The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My version of Eric Kayser's Pain aux Cereales

  • Pin It
DonD's picture
DonD

My version of Eric Kayser's Pain aux Cereales

Background:


David Lebovitz, the celebrated American food blogger based in Paris has raved about Eric Kayser's Pain aux Cereales on numerous occasions, even proclaiming it to be perhaps the Best Bread in the World. A lot of bread aficianados from all over the world have made the pilgrimage to Paris to sample it and have posted photos as well as detailed description of this particular bread on the internet.


  Kayser's Pain aux Cereales from Lebovitz's Blog


I have the Eric Kayser's '100% Pain' bread book and the recipe for his Pain aux Cereales is included. However the photos, the ingredients and the formulation listed do not match the descriptions of the bread sold in his stores. After all, his bread empire is built on the originality and quality of his products, so who can blame him for not divulging all his secrets?


A couple days ago, I decided to formulate my own interpretation of Kayser's Pain aux Cereales based on my compilation of information gathered on the internet and relying loosely on the recipe in his book.


Formulation:


Flour Mix:


- 250 Gms KA Organic Artisan Select AP Flour


- 250 Gms La Milanaise T90 High Extraction Flour


Liquid Levain Build:


- 25 Gms ripe Liquid Levain (100% hydration)


- 50 Gms Flour Mix


- 50 Gms Spring Water


Seed Mix:


- 2 Tbs Golden Flax Seeds


- 2 Tbs Brown Flax Seeds


- 2 Tbs Yellow Sesame Seeds


- 2 Tbs Millet Seeds


- 2 Tbs Poppy Seeds


Final Dough Mix:


- 450 Gms Flour Mix


- 325 Gms Spring Water


- 125 Gms Liquid Levain Build


- 1/4 tsp Instant Yeast


- 10 Gms Grey Atlantic Sea Salt


- 1/3 of Seed Mix (toasted in a non-stick pan)


Procedures:


1- Prepare Final Levain Build and let ferment at room temperature until triple in volume.


2- Mix Flour and Water and autolyse for 30 mins.


3- Add Levain, Yeast and Salt and knead in mixer w/ dough hook on low speed for 4 mins.


4- Add the 1/3 toasted seed mix and incorporate into dough with dough hook for 30 secs.


5- Partially ferment dough at room temperature for 2 1/2 hours with stretch and fold in the bowl every 30 mins.


6- Retard dough in refrigerator for 18-24 hrs.


7- Divide dough into 2, preshape into ball and let rest 1 hr. Shape into batard and proof on couche for 1 hr.


8- Transfer loaves to peel, lightly mist with a vaporizer and sprinkle with remaining untoasted seed mix.


9- Score and bake at 440 degrees F with steam for 12 mins and 20 more mins at 390 degrees F on convection without steam.


  


I kept the dough hydration higher than normal at about 77% to compensate for the seeds absorbing some of the moisture from the dough during fermentation. The dough was very responsive with just the right amount of elasticity and extensibility. I got good oven spring, the cuts opened up nicely and the crust was thin and crackly and had beautiful caramelization. The roasted seeds on the crust were colorful and fragrant and glistened from their oil.




The crumb was cream colored, translucent, soft and slightly chewy and speckled with crunchy seeds. The flavor was complex from the interplay of the nuttiness of the seeds and the slight tang of the levain.


  



Was it the Best Bread in the World? I would not say so but a darn good bread nonetheless.


Happy Baking!


Don


 


 

Comments

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Beautiful post, Don, and great looking loaves!  Mind if I feature it on the homepage for a bit?

DonD's picture
DonD

... and by all means you can certainly post it on the homepage.


Don

Realdelish's picture
Realdelish

I had to come in here and thank you for posting this recipe.  I made my version of it all summer and sold it at my booth at our local farmer's market.  It was the biggest hit of all my bread.  Thank you so much for sharing.

wally's picture
wally

I'm just beginning to use flaxseed, is there a noticeable difference in flavor of something else between the two types you used?


Larry

DonD's picture
DonD

Thanks Larry. There is no noticeable taste difference between golden and brown flaxseeds, just the color, sort of like yellow and black sesame seeds.


Don

bnom's picture
bnom

So the seeds stayed on all right with just the water spritz? I wonder if an egg-white wash would be better or would that change much the character of the crust? 

