The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

I'm beginning to like soakers, a lot

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Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

I'm beginning to like soakers, a lot

I've been trying to improve my whole wheat loaves as a project for this year. The Italian breads I thought I'd master have been put on the shelf while I work with some home milled flour that I purchased from a local farm. My results with the 1-2-3 formula have been good but I wasn't satisfied in that I felt I could do more.

So I borrowed a copy of Reinhart's "Whole Grain Breads" from the Tonganoxie, KS Library through the NEKLS and cleaned my glasses before cracking open the book. So far, so good, I appreciate the added knowledge I gleaned from the pages. The concept of "epoxy breads" is interesting but I didn't want to get into that as much as I just had to figure out soakers for myself. It must have been all that talk about enzymes working over the starches that got me. It has turned out to be worthwhile.

That's what I call my first successful soaker loaf. I used 50g of whole wheat and 50g of WheatMontana's multi grain cereal, 100g water, 2g salt for the cold soaker . Some bread flour, a little more WW, water, 180g of starter, and 7g more salt ended up with very tender and flavorful crumb. I thought the crust tasted a little bit salty in the first slices but that hasn't been the case since. I have no explanation for that.

I've already got another loaf started for tomorrow's session with the flours. Since I don't have to bake for a living or for a schedule, I'm tweaking the procedures already. I'm sure that it will be edible outcome. If I can do this, everyone that is willing to try can do it too.



Mebake's picture

Wonderful, isn't it, Postal Grunt? Keep at it, you'll discover unmatched flavors when using soakers.

Such a beautiful Loaf!


Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

Thank you for your very gracious compliment. It means a lot when it comes from an accomplished baker such as yourself.

I have a lot of fun baking bread. Some days it's the craft of creating a tasy loaf, sometimes it's the application of a procedure making the loaf at hand better than the predecessors. The satisfaction that comes from somewhere between the creativity and intellectual gain makes the responsibility of cleaning up the mess I made that much easier.

ehanner's picture

And I especially like the crust isn't so thick. A nice thin crust and very well fermented crumb.

I have that book and while I don't often pull it out, I did read it when it first came out and I have implemented the soaking process in my multi grains and whole grain breads. I get a nice fragrant aroma after an overnight of fresh ground WW and Rye. It's really a healthy smell to me.

Great postal Grunt, good to see you.


kangruiqiu's picture

I had the problem with the salty crust, too. I finally figured out what the problem was: Ash in my oven from a previous self-cleaning cycle. I neglected to remove trace bits and told myself I'd remove it from the next (billing) cycle. It's been cold in the SF area, and I thought I'd pay for heat/baking now, and budget for the cleaning in the next gas/electric bill. The taste of my breads got not only salty but ashy, and that's when I realized I needed to clean pronto!

Great-looking loaves! Excellent idea to use the library (as much as I'd rather have the book myself).