The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Final build flour type?

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CB85's picture
CB85

Final build flour type?

Ok, not sure if this is a dumb question or not, but here goes. I have been making Hamelman's Vermont sourdough, with pretty decent success, for me anyway. On Saturday night I wanted to see what would happen if I added the rye that the recipe calls for into the final levain build. I kept the flour measurements the same so I did add a little bread flour to the final build too, to make up the rest of the weight. I just baked the loaves and they look really good. I'd say the oven spring was as good, or better than usual, and the color is more of the reddish gold we aim for. However, I have since read that you shouldn't just spring a new flour on your starter like that, which is essentially what I did in the final build. Did I just get lucky with this batch or would it be ok to always put the rye into the final levain?

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

me put 15% whole grains into white sourdough breads like this one. 5% each of  spelt, rye and WW really takes the flavor up an notch while still keeping the big holes.  This small amount of whole grains really puts this bread on another level.  I also like to put the whole grains in the levain from the first build so that the moisture can work on them as long as possible and soften the bran as much flavor as it can.  I am amazed what a huge difference a little bit of whole grains will make flavor wise'

I do start with 5 g of stiff rye and 5 g of stiff WW Desem seed that has been refrigerated for 3 days after being built - just to get better sour.

Happy baking

CB85's picture
CB85

the more it seems that if my white starter is about to proof a whole loaf that includes whole grains, it can probably proof the smaller amount in the Levain.

Your spelt, rye, ww combo inspired me...I think for my next rendition of my multi grain bread I will leave out the semolina and replace it with ww! 

Davo's picture
Davo

I tend to put my 10-15% of wholemeal rye into otherwise unbleached white wheat flour in the levain, rather than in the final bread dough. My reasoning is that there's pretty much no gluten in the rye, so I might as well reserve the gluten that's available for the final bread dough rather than have it being eaten away through the levain fermentation. Whether that makes any sense or helps at all I don't know, but it's what I do and it seems to work OK. It also saves me measuring out out that rye in both the levain and bread dough stages.

CB85's picture
CB85

About reserving the gluten for the final dough. Thank you! I think I will try adding all rye to the Levain next time!

Davo's picture
Davo

I should note that my starter generally has about that proportion of rye in it anyway, so it's used to it. The only change really is that in the final bread dough I am adding only unbleached white wheat flour, so it's not getting rye at that stage, although I do add a little diastatic malt which I figure helps keep it ticking.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

should have the longest wet times to reduce the phytic acid found in the outer parts of the grain berries.  So feeding the levain with those outer parts does double duty, not only does it reduce the phytic acid, it improves the flavours and aromas.  Same thing with most seeds and nuts, adding them to the levain improves later absorption of micro-nutrients. 

CB85's picture
CB85

I didn't know that about the phytic acid, and that is interesting about the seeds too! Would you put the seeds in the Levain even if you toasted then first?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

:)   Toast them all the time for the dough.

CB85's picture
CB85

I tried your combo of flours dabrownman...and the height and oven spring seems to have noticeably improved. Also, I toasted the seeds...haven't tasted it yet...but it looks promising...

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

You should also notice more sour and flavor too - to along with the rise and spring.

CB85's picture
CB85

Well, I took one of the loaves to the new neighbors before I tried it (it was too warm to slice yet) so I hope it worked out! :)