Country Loaf with Mixed Grains & Seeds
It took a little while, but eventually I got tired of eating the same bread week after week for my sandwiches and decided to change things up a bit. For over 3 months my 'go to' bread had been a Country Style Bread/Pan de Campagne that I adapted from Chad Robertson's 'Tartine Country Bread' back in November of last year and posted on in early January of this year. http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/26796/january-bakingpane-de-campagne-red-fife-and-rye-barley-mash-loaf A very good bread, but enough is enough.
By adding a 7 grain soaker, some toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and an extra flour (barley) to the Pan de Campagne formula, I came up with something I hoped would have the same reliability as the Pane de Campagne, but with additional body and flavour. With a bit of tweaking in the first two mixes the third bake resulted in what I'd imagined from the beginning,which was a crumb that would stay relatively moist and chewy from the first slice to the last. The high hydration in this formula is a major factor in this of course, but I discovered that the final dough weight and how my oven works is a big part of the equation as well. After experimenting with different dough sizes, it became clear that the sweet spot for my oven and the type of texture I was after resulted from doughs weighing between 900-1000 grams. The shorter bake time that I can get away with on the smaller size loaves leaves just the right amount of moisture in the crumb to give it a good chew and mouth-feel. The texture alone makes it a very satisfying bread to eat, with the mixed grains and toasted seeds adding plenty of flavour to the mild/medium sour background. The bread is quite filling, so I tend to slice it on the thin side, finding that a 900 gram loaf will meet my needs for an entire week of sandwiches and often a bit more.
This is a very wet and sticky to work with during the initial development stage, but it does get easier to handle after the first of it's 3 stretch and folds. If you can avoid the temptation of dusting it down with additional flour, and work it through a few minutes of slap & fold to a medium development, the payoff in the final result is worth the effort.
Although the dough could be mixed, fermented and baked in a day, for convenience sake I do the primary 3 hour bulk fermentation in the Brod & Taylor proofer, then round the dough loosely and put it in the fridge for anywhere up to 20 hours before it's final shaping, proof, and bake. All the mixes I've made of this bread have performed reliably, resulting in a full flavoured loaf with good eating and keeping qualities, putting it high on my short list of everyday breads.
Procedure for: Country Loaf with Mixed Grains & Seeds
Mix 1/2 of the AP flour and remaining ingredients for levain and ripen for 12-15 hours @ 70F/21C, feeding at midway point with the remaining AP flour.
Autolyse the flours and water for 1 hour.
Mix all ingredients except the salt, soaker and toasted seeds on 1st speed for 3-4 minutes until dough is uniformly smooth. Add the salt and continue mixing for 7-8 minutes on 2nd speed until the dough has come together, although it will only show slight development. Scrape the dough from the bowl to an unfloured or very lightly floured surface and work the dough using the slap and fold technique for 4-5 minutes, or until you notice the dough beginning to tighten and become moderately developed. Important not to develop past this stage for best results in the baked loaf. Press the dough out to a disk and spread the seed soaker and toasted seeds evenly across the dough. Fold the sides of the dough over the seeds and gently work them into the dough with a kneading action until evenly distributed.
Bulk ferment at 76-78F/24-25C for 3 hours giving 3 stretch and folds at 60,120 and 150 minutes. After the last S&F relax the dough on the table for 30 minutes then round loosely and put in a bowl and cover with plastic. Place the dough in refrigerator over night, or for up to 20 hours. Remove from fridge and leave the dough to sit at room temp for 45 minutes.
Whether shaping as a batard or boule, shape as tightly as possible without tearing the dough. Place in a floured banneton or brotform or free shape, then transfer to a proofing box.
Final rise of 2-2 1/2 hours @ 78F/25C, or until slightly less than fully proofed.
Place on a parchment covered peel, score as desired, and bake in a preheated 500F/260C oven with stone, using preferred steaming method.
Reduce oven heat to 460F/237C after 10 minutes, remove the steaming apparatus, vent the steam and continue baking for 20 minutes, rotating the loaf periodically for even colouring. Check the colour and reduce the heat if necessary, baking to an internal temperature of 208-210F/97-112. * Note* heavier loaves of 1200 grams or more will require longer secondary baking times.
Turn the oven off, prop the door open slightly and leave the loaf in the oven for 10-15 minutes to cool gradually.
Wrap the loaf in linen and place on a wire rack for 12 hours or longer before slicing.
Rye & Barley Mash Loaf- revised
The day before I baked the Mixed Grain & Seed loaf, I did a second bake of the Rye & Barley Mash Loaf that I first posted on in the link above, something I've been meaning to do since eating the last slice of this delicious bread. I love this bread for its assertive, complex, and long lasting flavour, the way it makes the house smell as it's baking, and that it's a pleasure to eat just as is, without toppings. With this latest mix I made two changes to the formula by adding a dark chocolate coloured barley malt and increasing the overall hydration. I haven't noticed any significant difference in the flavour from the added malt, but it did give the loaf a darker colour that I feel it needed. The increased hydration was to see if it would help open the crumb a bit more than the last loaf, which it did to some extent. The loaf had 48 hours rest before the first slice was taken but the crumb was still very moist, not gummy, but not fully set either. Two more changes are in order for the next bake of this bread, the first will be to bake it for a longer time at a lower temperature to see if that will help with the crumb set-up, and for better caramelization. The second change will be to use the largest Pullman tin I have for all future bakes, considering how quickly this bread seems to disappear. Just as size was an important factor in the Mixed Grain & Seed loaf, so it is with this bread, albeit for entirely different reasons.
Links to revised procedure and spreadsheet formula for Rye and Barley Mash Loaf below.
For procedure click here For formula spreadsheet click here