The Fresh Loaf

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Leinsamenbrot - German Flaxseed Bread

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hanseata's picture
hanseata

Leinsamenbrot - German Flaxseed Bread

Ingredients (2 Loaves)

SOAKER                                                            APPROXIMATE VOLUME MEASUREMENTS
200 g rye flour                                                  1cup + 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. rye flour
111 g whole wheat flour                                     3/4 cup + 1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. whole wheat flour
5 g salt                                                             1/2 tsp.  salt
150 g flax seeds                                                 1 cup - 1 tbsp. flaxseeds (whole)
272 g buttermilk                                                1 cup + 3 tbsp. buttermilk

33 g water

 

BIGA

311 g bread flour                                               2 cups + 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp. bread flour

1 g instant yeast                                                1/4 tsp. instant yeast

203 g water                                                       3/4 cup + 2 tbsp. + 1 tsp. water


FINAL DOUGH

all soaker and biga                                            all soaker and biga
78 g bread flour                                               1/2 cup + 1 tbsp. +  1 1/2 tsp. bread flour                                         
7 g salt                                                            1 tsp. salt
7 g instant yeast                                             2 3/4 tsp. instant yeast
19 g honey                                                       1 tbsp. honey
14 g pumpkin seed oil (or other vegetable oil)     1 tbsp. pumpkin seed oil (or other vegetable oil)
milk, for brushing                                              milk, for brushing

Directions:

DAY 1

In the morning, stir together all soaker ingredients until well hydrated. Let sit at room temperature for 12 - 24 hrs.

Mix together all biga ingredients at low speed (mixer or hand) for 1 - 2 min., until no flour is left on bottom of bowl. Knead for 2 min. on medium-low speed. Let dough rest for 5 min., then knead for 1 more min. Place biga in lightly oiled bowl, cover and refrigerate.

In the evening, mix together all ingredients fo final dough until well combined (1 - 2 min. on low speed or by hand). Knead for 4 min. on medium-low speed. Let dough rest for 5 min., then resume kneading for another min.  Divide into 2 portions and place dough balls in lightly oiled 1-quart plastic containers (or bowls). Cover and refrigerate overnight.


DAY 2

Remove dough from refrigerator 2 hrs. before using. Shape into 2 boules and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with milk. Score with big star shaped  (or round or square) cookie cutter.

Preheat oven to 425 F, including steam pan.

Let breads rise at room temperature for 45 - 60 min., or until they have grown to 1 1/2 times their original size.

Bake breads at 350 F for 20 min. (with steam), rotate them 180 degrees and continue baking for another 20 - 25 min. (internal temperature at least 195 F). Let cool on wire rack.

 

STRETCH AND FOLD TECHNIQUE:

Leinsamenbrot can also be made with stretch and fold technique. Prepare only soaker as pre-dough (the flax seeds need 24 hours for thorough soaking!). Add biga ingredients to final dough.

For final dough, dissolve yeast in lukewarm water. Mix it with soaker and all other ingredients for 1 min. at low speed. Let dough sit for 5 min. Knead on medium-low speed for 2 min. Dough should be supple and very tacky, bordering on sticky (adjust with water if needed). Continue kneading for 4 more min., increasing speed to medium-high for last 30 sec. Dough should be tacky.

Stretch and fold dough 4 times, every 10 min. (40 min. total time). Refrigerate overnight.

Remove dough from refrigerator 3 hrs. before baking.

Shape cold dough into 2 boules. Place seam side down on parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with milk, then score with big cookie cutter. Let breads rise for ca. 2 - 3 hrs., or until grown 1 1/2 times their original size. Continue as in recipe above.

 

VOLUME MEASUREMENTS are only approximate calculations - you have to adjust with water or flour according to what the dough consistency should be like!!!

Updated 7/20/13: I added water to the soaker, and reduced the yeast in the final dough.

 

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

It's very good-looking indeed! and judging from the list of ingredients it must be  delicious.


I'm very curious about the yeast in the final dough: isn't the one in the biga sufficient to raise the bread? Or is it there just to speed up the process?


