The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Seeded 8 Grain Levain

Danni3ll3's picture

Seeded 8 Grain Levain



This is another twist on Hamelman’s 5 grain levain. I am using the same amounts as my last attempt at this but once again, I tweaked the method and I did not sift out the bran. I am also going to do some bassinage with this dough as my notes from the last time indicated that this was a stiff dough as well. 




Makes 3 loaves



100 g cracked rye berries (coarsely mill 125 g of rye berries)

86 g raw sunflower seeds

86 g old fashioned oats (large flake)

25 g black sesame seeds

75 g flax seeds (freshly ground)

7 g salt

448 g boiling water



70 g starter (2 stage refreshment procedure in recipe)

275 g strong baker’s unbleached flour

345 g filtered water

Extra wholegrain flour to bring the levain up to speed



550 g strong baker’s unbleached flour

50 g Spelt flour 

50 g Kamut flour 

50 g Einkorn flour

50 g Rye flour 

77 g Durum flour 

30 g plain yogurt 

330 g filtered water + 40 g divided in 10 g portions (extra water is for bassinage) 

21 g Pink Himalayan salt



The two nights before:

  1. Take 3 g of refrigerated starter and feed it 6 g of filtered water and 6 g of wholegrain flour. Let sit at cool room temperature for the night. 


The morning before:

  1. Feed the levain 30 g of water and 30 g of wholegrain flour. Let that rise at cool room temperature for the day. 


The night before:


  1. 12 to 16 hours before the the final mixing of the dough, add the 275 g of strong baker’s unbleached flour and the 345 g of water to the levain and keep covered at room temperature (70 F).


  1. Coarsely mill the rye berries to crack them. I sifted out the fine flour and only used the coarse parts. 
  2. To the rye, add the sunflower seeds, the oats and the black sesame seeds. Toast in a 350 F oven or in a dry frying pan until lightly golden and fragrant.
  3. Grind the flax seeds in a “Bullet” or coffee grinder and add to the toasted seeds. 
  4. To the toasted seeds, add the salt and the boiling water. Stir, cover and let cool overnight.


  1. Mill and measure out the flours from all the grains needed for the dough. 
  2. Place the flours in a tub and add the unbleached flour to it. Reserve.


Dough making day:

  1. Place the dough water in the bottom of a mixing bowl, add the reserved flours, the yogurt and 620 g of the levain. Using a stand mixer, mix on the lowest speed until you have a shaggy dough with no dry flour. Let sit for one hour.
  2. Add the 21 g of pink salt and 10 g of water to the dough and mix on speed 1 for 9 minutes.
  3. Add the seed soaker and mix another minute or two on speed 2 until all the seeds are evenly distributed.
  4. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and place in a lightly oiled covered tub. Add the first 10 g water on top. Let rest 30 minutes in a warm spot (oven with light on). 
  5. Do 2 sets of stretches and folds (adding an extra 10 g water each time) at 30 minute intervals and then 2 sets of sleepy ferret folds (coil folds) at 45 minute intervals, and then let the dough rise to about 40%. It should have irregular bubbles visible through the sides of the container and bubbles on top as well. Things were moving along so it only took another 30 minutes. 
  6. Tip the dough out on a bare counter, sprinkle the top with flour and divide into portions of ~890 g. Round out the portions into rounds with a dough scraper and let rest 30 minutes on the counter. 
  7. Do a final shape by flipping the rounds over on a lightly floured counter. Gently stretch the dough out into a circle. Pull and fold the third of the dough closest to you over the middle. Pull the right side and fold over the middle and do the same to the left. Fold the top end to the center patting out any cavities. Finally stretch the two top corners and cross over each other in the middle. Roll the bottom of the dough away from you until the seam is underneath the dough. Cup your hands around the dough and pull towards you, doing this on all sides of the dough to round it off. Finally spin the dough to make a nice tight boule.
  8. Sprinkle a  mix of rice flour and all purpose flour in the bannetons. Place the dough seam side down in the bannetons. Let rest for a few minutes on the counter and then put to bed in a cold (38F) fridge overnight. 


Baking Day

  1. The next morning, heat the oven to 475F with the Dutch ovens inside for an hour. Turn out the dough seam side up onto a cornmeal sprinkled counter. Place rounds of parchment paper in the bottom of the pots, and carefully but quickly place the dough seam side up inside. 
  2. Cover the pots and bake the loaves at 450 F for 25 minutes, remove the lids, and bake for another 22 minutes at 425 F. Internal temperature should be 205 F or more.


Danni3ll3's picture

Benito's picture

Gorgeous bakes and the recipe sounds delicious.


Danni3ll3's picture