The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Toasted Five Seeded 40% Whole Grain Sourdough

Danni3ll3's picture

Toasted Five Seeded 40% Whole Grain Sourdough

I am continuing my quest for a more open crumb and oven spring using some of Trevor Wilson and Dabrowman's methods. We got "lovely" weather (pouring rain till 3 am which then froze and turned into snow on top of the ice). That made travel rather treacherous so I decided to stay home and bake bread. New things that I tried this time:

1.  I decided to try 10% prefermented flour for the liquid (100%) levain. I usually use 13% preferment flour in an 80% levain. Actual practice ended up with 11% prefermented flour. The idea was to extend the retarded proof and be able to bake a bit later in the morning.

 2. I weighed out all of my whole grain flour first and then sifted out the bran for the levain builds (1:1:1, 1:2:2, 1:2:2).  I did the builds each 4-5 hours apart. I wasn't sure what to expect in terms of rise since I was using mostly bran and discovered that it makes a very thick mix and doesn't really double (unless it doubled while I was sleeping and it was on its way down when I got up). Anyhow, I was going to refrigerate it but when I saw the weather, I decided to make dough that day.

3. This is the second time I have done folds right through the fermentation period. The first few sets were 30 minutes to 45 minutes apart, the last sets were 45-60 minutes apart, while being very gentle with the last two sets. I was surprised to find that the dough was ready in 3 hours and 45 minutes rather than my usual 5 hours, and this is with less levain than I usually use! The dough also seemed to leave the buckets a lot more cleanly.

4. Preshaping was done very gently but the final shaping was done a little bit more firmly to get nice tight boules. I didn't degas the dough by patting it as I do normally but I did the final shaping by folding the edges of the dough over itself, rolling it right side up and pulling the dough towards me with my hands rather than using the dough scraper the way Trevor does.

5. I retarded the loaves for 12.5 hours. I usually retard them for a maximum of 10-11 hours as I find the oven spring suffers if I go over 12. I was happy to see that using less levain allowed me to extend the time in the fridge. I will have to keep testing to see what the sweet spot is for this amount of levain.

Results: I got great oven spring and a reasonably open crumb. Not as open as my last loaf but there has been progress. I  probably compressed the crumb with my final shaping. I am going to have to find a balance there somehow. 

Here is the recipe:

(Note that I used all commercial flour in this trial. No freshly milled grains)

1. Weigh out 400 g of Roger's wholegrain wholewheat flour and 40 g of Brûlé Creek Dark Rye flour. Sift out the bran and use it for the levain builds: A. 3 g starter, 3 g water, 4 g bran. B. 10:20:20, C. 50:100:100. Reserve the rest of the flour for the dough.

2. Toast 25 g each of sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, millet and hemp hearts. Cool slightly.

3. Add the reserved whole grain flour to the toasted seeds, and add 660 g of Roger's unbleached no additives flour, 50 g freshly ground flax and 700 of water. Autolyse for one hour.

4. Mix in 22 g of sea salt, 40 g organic full fat yogurt and all of the levain. (I was going to use only 220 g of it but the whole thing slid out of the container so I just went with the flow. Ha ha!) I also added 50 g of water to loosen the dough. Use folding and pinching to integrate everything well. Do several folds once everything is integrated to enhance gluten development. 

5. Over the next several hours, do 5 sets of folds, the first few 30 minutes to 45 minutes apart and the last few 45 to 60 minutes apart. I did the last set 45 minutes before I divided the dough. I was quite surprised to feel the dough being so billowy and see bubbles under the surface after only 3 hours and 45 minutes. The dough rose maybe 30 percent but it was definitely ready. 

6. Divide the dough into 3 equal portions, do a very gentle shaping into boules and let rest 15-20 minutes. Then do a final shape into boules as per above and place into bannetons. Cover and place into fridge for 12 or so hours. 

5. Bake directly out of the fridge into preheated to 475F dutch ovens (lined with parchment paper rounds). Drop the temp to 450F and bake covered for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake for a further 22 minutes at 425F. Cool and enjoy!

The flavour of the toasted seeds, especially the sesame really came through. And yes, bread does taste better with freshly milled grains. If I had any doubts, this was the proof. It is good bread but not as tasty as when I include freshly milled grains.


