The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pain au Levain aux Huit Cereales

blockkevin's picture
blockkevin

Pain au Levain aux Huit Cereales

Hello Everyone



I haven't posted here before, but I have been lurking for many months seeing everyones beautiful breads, so I decided it was time to post some of the breads that I have been experimenting on.

A little about myself, I am a professional in the food service industry, and although I am not a baker by profession, I have worked in bakeries, and really enjoy the leisure time spent baking artisan style breads at home.

Anyways a little about the loaf pictured below. I have made countless breads before that I have made with a liquid sourdough starter (100% Hydration) that I cultivated 9 years ago, seeing as I like the extra "pucker" that you get with a liquid style levain. My wife on the other hand doesn't lke as much sour in her bread, and in an effort to appease the wife I came up with this formula for a french style pain au levain which I called Pain au Levain aux huit cereales. It is a not too hydrated eight grain levain with a small percentage of Rye, and about 25% Whole Wheat.

How was it? well we ate the entire first batard so I only have pictures of the second one. The Crust was crackly crisp, just singing as it came out of the oven, and the crumb was creamy, and a little chewy, not sour at all, but with a depth of flavor I would desciribe as "apple cider" beautifully paired with a local Camembert made a few miles from my house.



Pain au Levain aux Huit Cereales

Final Build of Levain

* Stiff Levain(refreshed 8-12 hours before) I keep mine at 60% Hydration 45g 45%
* Water (75deg) 50g 50%
* KA AP Flour 95g 95%
* Fairhaven Mills Whole Wheat Flour 5g 5%



Soaker

* Bobs Red Mill 8 grain Cereal Blend 100g
* Water (75deg) 175g

Dough

* Water 235g 47%
* KA AP Flour 350g 70%
* Fairhaven Mills Whole Wheat 120g 24%
* Fairhaven Mills Rye Flour 30g 6%
* Levain 125g 25%
* Salt 12g 2.4%
* Soaker 275g 55%

Method

I mixed the final build of the levain, and the soaker the night before the bake, and left them out to ferment at room temp. In the morning the levain was doubled, or a little more, and the soaker, had absorbed most, but not all of the water. When I mixed the dough I added everything together, except the salt, and let it rest for 20 minutes. After the autolyse I added the salt, and proceeded to knead the bread, using the "slap and fold" method for approx 8 minutes, or until moderate gluten development. I then put the dough into a bowl covered and let it rest for 30 minutes. I then removed the dough, and gave it a french fold. I repeated this process at another 30 minute interval. I then left the dough alone to ferment, it took 4 hours in my apartment, which I would say was 75 degrees yesterday. After full fermentation I divided the dough into 2, rounded them and let them rest for 15 minutes. I then shaped them into 2 batards, and left them to proof covered on a couche. It took about 1 3/4 hour for the batards to double in bulk, I then baked them on a stone in a preheated 450deg. oven with steam for 15 minutes, after I removed the steam pan I turned the oven down to 400deg. rotated the loaves, and left them to finish, it took another 20 minutes.

Anyways I hope you guys enjoy the pictures, and please post any critiques, if you see anything wierd. I am a little new to this whole posting thing, and I am sure I have forgotten some things, so by all means if you have any questions please feel free to ask.



Kevin


Pablo's picture
Pablo

Hi Kevin,

I love the look of your batard.  Is that a single slash down the entire loaf?  It looks very stylish in the pictures.  Like it could be in a fashion magazine!  It activates my salivary glands.

Do you have a secret for a crackly crisp crust?  That's my problem just tonight.

The only weird thing about your post, at least for me, there is no "reply" option, I can only post a new comment.

Paul 

blockkevin's picture
blockkevin

Yes that is a single slash down the middle. I don't have a Lame, but I use an old bread knife, and just slash quickly and confidently

In terms of the crust, I use a cast iron pan as a steam generator and make sure the oven has been preheating for at least 45 minutes. Also it will be much harder to get a good and crispy crust if the bread has not been fermented properly. Us home bakers have a hard time being patient enough, and letting the bread really ferment nice and slowly (especially wild yeast breads). Keep trying though, your perseverence will pay off the first time you hear that bread singing as it comes out of the oven!

