The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hamelman's Sourdough Seed Bread

  • Pin It
dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hamelman's Sourdough Seed Bread

Hamelman's Sourdough Seed Bread is basically a pain au levain made with rye and bread flour to which is added toasted sesame and sunflower seeds and a soaker of flax seeds. It has a crunchy, rather thick crust and a pretty dense crumb. Its flavor is delicious - mildly sour, even when cold retarded overnight, with well-balanced overtones from the seeds. Its flavor is not as complex as Hamelman's Five-Grain Levain, which is simply amazing, but it is a wonderful bread.


This bread has enough substance and flavor to be eaten plain. It would be wonderful with a flavorful soup or stew or with cheese or a salad. And it makes delicious toast.


It's another bread, like Tom Cat's Semolina Filone, that I like a lot but have not baked for quite a while, having been otherwise occupied by a baking agenda with way too many breads.


I baked these boules on a stone, pre-heated to 500F. A cast iron skillet with lava rocks was used for steaming. The oven was turned down to 460F after loading the loaves, and I baked them for 40 minutes.



Sourdough Seed Bread



Sourdough Seed Bread crumb


David

Comments

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Beautiful as always, David.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

Impressive bake, David! This is a terrific formula, David, and your loaves came out perfect. I love the dark colour of the top crust. I can't take my eyes off the crumb photo; I'm almost expecting a green elf to creep out of the little cave down on the right... probably carrying a large seed on his back ;)

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I love the taste and crunch of the crust on this bread. It seems like most of the newer bakers have yet to discover the virtues of a "bold bake" for both texture and flavor of the crust.


The green elf entered the loaf on the right. As you can tell, he was considerably fatter by time he exited on the left.


David

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Beautiful and Rustic...I be that little elf leaves you a new lame!


Sylvia

LindyD's picture
LindyD

That lovely crumb doesn't look too dense to me, David!


I love this bread.  I find it is a good exercise in discipline and self-control because the fantastic aroma as it cools makes me want to immediately tear into it like a starving troll.  


Beware elves!


(Trivia: the residents of the upper peninsula of Michigan label all residents who live in the lower peninsula as trolls - because we live below the Mackinac Bridge)

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

Any tax benefits from being labelled as a 'troll', Lindy?

LindyD's picture
LindyD

No, but goodness gracious, there's actually a Wikipedia entry referencing us in the "Trolls in America" section.   Yikes!

pattycakes's picture
pattycakes

Hi David,


Great looking bread, and I can tell that the crust is thick and crunchy-chewy. At least that's the way it looks to me! I'm sure it's delicious.


By bold bake, do you mean letting the bread really color and develop the dry, thick crust? I always leave the bread in, as you have advised, with the oven off and the door cracked, and it does finish the baking nicely, but I have the feeling that I should be baking the loaves longer and a little lower temp in order to get the results you're getting. Right now I get a little burn on the tips of the ears (when I get the slash right), perhaps because I'm baking too high. Also, because I recently started using a Fibrament, I'm also getting a heavier, darker bottom crust. I have the stone on the middle rack; I feel like the bread is as dark as it can get, and I don't dare leave it in any longer for fear of burning. I have sometimes turned the bread on its side or top to finish the bake and get the direct heat off the bottom. I would be grateful for any other solutions...


Thanks,


Patricia


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Patricia.


Yes. That's what I mean by a "bold bake."


I realize I have a different oven and baking stone than yours, but, FWIW, is what I do:


I usually pre-heat my oven to at least 20 degrees hotter than the baking temperature. So, for this bread, I pre-heated to 500F/convection with the stone, a cast iron skillet filled with lava rocks and a metal loaf pan in place.


When I was ready to bake, I put a handful of ice cubes in the loaf pan. Dumped one loaf onto the peel, slashed and loaded. Then, I did the same for the other two loaves in turn. After loading the 3rd loaf, I poured about 2/3 cup of boiling water over the lava rocks and shut the oven door - fast! I then turned the oven to 460F/convection for 12 minutes, then to 480F/bake for the rest of the time.


In this instance, the loaves were so dark and the crust felt so hard at the end of the bake, I took them right out. The loaves sang for 20 minutes or more. I actually had the crust on one of the loaves form cracks. (Oooooo ... cool!) The crust stayed crunchy.


Now this bread has a lot of water, but, because of the seeds and rye flour, the dough worked like a 62-65% hydration dough, if it had been all bread flour.


Baking on my stone, with the stone on the middle rack and pre-heated for at least 45 minutes, I get very even coloration of the crust - no pale or burned bottoms. 


I hope the additional details give you some useful clues.


David

pattycakes's picture
pattycakes

I'll try your method to see if it works for my set up. I have complained before on this site about my stove, a Thermador, but lots of preheating does seem to help even out the baking.


The only loaves I've ever heard singing were the Hamelman 5-Grain Levain. It was a lovely sound...and the loaves were wonderful.


Keep up the inspiring baking!I always look forward to seeing your work.


Patricia

paddyboomsticks's picture
paddyboomsticks

It's very versatile, too. I've added everything from poppy, to pumpkin to sunflower seeds in addition to the above and it's just as good.


Last time I added a few toasted fennel seeds for a more savoury flavour. Delicious!

benjamin's picture
benjamin

I hate to put a negative slant on this post, but I noticed that as you have baked your loaves, they have become a little distorted... this happens to me a lot when I make boules, and is a source of much frustration! I was wondering if you know what caused this, and how it can possibly be avoided.


 


ben

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Is it a bug or a feature?

Hi, Ben.

This rustic appearance is not a bad thing with this bread. However, if you don't like it, just proof the loaves more to decrease oven spring.

David

benjamin's picture
benjamin

Don't get me wrong, I love rustic looking bread, but ever since I saw the loaves you made for your scoring tutorial I have become obsessed with perfection. There are several images of loaves in that tutorial that I covet and have been trying to reproduce in my own kitchen with little avail.


...my quest for the perfect loaf continues...


ben

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, ben.


A while back, there was some discussion about the American desire for symmetry in breads. It turns out what is regarded as a "perfect" loaf is different in other parts of the world.


If you want to practice scoring to achieve a nice symmetrical loaf, I'd work on a simple, 65-68% hydration pain au levain or pain de campagne. Since you have Hamelman, there are a number of formulas in "Bread" that would be good choices.


For me, the Seeded Sourdough and 5-grain levain in "Bread" have always had an uneven expansion.


David

LindyD's picture
LindyD

I have a hunch that some may not be looking closely enough and are allowing the photos of your scoring designs and angle of the shot to trick their eye.  Your breads are lovely examples of great rustic loaves.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Thanks, Lindy.


All children are beautiful to their parents. ;-)


David