The Fresh Loaf

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7+ Grain Levain with Bulgur and Sunflower Seeds

Danni3ll3's picture

7+ Grain Levain with Bulgur and Sunflower Seeds

I got a request for a “7-grain with Bulgur” that I apparently made a while ago. The only thing I could figure out was that it had to be Hamelman’s 5 grain Levain that I had made with Bulgur. So here is a 7 different flours with seeds and grains version not counting the AP flour. 



Makes 3 loaves


Liquid Levain build 

272 g flour 

343 g Water 

55 g Starter (if kept in the fridge, fed a few times prior to using in the Levain)


100 g bulgur

100 g Flaxseeds 

76 g Sunflower seeds 

85 g old fashioned oats (large flake)

484 g Water, boiling 

6 g Salt 


533 g Unbleached flour 

15 g Vital Wheat Gluten

40 g high extraction Selkirk wheat flour 

40 g high extraction Red Fife flour

40 g high extraction Spelt flour

40 g high extraction Kamut flour

40 g high extraction Einkorn flour

40 g high extraction Rye flour

40 g Partially Sifted Brûlé Creek flour

303 g Water + 50 g + 21g

30 g yogurt 

21 g Pink Himalayan Salt 

All of the Soaker 

650 g Levain 

A day or so before:

  1. Main dough and levain prep: Measure 46 g of each type of grain for the high extraction flours, mill the berries, and sift. Use 40 g of each of the sifted flours for the main dough and reserve the bran and the remaining sifted flour to revive or feed the starter prior to making the final levain. 

The night before:

  1. Levain: Twelve to sixteen hours before the the final mixing of the dough, put all of the ingredients together for the levain and keep covered at room temperature (70-73 F).
  2. Soaker: Measure out the bulgur, and oats. Reserve. Grind the flax seeds coarsely in a Bullet or spice grinder. Add to the bulgur and the oats. Toast the sunflower seeds and add to the bulgur, oats and flax. Add the 6 g of salt. Add the boiling water to the soaker ingredients and cover. Leave to cool overnight at room temperature.
  3. Main dough prep: To the high extraction flours, add the unbleached flour, the Partially Sifted Brûlée Creek flour and the vital wheat gluten. Mix well to distribute the VWG.  Cover and reserve.

Making the dough:

  1. Put the water and the yogurt for the dough in a bowl and add the soaker. Mix well to loosen the mass. Measure 650 g of the levain, add to water and soaker, and mix again. Add this mixture to the reserved flour mix and make sure to mix well to a shaggy dough. Let sit for 60 to 75 minutes.
  2. My dough felt dry so I added another 50 of water with the salt. Mix well to integrate all ingredients. Let rest 30 minutes. Do three sets of slaps and folds on a bare counter at 30 minute intervals (50/40/10). I added 21 g of water to the dough after the first set because it still felt too dry and stiff. Continue bulk fermentation with 2 sets of stretches and folds also 30 minutes apart. 
  3. Place in the fridge for 4-5 hours. I left mine for 4 hours in a 38F fridge. The dough rose about 30%. 
  4. Pour the dough out onto a bare counter and divide into 3 loaves of about 920 g. Lightly flour the top of the portions and gently round into boules using a dough scraper. Let rest one hour on the counter. 
  5. Do a final shape by flouring the rounds and 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 fold 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 right boule.
  6. Sprinkle a mix of rice and AP flour in the bannetons. Place the dough seam side down in the bannetons, cover, let rest for a few minutes on the counter and then put to bed in a cold (38F) fridge for ~10 hours.


  1. The next morning, heat the oven to 475 with the Dutch ovens inside for 45 minutes to 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 place the dough seam side up inside. 
  2. Cover the pots and bake the loaves at 475 F for 30 minutes, remove the lids, and bake for another 17 -20 minutes. Internal temperature should be 205F or more.


The daughter came home from her midnight shift at the hospital and persuaded me to cut into one of the warm loaves. Warm bread with cold butter from the local dairy, can’t get any better than that! 


dabrownman's picture

wonder someone requested it.  It has to taste great.  Daughter knows best,- warm bread and butter,  Sometimes Lucy just butter a slice and pops it into the toaster oven until the bitter melts.  Hope the new apprentice is working out well and learning the trade  That crumb is really nice.  Well done and 

Happy baking Danni

DesigningWoman's picture

The first thought I had, as I read down your list of ingredients, was: Danni must have a pantry that would make me think I've died and gone to heaven!

Lovely, lovely bread, inside and out. Smart daughter. Lucky daughter. Great mom.



not.a.crumb.left's picture

and WoW! I can't believe the amount of different flour you bake with! Must taste unbelievably good! Kat

Danni3ll3's picture

Having a stash of whole grains and a dedicated refrigerator door helps with keeping a variety of ingredients around. This bread is definitely one of my favourites. Really pleased on how it turned out. 

pul's picture

The micro bakery is running at full steam. It also requires a lot of strength ? to handle such large dough amount. All loaves look good as always and must taste unique with all those flours.

Danni3ll3's picture

Upper body strength is not my forte but all those push-ups that my Pilates instructor makes us do must help. ? To be honest, the part I really hate is the initial mixing of the water and flour. I use a silicone spatula to help with that but that’s the part that I find takes forever. I try to be conservative with the water at that stage because i know I can’t take it out if I add too much. The rest of it is just fine, even the slaps and folds. 

Isand66's picture

Sorry I'm late to the party.  I just was laid off from my job so I've been busy trying to find a new one.  Anyway, love the combo of ingredients in this one and your crumb couldn't be any better.

Happy Baking.


Danni3ll3's picture

I am sorry to hear about the job situation! I hope you find something you like even better soon!

Isand66's picture

i hope so too.  Last company was not doing well financially and I wasn't happy there for a while now.  I should have started looking earlier but now I have no choice.



DesigningWoman's picture

Sorry about the job, Ian. I hope you find the perfect match really soon.  (How about consulting/ advising bakeries on new lines of healthy specialty breads ?)

God luck. And keep up the beautiful bakes.


Isand66's picture

Appreciate your kind words.