The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Community Bake - Hamelman's Five-Grain Levain

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Community Bake - Hamelman's Five-Grain Levain

This Community Bake will feature Jeffry Hamelman's Five-Grain Levain. The formula and instructions are taken from his very popular book, "Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes". Many bakers consider this bread a favorite of theirs and I am in that group. The portion of whole grain along with the seeds makes this bread stand out among the best. The book can be Seen HERE.

For those not familiar with our Community Bakes see THIS LINK. The idea of a Community Bake is for those interested in baking and learning to bake with us and post the results. This way we can all learn together. This is not a bread baking competition, everyone wins!

I chose to post the bake today in order to give everyone time to gather the ingredients since there are 4 grains and/or seed add ins. It is not necessary to go out of your way to get the specified seeds or grains. I substitute all of the time and the bread is always great. Hopefully the bake will get into full swing by next weekend, but feel free to start right away.

Below is the spreadsheet that I work from. It will make 2 nice sized loaves. For a single loaf divide all ingredients in half. If you would like the spreadsheet and the accompanying files you can download them HERE. NOTE to those who download the files. Be sure you read the file, "0000_Dough_Calculator_Initial_Instructions.txt" in order to get started. Don't let the number of files intimidate you. I included the original template and supporting files in case you or anyone else would like to use it for other breads. Give me a shout if you need help with it.

I've included an additional image of the spreadsheet for those that want to bake a smaller batch. The formula is for 1000 grams, but you could easily divide each ingredient by 2 in order to make a 500 gram loaf.

Here are the instructions from Hamelman's book. If you don't already own the book, I suggest you give it some consideration.

Five-Grain Levain
by Jeffrey Hamelman
Resource --- Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes    Pages 182 - 183

1.    Liquid Levain   --- Make the final build 12 to 16 hours before the final mix and let stand in a covered container at about 70°F. Mix Levain and Soaker at the same time.

2.    Soaker   --- Pour the boiling water over the grain blend and salt, mix thoroughly, and cover with plastic to prevent evaporation. Make the soaker at the same time as the final build of the levain and let stand at room temperature. If grains that don't require a hot soaker are used (such as rye chops in lieu of the cracked rye listed here), a cold soaker will absorb less water, and therefore it's likely that slightly less water will be needed in the final dough.

3.    Mixing   --- Add all ingredients to the mixing bowl. In a spiral mixer, mix on first speed for 3 minutes, adjusting the hydration as necessary. Mix on second speed for 3 to 3 1/2 minutes. The dough should have a moderate gluten development. Desire dough temperature 76°F.

4.    Bulk Fermentation   --- 1 to 1 1/2 hours (if yeast (.008%) is used). Otherwise see Step 7 for clarification.

5.    Folding   --- the bulk fermentation should be 2 hours with 1 fold

6.    Dividing and Shaping   --- Divide the dough into 1.5 pound pieces; shape round or oblong. Large loaves of several pounds are also a beautiful sight. And good rolls can be made from this dough. NOTE – I like to make 3 pound boules and place them into the Dutch Ovens and then refrigerate. After they are shaped I place the ball upside down on a water soaked towel and then put the wet side on a towel that is floured and filled with pumpkin seeds. This gives the bread an excellent flavor and also makes it more attractive.

7.    Final Fermentation   --- The dough can be retarded for several hours or overnight, in which case the bulk fermentation should be 2 hours At 76°F. 

 

8.    Baking   --- With normal steam, 460°F for 40 to 45 minutes. There is a great deal of water retention in this bread, so be sure to bake it thoroughly.

Danny

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Alan, your richly browned crust are equally iconic to your beautifully scored baguettes! Your breads are unique and highly identifiable. The traits of a master.

I imagine you would opt to not work that hard, but you would have made a master commercial baker.

You have been a great help to me in the past, and you can be sure I’ll be knocking on your door in the future.

Thanks...

Danny

alfanso's picture
alfanso

that the bakes always look a little bit redder than they really are likely due to the incandescent light overhead.  And probably combined with the way that my phone camera interprets the image.  I'll also guess that as the surface oxidizes (or whatever it does) the color is lessened by a shade over time.

Some folks have suggested that I either 1. get a job in a bakery or 2. open my own.

  1. I'm retired now, so ixnay on that one.  Besides I'd have to bake what someone else wants and the way that they want it done.  I'd rather have both my freedom and the freedom to choose what I want to bake and when.
  2. Reminds me of the old "how to make a small fortune?  Start off with a big one".  Sometimes I say "why don't you open bakery?  I'm retired."