Pablo's picture
Pablo

Funny you should say that.  Just tonight I pulled my bagettes out and put my head down and listened and felt the heat on my face and inhaled the aroma.  They were singing.  It was beautiful, but once they've cooled, the crust isn't so crusty.  They lied to me!

Me 'n' my bagettes

Me 'n' my bagettes

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

Pablo,

Your baguettes are lovely but the best part is you! Finally a picture of someone doing what a lot of us here are doing in our own kitchen but that doesn't show up in our posted photos. I love it! Good luck with your crust.                                             weavershouse

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Welcome Kevin,  Thank you for joining in and sharing your talents... I especially enjoyed the tip you gave on a crispy, crackly singing crust...I think that is one of the most pleasing things for me. I would like to hear it mentioned more in the bread baking.  I've learned a lot since I've found this site and really enjoy when there is a nice write up on how someone created their own style of a bread....Sylvia

KosherBaker's picture
KosherBaker

Kevin those Batards look fantastic. Welcome to TFL. Great to see another set of skills joining in. Looking forward to your insight, experiments and workarounds.

Paul. The temperature may be the reason you are not getting a good crackly crust on your breads. Are you still using your old oven that refuses to go above 400F? If so then perhaps leave the loaves in the oven a bit longer, and see if that does the trick. But when the crust is properly formed the bread does that crackling song. Kinda like Rice Crispies cereal when you add liquid to it. :) And a beautiful song it is.

Rudy
-----------------------------
My TFL Blog Page

Pablo's picture
Pablo

Hey Rudy,

No, I have a new, fabulous oven that corresponds with what the stand-alone oven thermometer tells me.  I baked them at 465 for 10 minutes and 450 for 12 minutes.  I did have the door open a bit at the 10 minute interval but hardly longer than usual.  I didn't mist these, I just gave it a good shot of water to steam in the beginning, so I didn't have repeated door openings and heat loss there.  I'm going to try 465 for the entire time next time (tomorrow) and then just watch them through the door and if they're not done enough, I'll just leave them longer.  I guess... unless someone has a better idea for me or I think of something else...

Paul

KosherBaker's picture
KosherBaker

I see. Then it must be something else. Perhaps your starter is too young. When my was getting started it had difficulty developing a rich golden color of the crust. Or perhaps something about the process that doesn't allow the right brew to develop in the dough.

On a less serious note. I'd like to place a vote to replace your current avatar photo with something similar to a photo above. You look too serious in the former. :)

Rudy
-----------------------------
My TFL Blog Page

Pablo's picture
Pablo

hummm.... starter too young.... now that I must give some thought to.  I've been pretty cavalier up to now.  I figured if it raises the bread, all is well.  Hummmm....

I'm also going to try raising the baking stone one level in the oven as well as bumping up the heat a tiny bit.  Prepare for incineration!  Today it's a 15% Rye sourdough bagette.  Tomorrow is 100% whole wheat.  

Yeah, the current avatar photo is from a wacky blond phase and it's my application photo to become a Canadian Immigrant.  I've gotten lots of pleasant response about that other one.  I was just so overcome with tender feelings about the whole bread deal.  Maybe I'll crop that one up and see if I can change it.  Thanks for the suggestion.

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Pablo, You made me laugh....I love the picture and your expression with the bread...one of the best yet...it would probably win a prize for best bread picture.    Sylvia

Pablo's picture
Pablo

Glad to hit your funny bone Sylvia.  I was feeling real romatic about my baguettes right then.  It was the first time I had heard them singing and it was great - I was in the mood to listen.  There's a bit wrong with my baguettes right now, but there's a lot right, too.  I'm feeling real optimistic.  I just have to keep baking and keep a journal and think about it and try things and notice what happens.

I con't remember the last time I had this much fun.

