The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Community Bake - Hamelman's Five-Grain Levain

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Community Bake - Hamelman's Five-Grain Levain

This Community Bake will feature Jeffry Hamelman's Five-Grain Levain. The formula and instructions are taken from his very popular book, "Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes". Many bakers consider this bread a favorite of theirs and I am in that group. The portion of whole grain along with the seeds makes this bread stand out among the best. The book can be Seen HERE.

For those not familiar with our Community Bakes see THIS LINK. The idea of a Community Bake is for those interested in baking and learning to bake with us and post the results. This way we can all learn together. This is not a bread baking competition, everyone wins!

I chose to post the bake today in order to give everyone time to gather the ingredients since there are 4 grains and/or seed add ins. It is not necessary to go out of your way to get the specified seeds or grains. I substitute all of the time and the bread is always great. Hopefully the bake will get into full swing by next weekend, but feel free to start right away.

I've included an additional image of the spreadsheet for those that want to bake a smaller batch. The formula is for 1000 grams, but you could easily divide each ingredient by 2 in order to make a 500 gram loaf.

Here are the instructions from Hamelman's book. If you don't already own the book, I suggest you give it some consideration.

Five-Grain Levain
by Jeffrey Hamelman
Resource --- Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes    Pages 182 - 183

1.    Liquid Levain   --- Make the final build 12 to 16 hours before the final mix and let stand in a covered container at about 70°F. Mix Levain and Soaker at the same time.

2.    Soaker   --- Pour the boiling water over the grain blend and salt, mix thoroughly, and cover with plastic to prevent evaporation. Make the soaker at the same time as the final build of the levain and let stand at room temperature. If grains that don't require a hot soaker are used (such as rye chops in lieu of the cracked rye listed here), a cold soaker will absorb less water, and therefore it's likely that slightly less water will be needed in the final dough.

3.    Mixing   --- Add all ingredients to the mixing bowl. In a spiral mixer, mix on first speed for 3 minutes, adjusting the hydration as necessary. Mix on second speed for 3 to 3 1/2 minutes. The dough should have a moderate gluten development. Desire dough temperature 76°F.

4.    Bulk Fermentation   --- 1 to 1 1/2 hours (if yeast (.008%) is used). Otherwise see Step 7 for clarification.

5.    Folding   --- the bulk fermentation should be 2 hours with 1 fold

6.    Dividing and Shaping   --- Divide the dough into 1.5 pound pieces; shape round or oblong. Large loaves of several pounds are also a beautiful sight. And good rolls can be made from this dough. NOTE – I like to make 3 pound boules and place them into the Dutch Ovens and then refrigerate. After they are shaped I place the ball upside down on a water soaked towel and then put the wet side on a towel that is floured and filled with pumpkin seeds. This gives the bread an excellent flavor and also makes it more attractive.

7.    Final Fermentation   --- The dough can be retarded for several hours or overnight, in which case the bulk fermentation should be 2 hours with 1 fold and the yeast should be left out of the mix.

 

8.    Baking   --- With normal steam, 460°F for 40 to 45 minutes. There is a great deal of water retention in this bread, so be sure to bake it thoroughly.

Danny

 

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Dan,

I PM'ed you about trying the Abel Sierra "ziggy" cut since you are having a ball with Brad's sausage cut.  Here is my take on it.

I think that it is pretty clear by now that the 5-Grain is not one that takes a bloom easily and the most successful of those, by and large, have been batards which had one longitudinal score from tip to toe.  And even then there are only a handful from our 5-Grain gallery here that bloomed as well as we'd like.

My previous ziggy scores have had a significantly better bloom on them, particularly the sesame semolina, but then again it was with 2 distinctly different doughs.  A bit disappointed in not seeing a better oven spring, but knowing the terrain before taking the dive I'm not surprised that the bloom was less dramatic as my prior attempts.

The view from above...

and from the broadside...

An interior view of the dang thang...

And a snail's eye view...

To perform this type of cut I keep the curved razor blade in the drawer, instead opting for a ceramic knife. 

  • 20 min. "autolyse" with all ingredients
  • 150 French Folds, 5 min. rest, another 150 FFs.
  • Letter folds at 45 & 90, directly into retard at 90 min.
  • Retarded overnight with a late night divide, pre-shape and shape.
  • Scored directly from retard and then into steaming 460dF oven for 13 minutes, release steam & rotate.  
  • Another 18 min. and 3 min. venting.

I felt as though I should have pushed the oven time a few minutes further and garnered a darker surface, but I'll still call this one a successful bake.  And a fun scoring pattern to keep around for fun and games.  Thanks to good ol' Abel.

650g x 1

alan 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Alan, your richly browned crust are equally iconic to your beautifully scored baguettes! Your breads are unique and highly identifiable. The traits of a master.

I imagine you would opt to not work that hard, but you would have made a master commercial baker.

You have been a great help to me in the past, and you can be sure I’ll be knocking on your door in the future.

Thanks...

Danny

alfanso's picture
alfanso

that the bakes always look a little bit redder than they really are likely due to the incandescent light overhead.  And probably combined with the way that my phone camera interprets the image.  I'll also guess that as the surface oxidizes (or whatever it does) the color is lessened by a shade over time.

Some folks have suggested that I either 1. get a job in a bakery or 2. open my own.

  1. I'm retired now, so ixnay on that one.  Besides I'd have to bake what someone else wants and the way that they want it done.  I'd rather have both my freedom and the freedom to choose what I want to bake and when.
  2. Reminds me of the old "how to make a small fortune?  Start off with a big one".  Sometimes I say "why don't you open bakery?  I'm retired."

My wife's uncle says to open a bakery.  I asked him to advance me a quarter of a million to cover the lease, equipment etc.  All I hear from him is a loud "gulp".

I may hang a sign on my door knocker reading "Gone Fishing" - something you could well relate to ;-) .

Thanks for the kind words as it keep me from the doldrums.

alan

PS I do like the idea that my breads are identifiable from the looks.  I've heard that before too.  Consistency is something that I do strive for.  Makes me happy and feeling accomplished in something other than my skills at re-arranging the sock drawer. 

Filomatic's picture
Filomatic

By far your best result yet.  You are one determined baker!  I'm jealous that you have the time to bake this often.  Consider using the bran in the levain next time, because the levain loves it.  I take the remaining sifted flour, weigh it, and add white flour to make up for whatever weight is missing from the sifted bits.

Do you plan to do slap and fold from now on?  It's messy, and I wonder if it over-oxidizes the dough.  I must say your dough looked amazing at the end of the slap and fold.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Phil, I often use the bran in the levain. But JH calls for a 1 to 5 starter to flour ratio @ 125% for 12 - 16 hours. I think the bran would cause the levain to over ferment.

I use Slap & Folds quite a lot. But the  question regarding over oxidating the dough is a good one.  I hope others with knowledge on the subject can enlighten us.

Dan

Filomatic's picture
Filomatic

That might explain why my dough was on a path to over-fermenting in the fridge.  The last time I made this I was not using bran levains.  Rarely, though, is a levain all bran.  I think this one was less than 50% bran.

BTW, given the Tartine method of using young levain, I vary the levain fermentation times pretty much.  I've mixed these Hamelman levains as early as 6 hours.  Sometimes this makes for a longer ferment, but not by much.

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

a beauty Danny!  the  bakers percent will be a little different now but wow, you nailed it

Leslie

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

Thats an awesome crumb and an amazing save! Well done!

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Here is the second loaf from the 3rd bake. Hydration was 105.4%.

For those that prefer dark bakes, this one fills the bill. A tad dark for me, though.

It ssems that the extra water (totaling 105% hydration) gives the crumb a noticeably softer texture and chew. All loaves in this bake were retarded free formed in a couche. I retarded in a sealed plastic bag. This is responsible for the blisters and also the shiny crust. <A special thanks to BreadForFun for the tip.>

Danny

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

it is getting better with each bake! beautiful crumb!

Leslie

Filomatic's picture
Filomatic

You should see the breads at Josey Baker.  They love to bake them until they're ALMOST burnt.  It comes across as daring and exciting.  Excellent bread, too.

You can see what I'm talking about on Yelp:  https://www.yelp.com/biz/josey-baker-bread-san-francisco

Truth Serum's picture
Truth Serum

Well practice does make perfect. I have learned so much from this thread.

not.a.crumb.left's picture
not.a.crumb.left

and the latest loaves are just amazing Dan!!! WoW...I have not been much on the site recently but could not resist to have a look at  the community bake and I can see that you have been busy and with amazing results!!!! Beautiful loaves! Kat

DesigningWoman's picture
DesigningWoman

Both the save and the end result -- not to mention your calm in the face of a major hitch!

Congrats on a beautiful bake.

Is your floor in yet?

Carole

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Carole the flooring is scheduled for next month.

This bake went so well! It will be hard to top it.

syros's picture
syros

Hi Danny, sorry to have missed this community bake - although I might try it next week. Life has been hectic - but I am totally impressed by everyone's results. Thanks Dan for putting this together and thank all of you for participating. It's so much fun to see everyone's hard work and inspirations.

Sharon

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Sharon, please post your results. I believe that people will visit this bake long after the dust settles. I may bake the Five-Grain in the next week or so. If I do, I plan to post the bake here.

I have baked way over 100 loaves of this bread, and I can say for sure that I have learned a lot by seeing and reading the results of bakers on this post.

It is never too late to join in on the bake. Years down the road all participants should be notified each time there is a new post on this bake.

Danny

syros's picture
syros

You've given me the encouragement to try this for sure. I will definitely post results!

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Again - very nice Danny.

 

Va's picture
Va

and impressive! Surely only an insouciant Frenchman would sling dough around wearing a black shirt.:D EDIT: this is after watching the link to Bertinet.

I watched and copied the moves as best I could with a Champlain and a Maurizio dough. True confession; they never became resilient, smooth balls, though the texture improved. I lost count somewhere in the seventies. I found bits of dough in my eyebrows and stuck to the kitchen window over the sink. They turned out okay - 

 Thanks for the link! 
albacore's picture
albacore

Just a heads-up for anyone who enjoyed the flavour of the Five-grain Levain that they baked: check out @mrjeffmccarthy's Seed Monster Sourdough

Less grains, more seeds and an excellent tasting loaf!

