The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Five Grain Levain from Hamelman's "Bread"

  • Pin It
OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

Five Grain Levain from Hamelman's "Bread"

I went looking for a recipe that would use up some whole wheat and bulgar grain I accidentally mixed up.  I did not find that recipe (yet), but I did stumble upon this variation on Hamelman's Five Grain Levain posted by MadAboutB8 on her blog recently.  Thank you Sue!  As a result, I got distracted into this recipe, but since I had no sunflower seeds I substituted some raw pumpkin seeds we had in the cupboard.  I used Pendleton Mills Power (bread) flour, with home-milled hard white winter wheat for the whole wheat flour.  I used steel cut oats and BRM Flax Seeds.  The home-milled flour is always thirsty, so I ended up adding about 15-20 gm of extra water to the mix to get a good hydration level.  Everything else went according to Sue's recipe adaptation.  I did not retard this dough so I did include the yeast, but I only used 1/2 teaspoon (the formula calls for 1 tsp) because I seem to have explosive luck with instant yeast.  This bake was no different in that respect, and the dough came along right on schedule, even in our cool 67F-68F temperatures.


I made two round loaves, shaped in willow baskets.  I baked them sequentially in my La Cloche at 455F.  As you can see below, one loaf got away from me just a bit and over proofed a bit when the kitchen warmed up while the first loaf baked.



The loaf in front is the slightly over proofed loaf, which I sliced for the crumb shots. While clearly over proofed from external appearance it did not seem to suffer at all internally.



The crumb in this bread is moist and tender, and has excellent flavor.  It is not at all heavy, which I feared after soaking all the seeds and whole grains for 16 hours.  My wife mentioned, three different times, how much she likes this bread.  That's a new record, so I know this bread has made a good impression.


I continue to really enjoy the results that my La Cloche clay baker provides.  It has helped this bread to have a nice thin crust that is crisp yet chewy, and (IMHO) very appropriate to this bread.  It makes it a little hard to slice evenly though with the crumb so tender.  Here is a closer look at the crumb of this bread.



I expected the seeds to be more pronounced, but I was pleased to find that there is a homogeneous flavor that the seeds do not dominate.  Instead of any mouthful having a single prominent flavor there are any number of small individual bursts of taste from wheat, bulgar, oats, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, crust.  It tastes great and made a fine accompaniment to a robust beef stew.


This bread has moved Hamelman's "Bread" to the top of my birthday/father's day gift list.  If only half the other formulas in the book are as good as this one (in it's original form), it will keep me busy for a long time.


Thanks for stopping by
OldWoodenSpoon

Comments

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Beautiful Loaves!

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

Thanks Kahlid!



OldWoodenSpoon

Syd's picture
Syd

Stunning looking bread!  That crumb looks so moist and tender.  I bet it is full of flavour.  This one is definitely on my 'to do' list.  Lovely bake! 


Syd

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

Thank you Syd!  You are correct on all counts.  This is a "do it" loaf for sure.


OldWoodenSpoon

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

re the la cloche:   Do you preheat the cloche empty with the oven or do you preheat the oven and put the dough into the cold cloche, or do you not preheat and bake all at once ?


Thanks,


anna


 

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

Thanks Anna!


I am one of those that heats the whole thing up and then loads the loaf into the preheated cooker.  I also return the lid to the oven between loaves while the oven comes back up to starting temperature, to reheat it for the next loaf.  I don't discount the other schools of thought at all, but this is how I learned to do it, and I'm not messing with it since I get the baking results I want.  The many failures in my baking that I can point to are my own, not that of preheating the La Cloche.


OldWoodenSpoon

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

wondering how you got to those picture-perfect loaves :)


Best,


anna

MadAboutB8's picture
MadAboutB8

Lovely loaves, OldWoodenSpoon.


I love Hamelman's 5-grains levain. It's definitely on the top-3 of my favorite list. That's quite interesting that you use pumpkin seeds instead of sunflower seeds. With my bake, the sunflower seeds flavour and aroma were relatively strong. The aroma hit my nose every bites, which was quite nice. So, without sunflower seeds, I guess the flavours of grains seem to blend in more, which is an interesting finding.


Bread by Hamelman is a great book, great ccompanion for any serious baker. It's full of great recipes and, most importantly, excellent techniques and knowledge about bread making.


Sue


http://youcandoitathome.blogspot.com

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

Thank you Sue, and thanks, too, for the nice posting that was so helpful.  I rather doubt I will ever bake this with sunflower seeds since the pumpkin seeds gave such excellent results.  Sunflower seeds cause us both some digestive difficulties, so it is nice to have such an acceptable substitute.  I am tempted to try this again as a "Six Grain Levain" though, and throw in some polenta for another taste expression.


I am disappointed that I cannot seem to find a copy of "Bread" at the library.  I'll just have to have one of my own!


Thanks again
OldWoodenSpoon

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

What a gorgeous, tasty looking loaf you have baked for you and your wife.  A must have to add to a collection of bread books.


Sylvia

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

You are so kind Sylvia!  And absolutely correct about "Bread"; I am convinced of that now.


Thank you!
OldWoodenSpoon

wally's picture
wally

Those are great looking boules, and one of my favorite recipes of Hamelman's.  The dough also makes really good dinner rolls, btw (shaped like little torpedos and then rolled in a mixture of the seeds).


Nice bake,


Larry

teketeke's picture
teketeke

I love Hamelman's 5 grain levain, too.  I also saw sue's great looking bread! Did you use colder water for the soaker?     Your round loaves look great on high hydration dough. How did you shape?   


Happy baking,


Akiko