The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


blockkevin's picture

Multigrain Sour

February 11, 2009 - 11:38pm -- blockkevin

Hello again


This is a bread which I had made once before(with minimal success) a long time ago when I was still a relative sourdough beginner, and I thought I would try it again to see if my new techniques learned here, and the countless hours pouring over my bread book library would produce better results. The formula is courtesy of a site I visit from time to time to watch their great videos. I followed the formula exactly except as noted in italics below. I also changed the mixing, and fermenting schedule to better fit my personal schedule.

edh's picture

Help! I have a question about grain.

August 4, 2007 - 4:41am -- edh

Hi all,

As a result of my 9 yr old's interest in ancient Egypt, we're trying to re-create the bread they baked. After one disaster involving whole spelt (the disaster was my mess-up, not the spelt's!), we did a little more research and found that, in addition to my overproofing, we had the wrong grain. What we should be using is emmer wheat, not spelt.

KipperCat's picture

This is my first loaf from spelt flour. I wish I had pics of various stages to show you, as I'd love some ideas on why I got absolutely no oven spring from this loaf. The flavor, interior texture and crust were all good. The crumb wasn't as open as I would have liked, but not closed either. I followed the basic NYT/Lahey NK method. I've always used 1.5 cups of liquid for white flour and 2 cups for whole wheat. Knowing that spelt absorbed less flour than wheat, I used 1.75 cups for this loaf. I always got good oven spring using only 2/3's WW flour, but the only loaf that was 100% WW I baked in a pan - here - and didn't get a lot of oven spring either.

This is how I made this loaf.

1 pound whole spelt flour
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 ounces plain yogurt
12 ounces water

Combine dry ingredients. Stir yogurt and water together, then add to flour mix. Stir until all flour is moistened, then knead briefly with heavy spoon in bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and leave on counter for about 12 hours. (At this point I had bubbles on top of the dough and the gluten strands were quite visible on tipping the dough bowl.) Turn dough out on floured surface. Do a few stretch-and-folds. (At this point I may have let the dough rest an hour or so, followed by a couple more stretch-and-folds and a 15 minute rest. I just don't remember.) Round dough and put in colander to rise. After a few hours, it wast risen only half as well as the white flour dough in this pic. It wasn't even quite to the top of the colander but passed the finger poke test, so I hoped it was ready to bake. (That is, if I gently poked the dough, the indentation was quite slow to fill in - the test mentioned in Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book.)

Turn dough out on baking stone preheated well in a 500F oven. Remove at 20 minutes as the interior temp is about 210F.

This was the most extensible dough I've handled. It never did develop much resistance to my folding or shaping. Is that an indication that the gluten was underdeveloped? Should I have done a few more folds, until the dough felt a bit firmer? After baking, I remembered that I often added 1/4 tsp ascorbic acid (Vit C) and a tablespoon or more gluten to my whole wheat loaves. I had assumed that the Vit C was redundant with the yogurt and didn't even think about adding gluten. Also, salt should have been 1.5 teaspoons.

KipperCat's picture

I think the formula/recipe was fine on this, but the dough was either a bit overproofed or underkneaded. How's that for confusing? :D

I know that whole wheat doughs rise faster than white doughs. I don't remember how long this dough sat for the initial ferment, just that it was less than 18 hours. I suspect that it would have been fine if I had developed the gluten by hand a bit more - maybe another fold and rest before the final shaping. As it was the dough was a bit soft when risen. I slashed it about 1/2 inch deep and saw the loaf start spreading outwards almost right away! I don't have a picture of the crumb. It was soft, but not the lightness desired in a sandwich loaf. Next time I'll try a more enriched dough for a sandwich loaf - probably Laurel's Kitchen buttermilk.

KipperCat's picture

I was visiting with my sister in Wisconsin, and we joined several other family members for a July 4th get-together at my cousins' cottage. I decided to bring bread for my contribution and thought it would be best if baked fresh. So the night before I started 2 loaves each of white and whole wheat NYT No-Knead bread. In the morning, I folded each loaf and placed in an oiled ziploc bag. The bags were carefully placed in a soft sided picnic-cooler-on-wheels. At that point I realized that the cooler-on-wheels wasn't about to stand up straight and give the dough the gentle treatment I had hoped! It flopped over there in the kitchen and did so more than once more throughout the day.

Anyway, the cooler was stowed in the back seat and we headed off 100 miles to the cabin. After visiting for awhile I was going inside to bake my bread. Cousin Jeff told me that wasn't a good idea. It seems a squatter had been resident in the oven the week before. While the mouse had been evicted, the thorough cleaning needed after a bad tenant had yet to be done. So my cousin and I walked around the pond and up the hill to the other cabin. At that point I was very glad for the wheels! This kitchen was spotless, and even had a bench knife in the drawer to help with the final fold. When I opened the cooler, the zip bags were puffed out like plump pillows from the risen dough! Here I shaped and baked the loaves. The bread was very popular, with 2 requests for the recipe. I wish I had pictures - of all the family, and the bread that did just fine with that rough handling. :~)


Cooky's picture

Alternative to the windowpane test

July 2, 2007 - 3:32pm -- Cooky

Just came across this suggestion for checking on whether your coarse wholegrain dough is properly kneaded, in cases when the traditional windowpane test won't work.

"Use your thumb and forefinger to pull up a piece of the dough about an inch above the dough surface. If the dough holds the pinch and stands in a little ridge without springing back, it is fully kneaded."

I don't believe I've heard this one before. Anybody else using this technique?

mluciano's picture

This bread fever is contagious! After seeing me baking bread for two weeks, my husband decided he too was going to make bread. Because he loves baguettes so much, he decided he was going to try lesson 2 from floydm's tutorial... So, while I was making my Honey Wheat Bread, he was making his own bread... Here's the result...

My husband starting his project

That's my husband starting his first baguette...

The huge loaf...The huge loaf...

The result...

The result of both my Honey Wheat Bread and his first baguette....


It is absolutely delicious!!!!!!!!!!! And like good PR's we are enjoying it with a good cup of coffee.... I LOOOOOOVE BAKING BREAD!!!!

KipperCat's picture

A not-so-sour sourdough?

June 12, 2007 - 9:51am -- KipperCat

My husband loves sourdough bread.  I can't argue with the quality of the bread, but it's usually too sour for my taste.  So, while it may sound crazy, I'd like to be able to make a less-sour sourdough.  Are there things I can do to accomplish this? 

I'd like to make my own starter from wild yeasts, and would prefer to bake mostly whole grain breads. I have absolutely no sourdough baking experience - and little enough with any bread. 

If I do manage to make a less sour bread, will it still have the lower glycemic impact of sourdough? 

Felila's picture

Bread and dieting

June 6, 2007 - 4:16pm -- Felila

I'm back on the Weightwatcher's Core Plan, which allows me to eat all I want of a list of healthy foods -- lean meats, eggs, vegetables and fruits, and whole grains. Bread isn't on the list. Dang.

However, I'm wondering how it is that I can eat all the couscous or kasha or rolled oats I want, but no bread. Seems to me that artisan bread made with whole wheat isn't all that different from cracked wheat -- is it?

I can eat a small amount of foods not on the list, so I guess I'll spend my point allowance on bread.


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