DonD's picture
DonD

Thanks bnom. Eric Kayser uses water spritz (or so he says in his book..) and it works fine in holding the seeds. I guess you have to find a happy medium between using not enough and too much water. I would think that a light white egg wash would work also because some people use it on plain bread before baking.


Don

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Another beautiful one! I love the idea of putting seeds in a baguette, that would certainly make the flavor more complex.

DonD's picture
DonD

Thanks txfarmer. Eric Kayser does make a Baguette aux Cereales using the same seed mix both in the crumb and on the crust. They have square ends, which is the current rage in Paris!


Don

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Don,


Just to echo other posters; this is bread of the highest quality, and clearly achieved through care and attention to fine detail.


I wanted to ask if you had given any thought to your choice of high hydration and "dry" seeds in the final dough, especially the flax seeds.   Have you used soakers before, and, particularly, have you soaked flax seeds in this way?   Obviously final water in the dough is then reduced, but overall hydration remains equally high, if not higher.


Interested in any comment you make.


Thanks for posting on Kayser; I must find out more about him; I have come acroos him in Leader's book on Europe's Sourdoughs


Best wishes


Andy

DonD's picture
DonD

Hi Andy,


Thanks for your nice compliments. I really enjoy doing the detective work to decipher recipes that are either not published or modified to prevent one from ever reproducing the authentic version. That being said, Kayser's recipe in his book does not even call for incorporating the seeds in the dough and he lists the seeds as a rather vague "breakfast seed mix without sugar".


I have read about soaking the seeds and reducing the dough hydration in Daniel Leader's book but have never tried it. I thought that soaking the seeds would rob them of their crunchiness so I chose to use dry seeds and upped the dough hydration instead. I was surprised that despite the 77% hydration that I used, the dough was not slack and held its shape beautifully. I would be curious to hear about your experience with soakers.


Kayser's book makes for an interesting read but I always take his formulations with a grain of salt. One thing is clear though, he always uses Liquid Levain in his bakes.


Regards,


Don

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Don,


Thanks for the reply.   I'll have to get back to you in more detail later.


It's our bedtime over here, and I'm deadbeat.


I agree entirely with your note on crunchiness.   I do, however, think there is something in soaking the linseed [or flax seed].   This is particularly to help digestibility too.


Maybe you might want to look over this post in the meantime: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/17308/semolina-durum-bread-and-sourdough-seed-bread Hamelman has good info on soakers too.


Funny, I've always preferred stiff levains with wheat and wet rye sours.   The liquid levain is clearly very popular with the modern Continental bakers and Hamelman advocates a much stiffer rye sour.   Still so much to think about and learn; don't want to stop!


Best wishes


Andy

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

What a gorgeous bake! It sounds absolutely delicious!  Thank you for the very nice write-up!


I have a temporary crown replacement  I will be able to enjoy some chewy loaves but for now :/ still eating on one side of my mouth.  The good news around here is I now have a new refrigerator and the old one goes in the garage...yeah...room for bread makings :)


Sylvia

DonD's picture
DonD

Thanks for your kind words and I hope you will get your permanent crown soon so that you can enjoy both chewy and crunchy loaves.


Have you ever thought about turning your old refrigerator into a real dough retarder?


You can buy a device that will regulate the compressor and keep you refrigerator at around 40-50 degrees F which is ideal for retarding dough.


Don

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Not to change the subject here...E.K. Baguettes are definately a favorite of mine to bake...so this one has to be just as great...I also didn't know he kept the recipe a secret...what would I do without you to make this recipe so convenient and I'm sure I speak for a lot of Loafers...I really appreciate your contributions to TFL!


Especially to for this>  I didn't know you had to regulate the compressor or how too...I was just going to turn the dial down till it reached a nice temp. for retarding.  I love the new kitchenaid .. it has all controls right on the front door, push one button you set it at temperature you desire..say 0 for freezer and 38 for frig..I could clean it out when retarding bread...put all my stuff in the old frig and use the new one for the retarder...Mike wouldn't object..he knows I would have a good reason for doing that... ha, ha!  seriously....I could just set it for say 46F all the other stuff that really matters is in the freezer...say except milk and such...hmmmm ; )


Sylvia 

DonD's picture
DonD

Hi Sylvia,


I did not mean to imply that E.K. kept his recipes a secret. He does publish them  but they do not match exactly the products in his shops. From experience, I find that people who own bakeries or restaurants, when they write cookbooks, more often than not, you have to take the recipes with a grain of salt. On the other hand you can trust people who are educators such as Hamelman, Reinhart, Julia Child, Jacques Pepin etc. because they do not have any commercial gain at risk.