Lance

 
DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Hamelman’s Five-Grain Levain

There was no bench time (ambient temp fermentation) for this process



All ingredients, including the soaker was mixed at the same time. Wet (Levain, soaker, water) in one bowl and dry (flour, salt) in another. Then mixed together until dry ingredients were wetted. Rested for 30 minutes and remixed to fully incorporate, then did 75 slap & folds. Rested 20 minutes, and finished up with 25 gentle slap & folds. NOTE - dough entered the retarder @ 68F.

 

Retarded at 52F for 12 hours (dough increased about 75%, then shaped cold (no preshape), put on parchment free formed, and bagged tightly. Retarded for 12 hours @ 38F. Slashed one dough diagonally and baked (covered on stone) @ 485F for 20 minutes. Then removed cover and baked 20 minutes @ 465 convection. NOTE - I tented with foil towards the end of the bake because I didn’t want the bread to over brown.

 

NOTES - Followed the formula almost exactly. Hydration remained the same. I did sift the whole what and used the bran in the Levain. Used steel cut oats, he didn’t specify. All fermentation was done cold, no real bench time. Baked a little hotter, wanted max spring and bloom.

I am really diggin’ dem diagonal slashes.

 

Danny

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The loaf expands during oven spring at right angles to the scoring. So, to get the roundest cross section possible, score at right angles to the long axis of the loaf. Note: If you score a boules with parallel cuts, the baked loaf with be oval, not round. 

For more details, see my Scoring Tutorial in the TFL handbook, or such search for it.

David

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve studied your tutorials! And I think something is learned every time. Today’s take away is the need to score much more shallow. 1/4” is not very deep! That seems counter intuitive. A shallow scores produces a larger ear, but your explanation makes sense. This principle provides a better understanding of Doc’s VIDEO.

It appears, from the image above, that those scores are probably 5/8” deep. Wouldn’t it be great if the shallower score produced the consistent ears that I’ve worked for years to achieve?

I have thought for some time that the lack of ears were result of improperly developed gluten. I thought, if I scored Alan’s or your dough, the ears would be gorgeous. Would love to find out I was completely wrong :-D

I always appreciate your information and help.

Danny

breadforfun's picture
breadforfun

Really nice job on these loaves, Danny. Scoring is one place to get creative with breads, so experiment. 

-Brad

Filomatic's picture
Filomatic

Really nice!

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Sorry I missed this community bake of one of my favorite breads. I happened to be making it this weekend and the saw this post.

I usually hand mix my bread but for this is one I used my Bosch Universal mixer  to get better results and less mess on my hands from the seed soaker. I did an half hour auotlyse in the mixer without the salt mixed on first speed for about three minutes then added the seeds until incorporated. The recipe was followed using KAF bread flour and fresh ground 5% sifted WW except my levain was 100% and I sprouted the rye berries before chopping them with a knife which is easier than cutting the dry berries. The water in the soaker was reduced to account for the previously soaked and sprouted rye and this was added back in along with the water not used in the levin which was added to the final dough to end up with the same amount as the recipe. I baked it on a stone with a roasting pan covered for 20 minutes at 500 and 25 minutes at 450 uncovered.

Thanks everyone for sharing your inspirational bakes and I thank you Jeffrey for my favorite bread book not just for the recipes and techniques but the stories from a life in bread baking that accompany it are worth it alone.

5 grain

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Hey MT, it’s never too late to join in on this or anyother Community Bake. Thanks to Floyd, we are sent notifications when ever a new post is added. Many of us will happily join in and reply.

Your bread looks absolutely perfect to me. Thanks for posting...

What a gift Jeffrey Hamelman presented the bread baking world when he published his book!

Danny

Filomatic's picture
Filomatic

Wow, excellent work!

DesigningWoman's picture
DesigningWoman

She's at it again! Some progress this time, write-up and pix here.

Keep on baking,

Carole

Alan.H's picture
Alan.H

As this was to be my first attempt at the five grain levain bake I thought I would stick closely to the original formula, although oats and cracked rye weren't locally available so I used pinhead oatmeal, and after several unsuccessful attempts to crack rye, just the rye grains. Also I noticed in Jeffrey Hamelman's book "Bread" that under the heading of"Dividing and shaping", he comments that "large loaves of several pounds are also a beautiful sight" so as someone who likes a large loaf and appreciates a beautiful sight, I scaled up the "Home" formula to produce about 3Kg (6.6Lbs) of dough.

When I mixed the final dough on day two, it seemed to be far too dry and I measured out an extra 50 grams of water. Luckily I didn't add it before I had rested the mix for 30 minutes, by which time it had become very sticky and certainly didn't need extra water. I machine mixed it for about five minutes and then stretch and folded several times before leaving it to bulk ferment, with S and F's every 30 mins.

J H suggests that bulk fermentation without the added yeast should be about 2 hours. I can only guess that my liquid levain which had looked very fizzy and ready to go after the overnight growth in a comfortable proofer was not yet strong enough for the task ahead, because after three and a half hours there wasn't much sign that bulk fermentation was complete. However I had run out of time so I divided and shaped the  two loaves and put them in the fridge in the hope that inspiration would come to me overnight.

Next day nothing had arrived during the night so I decided to try warming the loaves for a couple of hours in the proofer and then allowing a further two hours proofing.

Well that did the trick. the dough now looked more rosy cheeked and wobbly so I heated up the oven and baked them.

I was never more relieved when I removed the dutch oven lids after thirty minutes to see that there had been decent oven spring rather than deflated balloons.

Here's the crumb. Not quite as open as I would like.

So I will certainly try this again but first I will have to figure out why my levain took so long to wake the dough.

 

DesigningWoman's picture
DesigningWoman

a beautiful sight!

Congratulations,  enjoy them and keep on baking, 

Carole 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Alan, I think most of us bulk fermented longer than 2 hours. Im guessing more like 3 or 3 1/2.

What are you using for the green background in your images? It looks really nice.

Danny

Doesn’t the bread taste great?

Alan.H's picture
Alan.H

Hi Danny. Yes it is a very tasty loaf which I'm looking forward making again, should be a lot easier with what I've learned this time.

The green background is actually a cotton tablecloth, kindly offered by my wife when I was looking around for a darker background than the bare wooden bread board.

Alan

 

 

DesigningWoman's picture
DesigningWoman

work out in the crumb?  I'm curious, since I can't find cracked rye either, but was too afraid to use them whole.

Thanks for your lights!

Carole 

Alan.H's picture
Alan.H

Well I was worried about using the whole berries but having spent a lot of time trying a small electric coffee/spice mill which produced a little gritty flour and a lot of undamaged berries smelling of curry, followed by an old hand cranked meat mincer which passed the grains through undamaged and finally a mortar and pestle which left me having to sweep up a load of rye berries from the floor, I had a "what the hell" moment and just threw the whole berries into the soak.

So it was very much luck rather than judgement and to answer your question, the boiling water and the 12+ hour soak softened up the berries just enough to leave a bit of bite and add some texture to the bread.

I will use whole berries again next time and hope it will work as well.

By the way I'm a little bit puzzled by " Thanks for your lights "   

Alan

DesigningWoman's picture
DesigningWoman

that's good news -- about just giving them a long, hot soak, I mean. I'm sure I'd have burnt out my herb chopper!

Sorry about the "lights": bad translation from a colloquial expression. Basically, "thank you for enlightening me", or "thank you for shedding light on the matter".

Enjoy this delicious bread and keep on baking!

Carole

WatertownNewbie's picture
WatertownNewbie

DanAyo asked me to post a link to my blog about baking this bread.  Here it is:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/59521/hamelmans-fivegrain-my-bake

syros's picture
syros

Ok, I decided to do the bake. I went with rye flakes, rolled oats, flax seeds, chia seeds and sunflower seeds. For the flour I used KA bread flour(purchased when I went home, and KA white whole wheat). 

Used my KA mixer after the autolyse and added the soakers with the levain, water, flours and salt. Mixed for about 6 minutes total then did a couple of S & F by hand and let it BF for two hours, with one s & f after 60 minutes. I did the BF in my oven with the light on. 

Pre-shaped into two loaves and let rest 20 minutes, then shaped and into the fridge. After 9 hours, late last night I baked the first loaf, at 450 F for 20 minutes, lid on, then 25 minutes, lid off. I used my Staub DO and put two sheets of parchment under the dough, and a pizza stone on the rack below the rack the DO was on. I gave a quick mist to the dough and inside the lid but that was it.

The second one was baked this morning - after a 19 hour retard, and this time after I removed the lid, I dropped the temperature to 425 and turned on the convection. It's cooling as we speak. 

This a very delicious but filling bread! 

Here is a shot of the second bake which is looking equally delish! Thanks Danny and to all for this community bake!

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Big success. Good oven spring, lovely crumb and looks delicious. So glad you got to try it in the end. I'm sure you'll be returning to this recipe.

DesigningWoman's picture
DesigningWoman

I've been wondering where you've been.

Great bake, congrats! Isn't this one yummy?

Your crust and crumb and scoring are terrific.

Keep on baking! 

Carole 

syros's picture
syros

Carole, I have been off the grid recently so making this bread was a bit nerve wracking. That said, this bread is terrific! Could eat the whole thing myself..

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

The second bake could take first place at the county fair. I love the bloom and score.

I hope JH comes back to this post for a visit. I can’t imagine how gratifying it must be to know that countless bakers the world over place this bread at the top of their bread list. For me and Hester it is number one. I bet many others would agree.

As of this time there has been 348 posted replies to Community Bake! A giant THANKS to Jeffrey Hamelman...

Danny

Truth Serum's picture
Truth Serum

This bread also stales well. I discovered four slices in my car. they were several weeks old , mold free. and made an excellent car snack.

I am about to make a 4th batch but is there a definitive answer on roasting the seeds before the soak?

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I use the seeds both ways, toasted and not. I have even made this bread by adding the dry seeds and add ins (no cracked grain) to the intial dough mix without a soaker. They all bake well, IMO. BUT, I think the general consensus is that toasting the add ins provide more flavor.

Try it both ways and let us know which method you like best.

Dan

Rhody_Rye's picture
Rhody_Rye

>>This bread also stales well. I discovered four slices in my car. they were several weeks old , mold free. and made an excellent car snack.

