The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Peter Reinharts multi grain bread

Truffles's picture
Truffles

Peter Reinharts multi grain bread

Has anyone had success making this multi grain bread. I've tried it twice now and find that in order to mix and knead the dough I have to add a lot of water to give it the consistency that my mixer, which is the "
Assistant" can work with. With the extra water and the mixer doing it's job I have to add a lot of flour a little at a time to get the right development.

Truffles's picture
Truffles

I should have said that I''m talking about the recipe from PR's book WGB and not the transitional wgb whichwas quite routine.  Herb

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I'm baking this bread regularly and, also, taught it in my bread baking classes. I make it with sourdough, not with a biga, use the whole grain combination suggested in the transitional multigrain bread, and add typical German bread spices to the final dough (1/4 tsp. mixture of anise, fennel and caraway) to give it a more rounded taste. I use only 5 g instant yeast in the final dough (not 7 g) which works just fine.

I make this bread with overnight retardation and bake it with falling temperatures (see below). I found this generally a better way to achieve a crisper and thinner crust for this type of lean bread.

 

DAY 1

In the morning: prepare soaker and starter.

In the evening: prepare final dough. Refrigerate overnight.

DAY 2

Remove dough from refrigerator 2 hours before planning to use. Shape boule or batard, place in banneton or on parchment lined baking sheet. Proof for 45 - 60 min, or until it has grown 1 1/2 times its original size.

Preheat oven to 500 F, prepare for hearth baking with baking stone and steam pan.

Bake (with steam) for 10 minutes at 475 F, then reduce temperature to 425 F and bake for another 10 minutes. Rotate bread 180 degrees, and continue baking for another 20 - 30 minutes.

I don't know your mixer model, but if it can not handle this heavy dough, I suggest mixing the final dough by hand. The water amounts are sufficient, when I bake it, but flours are different and, in any case, it's better if the dough is somewhat sticky than too dry! When you retard the final dough overnight, the next morning it's ususally nicely risen in the refrigerator.

Truffles's picture
Truffles

The bread in his whole grain bread book has about 40% water in it. HIs multigrain bread in BBA is around 75% as is Jeffrey Hamelman's. The biga is not a high hydration preferment, the water in the soaker is taken up by the various grains and he shows no additional in the final mix. Isit possible your starter adds a lot of water? My final dough is a very dry one.

What kind of mixer do you use. Are you and your students using any kind of stand mixer similar to the Kitchen Aid?

 Your bread looks great and I have no problem with the taste or texture of the bread after baking.

Thank you so much for your comments. I decided to do the entire kneading by hand rather than the last part where I keep adding flour.

Tnaks again. Herb

bpezzell's picture
bpezzell

Interesting, as I just made this bread tonight, and thought to myself, Geez, this dough is dry. The loaf turned out nicely in the end though. I plan to revisit it in the coming week, checking the math and tweaking if necessary. I have not baked every recipe in WGB, but in general, I like the delayed ferm technique better in the loaf breads as opposed to the hearth breads. These techniques produce magnificent whole grain loaf breads.

Truffles's picture
Truffles

I just made it again without the mixer. I would recommend at least mixing it by hand which is quite easy and didn't need extra water or flour. Do you take pictures of your bread.   Herb

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I use either my Cuisinart 7-quart mixer (for pre-doughs and up to 2 breads), or my 20-quart Hobart (for my semi-commercial baking). When I have classes we entirely knead by hand (though I give them recipes for both methods). Since I have issues with too dry skin I ususally don't knead much by hand.

The important thing is really to keep in mind that a slightly sticky dough is better than one that is too dry, especially with heavy doughs (rye, oat, multigrain). If the bread has too big pores (due to higher water content) it will still taste good. But if your dough is too dry, it doesn't rise properly and the resulting "brick" can be used as a weapon.

Before I bought the big Hobart mixer, I painfully kneaded a batch of dough for five German Many Seed Breads (from WGB) by hand, adding too much flour to prevent it from sticking, and ended up with five stone hard bricks that I had to throw away...

Karin

 

Truffles's picture
Truffles

Thanks karin for your quick reply. As I stated I made the bread kneading by hand. I took some pictures and after it cools I will take a picture of the cut surface. I added ingredients just as printed in the  book then mixed it in a bowl by hand a little. It was stiff enough I think it would have stood up in a cylinder four inches in diameter but it mixed easily by hand without being a bit sticky until it was almost all mixed. Then I had to add flour to the counter the dough. My guide to tacky vs sticky is if it accumulates on my hand and the dough sticks to my hand when I lift my hand and doesn't come off and leaves dough on the work surface. it's sticky. If you have a better rule of thumb, no pun intended, please let me know. The dough was not very stiff but it took quite a while to knead it. After I take the surface picture I'll try to enter them. Although I find that sometimes I can get a picture in but not other times.

