The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pain Au Levain W/ Wholewheat

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Mebake's picture
Mebake

Pain Au Levain W/ Wholewheat

This is another one of Hamelman's Pain Au Levain With whole wheat from His book "BREAD".

I'am testing out my new flour's performance with naturally leavened breads.

I mixed my dough ever so lightly, and did two stretched and folds (letter fold on the bench) @ 60 minutes intead of one at 50min. So, the fermentation time was 3 hours intead of 2.5.

I retarded the shaped loaves right after shaping for 8 hours, and left them to proof at room temp. for 1 hour while the oven was preheating to 510F.

I Also increased the prefermented flour by 7%.(as recommended by Andy - ananda) I found that this particular recipe works more predictably if i increased the amount of stiff levain. and it did!

Crackly Crust!

Cool, soft, and translucent crumb, with a faint sour flavor.

Comments

Syd's picture
Syd

That is a beautiful crumb Khalid!

If I remember correctly, doesn't  Hamelman advise against retarding the pain au levain?  Or am I mixing it up with another of his recipes? 

Glad that you mentioned Andy's recommendation of increasing the starter by 7% (from 20 - 27%, then)?  I want to give it a try sometime in the near future.  I was inspired by dmsnyder's posting this week and now by yours.

All round, a great looking loaf. I would say your flour is a winner.

Best,

Syd

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thank you , Syd! And congratulations on your last loaf being featured, Well deserved!

Only with Pain au levain that Hamelman advised against retardation. This recipe was ok for retadation. I , however, did it out of convenience :)

 

 

lumos's picture
lumos

Beautiful crumb, Khalid!......and the crust's got lovely colour, too.

Actually I do retard his Pain au Levain, both basic one and the one with WW, partly for the convenience and partly because, so far, I have't experienced any negative effect on the resultant bread.   To be perfectly honest, I still don't understand why Hamelman advice against retardation for that formula.......  Can you someone please enlighten my thick brain?  

 

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thanks, Lumos!

Well, Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) will better thrive at lower temperatures, which makes the end result more acidic, hence sour. Retardation will give the LAB an edge over the wild yeasts at refregiration temperatures.

lumos's picture
lumos

Thanks for the prompt reply, Khalid.

That's the only possibility I could think of, but I'd prefer levain/sourdough based bread to have a bit of acidity;  for me personally, that's the whole point of making it.  So is the reason behind he advice against it is to prevent the bread getting sour note to the flavour?  If that's so, that may be why I couldn't see any negative effect, because that's how I'd like it. :p

ananda's picture
ananda

Great result Khalid,

I am amazed how white the crumb has turned out

All good wishes

Andy

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The crumb is gorgeous.

David

wassisname's picture
wassisname

Another first-rate bake, Khalid!  Crust, crumb, everything.  The crumb in particular is inspiring, as I have been attempting to improve my pain au levain lately and the crumb is still a bit... inconsistent.  Great work!

Marcus

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello Khalid,
Sure do admire this loaf of yours - it's beautiful!
I will make a note in my book about increasing the pre-fermented flour as you have done, and try that the next time I make this bread.
:^) from breadsong

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Lumos, Many of Hamelman's breads share almost same ingredients, even procedures, but it is the character of each loaf that stands out. Slight changes, such as retardation or as little as 5% rye, would mean whole different loaf. Therefore, the very mild presence of sour in a pain au levain is sufficient, as Hamleman wants the lactic acid to dominate over Acetic acid in such a formula. Retardation, and longer fermentation tends to increase acetic acid bacteria, and that would change the character of a bread.

Thank you Andy. I'am disappointed with the reduced carotinoid pigments in my new flour i'am accustomed to with bread flours such as waitrose organic strong. Seems that middle east mills have yet to fully appreciate the subtle, yet essential flavor imaprted by wheat pigmentation. Until then, i'll have to put up with less than desired flavor.

Thank you so much David!

Thank you Marcus. Ever since i signed up for SFBI's baking circle here (my alternative to an expensive trip across the wrold to attend baking classes), i learned much from their shaping techniques. It really does make a difference when you see a professional such as Miyuki demonstrating everything.

Thank you Breadsong! Do try it, the flavor is superb!

 

 

wassisname's picture
wassisname

Thanks for the link, Khalid. Someday I'll have to treat myself to some video instruction.
Marcus