As for the soaker am I correct in assuming that the combination of buttermilk and rye is there to simulate a sourdough?

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I never really thought about that. I took this recipe from one of my old German bread baking books (basically just the ingredients), re-writing it to Peter Reinhart's "Whole Grain Breads" technique, and then trying it out several times, tweaking it until it was exactly as I liked it.


In German recipes they (nearly) always use fresh yeast (1 cake = 40 g is approximately 2 1/4 tsp. instant yeast = 8 g. I can't get fresh yeast here in Maine, anyway, and instant yeast is very reliable.


I bake this bread professionally, so I need it to rise within a reliable time. (I use the soaker/biga technique as described) I do not use as much instant yeast as given in the WGB book, but I don't know whether 1 g would be enough.


In German or Austrian bread recipes you find much more often flour combinations, like rye/whole wheat/wheat or rye/spelt/wheat or rye meal/cornflour/wheat. I don't think it's just to simulate sourdough, it's more about the flavor.


I never saw white sourdough breads in Germany, all the German sourdough recipes I know are rye/rye mix breads. It would be worth a try making this bread with a starter I'm sure it would taste very nice, too.


Karin


 


 


 


 

tananaBrian's picture
tananaBrian

A lot of those flour combinations came from regions that either didn't have enough land to grow enough wheat or who's land that wasn't well suited for growing wheat.  The rye and other grains can grow in lower quality soil and were used to supplement or stretch the wheat supply (flour).  White/Whole Wheat/Rye is sometimes known as a 'bavarian flour mixture'.  One of my (german) grandmothers used to bake exclusively with this blend, and my (german) grandfather insisted that it was the only proper way to make bread...


Brian


 

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Beautiful!  Would you mind if I featured this on the front page for a bit?

hanseata's picture
hanseata

That's quite flattering, thanks.


Karin

Noor13's picture
Noor13

Das sieht aber lecker aus:)


Well done.

maybaby's picture
maybaby

Oh MY! That looks fabulous...I think this is going next on my to try list!

Kroha's picture
Kroha

I would love to bake this bread, but am a bit confused about how to proceed from where you left off.  I imagine something like "preheat the oven to 400, load the bread, steam, lower temp to 350 and bake for 45 min, until golden brown, sounds hollow both on top and the bottom"?  Is that close? 


Thank you! 


Kroha

hanseata's picture
hanseata

That's close, but the preheating temperature should be 425 F for baking mode/400 for (fan-assisted) convection.


I would advise you, though, to get an instant thermometer (inexpensive item) to measure the internal temperature rather than just knocking at it. I am not able to really discern whether a bread sounds hollow enough when the temperature is still a bit below the minimum 195 F degrees internal temperature.


Karin


 

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

I don't know how I missed this one..thanks for the great recipe and write-up


Sylvia

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Well deserved promotion to the front page!   Beautiful Loaf! 


Mini

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Thanks, Mini, I tell that my husband who just complained about my getting sucked into this website...

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

...would be greatly appreciated if you could post it.


Thanks


PS - The exterior of the bread is fantastic. Thanks also for posting the recipe.

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I will add a photo of the crumb when I bake the flaxseed bread next time - I made this photo before I joined TFL, just for my own list of breads. It tastes really good. For my little bakery I offer only breads I really like myself.


Karin

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Karin,


What a beautiful looking bread. I can see how that would fly off the shelves at the wholefood store!


What a great photo too. Do you mind me asking what camera you use? Ours is on its last legs really and I am looking into what we might get next.


Kind regards, Daisy_A

hanseata's picture
hanseata

We bought this camera 2 years ago. It was recommended to us by a photographer, and we are very happy we followed his advice. It it a Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS. It is not very expensive (you can get it new for $ 160) and very easy to handle. I never had a digital camera before and now I'm surprised how I managed so long without it.


Karin

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Karin,


Thanks for the recommendation. It certainly does seem to take good photographs.


