The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pain au Levain with Whole Wheat Flour

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Pain au Levain with Whole Wheat Flour

Pain au Levain with Whole Wheat Flour

from 

Hamelman’s “Bread”

 David Snyder

October, 2018

 

Since I got my Mock Mill 100, I have enjoyed baking breads with freshly milled flours - wheat, rye, spelt and kamut. Most of the breads have been based on formulas found in Ken Forkish’s “Flour Water Salt Yeast,” liberally adapted to my environment and taste. I have felt these breads have benefitted from the freshly milled flours. They certainly have been delicious. 

 Now, I have decided to to re-visit some of the breads that were my favorites before my Forkish foray, notably Hamelman’s pain au levain breads. I started out with his basic pain au levain, which is a white, sweet sourdough. It turned out well, but also reminded me that I’ve rather lost my taste for white bread, even good sourdough white bread.

 

Next, I made Hamelman’s Pain au Levain with Whole Wheat Flour. This is a 20% whole wheat loaf that has a firm starter and is cold retarded overnight. While not as pretty, perhaps, this one has a wonderful flavor - sweet, nutty and mildly sour. The crust is crunchy and the crumb is fairly open, moist and tender - for me, an almost ideal every day, all-purpose bread. For some mysterious reason, I felt that the freshly milled flour improved the flavor of this bread even more than those with a higher percentage of whole grain flours. It is really, really good!

  

 

Next, I plan on making Hamelman’s whole heat sourdough, which is 50% whole wheat. I will share the results here when I bake it.

Meanwhile, happy baking  to all!

 David

Comments

isand66's picture
isand66

Nice to see you have dove head in to the home milling craze.  I have to say I'm right there with you.  I like to give mine a sift and re-mill once and save the left-over bits for adding to my levains.  What procedure have you been following?

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

So far, I have been setting the MockMill at its finest setting and using the whole output without sifting. At 20% whole grain and about 70% hydration, the crumb is about perfect. At 40% whole grain with significant rye (little gluten), the crumb is denser but still okay. I did buy a tamis, but haven't used it yet.

David

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Fresh milled flour makes all the difference when it comes to flavor.  20-30% whole grains is our white bread and 40-50% getting toward the sweet spot for those of us that like the whole grain breads.  Yours look great inside and out as usual. 

Happy baking David!

Elsie_iu's picture
Elsie_iu

The crust you get always seems crispy and crackly. It has the perfect crumb for sandwiches too.

Getting a mill has transformed my baking style as well! I baked so much more with sprouted flour since then.

I look forward to your 50% whole wheat bread!

AnotherLoaf's picture
AnotherLoaf

Hi David, It's always nice to see what you are baking. Your loaves look fantastic. Funny thing, but I was thinking about you earlier today. The loaf we are currently eating is "Norm's Sour Rye", a recipe taken off of your blog long ago. I make it quite often, and it's still one of my favorite breads. I was wondering how you came upon the recipe. Did Norm give it directly to you, or is it in the cookbook done by Norm and Stan? Just curious! Either way, it's a great recipe, so thanks for that. marybeth

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Norm Berg was on TFL as nbicomputers. He was very generous in sharing formulas and baking tips. This was before he and Stan Ginsberg got together and wrote "Inside the Jewish Bakery." The formulas of Norm's that I have and have used predate the versions in the book. As I understand it, for the book, Stan was in charge of the breads and rolls, and Norm did the cookies, cakes and pastries.

The sour rye I make these days is derived from George Greenstein's "Secrets of a Jewish Baker." It is not very different in either formula or procedures from Norm's.

Funny timing. I just got back from the Synagogue, where we had a "Deli Night" before a film, for which I baked 12 lbs of Jewish Sour Rye breads. Not a crumb was left.

David

AnotherLoaf's picture
AnotherLoaf

Thanks for your reply. I'd like to take a look at Norm's blog. I haven't used either of those books, but have seen them at the Main Library in Austin. I hope to check them out soon. Right now I have "The Rye Baker", and I really am enjoying it!  marybeth