A true Freshloafian you are, clearly.

syros's picture
syros

Danny, your push made me do it. Abe, as always, made it clearer to me. I downloaded Hamelman's book - and his recipes are way above my level of baking, but this one really is special, and I also hope he pays another visit. 

This has been a great community bake!

syros's picture
syros

Here are photos pre-bake:

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

It looks wonderful, both pre and post bake!

syros's picture
syros

Abe and Danni, I aspire to be like you when I grow up lol! Actually, there are so many fabulous bakers on this site. And when I see all the different variations and wonderful breads, sometimes it can get a bit scary but this bake went much better than antipated. Greatly appreciate everyone’s input and knowledge. I must say, this is a bake I’m really happy with!

The fact I’ve managed to keep my starter alive after 2 years is nothing short of a miracle! Love this bread!

syros's picture
syros

I must say that I prefer the crust on this one, where I lowered the temperature and put on the convection bake. But both delish!

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

When I think the oven spring has finished and it's 95% baked I'll stop the steam and finish off with the fan for a nice crust. Try toasting this bread for great favour. Nice start to the week Sharon. 

Bon Appetit. 

syros's picture
syros

Thanks, Abe. I think I like the idea of using the convection. I was really hesitant but it worked beautifully with this bread... 

Jeramiah's picture
Jeramiah

I just purchased the book on amazon tonight. It should be here Saturday.

I have some questions. There are a lot of comments on this thread and if my question is answered in here I am sorry. I am also at work and I am unable to download the files to see if my answer lies in there.

I have a starter culture and would like to make this recipe. But I was wondering when making the Levain how much starter do I add to the flour and water? Other recipes I have used call for a small amount like 25g or 50g of starter to be added.

I do not own a mixer. I mix by hand. Will this be ok?

I appreciate any other direction and maybe my questions will be answered when I get home and download the files or I receive the book on Saturday.

WatertownNewbie's picture
WatertownNewbie

Jeramiah, if you scroll up a little you will see my post that contains a link to the blog where I described my bake of this bread.  The post includes quantities for all of the ingredients (scaled for two loaves.)  I mixed by hand, and that will work, but be ready for a sticky messy dough (keep a dough scraper handy).

Happy baking.

Ted

Jeramiah's picture
Jeramiah

Thank You. Figured I gave up to early.

ifs201's picture
ifs201

I've had this one bookmarked for a long time and finally got to try it this weekend. This is definitely one for me to improve on, but I think it will take great toasted. I followed the recipe, but replaced the cracked rye with spelt (hard for me to source cracked rye) and the flaxseed with poppy and sesame seeds. I needed to up the hydration by about 30g. I added the seeds through lamination which worked okay, but I think given the quantity of seeds that lamination may not have been the best choice in this case. The seeds never incorporated as evenly as I would have liked. I definitely underproofed my bakes this weekend, but I wanted to get to bed!

  • 6pm mixed the dough (about 5 minutes of kneading on the counter)
  • 6:30 stretch and fold
  • 7:15pm laminate and add seeds
  • 7:45 coil fold
  • 8:15 coil fold
  • 10pm preshape, shape, into fridge for 10 hours 

loaf on the right

ifs201's picture
ifs201

the other is a polenta bread

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Ilene, you have baked an outstanding Five-Grain! It is a super favorite of mine. I can almost taste it, buy looking at the pictures :D

JH gave a gift to the world, when he shared that one. It is out of sight toasted...

Danny

OH! Mixing the seeds during the initial mix works well.

 

Benito's picture
Benito

I plan to bake a version of this at the end of the week.  I cannot find cracked rye but was thinking I'd do a combination of sesame seeds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds and rolled oats.  I'm not planning on using my KA to mix so I'll see how hand mixing goes.  I'll also need to decide when and how to add the seeds which I will toast and do the soak.

I've been enjoying Kristen's lamination process lately as it really does build gluten well, but having only used it twice, I think I'll use this bake to try it again hopefully my technique will improve each time I use it.

Benny

ifs201's picture
ifs201

Hi Benny,

Enjoy! It's a fun recipe to try. I added the seeds during lamination for this one and while I wouldn't discourage it, I felt that the huge volume of seeds make it a bit hard to fully incorporate through lamination. When it came to shaping there were patches with tons of seeds making it difficult to form a skin on the dough. That said, I just pre-shaped first (haven't been doing this lately) and then it seemed to shape up fine. 

Mixing by hand seemed to work out perfectly fine, but I think the dough would have benefited from more water. 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

No cracked rye, no problem. Substitutions work well.

Adding the seeds in the initial mix, as instructed, works as well as any method, IMO.

Benny, you are going to be blown away with the flavor. This is my favorite bread...

Dan

Benito's picture
Benito

Having not seen this recipe before I was very interested in it because I love the flavour from seeds in breads.  And based on everyone's reports from their bakes, this has excellent flavour so I'm really looking forward to this bake since it is new to me and has reviewed so well.  Thank you for putting this CB up last year and thank you for whomever brought it back to life recently.

Benny

Benito's picture
Benito

Lamination was never going to happen, the dough is super sticky.  I’m working on bulk fermentation and have done a combination of slap and folds, stretch and folds and now coil folds.  I think I’ll do one last set of coil folds and leave the dough to complete bulk fermentation before shaping and cold retarding in the fridge.  So sticky.

George Q's picture
George Q

For what it is worth, in this bread I put in the soaked seeds at the start, and used lamination to build strength in the wet , sticky dough. I just wet the counter top, stretched out the dough(easy to do) and folded it up like a letter going into an envelope. Gives a lot of strength.

Benito's picture
Benito

In hindsight, I should have just tried the lamination, but the dough was so sticky that I chickened out.  I'm not confident that I built enough structure for this dough.  We'll see tomorrow after the cold retardation overnight.

Benny

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

I have had good luck with sprouting the rye berries and then chopping them up. This is one of the recipes that I prefer to use a mixer for because of the difficulty of incorporating the slimy seed mixture into a stiff dough. Looking forward to seeing your bread. These are from last weekend. It's good winter time bread.

5G

5g crumb

Jeffrey Hamelman's picture
Jeffrey Hamelman

Hi Fellow Bakers and Bakerinas,

May I urge you, or at least mildly suggest, that it's best to add the seeds at the outset. Yes, because of the slight puncturing effect on the gluten from the seeds, it will take a bit longer (maybe one minute) to achieve adequate gluten strength. That said, if your mixing style is not aggressive, an extra minute will not have a negative effect on flavor. And if you are thinking "well, that extra minute will oxidize some of the carotenoids and that's a bad thing since it will impair the flavor," keep in mind that this is not a baguette or a ciabatta, where you want to minimize oxidation of carotenoids, since they are so very important for maximizing flavor. In the Five Seed, so much of the flavor comes from the soaker ingredients, from the levain, and from the long fermentation. A further option would be to add the soaker at the outset but hold back some of the final dough water, maybe 10% (the bassinage technique). In that slightly drier environment, gluten development will be quicker. Once the dough feels strong enough, drizzle in the bassinage water on slow speed until it's just incorporated. This is by far one of my personal favorite breads, and like anything I do well in the baking world, mostly I want to pass it along to as many people as possible to spread the enjoyment and the skill and the nourishment. 

All the best,

Jeffrey

George Q's picture
George Q

 

George Q's picture
George Q

This is my first posting on this forum and the bakes here looked so good, I had to try baking this bread for the first time.  All the sourdough and I used the recipe without adding any commercial yeast.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Super nice bread, George. The crumb is great for this type of heavily seeded bread. How do you like the taste?

Glad you joined the gang!

Danny

George Q's picture
George Q

Hi Danny!

The taste is really wonderful and I used the mixture of seeds as you used in the posting.

I found out about this forum from a youtube of yours on overfermenting bread.

The last time we met was from the back of your boat and you provided sandwiches made from your bread; I remember the bread as well as the great time I had !

What a great gang to join!!!

George Q

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I’ve been retired from Charter Fishing for a couple of years now. I’ve shared a lot of sourdough on my boat.

As I think about it, I was introduced to The Fresh Loaf by a fellow fly fisherman on a charter trip somewhere around 15 years ago.

Glad you joined the forum and thrilled to hear you baked the Five-Grain. IMO, for flavor, it can’t easily be beat. Your bread is beautiful!

Danny

George Q's picture
George Q

Yes Danny the Five-Grain bread is one of the most flavorful loaves I've had. I am impressed by Mr. Hamelman's formula as the directions are so clear that it invites variations and modifications. I would not be surprised if there isn't a 10-Grain variant that someone claims as their own.  In other words, a formula good enough to steal!!

The problem I ran into is my starter was roaring into high gear when I mixed it and it was overproofing as I watched. I threw it into the refrigerator immediately after shaping and it kept growing.  As problems go, it is a good one to have but next time I'll use a bit less starter and the kitchen was around 66 degrees too. Not very warm!

I'm learning a lot just from this thread and I've got so much to learn!!

George

 

Benito's picture
Benito

So not my best work.  I think I should have stuck with my original plan to add the overnight soaked seeds and oats during lamination.  Instead I added them during mix and the resultant dough was very sticky to say the least!  I didn’t use a mixer and did it all by hand and really never achieved good structure.  I think either using the mixer to mix to get some structure or doing the lamination would have helped.  I didn’t get great oven spring because of the lack of structure, when I took the dough out of the banneton after the long cold retardation, it slowly started to spread.  You can see from the profile of the loaf that it spread during baking as well.

Hopefully the crumb and flavour will be great though.  When I eventually bake this again, I need to ensure that I achieve better structure.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Benny, you may be expecting too much of this type of bread. You shouldn’t have the same expectations for this bread and you might have for a bread like Kristen’s Basic Open Crumb. They are entirely different in every way. But if taste is king, the Five-Grain will give anything a run for it’s money, IMO. Keep in mind the formula calls for ~34% seeds and cracked grain. Debra taught me that it is not so much that the sharp edges of seeds and grains tear the gluten, but it is the physical size of these items that hinder the ability of the gluten to form around them. 

Try to think about it this way. Say you have 1000 super thin sheets of latex. If they are wetted and placed on top of one another they will stick together very well. Now think about those same sheets, but this time we put a large number of marbles in between each of the sheets. The adhesion will not be nearly as good. NOTE - the example is mine, not Debra’s, but I think it makes sense.