Kind regards, Daisy_A

Renee B's picture
Renee B

I used your star-shaped cookie cutter idea for my peasant boules.  I hope you don't mind my stealing your idea, but for some reason, at the store I sell my bread, people seem to shy away from my boules.  This week, with the star design, they were all gone.  Thanks.  P.S. I will try the flax seed bread for next week.

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I'm very happy to hear that the star design helped you selling your breads, Renee.


I saw this pattern on multigrain boules in a bakery in Belfast (the Maine one) and thought it was a great idea. Since I have a Tyrolean breared baking book where breads are decorated with cookie cutters, I knew how to achieve it, and bought a giant star cookie cutter to try it out.


I sell my breads, too, and it is nice if people can discern specific types by their looks. 


Please let me know how you liked the Leinsamenbrot if you try it out.


Whether you use a biga or do just a soaker plus stretch & fold, both methods works well, and you can also either shape your bread cold or de-chilled, whatever works for your time schedule best.


Karin

Renee B's picture
Renee B

Thank you for your encouragement.  I think I have some trouble selling my bread because the flavors and textures I give it are artistic and complex but the shape and scoring of it is not.  I just dont have that kind of visually aesthetism required to come up with a visually beautiful loaf of bread and so I have to steal ideas from other people so that I can lure buyers in.  I was thinking of calling my baking business "Ugly Bread Company" that way people will think its a gimmick and not just a lack of imagination on my part.

SCruz's picture
SCruz

What a beautiful looking loaf. Any tips on how to convert the measurements to cups and spoons?


Jerry

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Jerry,


I'm just out of town. When I'm home this weekend I'll write that down for you.


But I really would recommend investing in a digital scale (ca. $ 30). I weighed my flours per cup and compared the results with the conversion tables from Cooks Illustrated - they were quite different.


Karin


 


 

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Jerry, I tried to calculate the volume measurements for you (see updated recipe). But I would really advise you to get a scale - only as an example here are the differences between flour weight equivalents of New York Bakers, Peter Reinhart, Cooks Illustrated and my own measurements:


1 cup whole wheat flour according to:


NYBakers: 120 g   Peter Reinhart: 130 g   Cooks Illustrated: 156 g   Karin: 128 g


You see how unprecise volume measurements are. If you use them, go by what the dough consistency should be, and adjust with flour or water accordingly.


Karin


 

SCruz's picture
SCruz

Thanks for your suggestion and for helping with the conversion. I really appreciate it.


Warmly,


Jerry

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Let me know how it turned out, Jerry, if you bake the Leinsamenbrot.


Karin

tananaBrian's picture
tananaBrian

BTW, I'm sure everyone feels the sentiment, but THANK YOU for sharing the recipe that you personally refined and developed for your own professional use ...it was very big of you to share it here with us!  Online no less!!


 


Brian


 


 

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Brian, you are right, wheat could be cultivated only in the south of Germany, all the northern regions and also Scandinavian countries had poorer soils and a harsher climate where only rye, oat and barley could grow. Therefore all these northern countries had rye and rye mix sourdough leavened breads, whereas people in southern Germany (except for Bavaria) and Austria used yeast as leaven and ate wheat breads.


I think it's quite sad that with all the many German immigrants so few German breads have made it into American cuisine. Germany has over 300 distinct bread specialties, more than any other country in the world, and the only German breads most people know here are pretzels = Brezeln (in Germany only a regional specialty consumed with beer), Pumpernickel (a specialty for party buffets, not for daily consume) and, only lately, Vollkornbrot - as the only "regular" German bread.


I'm a one-woman-mini-bakery, therefore I'm not afraid to share my recipes. And it makes me really happy if you guys appreciate my breads!


Karin

tananaBrian's picture
tananaBrian

I haven't studied the flour used in the german area much ...I think I read the bit about 'bavarian flour' in the Laurel Kitchen book on bread many years ago.  I remember it because my grandparents always insisted on using the rye/whole wheat/white combination in all of the bread they made.  Good, but never changed...


 


Brian


 

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Karin,


It's really interesting to read what you are saying here on the topics of grains and types of bread associated with different geographical areas.


