The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Whole Wheat Multi-grain Bread from Hamelman's "Bread"

dmsnyder's picture

Whole Wheat Multi-grain Bread from Hamelman's "Bread"

Somehow, I had overlooked the formula for Whole Wheat Multi-grain bread in Hamelman's Bread. Thanks to Khalid (Mebake) for calling it to my attention! When he named it his favorite bread, I knew I had to try it.

This is a 50% whole wheat bread made with a liquid levain and added instant yeast. It has a soaker of mixed grains and seeds. I found I had to add about 15 g of water to the dough during mixing to achieve a medium consistancy. 

The dough weighed a bit over 2 kg. My wife has been wanting some soft, whole wheat rolls for sandwiches. I thought this formula might make rolls she would like, so I made four 3.5 oz rolls in addition to two 840 g bâtards.

I baked the rolls first at 480 dF for 12 minutes and cut one for sampling. It had a sweet, wheaty flavor. The crust softened with cooling. The crumb was firm and chewy. My wife judged it suitable for its intended purpose. 

The bâtards were baked at 460 dF for 15 minutes. At that point, the crust was already getting dark. I lowered the oven temperature to 415 dF and baked for another 23 minutes.

The bâtard crust was somewhat crunchy. The crumb was more open and more tender than that of the rolls.

The flavor of the bâtard was more complex than that of the roll. It has no perceptible sourness and a slightly sweet, wheaty flavor like the roll. It is indeed a delcious whole wheat bread and one I will definitely make again. I expect it to make wonderful toast and sandwiches.

Thanks again, Khalid!



Mebake's picture

Oh, lovely! and with a David's trademark ears on it too :)

The bread does color a bit too quickly due to the honey added. What grain mix have you used? they looks scrumptious!

The crumb on the batard is very open for such a dough mix, David.



dmsnyder's picture

Hamelman does warn us that the oven temperature may need to be reduced. I'm glad he did, because I then watched out for this.

I used the seed mix from the SFBI Multi-grain bread formula. It has equal weights of flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, rolled oats and sesame seeds. I was going to use some polenta and some bulgur, but I discovered I had a jar of the SFBI mix in the freezer, left over from the last time I made the SFBI Multi-grain. Flaxseed, in particular, really suck up the water, which may be why I had to add water to the final dough.

It is a delicious bread. I can understand why you like it so much.


evonlim's picture

a must to try. thanks for sharing. 


hansjoakim's picture

Gosh, I love the crust on that loaf, David. My stomach is growling after seeing that crust colour and the wonderful crumb on the two bottom photos! Time for me to haul out "Bread" again and give this a spin!

By the way, have you obtained a copy of the second edition of the book? If so, any thoughts on it so far?

dmsnyder's picture

This is definitely a bread worth baking. I had some toasted this morning, and it was delicious with butter and cherry-plum jam.

I like the second edition of bread. The layout is cleaner, and it seems better constructed. My first edition is falling apart. I haven't tried any of the formulas that were added to the second edition yet. 


chouette22's picture

... with such sharp points, which would be my favorite parts! Today I have made Dan Leader's Alpine baguettes (pretty much a weekly bake for our sandwiches for work) which seem to be of a very similar composition to this bread. My soaker was nearly the same: flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, rolled oats, sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds, and I also used 50% whole wheat flour. It also requires a liquid levain plus a bit of added yeast. I love, love these baguettes because they have so much crust on them. However, I have just put this Hamelman recipe on my to bake list. 

dmsnyder's picture

The alpine baguettes certainly have the same ingredients. I've never made them. I'll have to take a look at the formula.


Janetcook's picture


These all look really good!  I will have to check out that formula as it is one I don't think I have baked yet though I have made many with grains and nuts added....I get mixed up on where the formulas came from originally :-)  I love how yours opened up during the bake.  So nice and even and a nice shape to the final baked loaf.

Thanks for the post and photos.


dmsnyder's picture

There are so many great breads in "bread," it's easy to skip over one or ten.  There must be at least five or six multi-grain versions alone. Hmmm ... There must be more, because I think I have made five of them, and I can think of others I haven't made.

It occurs to me I could make a project of only baking from formulas I have not yet tried yet for a while.