The Fresh Loaf

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Another Leader bread

breadnerd's picture

Another Leader bread

Today I tried my third or fourth recipe from the new Leader book (Local Breads...): The Pan au levain, multigrain variation.


I'm continuing to be impressed by this book. Every dough I've made has been spot on for hydration, I've basically thrown all the ingredients in and the dough has turned out perfect. I admit I've kept my starter on the wet side and haven't bothered to convert it to the firmer version he uses, but besides that I'm sticking to the formulas quite closely.


This is a basic sourdough with flax seed, cornmeal, oats and millet soaked overnight while the levain develops. The flour mix is mostly white, with a little rye and WW flour thrown in. The flavor is amazing--not much tang, but there's a nice nuttiness and fullness from the grains. The crust is lovely too, it has a nice crunch.



Floydm's picture

Agreed, it is a very good book.

Those look great.

rainbowbrown's picture

My word, look at the oven spring on those.  Beautiful.  Good show breadnerd.  I as well use my wet starter for the recipes in this book, I'll have to try this variation soon.

breadnerd's picture

Yeah, my boule had a bit of a blow out--I think it was a little underproofed. I should have let it go longer but I wanted to start dinner and needed the oven. They had both proofed for almost 2 hours, but it was a cold, snowy day (again!) here. Funny, the batard was ready to go--I've noticed that with a few sourdoughs (such as columbia) that they turn out a bit different as boules than batards. Makes sense I guess when you think about it but it's interesting.

Toast this morning cemented my conclusions--it's very good bread. It's surprising how much flavor that the added grains give--it isn't a very high proportion of soaker in the formula compared to other multigrans I make, but it's a nice combination I guess.

This is definitely more of a european multigrain--less sweet and more subtle than struan or other healthier, WW versions, but it's a very nice, lighter hearth bread.

buns of steel's picture
buns of steel

I share your love for that book. It's outstanding and the breads are outstanding. I often feel concerned that it's getting a bad rap with minor errors, I'd hate for anyone to be put off by that. I've been baking from the metric and every single bread has turned out wonderfully! 


Many of the breads in Local Breads have turned into favorites I bake over and over!!  Amazing book.


Outstanding loaves breadnerd, thanks for posting your wonderful pictures.


I keep saying I'm gonna make those sourdough croissants...

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Your loaves look great!  I've ordered some smaller bannetons and can't wait to try them out! I also like Leader's metric recipes.  

Mini O

zolablue's picture

Wow, I agree those look wonderful! I love that recipe, too. Now you'll have to try the Pain de Campagne if you haven't already. It is outstanding (waves to Fleur).


I also agree about worrying that the errors might keep people from buying the book. I've been very frustrated more from the non-response to some direct questions on a certain recipe but errors are expected in any book. Local Breads is simply an outstanding book full of very unique and delicious bread recipes. Plus Leader has written some other great info and stories on the breads and bakers so it is well worth owning - no doubt.


Really nice loaves, Breadnerd.

dmsnyder's picture

Nice job!  I would add my endorsement to Leader's book. I love the stories. I enjoy baking and eating the breads more having their historical, cultural and personal context.  I have not made this particular multi-grain bread, but I've made the one from Hamelman several times and love it. They sound pretty similar, but I'll have to give Leader's a try. It's interesting that Hamelman's multi-grain SD also has incredible oven spring.   David

weavershouse's picture

Great looking bread breadnerd! Yet another to try. I agree with all the above posters including loving Leader's book. Great job.                                        weavershouse