The Fresh Loaf

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Wholemeal Golden Raisin and Fennel au Levain + 80% Rye + more

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PiPs's picture
PiPs

Wholemeal Golden Raisin and Fennel au Levain + 80% Rye + more

At last we have a reprieve from the heat and humidity with temperatures almost 10°C lower than what we were experiencing during the week.

The cooler temperatures and comments on previous postings (thanks Janet) have inspired me to bake some wholemeal loaves.

Before I started home milling one of my favourite wholemeal flours was from a biodynamic mill in South Australia (Four Leaf Milling). Though the flour was not strong it had exceptional flavour and a golden hue with large soft pieces of bran. Being biodynamic was a bonus despite the carbon footprint getting it to Brisbane … sigh.

I now purchase grains from Four Leaf to mill. The flour I mill is in no way comparable to the flour produced by Four Leafs stone mill. The Komo mills the grain evenly and I am not getting the variation in bran size … I am however getting the lovely golden colour and sweet aromas.

The house bread this week was to be something sweet or fruity. I settled upon golden raisin and fennel bread with some inspiration from “Tartine Bread” but with some toasted pine-nuts added.

I have been using the Four Leaf grains in conjunction with stronger wheat from Kialla Pure Foods at usually a 50/50 mix but for this bread I used solely Four Leaf grains.

Levain

The levain was built using AP flour with 10% fresh milled grains. At the same time I autolysed the flour in cold water from the fridge allowing it to come to room temperature before final mixing. Six hours later the levain was light and tasted fruity with only a small note of tang and the autolyse dough was sitting at room temperature … perfect.

I kept this in mind ... knead lightly, it won’t take a lot of punishment. Patience when adding mix-ins. Stretch and fold carefully. Shape gently. Watch for signs of tearing. Top with sesame seeds.

 

Wholemeal Golden Raisin and Fennel au Levain

Formula

Overview

Weight

%

Total dough weight (minus mix-ins)

2000g

 

Total flour

1081g

100%

Total water

919g

85%

Total salt

20g

2%

Prefermented flour

270g

25%

Desired dough temperature 24°C

 

 

 

 

 

Final dough

 

 

Levain @ 50% hydration

405g

50%

Freshly milled wheat flour (Four Leaf grains)

811g

100%

Water

784g

96%

Salt

20g

2%

Mix-ins

 

 

Raisins

375g

46%

Pine-nuts

70g

9%

Fennel Seeds

20g

2%

Rind from one orange

 

 

 

Method

  1. Autolyse flour and water from fridge for six hours. (hold back 50 grams of water)
  2.  Soak raisins for 30 min in water then drain. Toast fennel seeds and pine-nuts in oven until lightly browned.
  3. Add levain to autolyse then knead (French fold) 5 mins. Return the dough to a bowl and add salt and 50 grams of water and squeeze through bread to incorporate (dough will separate then come back together smoothly), then knead a further 10 mins.
  4. Gently mix in raisins, pine-nuts, fennel seeds and rind until combined.
  5. Bulk ferment two hours with two stretch and folds in the first hour 30 mins apart.
  6. Preshape. Bench rest 20 mins. Shape.
  7. Final proof was roughly one hour at room temperature (25°).
  8. Bake in dutch oven for 10 mins at 250°C then 10 mins at 200°C. Remove loaf from dutch oven and bake a further 20 mins at 200°C.

 

 

 

Today I had two more bakes lined up. I hoped to continue the success of the “Anygrain Sourdough” from last weeks post with an 80% Rye Sourdough. I have pieced together this formula from advice and nuggets of information gained on the TFL. (Thanks Mini Oven, nicodvb and Andy)

I am still noticing my fresh milled rye has a tendency to ferment very quickly. I took advantage of the cooler conditions and experimented. Firstly I cooled the grains in the fridge before milling. Secondly I milled the grains carefully. I used a coarser setting than before for the starter build and a very coarse setting for the soaker and made full use of sifting for the flour required in the final dough (which meant I did not need to mill this finely either).

