see below:

So lets talk about multigranularity.  I think the rye would have added a nice touch to this bread.  But I couldn’t tell you why.  I have made others of Hamelman’s multigrain breads and enjoyed them to varying degrees.  I have a sense of the flavor of each of the common multigrain bread ingredients.  But I haven’t experimented enough to know what combinations of grains and seeds I like best.  That is a project for the future.

Meanwhile, one question:  is there any reason why I couldn’t take this Five-Grain Levain formula and substitute other whole grains and seeds in the soaker? 

Hamelman’s Whole-Wheat Bread with a Multigrain Soaker (a bread with a yeasted pre-ferment) calls for cracked wheat, coarse cornmeal, millet and oats in the soaker.  And I like that bread a lot.  It has an overall hydration of 78% (plus 5% honey), while the Five-Grain Levain has an overall hydration of 98%.  So, of course, I’d need to adjust the hydration to reflect the thirstiness of the ingredients.  But other than that, are there any issues with grain/seed combos in sourdough I should take into account.

Thanks.

Glenn

Comments

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Hi Glenn,

I was wondering where you had been.  Nice to hear from you.

These look great.  I especially like the family photo shot :-)

I mix and match seeds/grains all of the time based on what I have on hand and what gets eaten. (Your Many Seeded Dinner Rolls is an example of a formula where I mix and match - one of my husband's favorites.)  I have baked enough different types and combos now to know how each should more or less 'feel' so I simply have to adjust the water.  You have done this one and know how it 'feels' so  now you do have a base from which to experiment.  The fun begins when you are juggling more than 2 types of seeds/grains as the number of combos can be endless.  

You already know this though and are a skilled baker so have fun and I look forward to seeing your experiments..

Take Care,

Janet

P.S.

Not sure if you follow dabrownman's posts but he has, IMHO,  surpassed both Hanseata and MiniOven when it comes to seed and nut combos in his breads.  He even uses pistachio nuts and all of his breads look delicious.  He too is adding more whole grains in his breads and is not at all hesitant to use several different ones not only in his main doughs but in his leavens too. A trend it seems - and a good one at that.  The photos of his lunches are mouth watering; healthy breads and a broad variety of fresh fruit and veggies adorn his plate in brilliant color combinations.  The man eats well :-)

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

I forgot about those seedy rolls (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/24489/experiment-multigrain-seedy-dinner-rolls).  I still have the BRM cereal mix (hope it's still fresh enough), so I'll try it again.

I may be a skilled baker, but I've only made multigrain seed breads a dozen or so times.  So there's lots of experiments left to find great flavors and textures.  Thanks for the tips.

Glenn 

 

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

What a beautiful family of bakes : )  I what a lovely crumb.  Those are some very tasty looking loaves.  

Best of wishes on your eating habits.  Diet's are not easy.  Maybe, easier to change your lifestyle to eating and doing things healthier than you have been.

Janet has said it all... so I would just like to add, great to see your back baking.  

You were in my thoughts just yesterday.  I've been missing your wit and bakes.  You must have heard me!  I said to Mike, I wonder if Glen's oven broke or something : ) really!

Sylvia

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Nice of you to miss me.  

I've dieted enough times that I know not to make it too hard.  I still eat well.  Just smaller portions, less fat and fewer "empty calories" like potatoes and white rice.  Of course, I miss bacon most of all.  I plan to reward myself with some holiday baking (your yam pie is on the list).

Thanks.

Glenn

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Great bake Glenn!  I baked this JH bread yesterday myself.  Link to mine:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/30937/todays-jh-5-grain-levain-bake

I LOVE this bread.  It's a staple in my home.  And to answer your question, yes, JH counts the seeds as grains.  If you feel like changing things up a bit, here is a list of different grains I have substituted from time to time into my loaves.  Most of which can be found in the bulk section of the grocery store:

Cracked Wheat

Pumpkin Seeds

Sesame Seeds (black or white)

Pot Barley

Millet Seeds

Bulgar Wheat

9 grain cereal mix

I have found quite a bit of difference if you toast the seeds very well instead of using them raw.  This gives a lot of robust flavour to the bread. I include the oats when toasting the seeds.

John

 

 

 

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

I did admire your bake (and commented on your post) before I posted this blog entry.  Very nice job.

I have baked with all the ingredients you list, except I'm not sure what "pot barley" is.  Some hybrid with hemp seeds?

Throwing nuts in the mix is good too.

Have any particular combos of grains and seeds rocked your oven?

Glenn

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Glenn.

The seeds I like best are sunflower, with some cracked wheat.  Love that stuff.  I have always been a huge fan of toasted sunflower seeds.

As for pot barley, it is a typical ingredient used in beef and barley soup.  Have you ever had beef and barley soup?  From my understanding, there is barley, and pot barley.  Pot barley is the boilable kind that is added to soups etc.  Maybe there is no difference from barley, but 'pot barley' is the name that the supermarkets use in the bulk section.  Hope you find this ingredient as it is a staple in my bread baking cupboard.

John

EvaB's picture
EvaB

pot barley has a sort of skin, and pearl barly is pot barley with the skin polished off like white rice, regular barley is a longer grain looks more like wheat, I don't know exactly how the differences are explained, but the pot barley is a staple in the kitchen here, DH grew up on barley and beef boiled together, and his mother fed him barley water when he was sick as a child. And he was sick for a very long time as a kid. I short cut on the pot barley (for a time couldn't find it in the stores for love nor money) and use rolled barley flakes, they cook up a bit faster and give the same taste to the soup. They even plump up to the little grains in the soup although not as compact as the grain does.