I have been reading recently about the range of grains that were used historically for home baking in Britain. Apparently prior to the 1800s there was a long-standing tradition in Northern England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland (generally the poorer and more northerly parts of the kingdom), of baking with non-wheat flour, often in multi-grain mixes. There was also a tradition nationwide of mixing wheat with other grains, including rye, particularly when wheat prices were high. More wheat was consumed in the south, particularly in the cities.


The northern breads also have amazing names, albeit a bit less dignified-sounding than 'leinsamenbrot' or 'vollkornbrot'. The author E.J.T. Collins, quoting an earlier study claims that


  In the northern counties the different cereals, wheat, rye, barley, oats, peas, and
  beans, sometimes all competed with each other for pride of place in local dietaries.
  Eden and Roeder list a bewildering complexity of grain mixes and methods of food
  preparation, of double and triple combinations of meals and flours, of  "crowdies,"
  "flummerys", "riddle breads," "jannocks, " " bannocks," " hasty puddings," "thar-
  cakes," and "clap-breads," to name but a few of the many dishes produced by the
  ovens and backstones of north-country kitchens.


One of the things that is of interest to me is how artisan bread making is tending to challenge the narrower focus on refined wheat and turning back to the multi grain mixes, even looking for gluten free flours, such as bean flour.


However though bannocks and others survive in various forms, many of the particular recipes have been lost. There are some real pioneers trying to revive and adapt older traditions, including Andrew Whitley and Dan Lepard. Maybe not all of these breads would be popular now but some things have been adapted beautifully, like Dan Lepard's lovely lemon and barley cob that txfarmer just baked recently .


You talk about German breads in America and reflect on why only certain recipes get circulated. It's hard to say why only a few traditional German breads made a national impact originally. However is the continued focus on a few perpetuated in part by the major recipe books? Even though flaxseed bread may feature (as it does in The Handmade Loaf), pretzels, pumpernickel and rye are the most widely known already so they tend to be the recipes that are followed up for publication, even when research is undertaken in Europe or recipes are offered by ex-patriot Europeans?  Great though these breads are and good though it is to move away from the dominance of just a few national traditions, if, as you say, there are around 800 German breads, it is still a very small sample.


In a way the publication of your own recipes is widening the archive. This is going to be effective via TFL because, as you note, other people can actually bake them, and in doing so pass will on the knowledge.


Then again, maybe you should write the book that widens the field - 'There are actually more German breads, by the way' or some other more media friendly title!


Kind regards,  Daisy_A


 


Quotation from
Collins, E. J. T. (1975) Dietary Change and Cereal Consumption in
Britain in the Nineteenth Century
(pdf), p.5

hanseata's picture
hanseata

It would be really interesting to find out what the ingredients were in these lost traditional breads - the flummeries sound really intriguing, as does the riddle bread (I hope the secret ingredient was not some saw dust to stretch the flour).


Daisy, there are actually only about 300 different specialty breads for Germans to boast of - not 800 - though it seems the number is growing from one book to the other I read...


I just got a delivery from amazon.de, three new German bread baking books, a real challenge for the coming months. One is especially nice and interesting: "Brot - so backen unsere besten Baecker" (Bread - what our best bakers bake) with recipes from award winning German master bakers all over the country.


Of course it's a little tricky to convert German rye types to American ones. As far as I know we have here only white rye flour, medium and whole rye, apart from coarser grinds like meal or cracked rye. At least Wikipedia mentions that the 4 German medium  rye flour types can be used interchangeable.


Karin

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Karin.

Good to read your message! The flummeries and riddle cakes seem to be ways of being creative with oatmeal. I think 'riddle cake' is another way of saying 'griddle cake' and as far as I have found out they were cakes made with oat flour fermented overnight then cooked on a hot, flat surface. Flummery seems to be as much sweet fun as you can have with flour or meal. I've found references to oatmeal and flour cooked and strained to make a blancmange type pudding. Apparently it could be flavoured with fruit. Doesn't sound as sweet as contemporary puddings but then I don't have much of a sweet tooth and have had Scottish cranachan which is oats, raspberries and whisky and really liked it.

