The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Multi-grain Brown Ale Yeast Water-Sourdough Combo w/Pumpkin Seeds & Sweet Potatoes

isand66's picture

Multi-grain Brown Ale Yeast Water-Sourdough Combo w/Pumpkin Seeds & Sweet Potatoes

I think the name of this bread is probably the longest one I've ever used or seen for that matter!  There are just too many things thrown in this latest bake to make it any shorter and do the bread justice.

Recently I made a durum yeast water/sour dough combo bread using separate starters for the yeast water part and for the sour dough part.  I was urged by a few of my baking friends, DA and Janet to try making 1 starter using my AP sourdough seed along with the Yeast Water instead of water, plus the  flour.

I also wanted to use some of the fresh roasted pumpkin seeds I picked up at the market the other day along with trying some millet flour I also purchased at the same time.  Oh, and I forgot I also picked up a bottle of Nut Brown Ale and I had roasted some sweet potatoes so in they went into the cauldron.

I built the starter over 2 builds using French Style flour and Dark Rye flour which I thought would make this a nice hearty and deep flavored bread once the ale and other ingredients were added.

The dough ended up very wet which contributed to the nice moist crumb along with the addition of the sweet potatoes.  You can really taste the dark brown ale in this one and overall I was very happy with the outcome.

I used a basket I picked up recently which gave the dough a very fancy pattern.  It was almost too nice to score the bread but I forced myself to wield the knife never the less.

If you decide you want to make this and don't have any Yeast Water brewing, just use water instead when building your sour dough levain.


Yeast Water-Sour Dough Starter Build 1

50 grams AP Starter at 65% Hydration

100 grams French Style  Flour (KAF) (note: you can substitute Bread Flour or AP Flour if necessary)

50 grams Yeast Water Starter

50 grams Water

Mix the flour, water and Yeast Water in a bowl until thoroughly combined.  Cover the bowl and let it sit at room temperature for around 6-10 hours.  The starter should almost double when ready to proceed to build 2.

Build 2

Add ingredients below to starter from above and mix until incorporated.  Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 6-10 hours.  You can then use it immediately or refrigerate for a day until ready to mix the final dough.

50 grams French Style Flour

80 grams Dark Rye Flour

160 grams Yeast Water

Main Dough Ingredients

395 grams Starter from Above

180 grams French Style Flour (KAF) (You can use AP Flour or Bread Flour to substitute)

150 grams Millet Flour (Bob's Red Mill)

150 grams Dark Rye (also known as Pumpernickel)

60 grams Rye Chops

60 grams Malted Wheat Flakes

270 grams Sweet Potatoes (Roasted and mashed with a fork)

60 grams Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

16 grams Seas Salt or Table Salt

20 grams Olive Oil

375 grams Water (80-90 degrees F.)


Build your Yeast Water levain-Sourdough combo starter the day before you are ready to bake.

On baking day, mix the flours, rye chops, malted wheat flakes and the Ale (make sure the Ale is at room temperature).  Mix on low-speed in your stand mixer or by hand for about 1 minute until the ingredients are combined.  Let the dough autolyse for about 20 minutes to an hour.

Next add the levain, sweet potatoes, oil and the salt and mix for 3 minutes on low.  After 3 minutes add the pumpkin seeds  and mix for about 1 minute until incorporated.  The dough will barely come together and be almost soupy.  Place the dough in a slightly oiled bowl and do a couple of stretch and folds.  Cover the bowl and let it rest for 10-15 minutes.  Do another stretch and fold in the bowl and let it rest another 10-15 minutes.  Do another stretch and fold and let the dough sit out in the covered bowl for another 1.5 hours  (You may need to do a few more S & Fs to build enough gluten development).  Place the dough in the refrigerator until ready to bake the next day.

When ready to bake take the dough out and leave it covered in your bowl for 1.5 to 2 hours.  Next either make one large boule or  divide the dough into 2 loaves and either place in a banneton or from into batards and let them rest in floured couches for 1.5 - 2 hours.

About one hour before ready to bake, set your oven for 500 degrees F.and make sure you prepare it for steam.  I have a baking stone on the top shelf and the bottom and use a heavy-duty rimmed baking pan that I pour 1 cup of boiling water into right as I put the loaves into the oven.

Score the loaves as desired.

When ready to bake place the loaves into your oven on  your oven stone with steam and lower the temperature immediately to 450 degrees.  It should take around 30 minutes to bake  until the breads  are golden brown and reached an internal temperature of 200 - 205 degrees F.

Let the loaves cool down for at least 2 hours or so before eating as desired.

So how many cats are in this house?


dabrownman's picture

the house with cats in it.  I'm saying there are 4 cats in there somewhere!  Love your basket and the great sculpture it put on the outside of the bread.  What a unique looking brown loaf.  So how did this bread taste!  I'm not a big fan of sweet potatoes in bread except for Floyd's SP rolls.  This bread has to taste great.  So do you like the combo levain build ?  I can't tell the difference.  It's like putting salt in the autolyse.  I can't tell the difference there either.

Nice Baking Ian.

isand66's picture

Thanks DA...the bread tastes great.  It's very flavorful and has a nice moist crumb with a crisp crust.  I couldn't tell you if the combo levain was much different than using 2 separate ones.

evonlim's picture

looks like all my favorite things in a bread, like you said it taste great, no doubt about that!! this will be my next bake :) thank you for sharing 


isand66's picture

Thank you Evonlim.

If you give this a try let me know how it comes out.  Note, the sweet potatoes add a lot of moisture so the dough formula as written is very wet.  I did the Stretch and Folds in my rising bucket with wet hands to make it easier.  It does taste reall good though and worth the effort.


varda's picture

It came out really cool looking.   So what did you set the shutter speed to?  (Thinking about your recommendation.)  -Varda

isand66's picture

Thanks Varda...I usually use Aperature priority mode and shoot at F8, F4 and maybe F11.  Whatever the shutter speed that corresponds based on the light is what turns up.  It's amazing how much light shows up even when it practically dark in the room.  Obviously you need to have a tripod or you will not get sharp images.

Let me know if you have any other questions.  I can check the photos and tell you the exact settings if you really want to know the shutter speed.

varda's picture

Thanks.  -Varda

tsjohnson85's picture

Sam Smith's Nut Brown Ale is my absolute favorite beer to use in breads.  I bet it paired perfectly with the sweet potatoes and malted wheat.


isand66's picture

Thanks Scott.  It was a perfect match for sure.