The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Whole Grain Multi-Seed Levain Loaves

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Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Whole Grain Multi-Seed Levain Loaves

I haven't baked in almost a month and my hands were starting to shake.  Withdrawl is no fun.

I decided to bake up a couple of staple loaves with some small tweaks to test my post vacation abilities.  Simple levain with whole wheat, bread, and rye flours.  Flax, barley, sunflower, cracked wheat, oats, and sesame seed packed.

Forgive me for going overboard with the photos.  I recently acquired some new gear and learned some new techniques on Photoshop.  A bit shutter happy since my trip to Arizona (668 photos!).

John

 

And now to go off on an Arizona prickly pear theme tangent.  This bread is a great excuse to use that up.

This one is dedicated to dabrownman.  Thought I would capture what that lucky bum gets every night of his life.

Mesa, AZ., my new favourite place to visit.

 

 

 

Comments

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

They look delicious. Very nice ears and bloom. I love the boldly-baked crust. Waiting for the crumb photos

David

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Thank you David.  Nice ears and bloom due to your help!

This is my fave type of bread as a staple in our home.  Great fresh, toasted and with all kinds of different toppings ranging from veggie to peanut butter.

John

MichaelH's picture
MichaelH

Both the breads and the photos. Hammelman's version of this bread is our every day favorite. The comination of flours and grains is tough to beat. Retarded overnight?

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Thank you Michael.  This is basically JH 5 Grain but with variations.

Retarded from mid day to over night so about 18 hours total.  Really makes a difference to flavour.

Take care.

John

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Yeah, these are beauties.

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Thanks Floyd.  Good to finally see a face to the master.

Will hopefully have some time this summer to meet up for coffee.  I know I keep saying that but the last 10 months have been nuts with the business.  I see a few breaks coming.

Talk soon.

John

varda's picture
varda

And you're really demonstrating how to to put a lot of seeds on.  -Varda

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Thanks Varda.  I was actually wanting to crust the bare loaf with sunflower, oats and sesame but I ran out of sunflower.

LOVE the flavour toasted seeds give to a crust.  The way I ensure they all stick well, after shaping I dust the loaf with flour then lightly mist spray it with water.  I then apply the seeds and the wet flour dusting acts as a glue.  This works well especially when using larger seeds like pumpkin or sunflower.  Ensures most of them stay stuck to the crust and don't fall off when slicing.

John

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

as gorgeous as any AZ sunset.  They have to be packing flavor since they are so boldly baked.  A beautiful bake in every way.  We won't be making prickly pear jam until September, seems like 4 months of temperature over 100 F until then...... Whew....  Only 104 F in the shade right now :-) 

Happy Baking

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Ohhh man.  I am jealous of that heat.  That is the one thing I absolutely loved most down there.  The dry heat.  I can't handle humidity, but that heat, I can live in all year round.

You make prickly pear jam??  Wow.  I made a horrible mistake when down there.  After visiting the botanical gardens and learning about that particular cactus, I got so excited to pick some back at my parent's house.  The community had them all over so I thought I would be in prickly pear heaven.  Instead I was in prickly nightmare.  As I was picking some, the glove I was using got covered in hundreds of tiny little prickles.  Then my shirt.  Then my hand.  Then my foot.  I took the bunch back to the kitchen and cut into them and they were NOT anywhere close to being ripe.  What a mess for nothing!

Ahhh, I want to be back in prickly pear nightmare heaven.

Thanks for the kind comments.

John

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

prickly pear just bloomed in April and set fruit.  The deep purple color for these tunas (prickly pear fruits are called tunas) won't happen until much later when they turn from green to purple and get sweet. Right now they are small as quite sour.   The purple ones are called nochoctli (wine tunas).  We make syrup for margaritas and jam out of nochoctli.

There is another variety of prickly pear where the tunas are more pink in color when ripe and we make sour salsa from them or a syrup but they very hard to find.   We call them xoconostle (sour tunas).   Tomorrow I will be making a special salsa from xoconostle and you can also get fresh ripe nochoctli (from south of the equator where they are ripe) like I did today at my local market.  Here is picture of both of them when they are ripe and ready to use.

.  nochoctli on the left and                                                                      xoconostle on the right

The nochoctli on the left will become a fine purple margarita syrup on Tuesday,

 

Mebake's picture
Mebake

What a bunch of beauties, John! love the boldly baked crust,and the perfect even crumb.

Nice job!

-Khalid

 

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Thank you for your comments Khalid.  It is good to be back on and contributing.  Hope to see some of your bakes soon!

John

Noah Erhun's picture
Noah Erhun

I love that seed encrusted loaf. I bet they disappeared quickly, especially with that prickly pear jelly. 

-Peter

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Thank you Peter.  I am a seed fanatic so it is my fave as well.  This loaf is going to my in-laws.  I am keeping the un-crusted one and hoping it lasts the week.  Happy baking.

John

isand66's picture
isand66

Great looking loaves John.  I'm glad you had a nice visit in DAs neck of the woods.  Nice photography too.  What new equipment are you using? That's a nice tip in the seeds.  I love seeds but my wifso it so much.  Time to use some seeds anyway!

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Thank you Ian. Good to hear from you.  I got a tripod and zoom lens.  Still new to the photography world, so those simple items excite me.  I use a Nikon D5000.  Mostly I have been enthralled with Photoshop post editing.  Something I had not really taken advantage of or realized the potential and difference it can make.

I think with all that stressful travelling for work you are worthy of a nice seed loaf ;)

John

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

John,

Wow, what beauties and no apology needed for the photos.  I loved looking at them all.  I will have to try your flour and water technique for getting seeds to stick.  Worked in grammar school - can't see why it wouldn't work in my kitchen as well :)

Thanks for the post.

Take Care,

Janet

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Great to hear!  Thank you Janet for your comments.  Nature's glue works great.

John

Franko's picture
Franko

Very nice John!

Baking loaves like these is what this site is all about IMO,taking pure ingredients and transforming them through careful procedures, resulting in very nutritious and attractive food. Your skills are growing with each post you make and it's been a true pleasure to watch how far you've progressed in such a short time. Looking forward to the bakes yet to come.

Good baking!

Franko

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Thank you so much Franko.  I can thank members such as yourself for the help and coaching.  Your posts are an inspiration and I very much enjoy hearing from another local baker.

Happy baking!

John

evonlim's picture
evonlim

just lovely.. the shape, ear, crust, crumb of the loaves and the jam, flowers,.. the sunset. thank you for sharing. inspiring!

evon

 

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Glad to hear you enjoyed my post Evon.  Thank you for the kind post!

Take care and happy baking to you.

John

Fin fin's picture
Fin fin

they look so good and healthy!!

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Win win :)  Thanks.

John

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

lake and boat dock in the background, wrought Iron fence, tables for food... a great place to take a rest from all that sunny sightseeing!  Name that AZ landmark!  A great place to ride your bike to.

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Ride your bike to???  Now I know why you remain un named and faceless...you must be a famous triathalon gold medallist! ;)

I think I got the answer.............

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

has a very big motor on it :-)