The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

World Bread Day - SD Multigrain with Figs, Anise, Pistachios and Sprouts

dabrownman's picture

World Bread Day - SD Multigrain with Figs, Anise, Pistachios and Sprouts

Yesterday when I woke up and saw Phil’s post on Word Bread Day I knew we had to get cracking in order to get some kind of bread at least started on this world wide day devoted to bread.  Phil’s and Ying’s fantastic posts this week using figs seemed like a good place to start - not that my attempt would add up to half of their masterpieces.


Phil’s had anise and Ying’s had hazelnuts top go with the figs.  We can’t find hazelnuts for sale locally but we did have pistachios - one of the most overlooked nuts to include in breads.



We also like sprouts and got some rye, WW and spelt berries soaking for 3 hours first thing even before we got the SD levain started and then got them sprouting between paper towels covered in plastic wrap.


This levain was a Desem and Rye sour SD combo since we combined our seed for both into one 4 days ago.  The levain totaled 220 g and used whole rye, WW and whole spelt for the flours.   The levain was a single stage build of 4 hours when it doubled.  The levain was 18% of the total weight and 40% of the total flour weight – pretty much our recent standard.


While the levain was building we also did a 4 hour autolyse of the flours (whole rye, spelt, wheat and some AP), salt and the 2 malts with the liquids, in this case water and a little coffee.  The 35 g of coffee was left over from breakfast and we hate throwing anything away food or drink wise.  We can’t find any difference in the bread of when the salt goes in the autolyse - before or after - so we have been putting it in at the beginning or at the end if we forget to put it in the beginning.


Once the autolyse and the levian came together we did French slap and folds for 10 minutes before resting it for 30 minutes in an oiled Tupperware tub.  We then did (3) S&Fs on 30 minute intervals and incorporated the add ins during the last S&F.  We like combining the two gluten development methods when there is a higher percentage of whole grains, over 42% in this case and higher hydrations 83% here.


Once the 2 hour fermentation with S&F’s was complete we put in the fridge for a nice cool 37 F retard of 14 hours. In the morning we warmed it up for an hour before pre-shaping and final shaping it into a boule and placing it seam side up in a well floured basket.  This is a sticky dough so some flour on the hands really helps in this regard.


Once shaped and in a basket we bagged it in a trash can liner and let it final proof on the counter for 2 hours before firing up Old Betsy to 500 F for a 45 minute pre-heat with 2 of Sylvia’s steaming Pyrex loaf pans with water and towels in place.   Total final proof was 2 and ¾ hours and it had risen above the basket.  


When we went to un-mold the dough on a parchment covered peel the basket slipped and half the dough never made it to the peel.  We tried to lift the part that didn’t make the move with a scraper and slide it further on the peel while sliding another piece of parchment under it but the middle stuck to the peel.


The middle of the loaf deflated and we should have immediately turned it into a Fendu since the middle was the most severely disfigured.  We slashed it instead and tried our best to get it off the peel without doing further damage.  But alas, 2/3rds the height in the basket disappeared as it was pulled apart to spread faster than oil in a hot iron skillet.


Still, the bread managed to recover to half its basket height in spring while under steam for 15 minutes after turning the oven down to 450 F when the bread went in.  At the 15 minute mark the steam was removed and the oven turned down to 425 F - convection this time.


Every 5 minutes the mishap prone boule was turned 120 degrees every 5 minutes there after over the next 15 minutes until it read 208 F in the center when tested.  The boule was allowed to rest on the stone in the now off oven and the door ajar for 10 minutes to crisp the skin.  It was then removed an allowed to cool before being used a Frisbee by my apprentice and her buddies in the back yard, well she wanted to play with it .... 


This bread smells great, looks unusual and the crust is unique as a result of the harsh un-molding technique that we will definitely use more often to coax some individuality and character in out breads.  Plus we are already tired of having stuff turn out perfect every time now that peace and perfection have broken out in the world after Bread Day!  This bread plain tastes amazing.  The anise is subtle but comes through.   The sweet figs go so well with pistachios.   The crumb, even though the holes were 1/3rd what they should have been still is light and airyand it  just looks stunning with the contrast between the 2 kinds of figs and the green pistachios.  This is one of those breads we make over and over again.  Thanks to Phil and Empress Ying!  Well done you two!