Filomatic's picture

What that is is perfect crumb, and perfect bread.  Magazine cover perfect.  Congrats!

Danni3ll3's picture

Thank you!

Bread1965's picture

Danni.. truly impressive looking crumb.. must have great flavours too.. I really like the look of your crumb. I'm working through Trevor's book and think I'm going to try his stiff bread this weekend. I might end up using a wholewheat seeded recipe so yours above gives me some thought as to the recipe I'll create. Would love to see you make a battard.. :)



Danni3ll3's picture

Making a batard has a few difficulties attached to it. I do have a long banneton to proof it in but I need something to cover it for steaming. I believe I used a roasting pan at one time... I will have to check my posts and see if I wrote down what I used. And covering the banneton for the overnight proof is another thing. I think I used some kind of plastic bag. I am so much more comfortable with boules as I have all the right equipment at my fingertips. While I am experimenting, I just might make a batard to surprise you. *cheeky grin*

Danni3ll3's picture

and looked for my batard (Very strange for me to use that word as it means bastard in French). Here is the link:

As it turns out, I couldn’t find anything to cover it so I did the steam thing with a pan and wet towels. I burn myself almost every time I use that set up and touch wood, I haven’t burned myself once (yet!!) using Dutch ovens. I really need to find either a lid or an oval Dutch oven big enough to fit the loaf. This might need a trip to the Real Canadian Wholesale Warehouse. They have restaurant equipment so I might find something that will works as a cloche. 

dabrownman's picture

She got her 50's era Magnalite Turkey roaster from my MIL when she passed and it works perfect for bastard loaves.  They still sell the things fir over a hundred bucks but I see them at Goodwill for less than 1 tenth that and  only a buck on dollar Thursdays.   Perfect as a cloache for longer loaves. and no burning required.

These loaves look better on the outside but about the same on the inside with less add in stuff in them.  I still don't get your levain builds or rather can't figure them out.  Are you adding more starter during each one?  Never heard of that before.  But I am open to anything new.  Mine are easy just decide how much levain you need and divide by 15. What you get is the starter and first feeding amounts which you double only the flour and water for feeding 2 and then double the flour and water for feeding 3.  Every feeding is 4 hours and 12 hours you have a levain ready and willing to the job done. Getting all the bran in first feeding makes things happen a bit faster and the levain can be a bit more sour too. 

The bread looks grand as usual. Well done and happy baking Danni

Bread1965's picture

You "just happen to have" a gorgeous looking battard in your repertoire.. !! Of course you do!! :)  That was classic Danni! I'm sure if I said, how about some baguettes, you'd have a link to them too!! :)  I have a large pizza stone that's about 5/8th thick and use it for battard.  With steam it all works well. But I'm starting to think I should just get a lodge combo cooker as well. It would fit both battards and boules. . not ideal if baking more than one loaf though..  But then again, I'm not baking for more than me so that's fine. Well.. looking forward to more battards from you! :) Bake happy..


Bread1965's picture

I'm going smack you.. (can I say that in a politically correct world???!)


Ok hot shot - how about naan bread?! HA! :)



Danni3ll3's picture

I have a sort of a shot of pita bread, épis and ciabattas...

Pitas are in the bag at the top.


Danni3ll3's picture

in terms of my Levain feedings. I am basically doing what you do but I take the total amount after the feed and double that amount for the next feed. 

For example:

First feed is 1:1:~1. So that means 3 grams of NFNM starter or whatever is sitting in my fridge if I have left over Levain from the week before, 3 g of water and 4 g of Bran. 

Second feed was all from above which is 10 g combined with 20 g of water and 20 g of bran. 1:2:2 = one part levain to 2 parts each water and bran. 

Third feeding was also 1:2:2 so 50 g of total built up Levain from previous feed and 100 g each of water and bran/flour. 

So I end up with 250 g of Levain at 100% hydration. 

Your way is 250 divided by 15 which is 16.6 so let say 17 g. So first feeding is 17 g of starter and 17 g each of water and flour. 