As for the home refrigerator, I do not think that you can set the temperature in the upper 40's and low 50's which is the range you need for a true retarder. A friend of mine bought this device that has a probe and he plugs it in his refrigerator and it regulates the compressor to maintain the termperature in the low 50's to use as a wine cellar.


Don

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

I still love being able to get the taste test straight from 'DonD'.  AKA  'The Source' to me :)  Maybe someday I'll be able to taste E.K. bakery products.  Mike is ready to go but  his interest is for 'The Tour De France' first and food second ; )   I just checked the new frig and it's + sign only goes up to 45 degrees at the warmest setting.  I'll also have to check about a 'Probe' :)


Sylvia

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Gee, maybe we should start addressing you as Inspector Don!


Beautiful crumb, too.

DonD's picture
DonD

As long as you don't call me Inspector Clouseau, I am happy!


Don

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

All the recipes I've seen for breads with flax seeds soak them before mixing. My understanding is that flax seeds need to be either soaked or ground to be digestible. 


My inclination would be to include the flax seeds (soaked) in the dough and leave them out of the seed mix for coating the loaves.


David

DonD's picture
DonD

Because of all your knowledge, can I call you David a.k.a "the Dean" from now on? I will definitely use your suggestion on my next try. In the meantime, I will add a post script about the soaker.


Don

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Dr. Roger Egeberg, who was Dean of the USC School of Medicine in the 1960's, used to keep a 6" high model of a fire hydrant on his desk. When asked about this, he reportedly said, "That is to remind me that a Dean is to a medical school as a fireplug is to a dog."


When anyone says "Dean," that story always comes to my mind. Let's stick with "David."


David

mlucas's picture
mlucas

But there is no harm in eating whole flax seeds -- they will just pass through your system as fibre. So if you like the way they look on the outside of the loaf, no harm in including them there!


I always grind my flax seeds in a coffee grinder before adding them to bread (or pancakes, breakfast cereal etc.). But I will have to try the soaker method next time!

Mebake's picture
Mebake

This is one Yummy bread! Wonderful! ALas, we have to do with regular flours.


Nice Work DonD!!! I love your Loaves

DonD's picture
DonD

Eric Kayser uses T65 flour so my flour mix is an approximation since we cannot get T65 Flour in the US ( although I understand that KA used to sell a T65 Flour to bakeries but has recently discontinued it). You can use 2/3 KA AP Flour and 1/3 Whole Wheat as another approximation.


Don

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Great detective work Don. Your breads look quite delicious.


I'm with David and Andy on the soaking of Flax seeds. If you cover a small amount of seeds with water and let them set overnight you will see how they become gelatinous. They develop a very nice nutty aroma that is a nice addition to the over all flavor. Un soaked, they are not digestible from all I know. They do lend something visually to the crust.


Overall, the seed combination you used looks like it would be tasty. Thanks for sharing your work.


Eric

DonD's picture
DonD

Since David is "the Dean", you should be Eric "the Educator"!


I really appreciate your, David and Andy's comments. I am slowly expanding my horizon and realize that I still have a lot to learn. I might soak the flax seeds but still maintain the other seeds dry when I add them to the dough.


Don

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Don,


I've referred to Hamelman's Sourdough Seed Bread, pp176/7 whilst putting this together.   It's not the same, but has similar recipe characteristcs: liquid levain, 75% hydration and 15% pre-fermented flour.   So it's not a bad base.


Procedure, if you were to soak your linseed, and assuming you follow David's excellent advice to incorporate the linseed into the dough, and use the other seeds as topping.   That is what I would do, although it does shift the balance of seeds in the dough from 33% to 40%; I don't think this is too significant.


I would weigh your seeds; definitely the linseed anyway.   Add water @ 300% to your linseed as an overnight cold soaker.   As an example, assume linseed weighs 60g [brown and gold combined]   Soak in 180g cold water.


In order to ensure 77% hydration, subtract the 180g from your 325g water added to the final dough to give 145g.