Thanks for the information on the number of German breads. I thought I had read 800 or maybe I misread 8 for 3! My monitor screen is quite tiny. Still it sounds like a great range and it should be good to explore the new books and find inspiration from other contemporary bakers.

The flour range you describe in America sounds similar to what is available in the UK and several of those options are not widely available. I didn't realize that there were different grades of German medium ryes. I guess that suggests the serious attention paid to the bread. It's good that you could also use what is nearer to hand to try some of the recipes.

What is interesting about the Collins book I refer to is that it breaks down traditional British breads and grain mixes county by county. In the county in which I grew up - Cumbria - 'maslin' bread was popular. There are different versions of what maslin consisted of but Collins refers to it as a wheat and rye mix, which fits the description of some of the loaves that I do now, although I came across that pairing first in German- and Scandinavian-inspired recipes!

Kind regards, Daisy_A

shallots's picture
shallots

Just a note that I made it towards the end of the week and baked it yesterday and it is definitely a winner. 


The soak of the flax seeds means that the seeds are edible (as opposed to...well, you know).  The flavor works well. 


I've been looking for breads with so much flavor that they don't need fats added as butter or cream cheese for gratificaiton.  This one passes as a snack so very easily. 


Thank you for sharing it.

hanseata's picture
hanseata

and I am glad that you like it, Shallots.


Karin

GENE FOSTER's picture
GENE FOSTER

Karin:


Thanks for the receipe.


I baked it this weekend and got two nice sized boules, so I had enough to share with family.  (just my wife and I at home now)


My grand daughter, age 8, has refused to eat anything but supermarket white bread and then only with the crust cut off.  But boy oh boy, she pigged out on the leinsamenbrot, eating everything (she loved the crust & crumb).


It is good to see eat something healthy.


Again thanks


Gene

kerofish's picture
kerofish

I have baked this twice. The first time, I didn't have any flaxseed, but it was still delicious without it. The next time, I added the flaxseed and had to leave the soaker out for an extra day in the fridge because my parents dropped by. The dough was much harder to handle that time, although it may have been because more water was absorbed with the flax. All the same, it turned out wonderfully. Thank you for the recipe; it's a keeper!

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Gene and Kerofish, I'm happy that your breads turned out nice - and, hopefully, led a young soul away from the gaping maw of wonderbread hell onto the path to artisan bread heaven...


Karin

tananaBrian's picture
tananaBrian

...So true!  A friend of mine that went down the path of becoming a physician, at least until he decided it wasn't for him, told me that he refuses to eat any white bread.  You don't want to know what they find in the intestines of people that eat a lot of grocery store white bread ...but I'll just say that it is a wonder that such people don't have more digestive problems or that they don't suffer from malnutrion any more than they do.  (Maybe that's why it's called Wonder Bread?)  In any case, after his educational discussion with me, I really lean towards all-grain or at least 50% whole-grain type breads for the normal daily fare, saving the ciabattas and other white specialties for more occassional use.


Brian


 

emmsf's picture
emmsf

I am in the process of making this bread.  Quick Quesiton:  What should the soaker texture be?  I'm pretty familiar with soakers, but this one is unlike any I've made before - it's extremely dense and heavy.  I know it's rye, and rye tends to be more dense and sticky, but this seems extreme.  I'm wondering if that's what it should be like, or if I may have measured wrong....  Thanks for any thoughts.

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Hi, Emmsf, the soaker is indeed quite stiff, when it has soaked enough. It shouldn't be too dry, though, when it's being stirred together, because the flaxseeds soak up a lot of liquid.


I just made sure the recipe above is the recipe I use - the amounts of the ingredients are right.


If you are not sure, better make the soaker a little too wet than too dry, you can always adjust with flour in the final dough, but the flaxseeds need enough buttermilk to soak.


