Earlier this week while rummaging around in our local cookware store looking for unfluted French tart rings I spotted this nifty looking 18" long baguette style brotform.
I've seen them online in the past, never paying them much attention for some reason, but knew as soon as I picked this one up for a closer inspection I wouldn't be leaving the store without it. The idea of a dark, crusty loaf full of mixed grains and seeds contrasting with the white pattern of the brotform immediately came to mind rather than using it for a typical white baguette. While I continued my search for the tart rings I started considering possible recipe sources to use for the loaf I had in mind, thinking I'd likely find what I was looking for in Jan Hedh's “Swedish Breads & Pastries” or possibly Dan Lepard's “The Handmade Loaf“. After finally locating the one and only straight sided tart ring in the entire store, I drove home with the new purchases and immediately started going through my baking books looking for the type of bread I'd envisioned. Dan Lepard has a good looking formula for a Sunflower bread in his book that I almost went with, but it called for a levain and I'd already decided that I wanted to use a yeasted preferment of some kind for this loaf. As is often the case I found what I was looking for in Jeffrey Hamelman's “ Bread”. The two recipes I drew inspiration from were the Five Grain Bread with Pate Fermentee and his Sunflower Seed Bread with Pate Fermentee, on pages 129 and 131 of the book. Between the two, I opted for the higher percentage of pate fermentee he uses in the Five Grain Bread, swapped out the malt syrup used in his Sunflower Seed Bread for honey, and used an 80/10/10 combination of white AP flour, whole dark rye, and barley flour for the final mix.
The percentages used in the initial formula came fairly close to giving me a workable mix, but needed a few adjustments for hydration, reflected in the formula below. The mix should be fairly slack, but not so much that developing it over the stretch and fold sessions becomes a matter of having to scrape it off the counter after the first S&F. The bread isn't as crusty as I'd hoped for, likely due to the higher percentage of honey used in the final mix, but I can live with that given the slightly sweet flavour and soft chewy texture of the crumb. For the next bake of this bread I'd like to include some of the black currants we dehydrated last year in the mix to add a note of tart to the flavour profile. I'm sure this bread would lend itself to savoury additions such as cheese, fresh herbs or roasted onions as well. Formula and procedure included below.
Procedure for Multi Grain Baguette with Seeds and Pate Fermentee
Mix all ingredients for pate fermentee and let sit in a covered bowl for 14-16 hours @ 70F
Mix all ingredients for the multi grain soaker at same time as pate fermentee and leave in covered container at room temperature.
Mix the flours and pate fermentee with the water, adjusting for hydration if needed. Autolyse for 40 minutes.
After autolyse is complete add the salt and instant yeast and mix till the dough is slightly developed. Add the grain soaker and honey and develop by either doing stretch and folds in the bowl or slap and folds on the counter until a slight windowpane can be achieved. The dough should be slightly sticky and moderately developed.
Bulk ferment at 76F/24C for 90 minutes giving a full stretch and fold every 30 minutes.
After the last S&F round the dough to medium tight ball, cover and allow 15 -20 minutes for the dough to relax before shaping.
Shape as a baguette or batard, and place seam side up in a floured brotform.
Preheat the oven and baking stone to 485F/251C for 45-60 minutes prior to baking.
Final rise of 45-50 minutes at 74F/23C covered with plastic sheet.
Tip the loaf on to the underside of a parchment covered 18 ”/45cm long sheet pan or a peel if shaped as a batard. Score as desired, and slide loaf onto the preheated stone, with steam system in place and oven vents blocked.
Bake at 485F/251C for 10 minutes, unblock the oven vents, remove the steam system and lower the heat to 465F/240C.
Bake at 465F/240C for 10 minutes, rotating the loaf periodically for even colouring. Bake a further 10-15 minutes at 455F/235C or until the internal temperature is 210F/98.8C
Turn the oven off, prop the door open slightly and leave the loaf in the oven for 20 minutes to cool gradually.
Wrap the loaf in linen and place on a wire rack for 4-5 hours before slicing.
NOTES: The bake times are based on a 680 gram loaf. Longer bake times will be needed for larger loaves. For transferring the loaf to the oven I recommend using parchment paper to avoid any likely sticking. The dough is soft and difficult to handle in a baguette shape. After the first 10 minutes of baking the parchment can be removed easily from beneath the loaf.
Link to full sheet [HERE]