We originally made this bread for the dentist but am now unsure how much more pain I sould suffer over this bread.   If it cuts well and has at least one hole bigger than a pea, then we will cut off the best part for the Pain Miester and take our chances.  So this bread is called Pain Maître douleur - Pain Master Bread.


World Bread Day - SD   Multigrain Bread



with Figs, Anise,   Pistachios and Sprouts




Desem  & Rye Starter

Build 1


SD Desem / Rye Sour















Total Starter












Levain % of Total






Dough Flour



Whole Rye



Whole Wheat



Potato Flakes






Whole Spelt






Dough Flour









Water - 300, Coffee -   35



Dough Hydration






Total Flour



Total Water &   Coffee



T. Dough Hydration



Whole Grain %






Hydration w/ Adds



Total Weight






Add - Ins



White Rye Malt



Pistachio Nuts



Figs - Brown and Black



Anise Seeds



Barley Malt









Multigrain Sprouts












Total Sprouts






27 g of water was soaked up by the sprouts

and included it total   weight only.





Note - 50 g each of    Black Mission and Adriadic figs



Janetcook's picture

Mr. D,

You are correct.  Pistachios are overlooked as add-ins for breads.  Not only here but I have yet to find a recipe in a book that includes them and I often wonder why....not that I have ever added them but now you have piqued my curiosity....

I have found the same thing with salt and an autolyse.  Tried both over and over and couldn't detect any significant change so I do as you do and add it in the beginning too.  I actually like doing that because it helps keep my whole grains from fermenting during that rest time.

Your bread does look tasty despite it's mishap.  As Karin always says 'taste rules' and this is indeed one tasty loaf - or at least Phil's version is.  I haven't tried Ying's/txfarmer's version yet but from the looks of it is is pretty yummy too.

Thanks for the post and wonderful story of the adventure that you, your assistant and this bread survived before being contributed to this festive world bread day.  All breads welcome :-)

Take Care,


Justkneadit's picture

Wonderful bake DA!

So, do you use the loaf pan steam trick everytime you bake? Also, do sprouted seeds add a different flavor?

dabrownman's picture

I uase 2 of Sylvia's steaming pans and usually have a 12" iron skillet to where we throw the half cup of water in asw we close the door for an instant burst of steam  Sometimes we put lava rocks in the skillet too since they really out the steam too adn then we trow 3/4 of a cup of water on them.

I like the texture of sprouted grains and they give bread a more nutty taste.  You can definately taste them.   Since they are  sprouted, the seeds are producing the enzyme required to break starches and carbs down to the sugars that yeast and bacteria can eat as food giving better fermentation and flavor. 

I also take sprouts that are 3-4 days old and make my own white and red  (diastatic and non diastatic) rye malts by drying them (white no more than 150F to keep it white) to add to breads to increase enzymes (white) and give better color and flavor to breads red (red uses a rising drying scale from 150 F rising to 350 F until the malt turns red. 

If you type in Red Rye Malt in the search box you should get to my post on how to make malts or click the link below

To make white malt don't let the temp get over 150 F to dry  the berries or you will destroy the enzymes

breadsong's picture

Hi dabrownman, and Happy World Bread Day to you!
I love the 'individuality and character' of your bread, and how the pistachios light up the crumb :^)
Glad you enjoyed the fig and anise flavors - they do sound so delicious.
:^) breadsong

dabrownman's picture

and Happy World Bread Day to you too,  This is a fun bread to make with all the add ins and sprouts.  We love pistachios in bread too - just for the green color that jumps off the crumb and contrasts with the figs.  It reminds me of my lunches :-)   Figs and anise go together like Hanseata's rye and coriander or Andy's prunes and Brazil nuts or Phil's Sage and Walnuts.  All just wonderful breads - like your WBD spread of world wide breads.

