Multi-grain Levain: Variation on 75% WW Levain from FWSY
Multi-grain Levain – August 14, 2015
Today's bake is based on the “75% Whole Wheat Levain Bread” formula in Forkish's Flour Water Salt Yeast. I have made this bread a couple of times before, most recently in November, 2014. I modified the formula today by adding 180g of "Harvest Grains Blend" produced by King Arthur Flour, which I soaked in warm water for a few hours and then mixed it into the autolyse at the time I added the salt and levain. The blend has about 8 different seeds and grains. This started out a very nutritious bread. The added whole oats, flax seeds and other goodies in the multi-grain blend just "kicked it up a notch" in both flavor and health benefits.
This made a very wet dough that did develop some strength with the stretches and folds and, especially, with rather tight pre-shaping and shaping. Still, with the high percentage of whole wheat flour and the additional seeds and flaked grains, loaf volume was less than most of the FWSY levains.
I tasted the bread after it had cooled for a couple hours. The crust was crunchy-chewy. The crumb was very moist and somewhat chewy. The aroma of whole wheat predominated. The flavor was similar to previous bakes of this bread with a prominent whole wheat flavor and moderate sourdough tang. The seeds added a bit of a crunch. The only specific ingredient I could taste was the sunflower seeds, but the flavor of the basic bread dominated. We'll see how the flavors evolve. Forkish says this bread's flavor develops and improves over two to three days.
I had some of this bread with dinner. It was delicious both with a thin spread of sweet butter and with a thin slice of aged Gouda cheese. It is so moist, I expect it to be fresh-tasting without toasting for several days.