The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Struan bread

Mebake's picture

This is my third take on Peter Reinhart’s Multigrain Struan from his excellent book” “Whole grain breads”. My first two bakes were on stone, but this one is in a Pan. I have made few changes:

1 – Doubled the recipe to fit two Pans: 1kg, and 700 gr. (The loaf shown is the 1 Kg)

2 – Used only white sourdough starter for the Biga.

2 – Added 113g White Bread flour to the final dough, not whole Wheat flour.

 The dough was mixed and left to ferment for 12 hours at room temperature.

Soaker mixed and covered immediately, and left at room temperature for 12 hours. I used Rolled Oats, millet, corn meal, Buckwheat, cracked wholegrain rice, cracked wheat, toasted sunflower seeds, toasted Pumpkin seeds.

The dough was weak, given all the seeds, but was never crumbly. The fermentation was fast, and should be watched closely.

The Crust was soft, and the crumb was smooth. A sour flavor was very much present, but not dominant. It tastes, and feels closer to a volkornbrot (though much lighter), than a regular whole wheat. It is not dense at all.

This bread is rather a sourdough than what Peter Rh. intended it to be, it is nicely sour-ish, and i think i have used a bit too much SD starter, it is bound to become assertively sour in a few days.

With 50% preferment, a wild yeast starter is not the choice, if someone hates sour notes in a bread.

Absolutely Lovely bread, though.


Mebake's picture

This is my second attempt at the multigrain Struan from Peter Reinhart’s wonderful book: Whole grain Breads. This is no easy dough to deal with, and I remember now why i have chosen to put it off for a second trial. The high proportion of soaked grains (I used some seeds too), held loosely by 100% whole wheat flour, some butter, and honey; makes for a very sticky dough.

I have used a sourdough preferment instead of a yeasted preferment, to give my dough a boost of strength, and flavor. The final dough was leavened with commercial yeast @ 2.5tsp. I also chose not to add any more flour, so the dough was stickier but soft. Ultimately, the dough should come together coherently and form a ball.

Notes to self:

1 – Use a mixer. Your hands will get messy with this one.

2 - Add some more whole wheat flour to the final dough.

2 – Bake it in pans, NOT free form.

3 – Apply egg wash prior to Poppy seed garnish. Water will not do the job properly.

4 – Bake *4 the recipe quantity, as this bread disappears almost immediately.

Sourdough Preferment (Wholewheat) - Freshly prepared:


Soaker: (Millet, Cracked Oats, Buckwheat, flaxseeds, Sunflower seeds, toasted sesame) in Hot water.

Formed Batards:

The flavors, texture, aroma are all out of this world. The crust is sof, yet crunchy from all the popp seeds. The crumb is soft, crunchy, isn't chewy at all, and very aromatic. Overall, the bread isn't dense  it is just closed textured.

The bread was praised by all members of my household. The extra crunchiness brought by the addition of millet was just the right addition to compement the rest of the textures. This is one absolutely magnificent recipe from a magnificent bread book.


hilo_kawika's picture

gummy Struan

February 8, 2010 - 10:09am -- hilo_kawika

I'm happy to say that thanks to the good advice I've received here and from other friends, I've had pretty good luck with my bread baking.  But when I tried to make Peter Reinhart's version of struan bread from his Artisan Baking Every Day book the results were disappointing.

einarfa's picture

Batterlike Struan dough

December 2, 2008 - 12:21am -- einarfa

Hi. I've set a dough of Peter Reinharts Struan from WGB, made with whole grain rice. However the soaker became more batter-like or porrige-like than what I expected, which resultet in a very very wet final dough. Because of this I added a lot of extra flour  to get the kind of dough that I'm used to. I can't find another explaination than that I've misread the instructions or measured wrong (I suspect my weight to not be entirely good). Have other had similar experiences?

R.C. Hiersch's picture
R.C. Hiersch

Dear Floyd,

Thanks for the marvelous website!  Thanks for the recipes, too!   

 There is a detail missing from the Struan bread Recipe, that Peter insisted upon - Egg wash:

We used one egg to about eight ounces of water, in a 12 ounce glass, stirred with a fork, then poured into the plastic reservoir of the paint sprayer we used for that.  Sometimes, for a small batch of a bread, we'd just brush it on, but usually it was sprayed.

A home baker could brush it on.  We used to spray it on with a "buzzer" plug in paint sprayer, at the low table by the bench, before loading the loaves in the shelves on the 175 loaf rolling "train" rack, to go into the proof box.

We didn't use undiluted egg, because it was too thick, and congealed at the edges, giving "scrambled eggs in the pan", as Karen D. would say.

 The reason for Egg, instead of water, was first for retaining more of the seeds, that would otherwise just fall off, next for flavor, and lastly, for the browning of the top.

Many did not agree with it, because of the inevitable mess from overspray, but Peter insisted, and that's how we baked it - from 1990 to 1993, when I was there, from apprentice, bagging, through Slicing, to  Mixer, to Plant Manager, after eight months with that Struan, Cajun Three Pepper, Wild Rice and Onion, Buttermilk Bread, and so on, including the Pullman Loaves.

I remember "MO", the huge ex-Navy slicing machine we used to use, until we shipped it back to PA, and the adjustment period with the new slicer, and the two small belt driven slicers that we often used when everything else failed, and who could forget Brother Juniper's Breadbox!

I remember you were a dependable island of sanity, and  appreciated for your stability and drive, which calmed the atmosphere a great deal. 



slidething's picture

 Been awhile since I've made this bread - made it yesterday ~ not to pretty -But tasty just the same!!

 Did the "ONE" thing I've always stressed not to do - Rushed it a wee bit - LOL - plus used  bigger loaf pans ( 9x5 ) instead of 8x4 .

 Saw Dolfs pics when I got home and on-line - NICE Job - Plus read about autolyse - going to try this method this afternoon - will post results good or bad -

Am a chef / pastry chef for a private club and revamping menu - getting away from fried "Bar food" entrees and into a more classic tavern style food /with less starchs and lighter sauces. Plus starting to do all breads for sandwichs - so far have very good results with the sour dough - even though my starter is only 6 weeks old. Use it for two different sandwich breads - roast beef on garlic caibatta - and a two pound loaf for club sandwichs.

 The One great perk about this job is the kitchen - I have access to it anytime ~~ we open at 4 and close at 11 - monday thru thrusday and open for lunch Fridays,Sat, and Sundays .... So I have tyme to "Play"   Will keep ya'all posted . Plus think its tyme to buy a digital camera .

  Till Later ~



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