Hamelman's Multi-Grain Levain - The third time's the charm.
I made the Multi-grain levain from Hamelman's "Bread" for the first time about 6 weeks ago on Fleur-d-Liz's strong recommendation. I found it very good, but it didn't blow my socks off. Strangely, it developed a more delicious flavor after having been frozen and thawed. I thought the many flavors of the grains and seeds melded.
Well, I made this bread for the third time this morning. I did two things differently: The first was that I gave it an overnight cold retardation. The second was that I tried a new oven trick. I steamed the oven (using Peter Reinhart's method), as usual, except, this time, I removed the cast iron skillet with water after 5 minutes and switched the oven to convection baking with the temperature lowered 20 degrees.
The bread had a really carmelized, crunchy crust and the flavor was ... well, I can't think of a better word than the one Hamelman used ... delectable.
Liz, now I get it. This is a fabulous bread! It has definitely made my favorites list.
Hamelman's Multi-grain levain
BTW, the really dark loaf up front is the one we ate with dinner. That very dark crust had a marvelous taste.
Hamelman's Multi-grain levain - Crumb