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

 Pablo, I feel the same way about my wood fired pizza's....that's what brought me to this site.

catpoz's picture
catpoz

Pablo... I think we are all having fun right with you, and enjoying your success.  Now I have a BIG smile. *S*


Cathy in Miami

catpoz's picture
catpoz

I haven't stopped smiling since I saw that picture, and that was about 10 minutes ago. *s*  hahaha


Cathy

Janedo's picture
Janedo

Nice looking bread!

What types of grains are in the mix? I have noticed in recipes that they are often soaked, but I prefer not to soak, unless there are heavy duty grains. I don't buy a mix, I buy them seperately and then put in the ones I want. Last time it was flax, sunflower, millet, sesame, squash seeds, five grain oats. I love the slight crunch that lingers after the bake and I just up the hydration, so they do soften just enough.

Oh, and that's interesting what you said about the pucker due to the liquid starter. There seems to be an underlying difference of opinions regarding the subject. I notice that I get more sour bread with liquid, but others maintain that it's a firm starter that gets sour bread.

Will we ever know the REAL answer. I can't believe it changes according to the starter!

Welcome aboard,

Jane 

blockkevin's picture
blockkevin

everyone, thanks for the kind comments on the bread. Everytime we try another formula it is always a guessing game as to how well the bread will turn out, I guess I just got lucky this time.

 

Jane-I use Bobs Red Mill Wheatless 8 grain Cereal mix(I don't know if they market it in France) and this is what it says it contains on their website:

8-Grain Wheatless Cereal is made from stone ground corn, oats, brown rice, soy beans, oat bran, millet, barley, sunflower seeds, and flaxseed

By the way I love your blog, and have been enjoying every post about your quest for the perfect baguette. Keep up the good work!

Kevin 

Janedo's picture
Janedo

Kevin,

Thank you very much for the compliment! 

So, what does the cereal look like? Is it flakes or like muesli?  

I guess I could just go check out the site. The ingredients sound very yummy!

Jane 

Pablo's picture
Pablo

Hi Jane,

 I'm confused about the term "liquid starter".  I assume it means a high hydration of the starter.  Can you be more specific for me?  I shoot for 50/50 water and flour when feeding my starters, with another 30 to 50gm of the original starter mixed in, but they're nowhere near "liquid" so I'm confused.

Thank you,

Paul

blockkevin's picture
blockkevin

Paul

When I refer to a liquid starter I am refering to a starter kept in a "pancake" batter consistancy. When I am feeding my liquid starter I use the following ratio to keep it consistent

  • 200g Starter
  • 50g AP Flour
  • 50g Whole Wheat Flour
  • 100g Water (75deg.)

As you can see the water is in equal proportion to the flour therefore it is 100% hydration. Some people feed it slightly more water or flour to vary the consitancy, and therefore the desired flavor, and use.

I also have a firm starter (I call this one my Levain) that I keep fed with the following ratio. This is not a starter that I cultivated, but one I got from a very respected bakery here in town.

 

  • Pinch of Starter(I just use whatever sticks to the bottom my containment vessel)
  • 35g Water (75deg)
  • 20g Whole Wheat Flour
  • 50g AP Flour

This starter is very firm, almost impossible to knead, and the hydration level of this starter is 50%.

I hope that clears up any confusion

Kevin

Pablo's picture
Pablo

Groovy, got it, thanks.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Great looking Batard Kevin. The crumb looks perfect too. I also have a wife who doesn't like a to sour SD so I am always thinking about the starter.

Glad you posted and I look forward to seeing your work in the future.

Eric 

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

Very nice job and it looks delicious. I don't like too much sour either so I bet I'd love your recipe. I copied it off to give it a try. 

Oh, and WELCOME to this site.                                                   weavershouse

blockkevin's picture
blockkevin

I just realized that I wrote in my original post that I keep my firm starter at 60%hydration. I must have mistyped because I keep my firm starter at 50% hydration, sorry if there is any confusion.

 

Thanks,
Kevin