Good luck and let me know how it turned out,


Karin

spnevins's picture
spnevins

Thanks for this beautiful bread recipe.  I've made it several times now.  The first time I literally broke the hook off my Professional 600 kneading a double batch!  I'm guessing my rye flour absorbes more liquid than yours.  Since then I've omitted the extra flour in the final dough (as well as not doubling this recipe!) which has worked for me.  I also followed the directions by brushing & scoring the loaves before their final rise but got a huge raised star in the middle of the bread as my reward.  Since then, I brush & score the bread just before putting it in the oven & get loaves as beautiful as yours!  Thanks again for sharing with us.     

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I'm happy to hear that!


You are right, flours are a bit different and the climate also matters. I get my organic flours from a local Maine wholegrocer and I noticed a difference to those I bought before in the supermarket.


I also was surprised how some of my doughs "acted out" in this heat wave with degrees around 90 we had for several weeks, they didn't only rise much faster (expected) but, also seemed wetter even though I used the same amounts of water and flour (quite unexpected).


Karin


 


 

SCruz's picture
SCruz

Karin:


Just bought a scale as you suggested. A new world! Now I'm disparaging of bread books that only list the ingredients in cups.


Thanks for the push.


Jerry


Santa Cruz CA

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Haha, Jerry - now I did my Good Deed for the month!


Karin

SCruz's picture
SCruz

Karin:


I entered your leinssamenbrot in our county fair. It won not only the best foreign bread, but the best in the entire baked goods category, more than 250 entires! I'm letting everyone know where to find your recipe.


 


You've really created a great bread.


 


So, what are your other favorite breads....?


Thanks for bringing so many of us to this wonderful recipe.


Jerry

tananaBrian's picture
tananaBrian

And now you know why Karin's bakery is a successful one!!


 


Brian


 


 

SCruz's picture
SCruz

Now I want to know more about Karin's bakery. Portland, Maine? How did they get so lucky?


Karin: What other breads are you especially proud of?

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I'm very happy to hear that, Jerry! Now I'll only have to get a bumper sticker with: "Proud Parent of an Award Winning Bread".


My bakery is a one frau operation, actually located in Bar Harbor (but I love Portland and we are often there, it reminds me of my hometown Hamburg). It is successful in so far that I have a bunch of faithful "followers" who buy my breads regularly at the store.


This is my logo!


I also have a few private customers who order directly from me, and now and then I give classes in bread baking.


Since it's more like a hobby (also financially) and I can mostly bake what I like, I thoroughly enjoy myself.


Some other favorite breads are: Karin's Feinbrot (to be posted soon), my Pain a l'Ancienne version, Multigrain Pita and Spelt-Walnut-Bread.


Karin

highmtnpam's picture
highmtnpam

Karin,  This bread is gorgeous.  I never thought of using a cookie cutter to score. Thanks for a great idea.  Pam

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Pam, I saw a lovely looking bread with a similar star pattern in a bakery and wondered how to achieve it. Trying to score it with a lame or knife that evenly seemed impossible.


But I do the pattern of two of my Tyrolean Mini Breads (Sunflower Seed and Pumpkin Seed Bread) with a cookie cutter, so I looked around for a giant star shaped cookie cutter. I would have liked an even larger one, but I found only this one and it works fine.


I also use a large leaf shaped cookie cutter for my seasonal Pumpkin Bread, the dough is a bit softer, so the pattern is not quite as distinct. But I like the pattern to be fairly simple to look nice and not too "cookie cutter cutesy".


Karin



Kuerbisbrot - Pumpkin Bread


 

highmtnpam's picture
highmtnpam

Karin, I am in the big city today and hope I can find a big star cookie cutter.  Wish me luck!  Pam

hanseata's picture
hanseata

And happy baking, Pam!


Karin

highmtnpam's picture
highmtnpam

Hey Karin, I found a big cookie cutter yesterday.  I can hardly wait to see if it is going to be good enough. Pam

hanseata's picture
hanseata

and don't be too timid in pressing down the cookie cutter - of course not down to the bottom, but not overly cautious either.


Karin


 

highmtnpam's picture
highmtnpam

I'm going to try that bread.. I'll learn to do pictures!!   Pam

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

I could not resist this loaf which I found by accident while doing various searches while waiting for loaves to proof.  