Second feeding would be all 51 g of the above fed 34 g of water and 34 g of flour. So that is really a 1:.66:.66 feeding. 

Your third feeding would be 119 of the above levain with 68 g water and 68 g flour. That translates to 1:.57:.57 and adds up to a total of 255 g. 

So do you see that your feeding ratios get smaller and smaller? That is what I was doing all along until I did some calculations and realized that my feedings were progressively smaller. So I changed to do a 1:1:~1 for the first feeding and then a 1:2:2 for the next two feedings. 

Clear as mud?


dabrownman's picture

that even though the first feeding is only 15 g of flour, the food, it is nearly twice the pre-fermented flour in the 15 g of NMNF starter which is 8 grams,.  Over the first 4 hours there just aren't enough wee beasties to use all of the 15 g of food...... much if it just sits there unused but this is pretty nomal at each stage io bread making.

After the first feeding there is now 23 g if pre-fermented flour in the levain, much is still unused, and the 2nd feeding is 30 g of flour. But even after another 4 hours of reproduction there still isn't enough wee beasites in the levain to use the food supplied by the 2nd feeding and much is unused.   

After 8 hours there is now 53 g of pre-fermented flour, some of which is still unused, and the 3rd feeding is 60 g of flour.  But the wee beasties are now greater in numbers and exponentially reproducing, needing more and more food all the time  In 4 hours, the levain doubles in volume easily but the wee beasties still don't use all of the food available.  Even after doubling at the 12 hour mark you can stir the levain down and it will double again in two hours, or less, this time.  If you stir it down again it will likely double again - still not out of food.

Just think how much food is still available to the wee beasties when you use 10-12% pre-fermented flour, as the levain, to raise the dough for a loaf if bread? There are likely way more wee beasties in that finished levain as a percent of pre-fermented flour then there will ever be in the dough right before it hits the oven.  That is why, if a dough over proofs, after rising twice, you can just reshape it and let it rise again for the 3rd time to bake it off.

What you are doing, t=with your process, is giving the wee beasties way too much food, too soon and taking much longer than 12 hours to make the levain.  That isn't a problem either - just different than what i do.  You can't count the water in the levain as food though when you calculate feedings.  There is only about 20% starch in  the bran as opposed to 70-80% starch in flour and it is this starch that is the food for the wee beasties.  There is also roughly 12% bran in whole grain flour. 

        So, a whole grain bread with 500 g of flour total in it only has 60 g of bran total.  If this bread used all of the bran in the levain,  it would be a 12% pre-fermented  levain and with the water, would total 120 g at 100% hydration.  Using the rule of 15, the first feeding would be 4 g of NMNF starter, and 4 g each of bran and water.  After 3 feedings the levain would double after 12 hours  - using only the bran for food ....which only has 1/4 of the starch of a non bran levain - yet the wee beasties do not go lacking for.

That shows you how much excess food for the wee beasties is in excess during the whole bread making process and why bread is so bad for diabetics like me - even the best, sprouted SD bread - because there is so much starch and sugar left over after fermenting and baking!

You never have to worry about starving the wee beasties, at any point, with any normal bread making process.

Happy baking Danni

Danni3ll3's picture

you are making me do??? I did one set of calculations when sifting the bran out and decided that was just too much work! So I just redid my calculations not sifting the bran out of the flour for the main dough but using all of the rye flour in the Levain since I found most of the really coarse bran was in the rye. Double milling the Kamut made for very little bran in the sieve. Now I have to digest what you wrote and rejig my calculations again. 

I feel like burying my head in the sand and going back to my 80% Levain since I know how that behaves. Arghhh!!!!


Danni3ll3's picture

Does milling the bran finer make a difference or am I just making more little knives?

What I really need to do is speed up the process of the Levain building so that it doesn’t take 40 hours and simplify things as I am making 36 loaves this week. 

The last couple of batches, I changed my recipe to accommodate 100% Levain hydration and 11% prefermented flour as well as sifting the bran out. I have 4 batches of the Cranberry Currant Wild rice with pumpkin seeds going now. This is proving to be too labour intensive both in terms of recalculating amounts and in sifting the bran. 