My wife's uncle says to open a bakery.  I asked him to advance me a quarter of a million to cover the lease, equipment etc.  All I hear from him is a loud "gulp".

I may hang a sign on my door knocker reading "Gone Fishing" - something you could well relate to ;-) .

Thanks for the kind words as it keep me from the doldrums.

alan

PS I do like the idea that my breads are identifiable from the looks.  I've heard that before too.  Consistency is something that I do strive for.  Makes me happy and feeling accomplished in something other than my skills at re-arranging the sock drawer. 

Filomatic's picture
Filomatic

By far your best result yet.  You are one determined baker!  I'm jealous that you have the time to bake this often.  Consider using the bran in the levain next time, because the levain loves it.  I take the remaining sifted flour, weigh it, and add white flour to make up for whatever weight is missing from the sifted bits.

Do you plan to do slap and fold from now on?  It's messy, and I wonder if it over-oxidizes the dough.  I must say your dough looked amazing at the end of the slap and fold.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Phil, I often use the bran in the levain. But JH calls for a 1 to 5 starter to flour ratio @ 125% for 12 - 16 hours. I think the bran would cause the levain to over ferment.

I use Slap & Folds quite a lot. But the  question regarding over oxidating the dough is a good one.  I hope others with knowledge on the subject can enlighten us.

Dan

Filomatic's picture
Filomatic

That might explain why my dough was on a path to over-fermenting in the fridge.  The last time I made this I was not using bran levains.  Rarely, though, is a levain all bran.  I think this one was less than 50% bran.

BTW, given the Tartine method of using young levain, I vary the levain fermentation times pretty much.  I've mixed these Hamelman levains as early as 6 hours.  Sometimes this makes for a longer ferment, but not by much.

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

a beauty Danny!  the  bakers percent will be a little different now but wow, you nailed it

Leslie

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

Thats an awesome crumb and an amazing save! Well done!

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Here is the second loaf from the 3rd bake. Hydration was 105.4%.

For those that prefer dark bakes, this one fills the bill. A tad dark for me, though.

It ssems that the extra water (totaling 105% hydration) gives the crumb a noticeably softer texture and chew. All loaves in this bake were retarded free formed in a couche. I retarded in a sealed plastic bag. This is responsible for the blisters and also the shiny crust. <A special thanks to BreadForFun for the tip.>

Danny

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

it is getting better with each bake! beautiful crumb!

Leslie

Filomatic's picture
Filomatic

You should see the breads at Josey Baker.  They love to bake them until they're ALMOST burnt.  It comes across as daring and exciting.  Excellent bread, too.

You can see what I'm talking about on Yelp:  https://www.yelp.com/biz/josey-baker-bread-san-francisco

Truth Serum's picture
Truth Serum

Well practice does make perfect. I have learned so much from this thread.

not.a.crumb.left's picture
not.a.crumb.left

and the latest loaves are just amazing Dan!!! WoW...I have not been much on the site recently but could not resist to have a look at  the community bake and I can see that you have been busy and with amazing results!!!! Beautiful loaves! Kat

DesigningWoman's picture
DesigningWoman

Both the save and the end result -- not to mention your calm in the face of a major hitch!

Congrats on a beautiful bake.

Is your floor in yet?

Carole

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Carole the flooring is scheduled for next month.

This bake went so well! It will be hard to top it.

syros's picture
syros

Hi Danny, sorry to have missed this community bake - although I might try it next week. Life has been hectic - but I am totally impressed by everyone's results. Thanks Dan for putting this together and thank all of you for participating. It's so much fun to see everyone's hard work and inspirations.

Sharon

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Sharon, please post your results. I believe that people will visit this bake long after the dust settles. I may bake the Five-Grain in the next week or so. If I do, I plan to post the bake here.

I have baked way over 100 loaves of this bread, and I can say for sure that I have learned a lot by seeing and reading the results of bakers on this post.

It is never too late to join in on the bake. Years down the road all participants should be notified each time there is a new post on this bake.

Danny

syros's picture
syros

You've given me the encouragement to try this for sure. I will definitely post results!

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Again - very nice Danny.

 

Va's picture
Va

and impressive! Surely only an insouciant Frenchman would sling dough around wearing a black shirt.:D EDIT: this is after watching the link to Bertinet.