Thanks again Karin.                 Herb

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Herb, in principal you are right about the stickyness. But with these heavy doughs if the dough is still somewhat sticky (a little bit sticks to your fingers and the lightly floured work surface, but your hands are not totally coated with dough), it is better to:

Lightly flour the work surface and sprinkle a little flour on top of dough. Use the bench scraper and lift sticking dough off the work surface and dust just a little bit of flour, or spray oil under it. Also scrape the dough off your fingers and dip them lightly into flour or spray them with oil.

If you retard the unruly dough overnight in the refrigerator, it's usually okay the next morning - and even if it's still a little bit sticky, don't worry about it. You will get the feel for it eventually.

In the beginning of my baking career I was much more worried about too sticky dough than I'm now. When I made whole wheat pitas (from WGB) two days ago, I must have made a mistake adding the water - the dough (normally drier than other doughs) was absolutely wet.

i nearly threw the whole bowl full into the garbage but then I remembered the naan I had made with such a wet dough (pulling and patting the dough balls into shape instead of rolling them out). I did that with the pitas - and they puffed up in the oven just as they should and looked basically the same as the "normal" ones.

Karin

Truffles's picture
Truffles

Karin , thanks for your suggestions and info. I generally have a problem with dough sticking to the heal of my hand as that is what is in contact mostly with the dough, so I keep a little pile of flour to the side and when sough accumulates on my hand I dip it in the flour. The idea I have in my mind is that the bread is not developed enough until it stops sticking to hand. I think that what you are saying is to not use that as a guide. Is that right? In that case do you use the window pane test even with dough containing all kinds of seeds etc.?

I like the idea of retarding over night in the refrigerator. If I recall correctly you bulk ferment and shape the dough before putting it in the fridge. I forgot to mentioned that I was making a double recipe each time. The first time I decided in the morning to double it so went with the amount already soaked and substituted a equal amount of rye starter I had refreshed the day before for the additional biga since PR said it could be done.

 Your bread looked really great. Do you ;combine your dough with mixer or by hand. The DLX or DXL I forget which it is, is supposed to be able to handle heavier doughs. Can you do the mixing in the cuisinart?

Herb

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Herb, I am a rather pragmatic baker - I learn the basics from books (or other intelligent peoples' posts in TFL) and then I try it out, changing things around until I'm happy with the result.

I really bake a lot, since I supply our local store with organic breads twice a week. Though these amounts are not to be compared to the output of real commercial bakeries, I nevertheless have to come up with a way to get it all done in the most practical, time saving and efficient manner.

The rule of thumb: "tacky but not sticky" is a good guideline for all breads made with at least 50% of gluten rich flours. With breads that have a higher content of low (or no) gluten flours some residue of stickiness works actually better - even though handling is a bit of a pain in the neck. A nice level of tackiness in these breads often requires several adjustments with additional flour - until it's too late, and the bread ends up too dry.

I have to admit that I gave up on the window pane test. I go more by what the dough looks and feels like, and when I retard the final dough in the refrigerator overnight the result ist just fine. I knead the dough a little less (5 min) than Peter Reinhart suggests and I also found that a little less instant yeast (6 g/510g flour) does the trick, too.

I usually bake batches of 4 - 6 breads of the same kind (unless it's a trial bread or my 100% sourdough Feinbrot that I bake just for us). Therefore I use my 7-quart Cuisinart for all pre-doughs and the 20-quart Hobart for the final doughs. The Cuisinart also can handle up to 2 breads without any problem, even without cutting the pre-doughs first into smaller pieces (mine is 3-years old, heavily used and still going strong).

Though I love the feel of dough I have a problem with too dry skin on my hands, and therefore let the machines do most of the work. I do not shape the dough before it goes into the refrigerator (except for Pane Siciliano and bagels), but I divide it into individual portions (the one time I tried retarding a shaped bread with mixed leaven in the fridge it overproofed).

This method works very well for me, in the morning the bread already had its first rise, is pre-shaped in the container, and very little additional work has to be done.

 

wassisname's picture
wassisname

I've gone to mixing all the recipes in WGB with wet hands instead of flour.  As long as I don't overdo it it works really well.  A quick smear on the board when the dough starts to stick and frequent (but light!) water on the hands.  Far less clean-up, too, since I'm not flinging flour all over my kitchen.  It has a different feel that you may not like, but it's an option.

I agree with Karin: a scraper is your friend with these doughs, and the window-pane test... maybe not so much.  The only time I get a window-pane effect is when I've streched my pizza crust too thin!  Sounds like you already have a pretty good feel for the dough anyway.

Marcus