Jeffrey wrote into the Community Bake recently and he stands by mixing the seeds and grains as originally instructed. After trying a number of ways to incorporate those add-ins, I completely agree.

It is commonly believed that the sharp edges of the add-ins tear the gluten. Debra has investigated this under the microscope. If sharp edges tear the gluten, how can a food processor with sharp blades be used to produce a dough with highly developed gluten? 

The above is my understanding, and as always I stand to be corrected, if any of it is incorrect. I live by the statement, “the truth will set you free”.

Sticky Dough
The stickiness of this particular dough is not so much because of excess hydration. It is caused for the most part by the “gel” produced by the soaker. I think this same gel is also a major contributor to the lacy crumb that this formula produces. At least this is what I think at this time.

This video may interest you. I like hands on and touching the dough, so Slap and Folds (French Folds) are frequently used when not machine mixing.

Danny

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

For a dough where it is difficult to develop the gluten because of some unusual ingredient or essential condition, I have found that picking an appropriate water to wheat flour ratio and developing the gluten first before adding the things that otherwise make it difficult (a lot of water, massive amounts of whole grains as in this formula, even corn flour which absorbs a lot of water without contributing much to the dough structure) can create a success where it is otherwise absent or occasional.  This is something I learned when trying to recreate a very old (16th century) Portuguese bread that adds corn flour (new to Europe at the time) to a basic wheat dough which was probably pretty rough as well.  If the gluten is not well developed before adding the pre-hydrated corn flour (masa in my case rather than polenta) I found it impossible to get enough usable structure to hold the crumb together.  But once the gluten is developed, you can incorporate the corn flour to get a very nice loaf.   More recently I have used this approach to make a 25% rye loaf with a more open crumb than I have achieved in the past so it has become a tool to be used as needed.

Benito's picture
Benito

So spreading the add ins on the laminated dough would have helped achieved this potentially.

Jeffrey Hamelman's picture
Jeffrey Hamelman

Hey Benny,  

Not just for this Five Grain formula, but for any dough that is sticky or loose-textured by nature--don't underestimate the value of bassinage. Hold back 10% or so of the final dough water and this will make the mixing and gluten development much easier. Once you are satisfied with the structure of the mix, slowly add the held back water. It can make all the difference particularly if mixing either by hand or in a stand/planetary mixer. 

~Jeffrey Hamelman

Benito's picture
Benito

Hi Jeffrey and Dan

Yes perhaps I was expecting too much, you’re right of course the add ins will affect the structure.

I haven’t been making a habit of using bassinage and again you’re right, I’m sure holding back some of the water and later adding it should make gluten development easier.  I will definitely keep that in mind for my next bake of this recipe.  I will post crumbs shots once I’ve cut into this amazing smelling but still warm bread.

Thanks for all the guidance.

Benny

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Benny, let us know the experience of your first bite. Try to describe it in detail.

Dan

Benito's picture
Benito

Wow, this bread is awesome in flavour.  I love the nuttiness of it, I’m not good at describing what I taste, only that I do love this bread.  I’m very happy with the fermentation that I got with this, very happy with the crumb.

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

I love that crumb. I'll bet it tastes just as good as it looks. One of my favorite things about this bread is that the crust is always light and thin but crispy. The flax and oats must have something to do with that because Hammelman's seed bread has a similar crust. Try it sometime with the rye chops, I think it is a big part of the flavor profile.

Benito's picture
Benito

My partner and I just ate half the loaf for lunch it was that good.  You’re right about the crust, considering how long it was baked for I would have expected it to be thicker, but instead it is relatively thin and crispy.  Yumm.

Benny

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

I was wondering why the top was darker whereas mine end up much lighter in color in the bloom area. You may want to lower your oven rack. 

Benito's picture
Benito

Interesting that you noticed the top being dark. I have been baking on the second lowest rack so that I could put a cookie tray on the lowest rack to shield the dough from the direct heat of the bottom elements. I thought that in baking mode the upper elements should be off but the top did darken a bit more than I would have liked. 

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

In my non convection oven only the bottom is on for baking. I have the same problem when I use a countertop oven. A piece of foil loosely over the top prevents that. Although I do like the taste of that bit of burnt ear in each slice.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Hey Benny, I was browsing past CBs and came across the image below that you posted during Kristen’s CB. If you are plagued with over browned crust you can place a piece of aluminum foil over the top of the loaf once it attains the color you want. All further browning will cease once the aluminum is in place. Not sure if you know that or not.

Danny

Benito's picture
Benito

Yes the aluminum foil trick to prevent over browning, I don’t know why I didn’t think of it since I do that for pies, but thanks for the reminders Dan and MTloaf.

Benito's picture
Benito

I'm just thinking about this now, but I wonder if when I remove the lid of the dutch oven, since it is oval, would I get the same protective effect by putting it back on after being turned 90*.  I would still allow the steam to escape but would over most of the baking bread.

ifs201's picture
ifs201

Your bread came out really super. I hope you no longer regret not doing the lamination for the seeds! I really don't think the crumb can be much better for this type of bread. 

Benito's picture
Benito

Thank you Ilene, that is kind of you to say.  I was very happy with the crumb and the flavour, my partner and I actually ate the whole loaf yesterday which has never happened before.  ?  I would still have preferred to have achieved better structure and hope that I can next time.

Benny

syros's picture
syros

To Jeffrey, Benito and Dan, I have made this bread a few times, and honestly, I don't remember the need to do a lamination with it, or stretch and folds. Yes it's sticky but it holds - I followed Jeffrey's instructions and even when I mixed by hand, I did not do stretch and folds, only the one after 45 minutes or an hour, and shaped after two hours and popped it into the fridge. The first time I made this bread it was challenging, but honestly, it doesn't need a lot of work. I worried that too much handling would degrade the dough with all the seeds. And the seeds are best added in the beginning. JMO

Sharon

I'm a real amateur but this is one delicious bread. A favorite frankly! 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Bassinage - It can make all the difference particularly if mixing either by hand or in a stand/planetary mixer.”

I never considered bassinage for mixing by hand. Sounds like a good idea, especially with a dough with sticky and wet characteristics like this.

kvenick's picture
kvenick

I'm sooooooooooooo late to this party. Is there any way to get a copy of the spreadsheet provided originally with this post? I have JH's book, but my math skills are pretty paltry and anything to help would, well, help.

Thanks!

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Send your email address to my PM.

kvenick's picture
kvenick
DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Sent it, Kven

Benito's picture
Benito

I had another go at this bake, but made a few mistakes right at the start.  Rather than using the recommended 214 g of bread flour and 109 g of water for the final dough, I accidentally use 321 g bread flour and 243 g of water which I reduced to 236 from the total formula column, yikes.  Other changes I made include reducing the soaker water to 150 g.

I’m quite happy with the end product considering the accidental changes I made.  This was the largest loaf of bread I’ve made to date and it kind of overflowed my banneton which is better sized for 750 g loaves.  So taking that into consideration I’m pleased.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Benny, you sure have been baking great breads! The crumb shot makes me want to eat. And I’m on a diet.
Danny

Benito's picture
Benito

Thanks Danny.  Aren’t we all on a diet.  Baking all this delicious bread is super dangerous.  This bread really is quite good, hard to just eat one slice. 

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

I hope that the insides of mine look as nice as yours!

Benito's picture
Benito

Kind of you to say Danni your breads are so consistently great. I hope to become more consistent over time. 
Benny

ifs201's picture
ifs201

I wanted to make a loaf for a healthy friend and I thought this would be the perfect gift (and of course I also made a second for myself). I followed the instructions this time and added the seeds in the beginning instead of during lamination like last time. I think the crumb is modestly better this time and the incorporation was certainly easier. The distribution of seeds in the loaf was also better.  

My kitchen was only about 64 degrees and I had an unexpected appointment so the bulk ended up going from 7am to 3pm (8 hours!), but I don't think it was too overproofed as the loaves had nice oven spring. 

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Everything about the bread looks great. The crumb is as expected. Any bread with a whopping ~34% add in seeds and cracked grain will have a less open crumb.

I’m on a diet at the moment, BUT I’d eat that... Don’t think I could resist it :D

Danny

ifs201's picture
ifs201

My friend was very happy with her loaf so I'm very pleased! What a wonderful recipe. Thank you for sharing. I know I'll come back to this one again and again. 

Benito's picture
Benito

Ilene, great looking bread, really good oven spring and nice crumb.   Much better oven spring than mine had.

Benny

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

The Community Bake ended over a year and a half ago, but I’m still baking this outstanding bread!

I used the “Simplified Pan Method” for this loaf. After the BF the dough was shaped and put in a pan, then retarded overnight and baked cold the following morning. The Total Dough Weight was 1550g and was placed in a 4x4x13” open pullman pan. What an easy way to bake your daily eating bread. “Easy Peasy”.

Below the bread was sliced and spread out on a cooling rack thta will be placed in the freezer for ~1/2 hr to flash freeze. After this it will be put in a ZipLok freezer bag for use throughout the week. Because of this they will not be stuck together when needed later on.

 

ifs201's picture
ifs201

This recipe is definitely one of my all time favorites. I look forward to making it again. Thanks for introducing me!

Benito's picture
Benito

Thanks for reminding me of this recipe, I baked it three times with various results.  I should give it another go, I do remember how delicious it was.  What a great loaf you made there Dan.

Benito's picture
Benito

It was about a year ago that I baked this bread I think three times and although I loved the flavour I wasn’t that happy with my baking.  So I thought I should give it a go again as everyone loves this bread and after a year more experience baking sourdough I am hoping that my improved skills will bring a good bake.

I changed the flours to replace the whole wheat with a 2:1 ratio of whole spelt and whole rye.  The seeds I used were white sesame, poppy and flax seeds.  Finally a made a porridge with oats so that makes it a six grain levain bread.  Using my aliquot jar I waited until it showed a 60% rise to end bulk and do final shaping.  I then allowed another 1 hour of room temperature rest during which time the aliquot jar was around 75-80% rise.  I’m hoping for a more open crumb but given the inclusions and the porridge I don’t expect miracles.  

This bake definitely had a better oven spring than my previous attempts.  I’ll post the crumb tomorrow when this is sliced.

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

I haven’t made that in while either but really like it. look forward to seeing the crumb

B ake happy Benny

Leslie

Benito's picture
Benito

Thank you Leslie, although it had good oven spring the blood was strangely poor.  I’d say the crumb will be on the tight side of things.  I’ll post crumb photos when sliced tomorrow at lunch.