Some questions now that I have baked this following your great instructions.


SOAKER:  I used the exact amounts of all ingredients that you have listed above. Only difference was that my flours were freshly ground and measured, by weight, after being ground.  Hydration felt fine immediately after mixing but after the 8ish hours on the counter it was VERY firm....we are talking VERY firm.  There was NO way my Bosch was going to mix up those little pieces without me adding more water!  I ended up adding about 1/4 to 1/2 cup more water (i00-200g) during the final mixing stage.  I just kept adding until it felt 'right' to me.


Biga hydration was just fine despite the fact that I also used freshly ground flour in place of bread flour.


Over night bulk ferment: Final dough flour was also freshly ground and, in the past when I have followed recipes/formulas that use bread flour, my doughs always ferment in at least half the time.  I have learned to decrease starter amounts to adjust for this but when I do a new recipe and a new technique (Using 2 pre-ferments followed by an overnight refrigerator bulk ferment.) I follow what has been written to see how it works first.


I covered the dough and placed it in my refrig.  I checked it about 2 1/2 hours later and it had risen by half.  I was concerned about over fermenting and ruining the gluten so I took it out and gave it a few quick kneads in the bowl to degas it.  Into the refrig. it went again.  After another 3 hours I peeked in on it once more and it had risen again....I repeated the degassing with a few quick bowl kneadings and put it back.  It was late so I went to bed hoping it wouldn't over ferment.


This morning it had doubled but still had good strength so I was relieved. I divided it into 2 doughs and shaped into boules.  I found a 'star' cookie cutter to top them off with but I think I was a bit too firm when pressing into the dough...


They only had to proof for an hour before going into the oven.


What a heavenly aroma.  I was so excited when I turned the loaves after the first 20 minutes....they had risen nicely and had a wonderful color.  I knew exactly to whom I wanted to give the second loaf. (A friend from England who regularly gets loaves from me but I was sure this would be the 'best' ever!)


I had a hard time waiting before putting her loaf into a bag and walking it down to her house....The aroma was overpowering!  Once there she too couldn't stop smelling the bread.  In fact we stood there taking turns smelling it....Her 6 year old daughter was looking at us with a bit of a puzzled look..."I mean - like what normal people get excited about smelling bread!!!!"  We ended up laughing at ourselves so hard that we couldn't talk....Reminiscent of my old hippie days in San Francisco but back then I wasn't laughing uncontrollably due to inhaling bread aromas....


Now my question for you.  Does your dough rise quickly once you refrigerate it too?  Do you simply leave it alone or do you degas it?


I realized after the second degassing and quick kneading that I probably shouldn't have done the kneading piece as that probably encouraged the yeast - new oxygen and new food to go after!


Despite what I think was too rapid of a fermentation in the final proof these loaves DID turn out remarkably well.  I am just curious if your dough rises like mine does and, if it does, then next bake I will ignore the dough once I have put it in the refrig. for the night. If yours does not behave as mine did then I will decrease the yeast in the final dough and see what that happens.



 


Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe!  I am anxious now to try others you have posted here.  My 'to bake' list just keeps getting longer and longer these days!

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Your bread looks very nice - I baked it today for a customer, too.


You are right, the soaker gets very firm (I chopped mine), the flax seeds soak up all the liquid. With your self ground flours I'm sure you always have to adjust according to what your dough feels like and needs.


I don't think you need to be that anxious about the dough overfermenting in the fridge. When I check mine some hours later, it often has risen quite a bit already, too. I just assume the yeast activity slows down after some time when the dough is cold enough, don't think too much about it, and just leave it to its own devices.


For the final proof it takes my doughs between 45 and 60 minutes, depending on the kitchen temperature.


I'm very happy to hear that you achieved such a good result and liked my bread!


Karin


 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

 


Next time I will just leave it alone and see what does happen and how far it does rise without being disturbed.  Now at least I do have something to compare it to.


