The Fresh Loaf

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Welcome ideas for 4 grain loaf

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Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Welcome ideas for 4 grain loaf

Hi All,


Just thinking about what Andy said in another forum about really treasuring flours from independent millers. I had a lovely surprise when visiting a friend in Yorkshire recently. Just back from the Lake District she had brought me a present of a packet of Little Salkeld Watermill Four Grain Blend Flour. This contains wheat flour, giant oat flakes, barley flakes and cracked rye grains. I'm looking for something good to bake with this that suits my baking level and the other ingredients I have to hand. Any ideas welcome, either from books or your own creations!


Other ingredients I could add to a formula, include a range of wheat flours, rye, spelt, rice and maize flour, oat flakes and flaxseed/linseed. I have some spices that could go well with this mix, particularly caraway, aniseed and fennel seeds.


I've only returned to baking yeasted breads from January this year and sourdough breads from May. I've made more mixed grain loaves than straight white but with a blend of flours rather than cracked or flaked grains. I'm much better at handling lower rather than higher hydrations doughs but can adapt hydration if needed. 


I'm not limited to recipes in books but in case anyone has a good book-based formula, my growing collection is below. Sadly I can't easily get my hands on other classics by American authors such as Suas. 


Jeffrey Hamelman, Bread


Jan Hedh, Artisan Bread 


Dan Lepard, The Handmade Loaf


Andrew Whitley, Bread Matters


 


I welcome your ideas - many thanks!   Daisy_A

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Daisy.


There are both yeasted and sourdough multi-grain bread formulas in Hamelman's "Bread." The "5-Grain Levain" is one of the most flavorful breads I've every made. I think you could substitute your product for the soaker mix in this formula. Just keep the total weight of seeds and grains the same, and if your mix has rye chops I'd use boiling water for the soaker, per Hamelman.


Another option is one of the multigrain breads from Suas' "Advanced Bread and Pastry." I have made the sourdough version, and it's very good, but I prefer Hamelman's. We made a yeasted version in the SFBI workshop. (See photo in the "day 4" blog entry.) I just had some of this for lunch today, and it's somehow better than the sourdough version. I don't have the formula at hand right now.


Here's the formula and method for the sourdough version:


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/15794/sourdough-multigrain-bread-quotadvanced-bread-and-pastryquot


Let us know what you make and how you like it!


David

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi David,


Many thanks for these suggestions. This supports some of my initial thoughts but also sorts out a question I had about the Hamelman - brilliant. Thanks also for the link to your post on the Suas bread - looks wonderful


I had looked at the 5-grain Hamelman formula. However what I could not work out, not having baked with such a mix before, was whether I would make the mix with the 4 grains as the main flour plus a soaker. Using this flour as the soaker makes perfect sense. I will simply add some sunflower seeds as these seem to be a key ingredient and will also add a little 'crunch'.


I will let you know how I get on unless it's an absolute brick in which case I might dissemble!


With best wishes, Daisy_A


 

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Daisy_A,


As you might well be aware, I baked almost exclusively with Watermill flour during my time with the Red Herring in Newcastle upon Tyne from 1987 to 1993...what a long time ago!   These are my earliest baking experiences.


Alas, the 4 Grain Blend is one of the range which I have never worked with.   I offer up these thoughts:


Is there any need to add to this blend?   In any substantial way?   I suggest the addition of a small amount of malt extract [Meridian Organic Barley Malt Syrup] at between 3 and 5% on flour may be beneficial as an "improver".


Add salt at between 1.5 and 1.8%


Fermentation: well, we used to do a bulk fermentation with Watermill flour, and it worked a treat.


Initial treatment: this was in the days before "autolyse" was common.   But I think this is a good trick, especially with the presence of all the flakes, which will like to drink.   Add water @ 66%, and 21*C, to the flour only, and combine to form a loose mix.   Leave for at least half an hour.   Add salt and malt as above, and also yeast [fresh at 3%, dried @ 1 to 1.2%]   Mix to form a dough, using scant flour on the bench.  The dough can be prepared in a machine upto this point, with care!   From now on, you need to finish mixing by hand, using as little flour as possible, preferably none.   If you have extreme stickiness along the way, then just stop for a few minutes allowing the surface of the dough to dry out...just a bit!   Mix for about 15 minutes.   Line out a bowl with a scant amount of fat/oil, place the dough in the container, and cover with cling film.   Bulk ferment for 2 hours; S&F after 30 and 60 minutes and knockback, gently after 90 minutes.   Scale and divide to 480g units, and mould round.   Rest for 15 to 20 minutes.   Re-mould round, brush the tops with water, and dip into oat/barley/rye flakes for a topping.   Prove batched on a heavy metal tray.   For pre-baking, use a Scotch cutter to mark a deep cross into each loaf, so you can bake coburgs.   If you want a bolder loaf, then use a razor blade, or serrated knife to cut the dough instead.


My thoughts here are to work with the flour blend itself, and keep it all as simple as possible!


Best wishes


Andy

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Andy,


Many thanks indeed for drawing on your Red Herring days to illuminate how this flour might be used!


I'm happy to work with the flour itself and learn about its characteristics. I have quite a big packet so it would be interesting to bake with it in two different ways.


I'm not wedded to extra ingredients. I think I had the sense, looking at some of Karin's doughs, that the flour might suit traditions that mix whole grains with other dominant ingredients such as flaxseed or caraway. However when I looked again at the Leinsamenbrot, for example, the grain mix was different. Probably best to do both things full justice by trying Karin's formula as given and making the most of the particular characteristics of this flour by making it the main focus of the formula as you suggest! I see it has barley in so that will be interesting. It reminds me of some of the historic British mixes we have been talking about. I have plenty of malt - a whole bucketful, in fact.


Many thanks for detailing the method. I look forward to trying this. I have just two questions as I have not worked with such a grain rich dough before. I will be mixing entirely by hand. What level of approximate development will I be looking for when I put the dough in the bowl for the first proof? When making the mix with baker's yeast are there any approximate time parameters for the second proof or any distinctive signs of readiness for baking? I'm guessing such doughs are not so 'jellylike' as high hydration whites?


 


With best wishes, Daisy_A

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Daisy_A,


good, yes, mix by hand, that will work best of all.   The flour will have a protein content of less than 10%; some of this will come from the outer areas of the grain, and would be listed as soluable.   So the gluten forming proteins are very delicate, and best suited to slow and gentle mixing and fermentation.


The dough will give a vague "windowpane".   That said, given the level of wholegrain in differing forms, it will be a slightly difficult test to perform.


With regard to second proof, you have completely the right instincts.   If you overprove this dough, you are in similar territory to overproving rye bread!   Not a place to be.    Time? Don't go over 2 hours final proof; around 1 to 1.5 hours best, but that is dependent on you having good temperature control, with some humidity [say 26-30*C]  Yes, don't expect the dough to be jellylike at all.   Celebrate the fact that it will be a heavier bread, and the crumb of the dough will be a little delicate.   The open, and random holes are not going to happen.


The flavour and character of the bread will be very special.


Enjoy yourself, and best wishes


Andy

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Andy,


Many thanks. Just coming to the end of bullk fermentation/first proof now. Seems to be rising well. Thanks for the information on temperature and humidity for the next part. Will watch that and keep you posted on how it turns out. The flour and dough smell lovely already. Thanks for the guidance.


With best wishes, Daisy_A