Bake happy Leslie

Benny

gavinc's picture
gavinc

Nice looking loaf with some oven spring. I like the colour. I think that swapping the whole-wheat flour for 2:1 spelt and rye would result in a denser crumb, but full of flavour. The result will be in the eating.

Cheers,

Gavin.

Benito's picture
Benito

Thanks Gavin, you’re right maybe the change in flour was the cause, although I would have guessed that the extensibility of spelt might have helped open up the crumb.

Benny

Another Girl's picture
Another Girl

I've never made this bread but I plan to and have looked over the recipe. That's a pretty impressive rise! Can't wait to see the crumb.

I ordered some rye chops so I can make it exactly as written (which I always try to do the first time) and they just came yesterday. Right now I'm pretty baguette-focused, but am looking forward to giving this one a whirl.

Nice work as always, Benny.

Benito's picture
Benito

Thanks AG, I can understand being baguette focused I was like that all summer and part way into the fall as well.  They are kind of addictive to try to perfect, there are always things you can think of to improve upon.  I’m looking forward to your bake of this bread and also your baguettes.

Benny

Benito's picture
Benito

I am cursed with this bread, I definitely made a transcription error, which I’ll correct in my blog, in that the soaker water should have been 174 g and not 125 g.  This has resulted in he closed crumb that I have on this loaf.  Fortunately it is still delicious but doesn’t have the texture I was hoping for.  I guess I’ll have to wait for number five to achieve what I expect of this formula.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

That closeup crumb shot would be beautiful on an IMax screen!

Benito's picture
Benito

LOL thanks Dan.

Portus's picture
Portus

Fabulous, Benny!  

Benito's picture
Benito

Thank you Portus, much appreciated.

pmccool's picture
pmccool

I like the crumb of this loaf, not being a fan of the wide-open crumbs that are the current fad.  While I can admire the skill that it takes to produce lacy crumbs, I find eating bread with a crumb like you achieved with this bread to be much more enjoyable and practical. 

Thumbs up!

Paul

Benito's picture
Benito

Hi Paul, thanks for your comments.  I too prefer a relatively more even crumb, but this one turned out a bit tighter than I usually like.  Not to say that it doesn’t taste good, it does for sure, but it is a bit denser than I would prefer.  Again, I think it was partially due to my error and I will try to get it right eventually.

Thanks, happy baking

Benny

gavinc's picture
gavinc

I quite like the crumb. Don't be too hard on yourself, Benny.

Cheers

Gavin

 

Benito's picture
Benito

Thanks Gavin, I’ll get over it, the bread tastes great.

Another Girl's picture
Another Girl

The rye chops finally came over the weekend and when my plans for Tuesday were canceled late Monday, I found myself mixing a levain and soaker at midnight. I wasn't sure how far to take the mix in my Ankarsrum and may have overshot the mark a bit. Also, it was cold in house and, even in the proofer, the dough took a while to come up to temp. I probably should have bulked it longer, but the dough felt lighter than expected so I called it at 2 hours. I'll remember for next time because, despite my errors, this stuff is delicious and there will be a next time. 

The dough was slightly over-mixed and under-proofed, but the thing that almost killed it was that it was under-baked. This is my third bake in a row that was underdone. I have a new Anova steam oven and the learning curve is steeper than expected. The first few loaves came out alright, but now they're all coming out with doughy innards – even skinny little baguettes! Beginner's luck is over. Arrrrgh! I will say this though: figuring I couldn't ruin the bread more than it already was, I put the two halves back together and heated it for 20 minutes at 400°F (no steam) and, amazingly, it seems to have done the trick: The bread finished baking with no real ill-effects. Perhaps ever so slightly drier than would have been otherwise, but there is so much moisture in the loaf that it didn't turn out bad at all.

Edited to add that the crumb shot was taken before the re-heat. I didn't think to take one after.

Benito's picture
Benito

Despite your difficulties AB the final bread you’ve baked looks outstanding.  It has a wonderful oven spring and bloom and the crumb look awesome, more open than what I baked.  You’ll get your oven figured out with more baking with it I am sure, you certainly compensated with this bake and turned out a great bread.  You got the seal of approval from the author of the recipe himself!!

Benny

gavinc's picture
gavinc

Nice loaf and would taste great. You're well on the way to figuring out your mixer and oven. One needs to bake to be better. I loved Jeffrey Hamelman's comment; the voice of experience is gold.

Cheers,

Gavin.

Jeffrey Hamelman's picture
Jeffrey Hamelman

To Another Girl,

The bread looks great, and you can overcome the issues with underbaking pretty easily (spell check said "undertaking," I'm glad I reread this!). Often, bakers get "distracted," and rather than rely on their hands and senses, they might be tempted to take Internal temperatures to ascertain doneness, which is entirely inaccurate (I can elaborate on experiments if anyone is interested). Thumping, squeezing--gradually these easy things to do give us a baseline of doneness for each type of bread we are making. A highly seeded, highly hydrated bread will give you different signs of doneness with thumps and squeezes compared to a baguette, for instance. But gradually a sort of hand database will develop. Another very good way to tell doneness is to hold a loaf in both hands and ascertain its lightness. If it feels heavier than you think it should, it's likely not done. And with this test too you'll gradually build a database. Trust your hands. And you might also want to crank that new oven of yours to 500F or so and leave it there for 1/4 or 1/3 of the bake; that may help too. Above all, of course, just keep on bakin'. 

~Jeffrey

Another Girl's picture
Another Girl

I just returned home and saw your post. I gasped right out loud – but I caught my breath quickly and, thankfully, no undertaking will be required :-)

You are, of course, exactly right. I did use a thermometer despite knowing that I should rely on my senses to check for doneness. Technology can be a bit of a crutch sometimes and this is a clear example of that. Thank you for graciously reminding me to take the time to develop my own best tools. I can hardly wait to get back in the kitchen!

I hope you won't mind if I also thank you for generously sharing your lifetime of knowledge and experience... and for all the great bread! 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

“ I can elaborate on experiments if anyone is interested”. Please do, Jeff. I have heard you and Martin discussing the proper way to judge when a bread is done baking. Neither of you were advocates of testing with an internal thermometer. 

I would like to hear more. 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Hamelman’s Five-Grain Levain bread is worth the entire price of the book, “Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes”.

This one formula is well worth the price of the book. In my opinion, for nutrition and taste this bread can’t be beat!

Just baked 2 large USA Pullmans. 64 slices frozen and ready for eating...

Benito's picture
Benito

The crumb is gorgeous Dan, love the swirling vortex of seeds.

gavinc's picture
gavinc

Absolutely agree. I've baked this four times since New Year and gave one to a friend who is a grain bread-nut, who rates this as the best ever. Hamelman is correct by saying, “This is one of the most delectable breads I have ever eaten”.

Your Pullman pan rendition looks perfect.

Cheers,

Gavin.

Another Girl's picture
Another Girl

I was a latecomer to this bread, having baked it for the first time at your encouragement just a month ago. But I became devoted to it very quickly and have made it twice more since then. Thanks for the nudge on this one, Dan. It looks great as a pan bread. Enjoy!

-AG

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Many times in the past the seeds were added during lamination. This dough was mixed by adding all ingredients at once and mixing in a machine. The seeds didn’t have a negative affect on the gluten as far as I can tell.

One loaf was baked without retard and the other was retarded overnight for a comparative taste test. As expected, the retarded loaf was a little more complex.

The most difficult part of making this bread is getting/keeping the various seeds on hand. For anyone who hasn’t eaten this bread before, please bake one and do so. Conversion is guaranteed :-)

Each and every bite is a gastronomic delight...

Missmoneypenny's picture
Missmoneypenny

Hello all, this loaf is beautiful and I made a “ bastardised” version based on my usual technique from River Cottage, which involves 4 folds, punching down, fermentation ( 2-3 hours at room temperature then overnight in fridge). My question is , does anyone punch this bread down or do you follow the instructions precisely which unless I’m misunderstanding, does not involve punching down? Thank you. 

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

“Punching down” generally deflates the dough by breaking and expelling the larger bubbles. This leaves only the smaller holes and results in a more uniform crumb without holes above some size that you set by how aggressively you deflate it when you “punch down”. To some extent I suspect you can get there by folding more often during bulk fermentation. 

Jeffrey Hamelman's picture
Jeffrey Hamelman

Hello Missmoneypenny,

Folding dough and punching dough down both effectively de-gas dough, so whenever you fold dough you can consider that it has also been, in a sense, punched down. The main difference between the two is that folding, unlike punching, also increases dough strength, often dramatically, so it is a highly valuable and effective tool. 

As for your question about following the instructions "precisely," I've always approached that topic like this: if I encounter a new formula that I want to make, I first crunch the percentages, and if they look right, I follow the overall process as closely as possible to how it was written. So if it calls for a firm levain, I don't use a liquid one; if it calls for pâte fermentée I don't use poolish. But I try to be attentive to each step and make mental notes. At last, time to assess the finished product, both visually and taste-wise. This is when I decide if I want to make changes in subsequent batches, maybe an extra fold, maybe more or less hydration, that sort of thing. Making changes doesn't denigrate the original formula, it simply personalizes the recipe to suit the kinds of results one is looking for. 

I understand why this thread is called "Hamelman's" Five-Grain Levain, since the formula came from the book that I wrote. But in truth, after almost 45 years doing this incredible and soulful work of baking, there is very, very little that I feel deserves to have my name associated with it. Yes, there are plenty of bakers who add an extra 2 grams of salt to someone's printed formula so they can call it their own, but that's just an ego trip. I'm very good at combining our relatively short list of bread ingredients in certain proportions to come up with good results, but I don't think that necessarily means my name should be attached to things. Anything I have written is, so to speak, in the "public domain." So make this (and all) breads in the way that gives you the results that please you most; it is your formula as much as mine. 

Cheers,

Jeffrey

Missmoneypenny's picture
Missmoneypenny

Thanks for taking the time to post DocDough. So to clarify, there’s no punching down but the folds achieve the same thing?

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I wanted a fairly uniform crumb, so the dough was moderately degassed before rolling to shape. 

