The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Using seeds without a soaker

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Using seeds without a soaker

Does anyone have experience using seeds without a soaker? I’m curious to learn your findings.

Through testing I’ve become aware that seeded breads are what I like best. Far and above anything else. Even a small amount seems to drastically change the flavor profile. I imagine that like yeast or LAB, the seeds give off a pleasing “gas” during the bake that changes the bread’s flavor. I’ve been testing seeds that are not pointed in the hopes that they can be added without tearing the gluten. Seeds such as poppy, millet, quinoa, etc.. It seems that I can add these seeds without a soaker with very good results. If anything, the seeds may be A LITTLE more crunchy. And I like that.

As a matter of fact ( I know this is sacrilegious) I bake my beloved Five-Grain Levain with the recommended seeds and grain without a soaker with great success. The flavor is at least as good, IMO. And the extra crunch is nicer.

I would imagine that the non-soaker seeds will absorb some of the water affecting the dough’s hydration. But in initial testing it doesn’t appear to made a great difference.

Looking for other opinions on this.

Danny

eddieruko's picture
eddieruko

soaking seeds does a few things... but for the purposes of baking bread IMO the advantage is consistency of results.

putting fresh seeds in the dough means that the seeds and yeast are now competing for water. depending on the typical variables in baking naturally fermented bread (time, temp, mixing techniques, etc), you could end up with varying results during fermentation and the end bake. every seed is different, and every recipe/pantry has different profile... soaking the seeds before helps to minimize that variable. 

you could certainly put in fresh seeds for the crunch in addition to the soaker. 

seeds can also be problematic for sensitive digestive systems. soaking seeds makes them softer and begins the breakdown of the seed, making them much easier for the gut.

i agree about breads with seeds.... they are the tastiest i've baked and family favorite!

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I usually don't soak seeds or nuts, because I like it crunchy - except for flax seeds. If those are not soaked for 12 hours or more, they are totally indigestible.

Otherwise, you just have to keep in mind that seeds will absorb liquid, just as Eddieruko said.

Happy Baking,

Karin

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Karin, what about crushing the flax seeds? I have used a mortar and pestle to crush the flax seeds. Will that make them digestible?

I’m glad to hear that you also use seeds without a soaker. I really like the way it works with my breads?

Danny

 

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Mortar and pestle might not grind them fine enough, they are pretty tough. You can try a coffee mill, if you have one. I usually buy my flax seed meal from Bob's Red Mill, discounted at Job Lot or Reny's.

Karin

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Sorry, duplicate post.

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

without soaking them but I also toast them in a dry frying pan first. That seems to help with lessening the amount of water they steal from the dough. Whole flax and chia seeds are the worse culprits for that. They soak up huge amounts of water. 

All my breads include flax for health reasons as well as soaking up extra water. I find the initial mixing of flour and water difficult by hand (It’s a pain in the neck when you make four batches of over 2200 g.) so I tend to add a little extra water and the addition of ground flax helps to firm the dough up during the autolyse. I grind the flax seed is a “bullet”. So I take advantage of the flax’s properties. I think mutantkid is where I saw ground flax added in for the first time and I have done so ever since. 

And being a rebel, I put the seeds right in at the beginning and hope it doesn’t hurt the gluten too much. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

You'll love hemp hearts, the hull-less seeds are great!    

I dump in a lot of various seeds, so don't hesitate to add them in.  If you're not sure of the hydration of the dough, check on it half an hour to an hour after mixing the seeds in.  You can always squish in some more water into the dough or make the dough loose and add more seeds to soak up the extra moisture.  Wet hand kneading is very practical in that respect.  

Pop some of the seeds or mixtures into your mouth while trying to decide, if you need more moisture, not only can you test the combined flavour, your mouth will let you know if they are a bit too dry to just toss in without any additional liquids.  Don't forget about other liquids such as pickle juice, soup, coconut milk, pressed berries (check the freezer) canned unsweetened fruit juices, tea, wine and beer.  You're only limited by your imagination.  Grated or finely diced or shredded fresh veggies can add water too along with interesting crumb effects. Wash well and blanch root vegetables.  

Some seeds soak up more than others, the ones that form gels around themselves like chia, flax, oats and grain flakes are big soaker uppers. Nut flours and ground seeds tend to soak up water and liquids as well.  You can use them as water bearing tools to hold water in the dough (to be released while baking) while making a lower hydration dough that is easier to handle.  

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I’m getting ready to mix ingredients in about an hour. I think I have hemp seeds. I’ll throw some in the mix.

This bake will be interesting. Some months back I went to a local home brew store a bought various malted barely grains. Wendy, aka The Lazy Loafer helped me with that. I like to use the non-diastatic grains. I’m adding 10 grams of chocolate malt. The crust and crumb will have a beautiful dark color because of it. The smell is great while mixing. It gives off a deep, dark chocolate aroma and adds interest to the flavor profile. 

What can you tell us about yourself? You seem to be well traveled. And you are obviously very intelligent. I love your wit and the thumbnail for your profile looks like it fits you to a tee. You look like a “rascal”. Tell me more...

Dan

inquiring minds want to know

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I'm a rascal.   60th birthday coming up.   :)      

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

I just toss them in and if the dough needs a bit more water it is easy to work in during the stretch and folds.  Flax seeds need to soaked or you will not digest them and they will just pass through.  i usually just run them through my seed mill.  My standard Toady blend is the bran and sifted middling from whole grains, plus ground, sesame, flax and poppy seeds toasted till they start to turn brown and smoke a bit it a dry pan in medium heat,  Toadies give you even more flavor enhancement from the seeds.

Karin got Lucy hooked on Hemp seeds and she has never been the same since.  Karin is known as the Queen of Seeds around here

Happy baking

hanseata's picture
hanseata

old friend!

Hugs, Karin

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Question about bran and middlings. I have a grain mill. Would I run the berries to through the mill with a fine grind and then sift out the large bits? Also, what is middlings? Can I produce them with my mill also, or should I purchase them? You mention oat bran. l am interested in this. Straight sourdough without seeds or different grains don’t compare IMO to those that do.

I appreciate your help. I searched the forum looking for help with this. I also explored Toadies profile for clues. I’m just not that knowledgeable on milling, except the basics.

Thanks,

Dan