The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Not Exactly Hamelman's Five-Grain Levain

Elsie_iu's picture

Not Exactly Hamelman's Five-Grain Levain

I have very little experience working with white flour. There’re two reasons why I used so much white flour in this bake. The first is to stay true to the community bake’s formula. The second is to suit the palate of most people as I’ll give this loaf away to my aunts.



25% Spelt Multi-Seeds Sourdough


For dough:

225g        75%       Bread flour

75g          25%       Freshly milled spelt flour

239g     79.7%       Water

30g          10%       Active starter (half whole rye, half whole wheat)

5g         1.67%       Salt



21g         7%       Toasted white sesame seeds

21g         7%       Toasted black sesame seeds

21g         7%       Toasted sunflower seeds

21g         7%       Toasted golden flaxseeds



90g         28.6%       Whole grain

315g       100%        Total flour

254g       80.6%       Total hydration


Roughly combine all dough ingredients except for the salt and let it ferment for 30 minutes. Fold in the salt and mix by the dough using Rubaud method for 5 minutes. Ferment for 30 minutes. Fold in the add-ins and proof for 6 hours longer (22.5°C).

Preshape the dough and let it rest for 15 minutes. Shape the dough then put in into a banneton. Retard for 10 hours.

Before retarding

After retarding


Preheat the oven at 250°C/482°F. Score and spritz the dough then bake straight from the fridge at 250°C/482°F with steam for 15 minutes then without steam for 25 minutes more or until the internal temperature reaches a minimum of 203°F. Let cool for at least 2 hours before slicing.



Originally, I mixed 233g of water with the flour. However, the dough felt very stiff after the seeds were added. Therefore, I tried to put 6g more water into the dough by spraying water on top of the dough, with not much success. That’s why I failed to distribute the seeds evenly and some parts of the dough were stiffer than the others.



Though there was some spring, the dough tended to spread in the oven. It also has no ear so I sliced the bread rather soon to mask this flaw :) Since I plan to give the entire loaf away, I didn’t get to taste it.



My second ciabatta (totally unplanned and almost hands-off). 15% whole gains (half rye, half white wheat) This Looks better…


But this definitely Tastes superior. Your choice. I always pick this one :) 60% whole wheat (half sprouted & half red half white), 10% each barley and germinated red rice, 20% spelt 


Smoked salmon, olive cilantro pesto, red onions topped scrambled eggs and toasted ciabatta


Almond moong dal beetroot hummus & falafels on toasted naan


German crispy-skinned cured pork knuckle, pesto sautéed broccoli & mushrooms, home fermented sauerkraut, beetroot hummus and onions rice pilaf



Danni3ll3's picture

That really is a gorgeous crumb and more than makes up for no ear!

Elsie_iu's picture

A loaf of SD bread without ear is not cover-worthy but surely is more slicing-friendly. I guess the reason for no ear is that the shaping wasn't tight enough. Hopefully, the dough would be easier to shape after upping the hydration.

Thanks for the praise, as always!

dabrownman's picture

Your crumb on this one is terrific!  All that white flour helped to open the crumb some for sure.

I just love the all the variation in your cooling from all over the world.  Variety is the spice of life.  I had the best street taco ever last night at Taco Chiwas.  A fabulous Beef Tongue Taco!  The old favorite was also a beef tongue taco from a Mexican Dive Taco Place in Chandler from 25 years ago.  I used to get 3 tongue tacos and long beck for $3 then and last night it was $11.5 but worth every penny!  Now I know why Chris Bianco partnered with them on their new taco place Roland's.  So this week it is make beef tongue in the Instant pot for sure!

Love all the food as usual and the photography makes it all look scrumptious!  Well done and happy baking Elsie

Elsie_iu's picture

Beef isn't usually my protein of choice. Eggs, seafood and fermented dairy products (yogurt and cheese!) are the top picks, followed by lamb and pork. Though when braised, beef cannot be beat!  I've always liked stewed beef shank but I only learned how delicious beef tongue is after having it during a trip to Macau. We ordered red wine braised beef tongue in a Macau Portuguese restaurant and the beef tongue stole the show for me. It was tender but springy and oh so flavorful! Even after knowing how fatty the cut it, I still can't resist eating it :) Too bad my parents won't eat it (ugh...they banned so many food from appearing on the menu) as they think it's disguising. Beef tongue taco sounds absolutely fabulous! I must replicate it someday when my parents aren't around...

Glad you like the post! I'd probably be bored to death if I were to eat food from the same country everyday!