Missmoneypenny's picture
Missmoneypenny

I am truly honoured to have a reply from Jeffry Hamelman, even though I am a novice on this forum I do not underestimate my luck in receiving such comprehensive and thoughtful feedback. Thank you, and I shall be analysing and making notes from all you have said, to inform my baking, which has become a little automatic lately. Indeed ongoing reflection, correction and improvement are a big part of the satisfactions of this type of baking. It’s this mixture of intellect and involvement of all 5 senses which makes sourdough baking so satisfying. Thank you again, and to all who have generously answered my question. 

alfanso's picture
alfanso

The worth of any system is the sum of its components and the value that it provides - let me get this out.  

TFL, established by our web host Floyd, has become perhaps the #1 English Language go-to site for amateur as well as some professional bakers over its life.  Dan created and fostered the Community Bake to become exactly what you see here - and interactive sandbox and learning/sharing environment.  It is what is available across all of TFL, but filtered down in the CB to focus on one aspect of the craft at a time.

Perhaps because it has created its own tiny ecosystem, it has come to the attention and attracted a few individuals over time that otherwise we would never have the opportunity to interact with.  Dan had invited Mr. Hamelman to the forum a few CBs ago.

Although he is not a regular contributor, and certainly not nearly as regular as we would like ;-) , his "checking in" and attention to these must be more frequent than his comments.  I'm not sure, by any stretch, whether this is somewhat unique to TFL, but Mr. Hamelman's presence here is certainly a testimony to the value that this "system" has created.

(okay, I'm done..). And welcome to the party!

Missmoneypenny's picture
Missmoneypenny

Well said and thanks Alfanso!

ciabatta's picture
ciabatta

I just can’t seem to get my hydration for Swedes loaves correct. 65% on the base dough but the grains and seeds I do about 120%. Especially the flax seeds I like em well hydrated. Meant to make batards but ended up having to put them in loaf pans. Turned out great!

500g Lancelot, 250g bread flour, 50g coarse rye, 100g einkorn, 100g bread flour. 
160g flax seed, 80g pumpkin seed, 50g black sesame, 50g white sesame, 80g poppy seed, 80g thick oats which completely disappeared

Benito's picture
Benito

Looks great James.  It makes a great pan loaf as well as a hearth loaf.  It really is a delicious bread that I have probably made 2nd most times in various forms.

HeiHei29er's picture
HeiHei29er

They look great!  Nice and uniform crumb.  I like the blend of flours and grains you used.  Sounds very good.

ciabatta's picture
ciabatta

finally got decent hydration on this bread. I did 650g water to the 1kg mixed flour. Plus 200g starter. Cold soaked the flaxseed with 200% water. (100g flax with 200g water). Once it soaks up the water I add the sesame and poppy seed into the same container with no additional water. The pumpkin seeds are just added in dry during lamination. 

 

 

 

ciabatta's picture
ciabatta

Love the sesame smell when I cut this loaf open. 
previous attempt was so wet I had to put it to a loaf pan. This turned out well. 

Benito's picture
Benito

James, now that is just perfect, gorgeous crumb and crust.  It is such a great loaf of bread isn’t it?  Well done.

Benny

ciabatta's picture
ciabatta

I am quite happy with this one.  Also, i've switched to KA AP flour for the last few bakes from my Harvest King 12% unbleached bread flour.  I am noticing a softer crumb.  i like it very much.  I was able to find 25# bags at a local Smart and Final store for $17 (vs $13 for 50# Harvest King). Though double the price, i think a good upgrade and a more manageable size.

-James

ciabatta's picture
ciabatta

Dup removed

HeiHei29er's picture
HeiHei29er

My first attempt at Five-Grain Levain.  Details in my blog post.

Benito's picture
Benito

Beautiful crumb Troy, really well done.  How do you like the flavour of this bread, it really is quite delicious and customizable to your tastes.

Benny

HeiHei29er's picture
HeiHei29er

The taste is very good.  Not too sour, but definitely there.  It was great with my eggs this morning.  :-)

George Q's picture
George Q

I used a substitution of Turkey Red for all the AP flour in the original recipe and is a 100% whole grain bread: May be an image of rye breadMay be an image of breadMay be an image of breadMay be an image of rye bread

George Q's picture
George Q

May be an image of breadMay be an image of foodMay be an image of breadMay be an image of bread

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

What does "made as a mash" mean?   Thx.

George Q's picture
George Q

Instead of a soaker, the seeds and some flour are mixed with hot water and added diastatic barley and held at 150 degrees F for 3 -4 hours, cooled, then added to levain and flours and water and salt.  The mash turns dark and sweet and slack from the process.   I used 10g of diastatic malted rye instead of barley. You can find a few recipes in Reinhart's book on whole grains as well as the process.  The result is a creamy, sweet sour flavor to the bread.  Used extensively in Russian rye recipes.

Benito's picture
Benito

Both of these loaves look really great George, wonderful crumb especially for 100% whole grain.

Benny 

George Q's picture
George Q

Thanks Benny!  Both of these loaves are whole grains and I used 100% Turkey Red with both of them and used a firm levian in both-around 66% hydration.  The one made as a mash has a distinctly different taste because of the mash-more of a sweet+sour flavor-than a sour note.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Great idea George. I think I’ll have to give that a try. Never did think to deviate from the 75/25% used in the original formula. I have some Hard Red Spring Wheat that is high in gluten. We’ll see...

I’ve been baking more and more in bread pans for my bread stash and preferring the profile to free form.

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

So I finally got to baking this bread. Didn't have any cracked rye or anything similar, so used crystal rye malt what I crushed by hand. Also I didn't realize I had very little sunflower seeds left, so added some sesame seeds to top up the amount.

Here is the formula: https://fgbc.dk/1cen As you can see there, I added extra water, as it appears pretty much everyone has done here. I had zero liquid in the soaker left (it actually got absorbed really quickly - I used hot water). But after adding the last bit of this extra water I actually immediately regretted it, since the dough suddenly became just a little too sticky for my preference, and didn't really lose this during fermentation. Did a short fermentolyse without salt and seeds, mixed them in, 3x30 min stretch&folds, 1 hour bulk at 24C after that, shaped, coated in pumpkin seeds as recommended, and retarded overnight. All the way I thought the dough felt strange - it held its shape well, but had very little extensibility. I guess all the seeds get in the way of that. Anyway, it baked up nicely and tastes great!



So next time I'd add only half of that extra water, that's the only thing probably.

gavinc's picture
gavinc

I like the look of this loaf. Nutritious and tasty looking. Cheers, Gavin.

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Thanks Gavin! Very full of seeds, so must be very nutritious indeed. And tasty, of course.

Benito's picture
Benito

I agree with Gavin, that is a handsome loaf Ilya, well done.  I like the exterior coating of seeds in particular and the rich colour of the crumb.  Do you like the flavour?

Benny

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Thanks Benny! Pumpkin seeds stuck surprisingly well, when I used them for coating previously they fell off very easily. Flavour is great, very rich with all the seeds. My girlfriend says it is one of her favorite breads that I've made. While I joke that it's like bird food :)

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Ilya, with 34% seeds this dough should feel strange. many of us added the seeds during lamination, but they also mix well in a mixer when added with all other ingredients. Often, I am a fan of lower protein white flour, but for this one high protein white flour is beneficial, IMO. The flavor has a lot to do with the seeds...

Various seed selections have all worked well.

Question - was the crystal rye malt diastatic?

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

I tend to use the same bread flour for all bakes (I got a big 16kg bag of it, so until it's used up I'm not using anything else as the main white flour). I tried to stick to the recommended seed selection first time baking this, but had to adapt a little to what I had on hand.

Crystal malt is not diastatic - it's a kind of roasted malt. Originally I was using it as a substitute for red rye malt, but now I've got the real deal, so I just add crystal malt berries, whole or roughly crushed, for texture and flavour to some breads.

gavinc's picture
gavinc

I have made a blog entry for this bake at:

5-Grain Levain | The Fresh Loaf

This is wonderful bread and now my favourite.

jl's picture
jl

I currently maintain a stiff whole wheat starter, so I figured I could make the refreshment larger and use the discard in the morning to leaven this dough. So basically all of the whole wheat flour in the formula is prefermented. 

Mixed it by hand and no matter what the dough was really shaggy. It was also surprisingly stiff. I considered adding water, but then decided to just dump it in the bowl and see what would come out in the end. It did become smooth after a few folds, but felt really stiff all the way to the end of bulk fermentation. The loaves kept their shapes really well in the bannetons and rose higher than usual, at which point I decided to bake them. Aaand of course they collapsed in the oven.

The crumb is a lot moister than one would expect. 

Not sure how I like the taste, I only got one slice. This is a tricky dough, I have to make this again.

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

the recipe for next week’s bake. Although with the amount of changes I’ve done, I don’t think I can call it Hamelman’s 5 grain levain anymore. I guess it’s more than just a tweak.... I added a whole pile more seeds keeping the amount the same and varied the flours included. So I’m calling it Seeded Multigrain Sourdough. ??‍♀️

gavinc's picture
gavinc

Something to consider for this 5-grain bread: My starter is rye 85% hydration and is a total of 47-grams. After I fed it I have 37-grams left over that I use to convert to a white levain over two feeds. By the next morning, I have elaborated enough levain for the day's baking at home. I think that your whole wheat starter would behave the same and be very active. I hand mix also and for this bread, I don't autolyse. I stretch and fold for 15 minutes. By careful attention to temperatures 25C, I can bulk ferment over 1 1/2 hours (one fold at 45 minutes), shape and bench rest 10 minutes, then final proof one hour. The dough holds its shape when moved to the peel and scored. Hope this helps.

Cheers,

Gavin.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Gavin, 1.5 hr BF?

Are you using CY also?

 

gavinc's picture
gavinc

Yes. I overlooked that. 0.3% IDY. I don't retard the final proof.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Gavin, many bakers, including myself, have noted that the flavor is best when the CY is omitted and the dough is fermented longer. Have you baked it without CY? If so, did you notice a taste difference?

gavinc's picture
gavinc

No, I haven't tried that yet. David (dmsnyder) recommended a cold retard also in another thread. I'm aware of Hamelman's instructions for the cold final proof and will give it a try soon. The flavour of this bread is exceptional and I've been really happy with it. How long do you retard the final proof and at what temperature?

