The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

seseme seeds

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dmsnyder

This morning I proofed and baked  Jeffery Hamelman's "Sourdough Seed Bread" from his book, "Bread." This is basically a pain au levain with toasted seseme and sunflower seeds and a soaker of flax seeds. Hamelman is clear that this bread's flavor benefits from slow fermentation. You can spike the dough with commercial yeast, but it's better not to. You can bake it the day it's mixed, but it's better to let it cold-retard. I went for all the flavor I could get, and I got it in abundance!

 

 This bread is really full of seeds. The fermenting dough is lumpy with 'em. It rose pretty well during bulk fermentation, but, after overnight in the frige, the boules rose maybe 30% in 3.5-4 hours, so I dumped, slashed and baked. They had amazing oven spring and bloom. After cooling, I sliced and had some with freshly made Italian bean soup for lunch.

 

I really expected this to be a rather dense bread. I thought all the seeds would wreck havoc with the gluten strands, and the minimal rise seemed to confirm that. It turned out to have a much more open crumb than I expected and, while certainly a substantial, chewy bread, it was lighter chewing than expected. And the flavor! The toasted sunflower seeds really came through. The seseme seeds were just an overtone.  Flax seeds baked into bread have a flavor I love, especially in a whole wheat sourdough. The bread itself had a nice tang and sweet, crunchy crust.

 

 I Hamelman's Sourdough Seed Bread

Hamelman's Sourdough Seed Bread

Hamelman's Sourdough Seed Bread

Hamelman's Sourdough Seed Bread

Now Fleur-de-Liz claims Hamelman's multi-grain levain is even better tasting than this one. It's hard to imagine, but, if she says so, I'm going to have to bake that next. (Hey! No crowding in line!)

David

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