It is possible you may be able to increase hydration.   Take an example of 80%.   Total water is 80% of 512.5g flour = 410g.   Take off water in the leaven, 62.5g giving residual for the final dough of347.5g.   Take the 180g water off which is used in the soaker, and final dough water is 167.5g.


Hamelman has more seeds in his dough, but he also has an element of rye flour too.   I would start at 77% and see if you need to add anymore.   Weigh the extra as you add it, then you can re-djust calculations later to give corrected hydration level as above.


I found this link on the importance of soaking linseed: http://www.justanswer.com/questions/277s8-does-soaking-linseed-flaxseed-prior-to-feeding-make-it-tox


Best wishes


Andy

DonD's picture
DonD

Hi Andy,


Thanks for your input and suggestions. I have done some research on the web since yeaterday and found that although it is true that whole flaxseeds are indigestible it is not necessarily a bad thing. Whole flaxseeds are apparently commonly used as a dietary fibre supplement to aid the digestive system because of its high fibre content. Altough they move through the digestive system without being absorbed they can be beneficiary in reducing the amount of spasm in the gastrointestinal tract.


They may be bad for horses if not soaked as per the link that you provided but there are numerous bread recipes that incorporate whole flaxseeds in the dough. Daniel Leader suggests soaking all types of seeds and not just flaxseeds without any mention of indigestibility so I am just wondering if the soaking is for health reasons or for ease of control of the hydration of the dough? I would be curious to hear your, David and Eric's opinions on this subject.


Don

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Don,


You're right I'm sure; flax is not soaked just to aid digestibility.


I haven't gone any further into this, but Eric's comment about the seeds becoming gelatinous when soaked overnight is pertinent.


I was reading that this mixture works as a substitue for egg white.   So, your idea about controlling hydration, I think, is pretty much spot-on.


Sorry, I can't justify that right now.


I do like using soakers of all different types in bread; and one reason is it usually leads to greater hydration and a moist crumb, which keeps well.


Instructive, tasty and fun too!


Best wishes


Andy

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I don't think that an extra soaker is needed to soften the flax (and other seeds) to make them better digestible. They have sufficient time to soak during the 18 - 24 hours of retarded fermentation. I regularly bake German Leinsamenbrot (flaxseed bread) with lots of flaxseed, and after 24 hrs (12 hrs in soaker plus 12 hrs overnight refrigeration) the seeds are soft.


I made Don's bread yesterday but wasn't quite as successful in achieving a crumb as nice and airy as his - maybe I should have proofed the shaped loaves longer, and our kitchen was not very warm either - but the taste was very good, and I definitely will try it again.


I have one suggestion, though. As described in the recipe I sprinkled the proofed loaves with seeds just before they went into the oven. They looked beautiful when they came out, but after some handling there were more seeds on stove and countertop than on the breads.


When I bake my regular seeded baguettes I mist and sprinkle them with seeds right after shaping, and the seeds seem to stick considerably better. Otherwise I would probably really use egg white.


 

DonD's picture
DonD

Hi Hanseata,


You are right about loosing some seeds after baking. I just followed Kayser's method but yours makes a lot of sense. I will try it next time. Your loaf came out very nice. I notice that your crumb is a lot darker. What proportion of whole wheat flour did you use? A high amount of whole wheat could be the reason for the crumb not being as airy.


Don

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Yes, I was a bit puzzled by that - being inspired by your wonderful airy loaves to try my hand on it. I didn't have high extraction flour, so I used 2/3 AP flour and 1/3 whole wheat flour (Peter Reinharts suggestion in the "Whole Grain Breads"). The bread tasted really good, but looked more like a "regular" multigrain bread.


 


 

DonD's picture
DonD

You may want to decrease the amount of whole wheat flour and use 25% instead with 75% AP to lighten up the dough. For the last 2 stretch and fold before retardation, you can try doing it on the bench instead of in the bowl to stretch the dough more and trap more air. This will improve the airiness of the crumb.


Don

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I appreciate your suggestion and will definitely try it with this flour ratio. I'm also really encouraged now to experiment with white sourdough breads and a bag of 7-grain mix that I've so far used only to make struan type breads.

Renee B's picture
Renee B

I tried this loaf today.  It gave me pretty good oven spring even with 50% (or more) whole wheat bread flour.  Doesn't the moisture from the dough soak the flax seeds during retardation in the fridge?  I thought that was why you added the extra hydration.