 

HeiHei29er's picture
HeiHei29er

Finally got around to revisiting this one.  My first attempt turned out OK, but I struggled with hydration.  Had to add water.  Added too much.  Had to add flour.  In the end, wasn't sure where I ended up.

Started this bake at 65% hydration for the final dough, and it worked well.  Rather than a levain, I chose to go with a small inoculation and a long ferment.  Because of the inclusion, I used a shot glass for an aliquot instead of my narrower, straight sided aliquot tubes.  It was tough to read because the graduations were so small.  I should have taken a larger piece of dough for the aliquot.  But, it gave me some indication of how things were progressing.

Decided to go with seam side down for the final proof.  Seemed like the right look for that loaf, and I'm happy with how it came out.  Photo doesn't do the crust color justice.  It's a deep reddish brown.  Looks like decent oven spring, and the loaf seems to have uniform spring.  It plumped up nice in all directions.  Proof will be in the crumb, and I'll be slicing it in a few hours.  Earlier than I want to, but this one's slated to be eaten this afternoon!


EDIT: I am liking this method more and more for making loaves with a sandwich bread type crumb.

Benito's picture
Benito

That looks great Troy, do you like the flavor of this bread without the sourdough tang?

HeiHei29er's picture
HeiHei29er

Benny,  It’s SD.  Rather than using a levain, I did a 4% inoculation with a 12 hour bulk and a 3 hour final proof.  Will be trying it in a little bit, but it smells good!

Also, the first time I made this I kind of botched it.  So, I don’t really have a good comparison.  😁

Benito's picture
Benito

OK, when I looked at your spreadsheet I saw the raisin water and nothing in the preferment columns so thought it wasn’t sourdough, my bad.

Benny

HeiHei29er's picture
HeiHei29er

No worries!  😁

I’ve been using a YW/SD combo on just about all of my bakes.  It gives me that extra bit of confidence that I’ll get good leavening, and it adds another layer of flavor.  I have a blueberry YW fermenting now and will try it next weekend.

justkeepswimming's picture
justkeepswimming

Your YW experiments are interesting as well. It will be fun to see what the blueberry one does from a flavor perspective. 

Mary

HeiHei29er's picture
HeiHei29er

Thank you Mary.  It will be interesting to see if I notice a difference, but my guess is I won't.  Not sure if I have a refined enough palate.  :-)

I used a portion of my RYW to kick off the BBYW and cut down the required fermentation time.  I'll keep the BBYW going separately now to see how boxed California raisins compare with locally grown and frozen blueberries from last summer.  If nothing else, the color is different.  :-)

SunnyGail's picture
SunnyGail

I'm going to give it a try this  weekend :-)

SunnyGail's picture
SunnyGail

I know I'm late in this challenge, but can somebody tell me what kind of rise I should aim for during the bulk fermentation (30%-50%..??) and then during the last rise (70...80%..??? ? Thanks!

HeiHei29er's picture
HeiHei29er

Never too late!

For mine, I did my last set of bowl kneading (which fully degassed the dough and serves as my preshape) at 25% in the aliquot and then let final proof go to 75-80% before going into overnight cold retard.

SunnyGail's picture
SunnyGail

Thanks a lot for sharing!

SunnyGail's picture
SunnyGail

I would be very grateful if someone could tell me where I could find the spreadsheet, please...

Thanks !

gavinc's picture
gavinc

I've PM you a link to my dropbox. Change your desired dough weight (grams) in cell E4. 

Download the file before you play with it, please.

SunnyGail's picture
SunnyGail

I struggled a lot to knead the dough by hand...In retrospect, I might have been able to get a nicer gluten development using my Kitchen Aid

I followed the no yeast / overnight retard option: 

30mn autolyse with levain

Mix with soaked seeds (sunflower + flaxseeds + oats + cracked ryes) and salt + 5g of water

I kneaded by hand 3mn, then rest for 10mn, then kneaded again for 3 mn, then 10mn rest again, then again 3mn of kneading, rest for 10, then S&F

Bulk at 27-29°C  for 3h with 1 S&F after 1 hour

Shaped in a boule, then rest 1h at 28°C

Fridge at 3°C for 9h

Baked in a cocotte for 25mn at 230° + 20mn without lid

Result: barely any oven spring.... crumb very dense...but really delicious!!

Thanks for all the tips and tricks this community bake provided me during this bake, especially as a newbie it's invaluable!

Benito's picture
Benito

Well done, I love the ❤️ score on top too, nice touch.

Benny

SunnyGail's picture
SunnyGail

Haha! Thank you, Benito, I wanted to have a bit of fun...I would be very grateful if you could tell me what you think of the crumb, please... I would love to know what I should work on the next time to get a less dense crumb, apart from the initial kneading I guess...Thank you! 

Benito's picture
Benito

I think that this style of bread isn’t going to have a hugely open crumb.  There are a lot of inclusions which weigh the dough down and then also the porridge.  I struggle to get anything open with the addition of porridge.  As you’ll see in this thread there really aren’t many examples of a more open crumb for this loaf.  I think that the even crumb is characteristic of this style of bread and you’ve done well.  Hope you’re enjoying the flavor of it, it is really a delicious bread.

Benny

SunnyGail's picture
SunnyGail

You are absolutely right, of course, Benito! I just like to know what could be improved so I can learn from my experience...This bread is absolutely delicious, that's for sure!!! I am going to do it again, but this time I will try to knead using my Kitchen Aid mixer, just to see if it makes any difference. Thanks!

Gaëlle

SunnyGail's picture
SunnyGail

Haha! Thank you, Benito, I wanted to have a bit of fun...I would be very grateful if you could tell me what you think of the crumb, please... I would love to know what I should work on the next time to get a less dense crumb, apart from the initial kneading I guess...Thank you! 

HeiHei29er's picture
HeiHei29er

Gail,

I think the openness (if that’s a word) of your crumb looks great for this bread.  I actually prefer that nice, even crumb that you have in this loaf.

When you say dense, do you mean the tighter crumb of this loaf, or is it “heavy”?  This bread has a fair amount of water in it with the soaker and takes a little extra baking time.

Great first 5-grain bake!

Troy

SunnyGail's picture
SunnyGail

Actually, I said dense but it's not what I really meant...the crumb is pretty ''closed'' but at the same time soft, light and airy..In fact, I think I like it this way! But I am still going to re-bake this bread as soon as possible to compare hand kneading versus kitchen aid; I'm usually not a fan of kneading with a mixer, but this time I'm really curious to see if it would change anything for this particular bread

Thanks a lot for your feedback Troy, I really appreciate it and again, I am really looking for any constructive critic or advice to improve my baking, so please do not hesitate! ;-)

Gaëlle

HeiHei29er's picture
HeiHei29er

Gaëlle,

The first time I made this bread, I followed the formula, but found the dough to be very dry and stiff.  Almost unworkable by hand.  I kept track of the extra water I added and ended up at 65% hydration versus the 57.5% in the recipe.  The last two times I made it, I started at 65% hydration, and the dough was very easy to work.  

Not sure where you were at with hydration, but that may also be something to look at too.

Troy

SunnyGail's picture
SunnyGail

Determining the right hydration is really something I need to work on, and hopefully, it will come with time and practice...I added 5g of water to the dough, but a bit without knowing what I was doing, to be honest! Furthermore, I added the water maybe a bit late in the kneading process, so the dough took its sweet time to absorb the extra water...So I ended up with a very reluctant dough, not wanting to be kneaded and not wanting to absorb the extra water; it's as if the water was running around the dough (not sure how I can explain that...)

It took so much time and patience for the water to be absorbed that I decided to not add any more water at that stage of the kneading process.

Again, I need more practice! Unfortunately, I can only bake on weekends, which is really frustrating!

Thank you for your help, Troy :-)

Gaëlle

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

The original formula calls for 25% pre-fermented flour in the levain and an additional 0.8% of commercial yeast.  So your use of raisin yeast water (only) is way deficient in yeast activity relative to what Hamelman intended and others here have used.  Your tight crumb is likely the result.   This is ~34% whole grain by weight so you need some strong gluten to hold it together (strong flour and maybe even some mixing with water to develop the gluten before incorporting the soaker contents) and you need to fully hydrate the whole grain before incorporating it (Hamelman specifies boiling water when using grains that merit that treatment).

If you want to do it by hand, try combining the high gluten flour and the bread flour and the water (with the salt dissolved in the water), and the levain and the yeast, let it autolyse for 30 min, give it a few folds, then add the whole wheat flour and fold again and let it sit for another 20 min and give it a set of folds, (take your aliquot jar sample here) then incorporate the soaker contents and give it another set of folds.  Then fold it every 20 minutes until it feels right adding extra water if you need it (judgement call here).  When after successive sets of folds at 20 minute intervals the dough is strong enough that it just wants to ball up and refuses to stretch, you have done enough folds.  Just let it bulk ferment until the aliquot jar has increased by 25% in volume before dividing and shaping.  Then proof until the aliquot jar shows a minimum of 100% volume increase relative to the initial sample volume (you can be as gutsy as you want here).  You can retard if you want to but the real reason for retarding is to get the timing of the bake to be convenient for cooling and cutting or for immediate service after cooling.

SunnyGail's picture
SunnyGail

Thank you so much for your help DocDough, I'll follow your recommendations to the T the next time I try this bread!

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Adding water late in the process is difficult because the gluten is waterproof by then and absorption is slow. To get it to absorb you need surface area so a little water spread over the surface of the dough and allowed to soak in can work. It may be a little easier with this dough because it has so much thirsty whole grain.  I have found that sometimes the easiest way to do it is to just do the folds with wet hands, re-wetting your hands as soon as they get sticky or dry. The water will be absorbed between sets of folds.

gavinc's picture
gavinc

Gaëlle, the crumb looks very acceptable to me. I agree that the dough tests one out when hand mixing and kneading, but I don't have a mixer that is gentle enough (Thermomix). I think you have done an admirable job.

Cheers,

Gavin.

SunnyGail's picture
SunnyGail

Thank you Gavin!

frodobakes's picture
frodobakes

More than two years late to this community bake, but I really love this bread, thanks for this post! I’ve tried this recipe in the following two variations and I’m quite confused about the results. The main changes in the second version are a two-step build for the levain and an additional ground flaxseed soaker.