I watched and copied the moves as best I could with a Champlain and a Maurizio dough. True confession; they never became resilient, smooth balls, though the texture improved. I lost count somewhere in the seventies. I found bits of dough in my eyebrows and stuck to the kitchen window over the sink. They turned out okay - 

 Thanks for the link! 
albacore's picture
albacore

Just a heads-up for anyone who enjoyed the flavour of the Five-grain Levain that they baked: check out @mrjeffmccarthy's Seed Monster Sourdough

Less grains, more seeds and an excellent tasting loaf!

Lance

 
DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Hamelman’s Five-Grain Levain

There was no bench time (ambient temp fermentation) for this process



All ingredients, including the soaker was mixed at the same time. Wet (Levain, soaker, water) in one bowl and dry (flour, salt) in another. Then mixed together until dry ingredients were wetted. Rested for 30 minutes and remixed to fully incorporate, then did 75 slap & folds. Rested 20 minutes, and finished up with 25 gentle slap & folds. NOTE - dough entered the retarder @ 68F.

 

Retarded at 52F for 12 hours (dough increased about 75%, then shaped cold (no preshape), put on parchment free formed, and bagged tightly. Retarded for 12 hours @ 38F. Slashed one dough diagonally and baked (covered on stone) @ 485F for 20 minutes. Then removed cover and baked 20 minutes @ 465 convection. NOTE - I tented with foil towards the end of the bake because I didn’t want the bread to over brown.

 

NOTES - Followed the formula almost exactly. Hydration remained the same. I did sift the whole what and used the bran in the Levain. Used steel cut oats, he didn’t specify. All fermentation was done cold, no real bench time. Baked a little hotter, wanted max spring and bloom.

I am really diggin’ dem diagonal slashes.

 

Danny

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The loaf expands during oven spring at right angles to the scoring. So, to get the roundest cross section possible, score at right angles to the long axis of the loaf. Note: If you score a boules with parallel cuts, the baked loaf with be oval, not round. 

For more details, see my Scoring Tutorial in the TFL handbook, or such search for it.

David

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve studied your tutorials! And I think something is learned every time. Today’s take away is the need to score much more shallow. 1/4” is not very deep! That seems counter intuitive. A shallow scores produces a larger ear, but your explanation makes sense. This principle provides a better understanding of Doc’s VIDEO.

It appears, from the image above, that those scores are probably 5/8” deep. Wouldn’t it be great if the shallower score produced the consistent ears that I’ve worked for years to achieve?

I have thought for some time that the lack of ears were result of improperly developed gluten. I thought, if I scored Alan’s or your dough, the ears would be gorgeous. Would love to find out I was completely wrong :-D

I always appreciate your information and help.

Danny

breadforfun's picture
breadforfun

Really nice job on these loaves, Danny. Scoring is one place to get creative with breads, so experiment. 

-Brad

Filomatic's picture
Filomatic

Really nice!

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Sorry I missed this community bake of one of my favorite breads. I happened to be making it this weekend and the saw this post.

I usually hand mix my bread but for this is one I used my Bosch Universal mixer  to get better results and less mess on my hands from the seed soaker. I did an half hour auotlyse in the mixer without the salt mixed on first speed for about three minutes then added the seeds until incorporated. The recipe was followed using KAF bread flour and fresh ground 5% sifted WW except my levain was 100% and I sprouted the rye berries before chopping them with a knife which is easier than cutting the dry berries. The water in the soaker was reduced to account for the previously soaked and sprouted rye and this was added back in along with the water not used in the levin which was added to the final dough to end up with the same amount as the recipe. I baked it on a stone with a roasting pan covered for 20 minutes at 500 and 25 minutes at 450 uncovered.

Thanks everyone for sharing your inspirational bakes and I thank you Jeffrey for my favorite bread book not just for the recipes and techniques but the stories from a life in bread baking that accompany it are worth it alone.

5 grain

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Hey MT, it’s never too late to join in on this or anyother Community Bake. Thanks to Floyd, we are sent notifications when ever a new post is added. Many of us will happily join in and reply.

Your bread looks absolutely perfect to me. Thanks for posting...

What a gift Jeffrey Hamelman presented the bread baking world when he published his book!

Danny

Filomatic's picture
Filomatic

Wow, excellent work!

DesigningWoman's picture
DesigningWoman

She's at it again! Some progress this time, write-up and pix here.

