The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Holiday 5 Grain Sourdough Sprouted Un-Chacon

dabrownman's picture

Holiday 5 Grain Sourdough Sprouted Un-Chacon

My lovely wife asked Lucy and I to come up with a bread to give to a married couple who are also friends, mine too, who just happen to own a very nice hair salon in downtown Mesa AZ.  They been taking care of the girl’s hair, daughter too, for decades.  The catch is, if I mess it up, my girls might look bit odd the next time they come back from the salon – which might be worth it?


So just in case, I am also sending along a very nice 2008 White Oak California Bordeaux style red blend that we know is killer hoping that, if the bread is bad, they will forget all about it after the wine is gone!  Since the make side of these partners is from France and knows wine well, he will quickly know if the wine is good or not and they both have had several loaves of Lucy’s bread over the years and know what to expect.

Lucy got strange and specified an overnight, heating pad, white LaFama AP levain at 100% hydration and 12% pre-fermented flour that doubled in 8 hours.  We did a 40 minute autolyse of the dough flour which was 12% each sprouted spelt, Khorasan, 12% whole wheat (mixed red and white) and 12% Whole Rye, 14% LaFama AP and 26% Bob’s Red Mill Artisan Bread Flour. 

Water was added to the dough flour to get the overall hydration up to 80% and after the shaggy autolyse mass we formed with a spoon we sprinkled 2% pink Himalayan sea salt on top and covered it with plastic wrap.  We then mixed in the salt with a spoon and did 3 sets of slap and folds of 200, 25 and 10 followed by 3 sets of stretch and folds from the compass points – all on 30 minute intervals.


3 hours in we pre-shaped it into a boule.  Then 10 minutes later we cut off some of it with the dough scraper to make the Chacon design of a knot and 4 balls placing them in the bottom of the rice floured basket.   Then we shapied the remaining dough into a flat boule and placing it on top of the design for the final proof covering it on the heating pad with a kitchen towel.

After a 2 and half hour proof the dough was un-molded onto parchment on a peel, slid onto the combo cooker base, spritzed, covered and placed in the 500 F oven for 18 minutes of steam at 450 F.  Once the lid came off, we turned the oven down to 425 F convection for 16 minutes of dry baking.

After 8 minutes of dry heat, we took the bread off the CC base to finish baking it directly on the stone so the bottom would not burn.   It bloomed cracked and blistered a bit but browned well enough.  I keep forgetting that a Chacon cracks best a lower hydration in the 72% range and won’t crack much at all at 80% especially if over-proofed like this one was. 

Still, I’m sure the bread will taste fine ….. good enough for a holiday gift to a special couple.  Personally, I would like the wine best because I can get a nice loaf of SD bread for about a dollar or two any time the mood strikes …..but you can’t get the wine anywhere for a decent price.

Happy Holidays to all!


Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Lovely looking bread for sure! I'm curious about this method. What is the origin of this technique and what does it bring to the bread? 

Bloomed very well and fit for a festive dinner table. 

dabrownman's picture

At lower hydration and not over proofed here is what it is supposed to do

So you can see, if done right ,it can be a focal point for a holiday table.   The technique is named after another Fresh Lofian from Colorado who no longer posts. - Tom Chacon.    I was trying to fold a dough in order to get it into a 6 pointed star shape and he sent me a diagram to help me get it right.  That is where it started but it evolved into something quite different.  I saw the Joe Ortiz video of him doing decorations on the outside of his SD breads on the Julia Child TV Show.  Lucy wondered if I put the decoration on the bottom of the basket instead, would it crack at the 'seams' making a nice design and sure enough it did. We loved the word Chacon so that is what ILucynamed the technique.  When done right it can have a spectacular result.... but this one is not :-)  I thought it was French but the word Chacon is actually Spanish.  So the origin of the technique is that sneaky, little, worthless and hairy apprentice of mine - Lucy!  

Glad you like the bread Abe.  At least it should taste fine.  Happuy Holidays Abe!


Isand66's picture

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and while this one didn't perform as expected I'm sure it will taste great!  How could it not with all those great ingredients in it?

I made a Swedish Limpa bread from BBA book for the first time to give to our friends parents. They used to have a tradition of eating some Limpa bread on Christmas day so I thought it would be a nice present.  I have no idea if it will taste right, but hopefully I will get some positive feedback.

I'm getting ready to shape and bake my Christmas Eve pretzel rolls and I made some Ricotta Knots per my wife's request.  I have not made those in many many moons before I started using a SD starter.  I converted the recipe to use a starter, so hopefully they will come out good.

Have a great Christmas and New Years and give Lucy some hugs and belly rubs from Max and Lexi!

dabrownman's picture

and am converting it to SD for tomorrow's dinner..  I might have a YW kicker since Lucy refreshed the fig YW last week and the apple yesterday:-)  A nice little recipe for sure.  I kind of tired of white rolls with little flavor but instead of Kamut I'm using sprouted spelt and sprouted Khoirasan:-)  I know I have some unopened ricotta in the fridge somewhere but I better go look to make sure:-)  Lucy might sub some Pecorino for the Parmesan though.   Never know what she will do at the last minute. 

The Limpa sounds like a nice gift especially those who are pinning for some as a Christmas tradition.

Lucy sends her best to the East Coast gang and hopes that they are having better weather than the sunny and 79 here today:-)

The best to you and yours for the Holiday season and good luck with the rolls Ian

for some.  

Isand66's picture

They came out pretty, pretty, good :).  My wife kept brushing them with melted garlic butter, so you couldn't miss that garlic flavor.  Everyone seemed to like them so I guess that's a good thing.

Let me know how your version turns out.  Sounds good with the sprouted flour.  I'm going to definitely sprout some flour for next week.

Happy Holidays to you and your family as well.


dabrownman's picture

I knew they would because you are the King of Rolls!  Girls said they were the best rolls ever!

Elsie_iu's picture

there is supposed to be a chacon design and no one'll be able to tell :) With so much awesome sprouted and whole grains, I don't have to taste it to know it'd be delicious. Since I don't drink wine, I'd trade the nice 2008 red blend for another loaf of bread. I can already see people reading this are pointing at me and calling me foolish... 

Hope the couple loves the bread. If they don't, send it to me! 

dabrownman's picture

I don't think they will know anything about what a Chacon is supposed to look like:-)  I'm sure it will taste fine.  Wine especially red is an acquired taste like scotch or bourbon so it is best om the wallet to not acquire the taste:-)  Better to bake good bread for sure

Happy baking in the New Year Elsie