Red Fife & Multigrain Levain
For the bread I wanted to bake this week I didn't have to look too far to find the recipe I was after. Right next to the Whole Wheat Levain in Hamelman's Bread that I baked last week is his Whole Wheat Multigrain which also uses a levain. Over the last six months I've accumulated a lot of various grains and thought I'd try to use some of them up since I'm running out of room in my storage bin. As well, I wanted a recipe that I could use the Red Fife whole wheat flour in, so this seemed like the perfect fit. The only changes I made to the formula were to increase the amount of grains by 18% and the overall hydration by about 4% , putting it into the high 70's. The grains used were millet, oatmeal, cracked wheat, rye chops, and the last of some seven grain mix I've had since last February. The millet made up 40% of the hot soaker, and the remaining grains were divided in roughly equal proportions. Since the formula includes 1% of bakers yeast in addition to the levain, this is by far the quickest rising levain style bread I've made so far, taking just a little over 5hrs and an easy one day 'mix to oven' levain bread. The loaves were baked using the dutch oven method, the boule baked totally in the lid/pot combo and the batard on the stone covered with the pot. So far I've had better results using the pot/stone combo for even bottom colour, as the lid/pot method tends to darken it more than I'd like. Earlier this week in a reply to Mini on another post I described it as scorching, but it's not even that, it's just uneven colouring since there's no 'burnt' taste to the loaf. The DO we have is heavy aluminum rather than iron so that may be where the problem lies, I'm not sure. I'm considering having a piece of baking stone cut to size to fit inside the lid and see if that doesn't correct the problem, or I may just go for a genuine Lodge CC. At any rate, both loaves turned out well I thought, with a crunchy crust and a nice chewy, even textured crumb. This is a good everyday bread for sandwiches or toast, and although it uses a levain it's very mild in acidity but with lots of deep wheaty flavour that bread lovers will enjoy. If there was any downside to this bake it's that I've just enough Red Fife flour left for one more mix, meaning my trip down Island to Cowichan Bay for more will have to be sooner than I'd thought. The RF flour is so nice to work with and makes such tasty bread I really don't mind having to literally go the extra mile/s to get some more.
All the Best,