Keep on baking,

Carole

Alan.H's picture
Alan.H

As this was to be my first attempt at the five grain levain bake I thought I would stick closely to the original formula, although oats and cracked rye weren't locally available so I used pinhead oatmeal, and after several unsuccessful attempts to crack rye, just the rye grains. Also I noticed in Jeffrey Hamelman's book "Bread" that under the heading of"Dividing and shaping", he comments that "large loaves of several pounds are also a beautiful sight" so as someone who likes a large loaf and appreciates a beautiful sight, I scaled up the "Home" formula to produce about 3Kg (6.6Lbs) of dough.

When I mixed the final dough on day two, it seemed to be far too dry and I measured out an extra 50 grams of water. Luckily I didn't add it before I had rested the mix for 30 minutes, by which time it had become very sticky and certainly didn't need extra water. I machine mixed it for about five minutes and then stretch and folded several times before leaving it to bulk ferment, with S and F's every 30 mins.

J H suggests that bulk fermentation without the added yeast should be about 2 hours. I can only guess that my liquid levain which had looked very fizzy and ready to go after the overnight growth in a comfortable proofer was not yet strong enough for the task ahead, because after three and a half hours there wasn't much sign that bulk fermentation was complete. However I had run out of time so I divided and shaped the  two loaves and put them in the fridge in the hope that inspiration would come to me overnight.

Next day nothing had arrived during the night so I decided to try warming the loaves for a couple of hours in the proofer and then allowing a further two hours proofing.

Well that did the trick. the dough now looked more rosy cheeked and wobbly so I heated up the oven and baked them.

I was never more relieved when I removed the dutch oven lids after thirty minutes to see that there had been decent oven spring rather than deflated balloons.

Here's the crumb. Not quite as open as I would like.

So I will certainly try this again but first I will have to figure out why my levain took so long to wake the dough.

 

DesigningWoman's picture
DesigningWoman

a beautiful sight!

Congratulations,  enjoy them and keep on baking, 

Carole 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Alan, I think most of us bulk fermented longer than 2 hours. Im guessing more like 3 or 3 1/2.

What are you using for the green background in your images? It looks really nice.

Danny

Doesn’t the bread taste great?

Alan.H's picture
Alan.H

Hi Danny. Yes it is a very tasty loaf which I'm looking forward making again, should be a lot easier with what I've learned this time.

The green background is actually a cotton tablecloth, kindly offered by my wife when I was looking around for a darker background than the bare wooden bread board.

Alan

 

 

DesigningWoman's picture
DesigningWoman

work out in the crumb?  I'm curious, since I can't find cracked rye either, but was too afraid to use them whole.

Thanks for your lights!

Carole 

Alan.H's picture
Alan.H

Well I was worried about using the whole berries but having spent a lot of time trying a small electric coffee/spice mill which produced a little gritty flour and a lot of undamaged berries smelling of curry, followed by an old hand cranked meat mincer which passed the grains through undamaged and finally a mortar and pestle which left me having to sweep up a load of rye berries from the floor, I had a "what the hell" moment and just threw the whole berries into the soak.

So it was very much luck rather than judgement and to answer your question, the boiling water and the 12+ hour soak softened up the berries just enough to leave a bit of bite and add some texture to the bread.

I will use whole berries again next time and hope it will work as well.

By the way I'm a little bit puzzled by " Thanks for your lights "   

Alan

DesigningWoman's picture
DesigningWoman

that's good news -- about just giving them a long, hot soak, I mean. I'm sure I'd have burnt out my herb chopper!

Sorry about the "lights": bad translation from a colloquial expression. Basically, "thank you for enlightening me", or "thank you for shedding light on the matter".

Enjoy this delicious bread and keep on baking!

Carole

WatertownNewbie's picture
WatertownNewbie

DanAyo asked me to post a link to my blog about baking this bread.  Here it is:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/59521/hamelmans-fivegrain-my-bake

syros's picture
syros

Ok, I decided to do the bake. I went with rye flakes, rolled oats, flax seeds, chia seeds and sunflower seeds. For the flour I used KA bread flour(purchased when I went home, and KA white whole wheat). 

Used my KA mixer after the autolyse and added the soakers with the levain, water, flours and salt. Mixed for about 6 minutes total then did a couple of S & F by hand and let it BF for two hours, with one s & f after 60 minutes. I did the BF in my oven with the light on. 