DonD's picture
DonD

Yes, the seeds will definitely hydrate and absorb some of the moisture in the dough during fermentation and retardation, that is why I increased the hydration to 77%.


Don

SydneyGirl's picture
SydneyGirl

Thanks for this recipe. I made this bread (or a version thereof) last Saturday.


Having neither one of the suggested flours, using 1/3 each of bread flour, freshly ground whole wheat (some bran removed through sifting) and white spelt flour. As I don't have a baking stone or a very controllable oven, I baked it in a loaf pan and got really nice oven spring. I didn't get the nice large holes, but prefer a slightly denser loaf anyway. I thought the crumb was lovely and soft and even. Really nice bread. 


Better still, almost a week later the bread is still soft and tastes delicious. 


So thank you, for a very happy baking experience. 

Renee B's picture
Renee B

I did the same thing.  I used WW bread flour that I sifted and I put it into a loaf pan.  I decided to use a couple of tablespoons of organic veg. oil to keep it fresher longer.  I used the loaf pans because I sell bread at the local market and sandwich loaves just seem to sell better.  I also tried a boule which worked out great.  The loaves are proofing now.  I'll let you know how they come out.

DonD's picture
DonD

I am glad you like the recipe and that you are able to put your own touches on the final product. I think that is the essence of good baking.


Don

Renee B's picture
Renee B

All I have to say is Wow. These are the prettiest sandwich loaves I have ever made.  What is it that gives this recipe such great oven spring?  The boule that I made stood on its own even though it was so hydrated.  I've made other, equally hydrated boules before and they just relax on the stone.  Is it that with the recipe given in bakers percentages, I dont have to work the dough so long in the mixer to get the right texture?  Or is it the time that it spends fermenting in the refrigerator?

DonD's picture
DonD

that the recipe works out well for you. I think that the small amount of instant yeast in addition to the starter gives you more consistent results in terms of rise, oven spring and softness of crumb. The seeds in the dough absorb some of the moisture so although the hydration level is relatively high, the dough behaves like a lesser hydration dough and tends to hold its shape better during baking. The beauty of extended fermentation in the refrigerator is that you do not need to work the dough too long in the mixer to achieve the open soft crumb and good oven spring.


Don

Sam Fromartz's picture
Sam Fromartz

Don,


I sent your link to David Lebovitz and this was his reply about your take on Keyser's bread:


"Yes, that looks pretty right-on. Texture and exterior, too."


Best, Sam

DonD's picture
DonD

Hi Sam,


It was kind of you to send the link to David Lebovitz. I have always enjoyed his blogs (and yours too...) and am glad that he approves!


Don

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Today I baked the Pain aux Cereales again, following your advice on using only 25% whole wheat flour and doing the last 2 S&Fs on the countertop. I changed the "cereales" a bit, incorporating only the millet and dark flaxseeds in the dough and exchanging the golden flaxseeds for fennel seeds.


This time the proofing of the shaped loaves took 1 3/4 hrs., longer than the first time, though the kitchen was most likely warmer. The breads registered 211 F after baking and the bottoms were a bit too dark, otherwise they turned out just fine, a crackling crust and a wonderful taste. And the seeds stuck better to the crust, because I misted the loaves with water and sprinkled them before proofing.


The holes were larger than in my first trial (though not as large as yours - probably because of the somewhat different flour). I am very happy with the result, next time I would incorporate some of the fennel into the dough, too (I love the taste), and probably bake them in a perforated pan to prevent the bottom from getting too dark.




Thanks for the recipe and advice, Don,


Karin

Whygee's picture
Whygee

I've just stumbled upon this recipe and it looks great. Do you how long it should take for the levain build to "triple" in volume? I'm not sure mine is raising that much. Thanks.

Bill in UK's picture
Bill in UK

Been making this for a bit now for home and for my charity microbakery customers. On twitter @hopebake. It works great and having tasted the real thing in Paris a few weeks ago can confirm that it gets close. For those in UK the 5 seed mix from Shipton Mill works well in this if you add flax  and poppy seeds (Holland and Barrett). I shape the loaves then spray with water and roll them in the seed mix before the final rise on the couche. This was they stick great.

joe_s's picture
joe_s

When I am in Paris, this is all I buy! This is my favourite bread, my favourite amongst many favourites. But this is fabulous.  i am so excited to find a recipe to give a try. Thanks so much!