After milling I allowed the flour to come to room temperature before mixing the starter using a very small seed amount. I also mixed salt in the soaker to control any enzyme activity that might take place overnight. I designed the formula to allow me to autolyse the sifted wheat flour with the remaining water. I am not looking to increase the temperature of the final dough by controlling water temperatures (I wonder if this is where I have come unstuck in the past by increasing the dough temperatures and thus speeding the fermentation)

 

 

80% Rye Sourdough

Formula

Overview

Weight

%

Total dough weight

2600g

 

Total flour

1351g

100%

Total water

1149g

85%

Total salt

24g

1.7%

Prefermented flour

472g

35%

Desired dough temperature 25°C

 

 

 

 

 

Starter build – 18 hrs 24°C

 

 

Starter (Not used in final dough)

25g

5%

Fresh milled rye flour

472g

100%

Water

591g

125%

 

 

 

Soaker– 12 hrs 24°C

 

 

Coarsely milled rye

288g

100%

Altus (100% rye sourdough)

100g

34%

Water

288g

100%

Salt

24g

1.7% of total flour

 

 

 

Final dough 25°C

 

 

Starter

1063g

180%

Soaker

600g

101%

Fresh milled rye flour sifted

321g

54%

Fresh milled wheat flour sifted

270g

46%

Water

270g

46%

 

Method

  1. Day before prepare rye starter then soaker.
  2. Next day autolyse sifted wheat flour and water for one hour, then stir with spoon for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until combined.
  4. Shape and place into greased tins (mine were 8 x 4 x 4 Pullman) seam side down.
  5. I proved these for one hour and 15 mins before docking and placing into oven with lids on for 15 minutes at 270°C  then a further hour at 210°C

 This has been my most successful high percentage rye bake yet. Even after one day the flavour really is really something with softened coarse rye doted throughout the crumb. Sour, strong and clean, I think because the crust is not harsh or too dark ... easy to cut. Another day and it will slice perfectly.

Last but not least was a batch of Three Grain Country Sourdough for Nats parents and our loyal customer (thanks Neeks .. hope you like this one)

This was the most interesting bake of the three. Yesterday I purchased a small amount of really nice looking wheat grains from Wholegrain Milling Company and I decided I would use them in the Three Grain Country bread. The milling revealed a golden coloured flour and a soft brown bran that was sifted out. The autolysed dough seemed dryer at first and I initially thought I may have to increase the hydration but after kneading and adding salt the dough came together nicely. (Sifted fresh milled flour is foul to knead until salt is added … S T I C K Y)

This is where things deviated … During the bulk ferment I noticed the dough was a lot more extensible than previous doughs and did not hold its shape quite as well. The preshaped rounds plumped up nicely and again where very extensible during shaping … It was the final proof that almost caught me unawares. They proved in 30 minutes. When I checked the dough in passing I almost had heart failure when a poke indent hardly rose. Panic stations as I prepared the peel and steaming setup, the whole time debating in my head if the dough could really be ready … nothing like self doubt … Just kept telling myself to listen to what the dough was telling me. The dough sprang into life in the screaming hot oven much to my relief.

I am wondering about these grains and whether I damaged the starch excessively when milling as they certainly behaved differently. I may use a 50/50 mix with the Kialla grains next bake. No crumb shot of these but they feel soft and springy to the touch.

The stand out bread of these bakes is the Wholemeal Golden Raisin and Fennel. We had it this morning untoasted for breakfast with honey and ricotta and it has the texture of soft golden cake. It is not chewy. It is not sour. A slice of it is sweet and moist with strands of orange rind sparkling in the crumb. It was hard to stop finding reasons to cut another slice.

Looking forward to breakfast tomorrow ...

All the best,
Phil 

 

Comments

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Phil,

All your breads are very lovely indeed, and the photographs display much skill and dedication in your hands.

What a lovely chice of materials used here!

I have been thinking about how you might be able to mill to get large bran flecks.   I'm no expert miller, and don't own one of those lovely Komo mills [jealous], but wonder if this might work.   Can you mill the grain coarsely, then sift off the bran you want, then re-mill the flour back to the fine particle size required?

All good wishes

Andy

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Thanks Andy,

I think we are so lucky that we have the ability to choose so carefully about what we mix in our creations ... and having the mill really has widened what I thought was possible in my little kitchen. To be honest I had no idea the bread with fresh milled flour was going to taste and look so good ... a real leap of faith.

