The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Two breads, two very different kneading approaches

  • Pin It
chouette22's picture
chouette22

Two breads, two very different kneading approaches

Inspiration from these boards


On Saturday I baked two breads that have been on my list for quite a while. Hans Joakim has posted on one of his favorite breads several times in recent months (here, here, here, and here) and I really wanted to give that Pain au levain with whole wheat a try (Hamelman, “Bread” p. 160). And as you know, when Hans Joakim presents something, it always looks so very enticing.



We really love it! The taste is excellent, the crust strong and the crumb wonderfully open.



Amazing that the kneading time is only about 2 minutes, and then just two folds at 50 and 100 minutes! That’s it!


I will definitely make this again!


 


I couldn’t have chosen a more different bread to be its partner: the Buttermilk-Whole-Wheat-Bread that JMonkey (here's the recipe from Laurels Kitchen Bread Book - I used the biga approach) and Salome have posted on (here and here). This dough, in stark contrast to the above Pain au levain, needs to be kneaded for a very l--o--n--g time. It  turned out very well, even though I over-proofed it (when I scored it, it made pouf, and the loaves sank somewhat; I think I should have skipped the slash altogether).
The problem is always the timing. To make Saturday’s loaves (4 of them), it took about 8 hours, and to always be around when the next fold or shaping, etc.,  is due, is very difficult. Despite my careful calculations, when my son’s soccer game went into over time (i.e. got delayed), my schedule was pouf, gone as well, and my proofing went into over time too… (by about an hour!).  Also, I have basically never baked bread in pans, but for the school sandwiches, I guess that is a good shape.



My changes to the recipe above:
I used 100% white whole-wheat flour (from Trader Joe, first time I bought this) and cut the honey in half. I also added two Tbsp of ripe starter, as Salome suggested she might do in a further test.
The taste was excellent.

Comments

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

Simply incredible, chouette! :)


I'm amased by the gorgeous crumb you got on that pain au levain - I could only dream of getting such a result. It's a great formula, and that the mixing technique (or lack thereof) produces astonishing loaves like yours, is truly fascinating. Keep on baking :)

chouette22's picture
chouette22

It happend because of your posts! Your Pains au levain were so beautiful with such open crumb that I could only hope to produce something vaguely similar. I was very happy about the result!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I can just echo hansjoakim's reaction. Amazing, beautiful loaves, Chouette!


David

chouette22's picture
chouette22

Just this weekend I read through your entire baguette experience and printed out some of your recipes and experiments. What an adventure! And how incredibly helpful to the ones of us who are at the beginning of the baguette-road. They, besides the rye, are one of my next projects.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

It's nice to know that sharing my experiences has been helpful to others. That's always my hope when I share them.


David

Salome's picture
Salome

Beautiful. Fantastic crumb. I think I'll give the levain this weekend a try. I have to bake bread for a potluck family gathering.


I'm happy you tried and liked the buttermilk bread!


Salome

ehanner's picture
ehanner

chouette,


Your Pain au levain with whole wheat is fantastic! Your results are proof you enjoying "Bread" as much as I am. I think you nailed it perfectly.


Your Buttermilk-Whole-Wheat-Bread looks like great bread. I have the same problem with timing. My best laid plans occasionally fall apart due to circumstances. You managed to rescue yours in a fine way. Good job and thanks for sharing.


Eric

wally's picture
wally

Chouette-


What a beautiful pain au levain you've produced!  It's one of my favorite recipes of Hamelman's, and I particularly love it because the levain does all the work and provides all the flavor.  Now, if you could teach it to do a couple folds by itself...


Larry

chouette22's picture
chouette22

... Salome, Eric and Wally! Yes, this is really a great formula. I have had the book for only a few weeks, and another few weeks from the library before that, and the few recipes I have tried so far all turned out so very good.

Salome's picture
Salome

The sourdough is maturing now over night! Big baking day tomorrow.


Salome

chouette22's picture
chouette22

Can't wait to see the outcome!

Salome's picture
Salome

bää. I'm not very satisfied. I haven't cut into it yet, but I just never get such a volume as you and others do. I keep wondering why. I'd need to visit somebody of you and look over the sholder... ;-)


Salome

chouette22's picture
chouette22

But you know that you are one of the star bakers here!! Maybe your starter is a bit sluggish?

Salome's picture
Salome

I don't know. I never thought about my starter being weak. Maybe I should give it a booster weak, two feedings a day...? I wonder whether that would improve the results.


But, it's a fact - I have never achieved such fantastic (=open) crumbs as others do here. Only if I bake with very high-hydration doughs, never when I bake with hydrations around 65, 68%...If I would just know why!


Salome