The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hamelman's "Pain au Levain with Whole Wheat Flour"

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hamelman's "Pain au Levain with Whole Wheat Flour"

Many TFL baker's have blogged on this bread, and for good reason. It is delicious. I haven't made it since last October. Today, I made three 568 g boules. I started with a liquid starter which I converted to a firm starter and fed twice before mixing the final dough. The formed loaves were cold retarded for about 16 hours then proofed at 85 dF for 2 1/2 hours before baking.

I have been making Hamelman's Pain au Levain frequently for many months and enjoying it a lot. This week, I just felt like something with more of a whole grain flavor and recalled this bread. Looking back at my earlier blog, today's bake was significantly better when tasted after a couple hours' cooling. There was none of what I had described as a "grassy" flavor. This bread was simply delicious with a sweet, nutty, crunchy crust and a  chewy crumb with a nice wheaty, mildly sour flavor. 

I'm going to stick with this one ... except I do want to try the mixed levain version again.

David

Comments

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Got to love your scoring , David. You always nail the perfect time for loading a proofed dough into the oven, so that it blooms just right! Tells alot about the skills and experince of the baker, let alone the appearance of the crust with all of those beautiful blisters.

The crumb is perfect! Everything is perfect here.

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

Magnificent, David!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I have not forgotten that your bake of this bread in 2009 resulted in Jeffrey Hamelman's first visit to TFL and some very nice compliments for you. (See Hans' loaf)

David

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

bread.  I think retirement has helped your baking if that is possible !  Gorgeous color, thick crust, crumb and texture all beautiful.  I really like the irregular holes.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

What a lovely crumb.  I love the 'birdeye' crust.  When I return home from vacation in cool Aspen....awww retirement and loving it, you are an inspiration to bake even in the warm weather....no sweat :)  It's so true, you'll wonder how you ever found the time to work : )

Sylvia 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

Francine's picture
Francine

David,

What is the difference between using a regular starter and a firm starter?  How do you convert regular starter to  firm starter?  How does  a firm starter benifit the bread diferently from regular starter?

Thanks,

Francine

 

 

 

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

A liquid (generally 100% hydration) and a firm (generally 50% hydration) starter are both "regular." I say "generally," because you can find recipes with different starter hydration levels than the ones given.

For a good discussion of the issues raised by your other questions, see this topic: Sourdough Bread from SFBI Artisan II and read the whole thing.

Happy baking!

David

isand66's picture
isand66

Excellent bake as always David.

You crust and crumb look as good as it gets.

Regards,

Ian

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David 

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

The only improvement I can think of would be to have a slice of it in my hand.

Paul

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I've just about given up waiting for some one to develop fax-a-slice technology. Same goes for the scratch and sniff monitor. It's really a shame.

David

isand66's picture
isand66

Now that you're retired you should have plenty of time to work on a "Bread Transporter"!

When you get that down the world will be a better place!  Just give me a footnote when you get the patent :)

Ian

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

100% Whole Wheat bread David?  No worries.  I just read on hasjokin's blog that you linked to that it was 25% whole wheat.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Great looking bread, David.

-Floyd

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

...and you've done it up nicely!

Glenn

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

This could become one of my favorites too.

David

occidental's picture
occidental

Hi David,

Great looking loaves.  Have you described your cold fermentation somewhere?  Is it as simple as a fridge, or something a bit warmer.  I've found methods that work for me in cooler weather but summer leaves me at a loss for cold fermentation.

-Ed

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Ed.

My only option is the fridge which is 40 dF. I believe Hamelman gives retardation times for both 50 and 40 dF. My understanding is that, if you are retarding primarily for flavor development, 50 dF is ideal. At 40 dF, metabolic processes really slow down when the dough cools to that temperature.

Some buy wine coolers to use for cold retardation at 50 dF for the home setting. Commercial bakeries have products expressly designed for this purpose.

David

hanseata's picture
hanseata

your beautiful loaves really motivate me to look into "Bread" again.

With your substantial production - what do you do with all your bread?

Karin

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I gift a few loaves to neighbors and friends, but most get eaten by my wife and me. I eat some bread at most meals. We love French toast and garlic bread and make some dishes with bread crumbs. Very little gets wasted. Most gets waisted, I'm afraid.

David

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Yes, David, that is the burden we have to bear....

Karin

 

ananda's picture
ananda

Lovely bread, David; great formula and mastering of all the process

Wishing you a very happy retirement; will you be baking even more bread now?

All good wishes

Andy

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I appreciate your kind words.

I don't expect to be making more bread, unless I find a new outlet. I hope to have the time to tackle some more complex breads I've not made successfully before - like some of your rye's. I may work in some classes. For example, I've wanted to take a class from Jeff Hamelman. I've thought some about teaching myself, but I need to explore the level of interest among possible students. 

David