The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

pain au levain with whole wheat flour (addapted from hamelman's book "bread")

codruta's picture

pain au levain with whole wheat flour (addapted from hamelman's book "bread")

by George, I think I've got it!

I find it difficult to follow a recipe whitout making a few small modification, even though I don't intend to in the beginning. This time i've increased the whole-wheat and rye flour quantity given in the formula (by ~10%), decreased the amount of bread flour, which in consequence made me increase the quantity of water.  I'm pleased with the result, even if the couronne didn't expand as much as I would of wanted (I suspect it was a bit underproofed, and maybe a little underbaked??). I tried to slice the loaf after 3 hours, but it was still a bit warm in the middle, so I gave up and decided to wait until tomorrow. The crust is thick, and it shattered in pieces under the knife when I cut it.

I don't know about others, but since I bought hamelman book, my breads improved a lot. (I started baking bread about 2 years ago, having my starter since then, and I purchase hamelman's "bread" a month ago)

Recipe in romanian can be found here, translation available on the sidebar:



RonRay's picture

If it tastes as fine as it looks, your in for some wonderful eating ;-)


pmccool's picture

Lovely work.


Sjadad's picture

I like the placement of the rose in the photo. You should be very proud of your couronne shaping! Beautiful work.

ananda's picture

Hi codruta,

So you should indeed be pleased with the result.

Maybe "By Jeffrey, I think I've got it!"??

Personally, I think the qualifier in the title of this book is at least as important as the main title word.   It speaks volumes: "A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes"

Still, Great Bread!

Best wishes


varda's picture

And I have the same question as Karl about the triangles.   It makes a nice star pattern.   It seems that your improvisation worked very well.   -Varda

MarieH's picture

I totally agree with you about Hamelman's Bread. I spent three days reading it and learning a lot. I've been baking for years and years and this book took me to the next level. Yay!

Syd's picture

Lovely looking bread!



rossnroller's picture

Congrats, Codruta!

Best of baking!

codruta's picture

thank you all! This was my first post and I am overwhelmed by your kind words and encouragements. (and I hope I can make myself understood, because english is not my first language :)

for the couronne, I did not use a bundt pan (cause I don't have one), I used a frying pan and an upside-down little bowl, covered whith a floured towel, as shown in the first picture. I followed susan's instructions (, and as I inverted the loaf on the peel after the proofing time, the nice triangles remained on the bottom.There's a picture with the loaf prepared to be baked.

I also took some pictures of the crumb today, it's maybe a little denser than I would of  wanted, but the taste is exactly as I expected: not too sour, whith a pleasant detectable rye and wheat flavour.


breadsong's picture

Hello codruta,
Your breads are gorgeous. I look forward to any future photos/blogs you may wish to share!
from breadsong