Happy baking.

dabrownman's picture

It is weird about few pistachios in bread.  Ian puts pistachio oil in bread but hr hasn't done the nuts as an add in that I have seen.  it is the magenta paper husk covering the green nut that really makes my day.  they jump right out of the bread and make it look that much more int icing.  You will like this bread and can double the anise if you want to get more licorice flavor.  I am always wary of Anise since it is so strong and I've made some breads where it took over.  Karin and Mini say to go bold! But I'm a woosie when it comes to anise.

Poor apprentice is all tuckered out

SallyBR's picture

THAT HAS GOT TO BE THE CUTEST PHOTO EVER!   What a cutie pie.... I am melting over here...  ;-)

dabrownman's picture

loyal and determined German baking apprentice with a a fine, if rather large,  nose for what smells good and will just about taste anything to make sure it isn't poisonous. Here is another picture in her favorite place on the back of the sofa resting her weary paws to get ready for the next bake.

I and my apprentice Lucy (after Lucy Ball) thank you for your kind comments.

PiPs's picture

geez, sorry your bread had such dramas getting to the oven :(

Glad you like the flavours ... I love to be heavy handed with the anise! ... yum!

Happy World Bread Day


dabrownman's picture

had risen above the basket and I didn't want to squish it with the parchment and peel  so I was trying to hold the peel off as I flipped it over and the basket slid half off the parchment and the peel. Never had that happen before but there is no sweating the small stuff around here we just bake on and will forget all about it after today's bake..  This is one of those great breads we will make over and over again and will double the anise in it next time too - just for the smell in the kitchen.

Thanks for the inspiration; on World Bread Day, for this bread and your comment.


isand66's picture

DA...I was eagerly awaiting your post and you didn't dissappoint!

I still have some of those mishaps myself and have to cover the ears of my 5 apprentices.  Usually my mishap ends up with me burning my hand while trying to recover the wounded warrior while it is hanging half in and half out of the oven.

Your loaf looks wonderful despite the drama and as you said it tastes great so that is what really counts in the end.

I shall have to put some pistachios in a bread soon enough and I'm going to try your sprouts soon too!

Bake on!  Until the next adventure.


dabrownman's picture

my mis-adventures but this one was disappointing since it was going to be an outstanding bread, it was our attempt at a World Bread Day bread and we were trying to be careful :-)  But no worries.  Yesterday's oddities have already been totally eclipsed by today's where my Tupperware proofing tub was too small for Pierre Nury's Rustic Light Rye (where we doubled the whole grains to 20% and 75% hydration). 

After doubling on the counter they said it wouldn't rise much in the fridge and I believed them - after forgetting the extra rye, spelt and ww we put in the bread :-)  Well mine rose nicely in the fridge and it was just lucky I had the cheesecake on top of it or we really would have had an explosion :-)

After a 12 hour retard you are supposed to gently spread out the dough to a 10" square, cut it with the bench scraper down the middle making  (2 ) 5"x10" flat breads,  Then you gently pick it up by the ends stretch it 2 " and plop in down on the parchment covered peel - no slashing.  Then it goes straight into the oven.

Sadly, I can already tell it is sticking to the top of the tub that was not oiled and this was a very sticky dough.  Am trying to figure out how to unstick it without it totally deflating and rendering the method for this kind of baguette bread totally shaken to it's gentle handling core.  May have to call it focaccia  :-)


isand66's picture

Wow...that's some volcanic dough!

Good luck.

Look forward to hearing about the final outcome.

dabrownman's picture

If the cheese cake was somewhere else we never would have any bread - flat or no and my apprentice would have been cleaning the fridge.

SallyBR's picture

Your bread looks amazing, and I do love pistachios in bread, having used a couple of times - color, taste, perfect addition to a dough

dabrownman's picture

Pistachios are wonderful  in bread and this combo with figs and anise is an especially good one,  Glad you liked the bread too