The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hamelman's Multi-grain Levain

  • Pin It
dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hamelman's Multi-grain Levain

On Fleur-de-Liz's strong recommendation, I made Hamelman's Mult-grain Levain yesterday - a double recipe, in fact. Not incidentally, this was the first bread I've mixed and kneaded using my new Bosch mixer. (See my previous blog entry for details.)
 I had a slice ... well, two slices actually ... for bedtime snack last night and some more, toasted, this morning.
 

This was a very heavy dough because of the high proportion of seeds and grains in the soaker. The calculated hydration was 98%. Once kneaded, it acted like a "normal" dough of 68% or so to me. It was still on the sticky side of tacky when I formed the boules.
 

The bread baked up with a nice looking crust, but, presumably because of the high water content, it softened during cooling. Toasting crisped it up nicely, though. The crumb was moderately open, and it was nice and chewy. The taste was very nice. It has 2/3 bread flour and 1/3 whole wheat, not counting the bulgar I substituted for 1/2 of the cracked rye called for in the recipe. It had a pronounced whole wheat flavor with an overlay of flavors from the sunflower and flax seeds. The rolled oats, which were in the soaker, contributed to the aroma more than to the taste. 
 


This is a very good bread, but I can't say it is going to be a personal favorite. Of course, the competition for places on my favorites list gets stiffer every week it seems.

Hamelman's Multi-grain LevainHamelman's Multi-grain Levain

Hamelman's Multi-grain Levain crumb

Hamelman's Multi-grain Levain crumb
 

David

Comments

TableBread's picture
TableBread

Absolutely beautiful!  Picture perfect!

~TableBread

http://tablebread.blogspot.com 

fleur-de-liz's picture
fleur-de-liz

David:

You did a wonderful job on Hamelman's Multigrain loaves. The crumb looks just perfect!

I am sorry that this formula didn't just knock you out as it did me. I think it's a wonderful recipe that I have come back to quite often. Obviously, it's not your staple bread -- but for those who enjoy whole grain breads with tons of seeds (the kind of bread that sticks in your teeth!), this is really superb. It also has excellent keeping qualities. Surprisingly, people who are not whole grain bread fans have enjoyed it. It is also a very nutritious loaf.

How do you think it compares to Hamelman's Seeded Sourdough?

You did a great job! You might find that the flavors develop more over time.

Liz

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Thanks, Tablebread.


Hi, Liz.

I'm not sorry I made this bread. Not a bit. It's really good. I'm probably going to have it for breakfast tommorow again. To me, the multiple flavors were each distinct. I expect they will meld after a day or two. I might like it better. 
Right after cooling, it reminded me of a wine made by a Mariposa County Vintner whose Cabernets and Merlots I had enjoyed. This wine was supposed to be a Rhone style red. It was a blend of cabernet, grenache and sangiovese. Somehow, the grapes didn't get together, and I could clearly taste each variety. It was jarring to me. (And it tasted nothing like a Rhone wine.) Maybe it needed more age.

I did like the seeded bread better. The toasted seeds really make for a flavor bombshell, and I like crunchy crust better than soft. 

I need to work with whole wheat sourdoughs more. I may not have the aesthetic yet. Reinhart's whole grain book is on my shelf. I've read the explanatory chapters and scanned the formulas, but I haven't baked from it yet. I'm really curious to try some of his whole wheat hearth breads.

David

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I had a couple of slices of the Multi-grain soudrough for breakfast with fresh ground almond butter. It was good, but the almond butter is so flavorful I couldn't really taste the bread. 

This afternoon, I tried a slice with nothing on it. It was the most enjoyable yet. The flavors had melded. This is a wonderful tasting bread, actually, but the flavors are mild and subtle to my taste. Strong flavors like the almond butter and cheeses I've put on it swamp out its sweet, wheaty flavor. It would probably be best plain or maybe with a thin spread of sweet butter. I'm thinking it would make wonderful dinner rolls. 

Liz, you have made it several times and enjoyed it a lot. I am curious how you found  it most enjoyable.

David

fleur-de-liz's picture
fleur-de-liz

David:

I've eaten Hamelman's Five Grain Levain just toasted and enjoyed it.  I love it with really good butter spread thinly.  It is also divine with a nutty flavored cheese, like Emmenthaler, melted on it for lunch.  I usually don't adorn my breads with anything more than butter or cheese. 

But, as has been said, it is all about personal taste, and this one doesn't seem to grab you.

Liz 

fleur-de-liz's picture
fleur-de-liz

David:

One further thought on this bread -- I retard the dough overnight in the refrigerator after shaping to bring out a more flavor.  Am wondering if you did this or did you proof and bake?

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Liz.

I did not cold retard the loaves. I needed to have them baked the same day.

I have repleanished my seed supply and may make the multigrain sd again this week, if there is room in the fridge to retard it.

David

bwraith's picture
bwraith

David,

That is a thing of beauty. I've been interested in exploring whole grain loaves more, and this is one to try, now that I see what you've done here. Thanks for posting it. There are so many books and recipes, so it's hard to tell what to try. I love Hamelman's book, but I was more focused on some of the technique discussions in the book and on his miche recipes. This is another facet of his repertoire in the book that I had missed until now.

Bill

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Bill.

Thanks. I need to explore more ww sd's. 
Hamelman's recipe's are somewhat telegraphic, but once you get the gestalt of his general approach, they become pretty straightforward. And the results have all been good to outstanding, for me.
I've got a batch of really wet dough for his Miche, Pointe-a- Calliere rising at the moment. I've got rye sour building for Leader's Polish Country Rye and white sourdough fed for ... I haven't decided what.
David