Pre-shaped into two loaves and let rest 20 minutes, then shaped and into the fridge. After 9 hours, late last night I baked the first loaf, at 450 F for 20 minutes, lid on, then 25 minutes, lid off. I used my Staub DO and put two sheets of parchment under the dough, and a pizza stone on the rack below the rack the DO was on. I gave a quick mist to the dough and inside the lid but that was it.

The second one was baked this morning - after a 19 hour retard, and this time after I removed the lid, I dropped the temperature to 425 and turned on the convection. It's cooling as we speak. 

This a very delicious but filling bread! 

Here is a shot of the second bake which is looking equally delish! Thanks Danny and to all for this community bake!

Abe's picture
Abe

Big success. Good oven spring, lovely crumb and looks delicious. So glad you got to try it in the end. I'm sure you'll be returning to this recipe.

DesigningWoman's picture
DesigningWoman

I've been wondering where you've been.

Great bake, congrats! Isn't this one yummy?

Your crust and crumb and scoring are terrific.

Keep on baking! 

Carole 

syros's picture
syros

Carole, I have been off the grid recently so making this bread was a bit nerve wracking. That said, this bread is terrific! Could eat the whole thing myself..

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

The second bake could take first place at the county fair. I love the bloom and score.

I hope JH comes back to this post for a visit. I can’t imagine how gratifying it must be to know that countless bakers the world over place this bread at the top of their bread list. For me and Hester it is number one. I bet many others would agree.

As of this time there has been 348 posted replies to Community Bake! A giant THANKS to Jeffrey Hamelman...

Danny

Truth Serum's picture
Truth Serum

This bread also stales well. I discovered four slices in my car. they were several weeks old , mold free. and made an excellent car snack.

I am about to make a 4th batch but is there a definitive answer on roasting the seeds before the soak?

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I use the seeds both ways, toasted and not. I have even made this bread by adding the dry seeds and add ins (no cracked grain) to the intial dough mix without a soaker. They all bake well, IMO. BUT, I think the general consensus is that toasting the add ins provide more flavor.

Try it both ways and let us know which method you like best.

Dan

syros's picture
syros

Danny, your push made me do it. Abe, as always, made it clearer to me. I downloaded Hamelman's book - and his recipes are way above my level of baking, but this one really is special, and I also hope he pays another visit. 

This has been a great community bake!

syros's picture
syros

Here are photos pre-bake:

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

It looks wonderful, both pre and post bake!

syros's picture
syros

Abe and Danni, I aspire to be like you when I grow up lol! Actually, there are so many fabulous bakers on this site. And when I see all the different variations and wonderful breads, sometimes it can get a bit scary but this bake went much better than antipated. Greatly appreciate everyone’s input and knowledge. I must say, this is a bake I’m really happy with!

The fact I’ve managed to keep my starter alive after 2 years is nothing short of a miracle! Love this bread!

syros's picture
syros

I must say that I prefer the crust on this one, where I lowered the temperature and put on the convection bake. But both delish!

Abe's picture
Abe

When I think the oven spring has finished and it's 95% baked I'll stop the steam and finish off with the fan for a nice crust. Try toasting this bread for great favour. Nice start to the week Sharon. 

Bon Appetit. 

syros's picture
syros

Thanks, Abe. I think I like the idea of using the convection. I was really hesitant but it worked beautifully with this bread... 

Jeramiah's picture
Jeramiah

I just purchased the book on amazon tonight. It should be here Saturday.

I have some questions. There are a lot of comments on this thread and if my question is answered in here I am sorry. I am also at work and I am unable to download the files to see if my answer lies in there.

I have a starter culture and would like to make this recipe. But I was wondering when making the Levain how much starter do I add to the flour and water? Other recipes I have used call for a small amount like 25g or 50g of starter to be added.

I do not own a mixer. I mix by hand. Will this be ok?

I appreciate any other direction and maybe my questions will be answered when I get home and download the files or I receive the book on Saturday.

WatertownNewbie's picture
WatertownNewbie

Jeramiah, if you scroll up a little you will see my post that contains a link to the blog where I described my bake of this bread.  The post includes quantities for all of the ingredients (scaled for two loaves.)  I mixed by hand, and that will work, but be ready for a sticky messy dough (keep a dough scraper handy).

Happy baking.

Ted

Jeramiah's picture
Jeramiah

Thank You. Figured I gave up to early.

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