The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

17 Percent Whole 4 Grain, Seeded, Thanksgiving Sourdough for Cousin Jay

dabrownman's picture

17 Percent Whole 4 Grain, Seeded, Thanksgiving Sourdough for Cousin Jay

It has been weeks since we last baked bead due to a no a carb diet where I am trying to lose 40 odd pounds and now half way there.  But Thanksgiving is upon us and there are no diets allowed by law for this holiday fete.  It is always a total carb blow out.  Many people do not now that dieting during Thanksgiving is against the law but many folks don’t know the slightest thing about physics either or that Lucy only speaks Swedish….and poorly at that.

Cousin Jay said not to bring anything as usual but we know he will want to make some turkey sandwiches tomorrow and the thought of him making them with store bought bread makes Lucy ill just thinking about it.  Plus, he will need to wash down these fine sandwiches with something decent so we are bringing him a 2008 vintage California style Bordeaux - White Oak Alexander Valley from our limited cellars.

Actually, I just got 6 bottles by UPS yesterday direct from the winery.  It was bottled in 2010 and has been cellared at the winery ever since with just a few cases released to the public right before Thanksgiving – otherwise it is only available at the winery.  I will save a bottle for Christmas and give the rest away as gifts to family and friends with bread for the Holidays.

The whole grains used for this bread were red and white wheat, rye and oat.  Lucy thought she had some Kamut and spelt in her pantry but she couldn’t find it so I see Whole Foods in her future.  The 100% hydration, 2 stage, bran levain came in at 14% pre-fermented flour which is higher than our usual because it is cold in the kitchen this time of year at 64 F.  We also did the levain build on a heating pad.  The finished, 100% risen levain,  was then retarded for 24 hours.

Lot s of soups and salads with a brisket, quesadilla and taco thrown in.

All the bran from the home milled whole grains went into the first stage along with some of High Extraction whole grains with the HE making up the entire 2nd stage.  There was 30 g of HE left over and that went into the dough flour along with the 83% Winco unbleached bread flour from the bins.


We did a 30 minute autolyse, adding enough water to get the hydration up to 75% overall, whit the dough flour and the Pink Himalayan sea salt sprinkled on top.  Once the autolyse was over, we added another 2% water and mixed in the salt.   Then added the levain that had been warming up on the counter for an hour and mixed it in with a spoon.

We did 2 sets of slap and folds of 150 and 50 slaps.  After 40 slaps of the first set, we thought the dough was a bit dry so we added another 2% water getting the total hydration up to 79%.  Then we did 3 sets of stretch and folds with the 10%, 3 percent each, of coarsely ground flax, pumpkin and sunflower seeds going in on the foist set.  Once again it seems a bit dry so we added another 1% water making it 80% hydration.

All the slaps and folds happened on 40 minute intervals, also longer than normal due to the cold.  We then put it into an oiled SS bowl and covered it with plastic and put it onto the fridge for a 12 hour retard at about 30% increase in volume.  The next morning it has risen another 20% in the cold.  We piut it on the counter to warm up for 2 hours before shaping it into a boule and putting it into a rice floured basket for proofing on the counter – no heating pad this time since I had plenty of time for it to proof.


It took 3 hours to puff itself up to 85%.  We un-molded it onto parchment on a peel and scored it hop scotch style and slid it into the combo cooker that had been preheated to 500 F.  After spritzing, we put the lid on and baked it at 450 F for 20 minutes and then 20 minutes lid off to get it to 208 F on the inside.

We got the 3 B’s of bloom, blister and boldly baked but won’t know about the OSM since it is a gift.  I’m guessing it will be OK on the inside and taste as good as it smelled as it baked. 

All the best to you and yours - Happy Thanksgiving and Baking too!


Yippee's picture

And have a good time today!


dabrownman's picture

My wife's 2 first cousins on her mother's, side get together and they all get caught up with everything happening with them and the kids.  My wife used to baby site them and now their two youngest kids are both graduating from college, last two to graduate,  on the same day this coming May so they were all planning some kind of get together for the two of them in Colorado or Arizona or both and we started planning next year's Thanksgiving feast at Cousin Jay's.  Never seen so much chit chatting all at one time.  Food was great too.  Cousin Jay made the best turkey ever on his gas grill.  He heats it up to 600 F and then shuts off the two inside burners and cooks it at 325 F for 3 hours never opening the lid since he has a radio thermometer that beeps on his belt to tell him the bird is done.  Easy as pie.

Happy Thanksgiving Yippee.

Danni3ll3's picture

to you and your family! That bread has got to taste fantastic with the delayed fermentation that you had going on! Beautiful loaf! It is a shame you won't get to taste it.

dabrownman's picture

Turkey sandwich today either:-  We pretty much cleaned up that bird at dinner:-) I guess there was a plate of turkey neat left over.  Lucy will have to make another loaf just so we get a taste of what it must have been like.  With it being only being 70 F here and so cold, especially at night getting the kitchen temps down to 64 F instead of 86 F, the fermentation times are really stretched out twice as long making for much tastier bread.  Yes, Slow bread and food in general,  is usually better.  This bread was a good looker looker and made the perfect gift.  Glad you liked the bread and glad I got to make some for a change instead of looking at it on TFL.

Happy Baking Danni

Elsie_iu's picture

how excited I am when I see this post! We had not had a new bread post from you for over a month... 

To be honest, my eyes fall on the nutty-seedy assorted tomatoes salad and the cheese-oozing quesadillas. You can hardly go wrong with salads when they're full of sweet and crispy-skinned cherry tomatoes and crunchy nuts & seeds. This is how you make a picky-eater fall in love with salads :) As for the quesadillas, do I even have to explain why it looks scrumptious to me? It's pretty self-explanatory.

The bread looks nice but I'd expect something crazier from you if it's not a giveaway :) Lucy must be very proud of you for losing 20 lbs! I guess the reward of being able to have carbs afterwards acts as a strong motivation?

dabrownman's picture

a bread baker:-) But a flour or corn tortilla doesn't count as carbs in my world.  How can you possibly have a taco or a Quesadilla without them?  It would just be silly to eat a taco without the tortilla.   It was nice to bake a nice loaf of bread again even though I didn't get any to taste it was still rewarding to see it coming out of the oven looking so good.  Yeah when you are giving bread away you don't want to be too crazy with it unless it is the mother in law ....then pack in the Saskatchewan numbing powder .......which I still haven't put in a bread :-) Personally, my MIL was great and we got along fantastic.  I was the son she never had and I protected her from her 3 evil daughters when they ganged up on her:-)

Glad you liked the post,  After the bread the salads are the best part for sure.  I pretty much avoided salads for 40 years now I look forward to them every lunch and dinner.

Happy baking Elsie.

Abe's picture

And Dabs is back! A welcome return for the community member who always has a feast for the eyes to share. 

Great bake and delicious looking food.

dabrownman's picture

2 posts in 3 days and I'm working on another one for some potato, SD/yeast kicker enriched rolls for dinner tonight.  It is nice being on a no carb diet and still getting to bake bread every 8 weeks or so:-)

Happy baking Abe