  1. Without the yeast, 12 hours 125% hydration levain in one build (~1:5:6), 1 hour RT rise + 20 hours cold rise, shape then 2 hours RT rise
  2. Without yeast as well, 125% hydration levain in two builds (4 hours and 5 hours), 6 hours RT rise, shape then 5 hours RT rise. Replaced <1/2 of the wholewheat flour with ground flaxseed and presoaked this.

Variant 1 turned out great, but 2 was very sour, dense and rose very slowly, even at a room temperature of ~30 deg celsius (86 F). Apparently adding soaked ground flaxseed weighs the dough down too much? First photo is the first variant.

 

 

 

And here are the respective crumb shots!

 

Variant 1 - crumb shot

 

Variant 2 - crumb shot

 

Another question I have is about the high hydration levain, which I observe does not rise above 50% (see photo below). I’m worried that this levain is too weak even though it worked for the first variant - I’ve previously had issues with other breads with 125% hydration leavens. I keep my starter at 80% hydration, and refresh it (at 1:1:0.8) 12 hours before the levain feed. Is there an issue with converting hydration levels? My 100% or lower hydration levain builds usually at least double.

 

125% hydration levain

 

Thanks all!

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Hey Frodo!

If your levain is bubbly and jiggly after the allotted fermentation time (near the instructed temp) you should be good.

Have you followed Hamelman’s formula and instructions without deviation? If you haven’t, I suggest you do until you succeed. Then slowly tweak future bakes as you wish.

Danny

frodobakes's picture
frodobakes

Hi Dan,

My levain had bubbles but was still rather runny instead of jiggly. I'll try again following Hamelman's formula and instructions more closely, but probably after I get the levain right. Any suggestions on how to get the levain less runny? Thanks!

Benito's picture
Benito

Frodo, because the 125% hydration levain is runny, it will not be able to hold as much of the gas produced as your 80% hydration starter so it won’t rise nearly as high.  Your second bread, you’ve replaced a good portion of the whole wheat flour which has gluten with ground flax which has no gluten, so the bread will not be able to rise as high or have as open a crumb.  You’ll need to adjust your expectation when doing substitutions reducing gluten from the dough.

frodobakes's picture
frodobakes

Hi Ben, thanks for the info about the ground flax. Any tips on helping my 125% hydration levain be able to hold more of the gas? Should I do more feeds or leave it longer?

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Danny and Benny made the most important comments, I just wanted to say that the first bread in particular looks really great!

frodobakes's picture
frodobakes

Thanks Ilya! :)

gavinc's picture
gavinc

I think that the levain is weak. I mostly bake with a 125% hydration levain. My mother culture is stiff rye at 85% hydration. I convert it to the required levain in any formula over two stages. I've never had a levain that looks flat like yours. Did you miss the peak of ripeness? I can confirm that a healthy 125% hydration levain does in fact rise to at least double. I inoculate the final build of the levain with 20% of the starter and ripen it over 14 hours at 21C. I have included a picture of a ripened levain ready for the final dough mix.

Cheers,

Gavin. 

syros's picture
syros

I agree with Gavin. My 125% levain definitely doubles and then some. So your starter is not strong enough possibly. I have found that sometimes I have to feed my starter a few times before I make the 125% levain to make sure it’s strong enough. 

frodobakes's picture
frodobakes

Hi Gavin,

Yeah, my levain is definitely weaker and much less bubbly than this. I didn't miss the peak - my levain never got past that amount of rise. I've tried two methods both at around 30C:

- One build for 12-14 hours (~1:5:6.25) - This was for the first bake, but also had only 50% rise

- Two builds for 4-5 hours each (~1:2:2.5 for each build) - For the second bake

Perhaps my inoculation levels are too high or the temperature is too high? I think I'll try with around 20% inoculation as you mentioned. What does the first levain build look like - do I wait for it to double as well?

Thanks! The picture for comparison is also really helpful.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Take a week off and focus on getting your starter under control. It seems pretty clear that it is not.  I don't care how you feed it or what temperature you ferment at but it needs to return to the same condition as when you started before you feed it again. That generally means that it has lost 2% of the weight of the flour that was used for the feeding. See this blog entry for details. You have to pick a time and temperature and refresh ratio that work for you. Twice a day is OK, three times per day works too.  Once a day and warm (30°C) is not going to work since you need to feed at something like 1:500:500 to keep it from starving before you feed it again and that puts you at risk of contamination from bacteria and yeast in the commercial flour.  Once a day and cool can work but then temperature accuracy becomes an issue.  You have to have a process that is as reliable as a stone.

Once you have your mother starter growing well, you can begin to make bread with it.  This one or another formula, but when you do, you start with your mother starter and take a little of what would otherwise be thrown away at feeding time and uses it to begin your levain build. That way you know that you are starting from a mature starter and not something that is indeterminate. 1:3:3 for 12 hrs at 80°F/27°C is fine, but it still has to lose at least 2% of the ADDED flour as CO2 or it is not ready.  If you lose 6% of the weight of the ADDED flour you are probably past the point where you will get good results though it will work if you plan to feed it again in a staged growth plan.

frodobakes's picture
frodobakes

Thanks Doc, I'll focus on trying to get a better and more consistent starter. The blog entry was helpful and interesting as well.

gavinc's picture
gavinc

The first stage build from my stiff rye culture is calculated to convert it from 85% to 125% hydration and just enough white bread flour to keep it happy until 5 pm the same day. I then use a small amount to innoculate the levain for the next moring. This first stage texture is light and airy; I'll take a photo this week sometime.

You may find this interesting where I solved my starter issues: Solved my starter issue | The Fresh Loaf

Cheers,

Gavin.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

At the point where you refresh at 10:17:20 you are close to if not over the line with respect to building yeast at the expense of LAB. You are trying to get back at the end of your cycle to a place where the numerical density of LAB and yeast are the same as they were when you started and have a healthy ratio [something like 100:1 (LAB:yeast)].  If your post-refresh pH is too low, the pH of the resulting levain quickly gets down to 3.8 and the LAB stop replicating while the yeast continues to grow exponentially until the glucose is consumed or you use the levain and feed it some new starch. You can check the pH of your post-refreshed starter/levain and determine where you are operating (based on Gänzle's original paper a good point to shoot for is pH>5.5).  However, whole rye is tends to be a good buffer and may help you get above pH5.5 with a smaller feeding.  When feeding a starter I like to be up around 3:13:16 if the weather is warm, with a little more seed when it is cooler but always at least 1:3:3 (for white flour).

Your observation that a refrigerated starter will last ~3 weeks without a refresh agrees with my data as well. But if I let it go that long I always do two sequential feedings before I refrigerate or use it to make a levain.

frodobakes's picture
frodobakes

Thanks once again Gavin. The blog post was helpful, I'll give it a shot.

frodobakes's picture
frodobakes

Thanks Gavin! I followed your method with the 85% hydration rye starter and got two better bakes. The 125% hydration levain didn't rise by 100% but was significantly more bubbly and the dough rose in the times indicated in the recipe. Also thanks to all who helped me. :)

125 hydration levain

Five Grain Levain

 

Benito's picture
Benito

Beautifully baked, well done.

Benny

gavinc's picture
gavinc

I'm happy to help. The levain is a big improvement. The crumb looks great.

Cheers,

Gavin

syros's picture
syros

I’ve used the 12 hour levain then a two hour RT rise with one fold and then I shape and into the fridge overnight and bake. No issues with sour. I’ve only used that method and it never fails. Such a great bread. I haven’t changed the soaker ingredients except to decrease the flax seeds. 

JonJ's picture
JonJ

Baking this bread sure feels like a right of passage around here. Really did appreciate this community bake.

My major deviation from the recipe was using a lamination to mix in the soaker. The dough was stiff and highly elastic and had to work at gently coaxing it from each side in order to get it to spread out, this was one of the more difficult and ultimately clumsy laminations that I've attempted. The soaker was spread on top, and it was rolled up like a swiss roll (pic is with aliquot jar).

The dough continued to be both stiff and tight and at the same time it mostly kept the moisture inside whilst leaking seeds out the sides! Plus, there was some tearing (as can even be seen at the top of the swiss roll pic), and it was also the first time that I've pulled the banneton from the fridge after the cold retard and found that the base 'opened' up - I didn't 'stitch' the dough after it was placed into the banneton, but I should have with this unusual dough. It didn't seem to do too much damage other than a few of the center slices of the bread had a 'defective' gummy cavity at their base.

Certainly I'll follow Jeffrey's instructions more carefully the next time I make this bread and mix the soaker in upfront, think the lamination wasn't 100% succesful here.

And, also mistakenly made up a 100% hydration levain - I did a multi-step levain build with a 1:10:10 overnight build, followed by a 1:0.5:0.5 refresher the next morning before using in the bake, and must have been tired when I prepared the overnight levain and forgot to make a 125% hydration levain. At the time of mixing I compensated by using 14g more water and 13g less flour from the quantities given.

Pre-shaping was done at  a 40% volume increase, and after final shaping the banneton was returned to the proofer until the aliquot showed a 60% volume increase before it went into fridge for the cold retard.

What an interesting and lovely bread, and you folks are right about it making fabulous toast. Next time I'll be sure to toast the flaxseeds and sunflower too; won't attempt a chopped pumpkin seed topping as it is seedy enough already and finally think that grinding the soaker's flaxseeds might also be something to try. The chopped rye used was from pre-sprouted and subsequently dehydrated rye, chopped in my coffee mixer/spice grinder.

Lamination

'Swiss roll' after lamination

Baked bread

Sliced

(The colour wasn't this golden - some of it is from the morning light outdoors)

Edit: this was the no yeast version, forgot to mention!

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I suggest following Jeff’s method and formula very closely. After the bread has been successfully baked you will have confidence to tweak it based on prior experience.

Mix the soaker in with the other ingredients. I also tried laminating the soaker, but after many tries I like his method best.

BTW - most bakers report that they like the no-yeast version better.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

I once made the mistake of overlooking the step for inclusion of the soaker during the final mix and the dough was way too dry to handle properly.  "won't make that mistake again..."

Nonetheless, your loaf looks quite nice. 

Benito's picture
Benito

Well done Jon, I too first tried making this bread by adding the soaker in during a lamination, I never did that again.  Your bread looks great despite the added difficulty of adding the soaker in lamination.  As with everyone who has made this bread, good to see you like the flavour.

Benny

Pages