I haven't tried doing multiple passes in the mill yet. It sounds similar to what proth5 and bill wraith were doing. They were also tempering their wheat to maximise the bran separation. Not sure if i want to go down this path.

I have also noticed and think I have seen it mentioned on TFL that milling cold grains from a fridge will result in smaller pieces of bran as it shatters when passing through the stones. Again, not sure if I want to change this as the milling does generate some heat in the flour and it is only worse when I use room temperature grains (especially here in summer)

I might try a multiple pass and just have a look at what is produced and how it performs.

All the best,
Phil 

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Phil,

In the UK this is the first part of the milling process, known as conditioning.   It might be worth reading about it, as it does allow the outer bran husk to be removed in one piece, so you will get big flecks of bran in and amongst your finely milled fresh flour.

Both the TFL posters you mention show wisdom aplenty in their posts on here.

Best wishes

Andy

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Hi Andy,

I may have another look into the conditioning/tempering ... oh dear ... I can see a slippery slope ahead for me :)

A Lot of the material I have seen on stone milling has little mention of tempering. When I contacted Four Leaf milling they were not tempering there grains before milling or doing multiple passes. They didn't indicated what moisture level the grains were stored at though ...

Cheers,
Phil

 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Your whole meal golden raisin and fennel loaf is spectacular. A wonderful combination of add in ingredients also. Inspiring post. Thank you for sharing.

Eric

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Thanks Eric,

Its almost breakfast time here ... and I am itching to have another slice of the raisin and fennel :)

Cheers,
Phil 

 

varda's picture
varda

Phil,  I just wish we had a smellometer on this site, as I'm sure your bread has an amazing aroma.   As always I'm fascinated by your photographs.   My observation for today is that you rarely picture a whole loaf.   It works of course, but is not something I would have thought to do.  Any thoughts on that?   -Varda

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Thanks Varda,

Both the raisin and the rye filled the house with heart warming aromas. I also really love the smell of rye breads proving ... its a really sweet smell, and I find myself constantly checking their progress while taking in the aromas. 

The photography is something that just seems to happen. I will try to explain my processes. A couple of things first I guess. I don't really have the room or the props to stand back and take shots of entire loafs to the standard that I would be happy with ... but to be honest its not something that I worry much about (unless its something like a miche where you want to give some proportion to the size of it)

By focussing in on the bread I can find aspects of the loaf that I find appealing visually or interesting. Also by closing in you make it look more appetising ... when we eat its close up ... right under our noses :)

...and by taking more than just one photo you build a picture of the subject in the viewers head and they have to use their imagination to piece it together. Maybe this makes people more involved. To be honest I don't think this way when I have a camera in hand in the kitchen ... its much more fluid than that.

Cheers, Phil

varda's picture
varda

Phil,   Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this.   I understand  you are not approaching this analytically but since I am, I was hoping to see if I could learn a little something about the subject.   And I have.  -Varda

Ascort's picture
Ascort

Hi Varda

As Phil's Dad I just had to comment on this one. 

Phil has a talent for art, music and photography.  He would come home and grab my SLR camera and go snapping around the garden, taking photos of things that I would never have dreamed of taking photos of and the resuts were often amazing.  I came to the conclusion that it is all in the eye behind the camera, being able to recognize shapes and lighting that give an interesting result as much as the actual subject. 

Keep up the good work Phil. 

varda's picture
varda

A good eye.   But some of us without such a good eye, can still try to figure it out, so our pictures can be more engaging.  -Varda

PiPs's picture
PiPs

... a good eye helps. But so does practice and taking lots and lots of photos until you are happy ... keep experimenting and looking at how other photographers frame their shots.

Nat and I were talking about it this morning and another point is when you take a close in photo you are reducing visual clutter of the background. This is probably the one thing I am getting more and more particular about ... Nat pointed it out that I do it. I will fuss over a photo until I get rid of distracting background shapes/colours.

I noticed in your photos Varda, that you are using some lovely natural light ... this makes a big difference. We had a really cloudy grey day recently and I had to work a lot harder to take photos I was happy with.

All the best, Phil

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Thanks Dad,

blushing ...thanks :) Helps when you grow up in that kind of environment ... I learnt so much without even realising.

Hope you are feeling better and get some rest.