Do you add more water to your final dough when mixing due to your soaker being so stiff too?  There was NO way mine would have softened up unless I had pounded it with a mallet :-0


Janet

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I always check the final dough for the right consistency. If it's too dry, I add a bit more water. Even if you measure all ingredients exactly the same every time there still might be differences.


After producing some multigrain bricks in the past, I rather err on the sticky side.


Karin

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

I am thinking I might add a bit of extra water to the soaker...maybe let it sit for 30 min. and check it.  If dry - add extra water.  I am thinking if it is softer going into the final dough the mixing will be shorter...


I have learned the same thing about 'bricks'. :-)  Softer dough can always go into a bread pan and nobody knows the difference except the baker....

drjtcase's picture
drjtcase

I recalled with great affection the Leinsamenbrot I got fresh from my local bakery when I lived in Germany over 30 years ago.  I was thrilled to find this recipe and couldn't wait to try it.  Unfortunately, my first attempt was a dismal failure.  I am not totally new to bread baking and have had a reasonable amount of success over the past year or so, but this one stumped me.

The soaker seemd extremely dry and by the next day was similar to a soft brick.  Overall the dough was extremely dense and the timings of the fermentation seemed very short given the amount of time in the refridgerator (where I got virtually no rise).  Anyway the result was a small dense inedible mass.  I was wondering if something was missing from the recipe.

I weigh all my ingredients so my measurements were very close to what was listed.  I really want to get a good version of this bread so help is very much appreciated.

Jim

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Jim, I checked the amounts again, to make sure, but there is nothing missing - this is exactly as I make it, for myself and for sale. But there are several facts that might contribute to your failed first attempt.

The soaker will have the consistency you describe - thanks to the many flax seeds that absorb a lot of liquid. Though the final dough will be a bit stiff (with all those seeds), it definitely shouldn't be dense or dry.

The whole mixing procedure follows Peter Reinhart's technique from "Whole Grain Breads", I adapted most of my old German recipes to his method using pre-doughs, autolyse and long fermentation. An overnight bulk cold fermentation is my own idea, to better accomodate my schedule for baking breads for sale.

If your dough didn't rise in the refrigerator it can have two reasons. Either your dough was too dry, or the yeast didn't work well enough. If you used instant yeast, and it wasn't too old, a lack of hydration is the likely culprit. Your flours might be different from mine, and the environment has an influence too. I would recommend adding a bit more water, to the soaker and/or to the final dough. Let the final dough be a little more sticky than tacky, and try not to add any additional flour.

Don't let yourself be discouraged by this first disappointment. This bread is really nice, and other TFLers made it successfully. Often it's only a little tweak that's makes a difference - my cookbooks a scribbled full of notes where I found that changes were necessary, because my flour, or my oven is different from others.

Leinsamenbrot is, of course, a generic term for all kinds of breads that contain flax seeds, so this one might be quite different from the one you had in Germany.

I hope I could help you,

Karin

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Jim,

Too add on to Karin's reply.  I make this a lot too and use a sd starter with it.  I have to add a bit of extra water because I used freshly ground whole grains that are thirstier but that is all that is necessary for me to do.

Good Luck!  It is a great bread.

Janet

Simisu's picture
Simisu

just wanted to say how lovely this bread looks and peg down this thread so i can try it someday!

thanks

tananaBrian's picture
tananaBrian

Anyone have nice pictures of the crumb?  I think it would help those that are trying to decide how the bread is supposed to turn out and whether or not they've succeeded...

Brian

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I took that photo a while ago in pre-TFL times, so I didn't do a crumb shot.

Next time I bake one for myself and not just for sale, I will take a picture.

Karin

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

Your bread is so lovely I'm sure that many (besides myself) would appreciate seeing a photo of the crumb also.

hanseata's picture
hanseata

after I come back from Germany after Easter I will put Leinsamenbrot on my baking schedule - and take a crumb shot.

Karin

tananaBrian's picture
tananaBrian

Thanks, Karin!  I'm thinking of trying this one too... :)

hanseata's picture
hanseata

This one of my best breads.

Happy baking,

Karin