So I am going to try a 3 stage levain build of 80% hydration starter so I don’t need to change my recipe too. Hopefully I can cut the time to 24 hours or less. 

dabrownman's picture

regrind that only.  I don't do this but it should make more food available to the wee beasties faster and make the bran even faster to soften when the acid starts to work on it.

It is the same amount of math whether you are making 1 or 36 loaves but the numbers do get bigger.  The thought of making 36 loaves of bread in a week makes me want to be retired even more and only making 1 loaf a week!

Still, you can make your life a bit easier with less math involved.  If your bread above is 50% whole grains that you mill yourself you know that you will have about 400 g of flour, half being whole grain.  In that whole grain you know you will have about 12% bran or 24 g of bran per loaf.  So, to make life easier, I would make 4 loaves at a time - about what you can bake at a time with 4 DO' s in the oven.

I would sift out the 96 g of bran, you can re-mill it again if you want since this step only takes a minute, and make that the first feeding of a 2 stage, 100% hydration levain using 20 g of starter.  6 hours later I would add twice the first feeding or 192 g of the left over high extraction whole grains that should be ready to go in another 6 hours.  Thankfully, the wee beasties aren't smart enough to know that they are doing a 2 stage or 3 stage levain build:-)

That gives you  298 g of pre-ermented flour, including the flour in the starter.  The levain weighs 598 g total.  Since there is 1,600 total g of total flour this is an 18.6% pre-fermented flour levain.  If you want a smaller one to keep the dough from over proofing in the fridge if shaped - just make the 2nd feeding less flour and water to get it where you want it -  no worries.  If you wnat to make it simple just do a whole bran single stage levain that you stir every 4 hours.  That gives you a 12% pre-fermented flour, all bran, levain.  I do a single stage bran levain quite a bit because I am retired and lazy. and also do a shaped retard most often and want to leave it in the fridge for 12 hours - like you do..

This gives you what you want. All the bran in the first feeding of the levain.  If you want to make it 80% hydration  - no worries but it is the same amount of math no matter what you do hydration wise.  Above you know you have 298 g of water in the levain.  If your overall hydration for the recipe for the 1600 g of flour was 80%, you have 1,280 g of water total, less the 298  g in the levain or 982  g of dough water.  

Just the thought if making 36 loaves of bread this week makes me quite ill but it is too early for  bourbon:-)

Danni3ll3's picture

I whine on here and get you to do all the math! I actually make 12 loaves at a time (4 batches of 3 loaves) because I have 4 cambro buckets and 1100 g of flour is what I can handle mixing by hand. I also bake 6 loaves at a time so it just means that I reload the oven twice. So 36 loaves isn’t as bad as you make it out to be. I am in the middle of the following plan:

Friday: build levain 

Saturday: make dough and retard overnight. Build levain for next batch. 

Sunday: bake 12 loaves and retard Levain. 

Monday: make dough and retard overnight. Build levain for last batch. 

Tuesday: bake 12 loaves and retard levain. 

Wednesday: make dough and retard overnight. 

Thursday: Bake last set of loaves. 

This totally works for me and I get to go to pottery on Tuesday. Last session for the year and I have some things that need to be finished or they will be too dry to do anything with in the new year. 

I am so glad that you gave me the idea and the courage of retarding the Levain. That way I am not waiting on the Levain to be ready which is what usually happens. 

So the 36 loaves are 18 of the Cranberry Currant Wild rice pumpkin seed, 12 of the caramelized onion and parmigiano reggiano with Italian herbs and 6 of the Honey Kamut porridge. Remind me next year to tell my friends to bake their own bread or just bake one kind that doesn’t have a million steps to it. 

Argh! Xmas is creeping up way too fast. I still have to bake bread for the Xmas family dinner, finish shopping, help my friend with her fruit bouquets and who knows what else! And the irony is that I just sent out hubby to buy bread!

Yeah yeah, I am supposed to be retired but some days it sure doesn’t feel like it!

isand66's picture

The crumb looks more than open enough to me.  It's always nice to try new things and actually have them turn out close to what you expect.  Now try it with your own milled flour and see what happens.

Flour.ish.en's picture

bread, both outside and inside. The way you vary your routine to get better results is commendable. Keep baking!