Take care,
Phil 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Phil,

Beautiful breads and photos...how I enjoy living vicariously off of the breads you bake and chronicle here :-)

You posts are beginning to look like Andy's with how many different loaves you bake on your weekends.....I imagine we will soon read

that you too will be selling fresh baked bread to local shops :-)

I will have to give your wholemeal loaf a try once my holiday baking subsides....I have to use that new sifter to justify it's cost :-0

Take Care,

Janet

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Thanks Janet,

I have lived vicariously through so many blogs at TFL for many years. Its feels so refreshing and challenging to be on the other side.

Your too kind ... Andy's postings show real dedication, skill and direction ... I watch with more than a little envy at his woodfired pics :) 

... mine however are for fun at this stage with everything thats going on here.

I think since I have limited my baking to one day a week (two at the most) I try to make the most of it ... and also makes sense to use the oven while it is hot rather than having to preheat it again. I get a kick out of planning and scheduling the bakes, milling and preparing. The variable temperatures have been making this all the more interesting.

Sounds like you have a busy time approaching ... Sounds like a good to idea to experiment with the sifting after this has passed. Takes time to clean up the mess :)

Cheers, Phil

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Half the joy is piecing loaves together in my mind -- jumping around between the photos.  The placement, crops and subtle lines in the photographs, play on light and dark, angles and other visual directional hints keep the eye flowing through the images and... I love it!   Great parts of loaves too!  It's visual story telling with a joy ride.   Pizazz.  Progression to the crumb and then spreading the bread (a hard shot to pull off well.)  Half way into the ride, the covered with lids shot  (too big, too small and just right!)  with more contrasts...  rigid stainless, glass and metal broken with casual resting of a scraper waiting to be picked up.  Metal draped with smooth relaxed parchment.   Well used bread board speaks pages!  Flash of red sends the eyes looking back down the page into the Pullman shaped (just lovely) rye loaves!  With the long awaited crumb shot!   Organized simple beauty of a linen bundle in contrast to dramatic bread expansion.   >Sigh<

Phil, wait until you try a little altus in the starter.

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Oh Mini,

Your replies bring such a big smile to my face. I was completely hooked in your narration through the posting. Fascinating to see what other people see. Things that I had not even noticed. Wonderful.

You know I had meant to use some altus in the starter but completely forgot ... woops. Gives me even more reason to make this again.

Nat had the raisin and fennel for breakfast ... I decided to have the rye with a light spread of sour cream and homemade marmalade. Heaven!

Great to hear from you...
Phil 

 

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

I was nodding my head to the fennel and raisin combo, thinking "Yeah, that would work."  And then, with no warning whatsoever, there was orange zest!  And pine nuts!  What had sounded like a good bread zoomed all the way to amazing.  I can imagine just how wonderful that combination of flavors is but now I'm going to have to bake it to taste it for myself.  It's going to have to fit in with Clayton's Pain Allemande aux Fruits, though, which was already on my list.

The rye is a revelation.  A well-aerated crumb, thin crust, no signs of sagging or over-proofing, beautiful dark fissures that contrast with the lighter flour dusting; it's everything that you could ask for.  One tiny little niggle in the final dough quantities: you list the rye flour at 321g as 50%, the wheat flour at 270g as 50% and the water at 270g as 50%.  Would you clarify which of those should be adjusted, please?

Beautiful, beautiful breads,

Paul

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Hi Paul,

Many thanks for the pick up in the rye percentages. The weights are correct (which is how I have them written in a note book) I just mucked up the percentages when transferring across.

Thanks for the comments :) This combination mixed in a pain au levain is delicious as well .... but there is something special about the wheat grown and processed by Four Leaf Milling.

Many thanks,
Phil 

 

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello Phil,
All three breads look amazing; and the flavor combination you've selected for your Wholemeal Golden Raisin and Fennel, with the inclusion of orange zest and pine nuts, sounds fabulous.
The semolina bread with sesame and fennel, from Tartine Bread is a favorite of mine; I've not turned the page and made the next variation, and it is lovely to see your version.
:^) from breadsong

 

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Nice to hear from you breadsong,

Many thanks for your kind comments. I purchased a tiny bag of Durum flour on the weekend ... would be nice to have a go at the sesame and fennel bread. I think the inclusion of the sesame seeds on the outside of the raisin and fennel bread is the real clincher for me. I ran out of sesame seeds as they were a late inclusion ... would be nice to pack them on in the future.