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Since barley is being discussed I will toss in my 2  cents worth.....If you ever want to make your own diastatic barley malt by soaking and sprouting barley - REGULAR barley as described above is the only one that will work as it hasn't been tampered with.

:-)

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

so hard I almost choked on a seed with your 3 grain comment followed by your cracker being in the shop.  Nothing like a dry sense of humor and humor isn't even a sense for most folks either :-)

Unlike many baker's here I am woefully bread book short with dumb aplenty.   So, in my bread baking, I have to make up recipes or use ones posted here and modify them and hope for Divine intervention.  Janet gives me too much credit but she is right, a fine dark side baker and one to get you thinking what bread is all about.  Hanseata turned me on to seeds, mainly hemp seeds I might add and Mini's darker, if humorously grainy, side of bread is an inspiration.  Empress Ying, Andy and Phil and your brother are also bread baking favorites we love to steal from around here too.

 When I retired, I was horribly overweight and diabetic, on 3 different pills for it and 2 more for hypertension and cholesterol.  But I got on your non book's regime of walking 4 miles a day, eating proper foods and portion control.   Next thing I knew, I was 60 pounds lighter, feeling much better and eventually off the pills.  Nuts, seeds and a higher whole grains are better for diabetics than the alternatives too - so I used them in any combination I feel up too trying.  I am  a total and complete libertarian when it comes to bread and feel that anything can go in bread as long as it tastes good coming out of the oven.  No worries though.  You won't know what combinations you like best till you try then all out :-)

I usually bake 1 loaf of bread at a time because I can't eat much bread.   One slice of bread is like a tsp of sugar for folks like me.    So I take one slice of bread and cut it half for my lunch.   Baking one loaf at a time also allows me to experiment with many different kinds of bread combinations and we rarely bake the same bread twice except for our top 5 favorites that always seems to have 15 breads on it :-)

 I also eat a lot of fresh fruits and veggies as Janet says but portion control the fruit because of the sugars they contain.   It's the cutting down on sugars and carbs that make the fat fall away along with exercise.  There just isn't any other ways to do it - at least for me.

I wish you the best of luck with your diet and exercise plans.  It's worth the effort and you will add many extra years to your bread baking for sure so you will be able to test out every combination of grains, fruits and nuts imaginable in your bread baking.  Your Hamelman's 5 Grain bread (really 5 seeds of 5 grains) is the 2nd one I've seen today and they were both the kind of healthy bread one would hope to make and enjoy while dieting - one slice at a time. 

Love your family photo too.

Nice baking Glenn,

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

...what passes as wit.

As for dieting, my uncle used to say "dieting's not hard.  I've lost thousands of pounds".

I love the concept of a bread libertarian.  I think I'm one, too.

Thanks.

Glenn

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hamelman' 5-grain Sourdough is one of my favorites, and yours looks delicious.

David

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Good for sandwiches.  Good for toast.

Glenn

breadforfun's picture
breadforfun

Your loaves look delectible.    I'm sure they taste that way, too.

I sympathize with your dieting.  Anyone who likes baking has to like eating and it's so easy to overindulge when you make something really good.  I'm guilty as charged!

I've made this bread with a number of seed combinations, most of which were mentioned by John (Song of the Baker).  I agree that nuts taste better when they are roasted first, although I admit to buying the roasted sunflower seeds, mostly so I don't have to plan that far ahead and roast them.  I often use raw brown flax seed because I like the flavor, and the roasted golden flax from Trader Joe's also work.  Sesame seeds are good, but their flavor is quite subtle in this bread and can get overwhelmed if using many other ingredients.  The crunch that the millet adds, even if soaked, is a very nice touch.  I have tried it with 5% rye and it adds a nice moistness and chew to the bread.

There are a few spices that are on my list to try in this bread: Kalonji (nigella seed) would give it a whole new character, as would dill seed.  A great source for spices is an Indian market, if you have access to one.  There are many seeds that I have never heard of, so I usually buy one or two to try when I get there.  Recently I bought some called ajwaan seed, also known as carom, which taste like a cross between thyme and anisseed, but earthier and slightly bitter. 

Please let us know if you come up with some good combinations.

-Brad

 

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

If I put spices in bread, I want to add cheese, and there goes the diet.

Anise or fennel might be a good addition though.

Glenn

proth5's picture
proth5

grains mentioned and not one word about triticale (cracked or flaked).  I must now go dry my eyes on my pet tribble...

Nice bread.

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

I guess there was some triticale in there.

This tribble is on a roll!

Glenn

proth5's picture
proth5

the little cutie has a nice hat- someday I've got to get me a hat like that!

Oh, and - ba-dum-dum...

Pat

wally's picture
wally

JH's Five-Grain Levain is one of my favorite bakes as well.  Just superb toasted or as a sandwich bread.

Here's a recent bake I just posted up:  http://tinyurl.com/amucr62

I have a hard time coming by cracked rye or rye chops locally, so I've substituted steel cut oats.  And sometimes I'll add some whole rye to the soaker or to the flour mix.

One of the things I most love about this bread is that it lends itself to improvising and using what grain and seed mixtures you have at hand.  Next bake I'm adding some toasted pumpkin seeds to the mix.

Anyhow, great looking bake, and good luck with the diet!

Larry

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

I will follow your lead and put some whole rye flour in the mix next time.

Thanks for the comment.

Glenn

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Glenn,
I'm so craving multigrain now. Beautiful loaves!
:^) breadsong

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

That craving can be addressed.

Glenn