The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Reinharts method for whole grain vs others, your opinion?

katyajini's picture

Reinharts method for whole grain vs others, your opinion?

hello dear bakers of whole grain/multigrain breads!

I am very new to whole grain baking, just about a month, but it seems like my breads are working!  They taste good.  But I have only made Reinhart's  Struan, different versions of it, from his several books, and played around with the choice of grains.  So my experience with how whole grains work when introduced into leavened bread is very limited but positive.  But I do find 'soakers' are working very well for me. That's not so say other methods may not be that good.

Many of you I know have long experience.  So you may have done other recipes where the grains are soaked only briefly with RT or hot water or just kneaded in (usually I find oatmeal or other flakes are just kneaded in these recipes).

My question is, does Reinhart's method of long ON soaks actually lead to far better bread (flavor, texture  of dough, ease of kneading) than these methods I see in older recipes in older books? 

I do want to try older recipes I am seeing.  Would it be worthwhile right off to convert these to a Reinhart kind of recipe (isolate the whole grains and give them long ON or longer soaks)?  I am not really interested in doing the recipe the way presented for historical reasons but just make good bread with different enjoyable textures and flavors.   

I have also found though that the undisturbed soak moistens the hard grains completely and evenly and this makes it easy to incorporate them into the dough with minimized gluten cutting and hydration issues whether adding at the beginning or end of kneading.  This makes me more biased towards this method over kneading in dry or overly wet grains.

Would love to hear your experience.    


Thank you!