All the best,
Phil

 

EvaB's picture
EvaB

I don't know about using pine nuts though, they cost the earth here, I was just looking at them in the store, and $8 bucks for a 100 gram bag was just a bit too much for me. Will have to see if I can't find them cheaper someplace, I just paid a fortune for a bottle of cardamom, and when I was looking online about the cardamom found out its the most expensive after saffron. I can believe it, and boy is it flying off the shelves this season.

 

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Thanks EvaB,

The pine-nuts were leftover from another dish ... trying to remember ... Oh that's right ... was for a pizza night last week. We used the pine-nuts in a pumpkin, caramelised onion and fetta pizza ... we also mixed some into a zuccini pizza (from Laheys "my bread" book) ... happy days :)

I didn't know about cardamom pricing. Was that for cardamom pods? ... I haven't even started my Christmas baking yet. eek!

Cheers,
Phil

 

wassisname's picture
wassisname

Incredible stuff Phil!  I can't even get my head around what that raisin, fennel etc. loaf must taste like, what a treat. 

And the rye, well, that photo says it all.  The work you've put into your high-percentage ryes has really paid off here!  Thanks for sharing it all.

Marcus

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Thanks so much Marcus,

Yeah I have been a bit focused on the ryes of late ... but wow, this last one is seriously the best yet. I am even turning down the raisin and fennel bread for breakfast to have the rye instead. In some of the slices there are lovely dark patches where some of altus has stayed complete ... and the crust is so thin ... I am totally hooked!

All the best,
Phil

EvaB's picture
EvaB

was for the pine nuts, that is less than half a cup in measure. The Cardamom was 49 grams of ground stuff in a shaker top bottle (standard spice bottles here) and supposed to be gourmet, that was something in the range of $10.95 for the bottle. I found the pods (green) they have different colours apparently, these were in the Indian spices in a store locally, I didn't look a the price, because I wanted the ground stuff, I already have pods from previous shopping but they are a lot of trouble to grind up into something I can use. Not that I couldn't grind them, but just didn't want to. Will rethink that for sure. I think I can get the pine nuts in a bulk foods area in a store I know, but that is over 80 miles away so it shall have to wait for me to get there, I wonder if I could freeze them, they always go off in my kitchen storage, so I wind up throwing out a very expensive thing, mind the blue jays are happy! And the pine gros beaks love me since they live in the pines here, and the pine nuts here are not anywhere near nice and big! Tiny cones= tiny nuts (like infinitesimal)

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Phil, evidently you solved all your problems with baking rye breads. This one is simply perfect. The wholemeal bread with pinenuts, raisins and orange zest is equally fantastic, makes me want to try. So far I could never obtain a decent wholemeal wheat bread worth watching ;-( . Tasty, but always very dry and tough. The dough of your wholemeal flour has an unusual and  lovely light creamy colour; is it maybe a white whole wheat?  Wheat doughs generally are much darker than that.

  Nico

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Thanks so much Nico,

Your help, along with Mini oven and Andy has been invaluable with my rye baking. Hopefully I can continue and improve.

I am finding the majority of wheat grain available in Australia is white wheat. I haven't seen red wheat for sale anywhere. The Four Leaf Milling grains are really very special in both the colour and flavour. This bread was not dry at all - very smooth. I use a high hydration with the fresh milled wholemeal which helps a lot.

Great to hear from you
Phil 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Hi Phil,

This loaf of yours is now at the front of my list and I have a question about the fennel seeds...I know you roasted them but do you simply put them into the dough whole or do you grind them up a bit first?

I usually grind up (mortar and pestle) my harder seeds (anise being one of them) prior to adding to a dough as it seems to allow more flavor to seep out into the dough but wasn't sure on this loaf as there is quite a bit of fennel used...

Thanks for your help!

Janet

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Hi Janet,

I very roughly crush/crack them for the reasons that you mentioned.

Happy baking
Phil 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Hi Phil,

Thanks for the quick reply.  I will continue to crush too.  Smells heavenly :-)

Take Care,

Janet