The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

1st 2021 bake Hamelman's 5 grain levain

Anonymous baker's picture
Anonymous baker (not verified)

1st 2021 bake Hamelman's 5 grain levain

Hamelman's Five-Grain Levain is always a winner in my book. A perfect recipe to get 2021 off to a good [baking] start. A few tweaks to make do with ingredients I had in stock. Substituted the whole-wheat for wholegrain kamut. Instead of cracked rye I used pearled spelt cracked in my coffee grinder. And finally pumpkin seeds replaced the sunflower seeds.




Liquid Levain : 12-16 hours


Soaker : 12-16 hours


  • Mix all the ingredients together and knead till medium gluten formation.
  • Bulk Ferment for 2 hours giving the dough one set of stretch and folds after 1 hour. 
  • Shape into a Pullman loaf pan and refrigerate for several hours. 
  • Bake.

Crumb typical of a sandwich pullman loaf, has wonderful flavour and the seeds shine through especially the pumpkin seeds. Very happy with this bake. 

BXMurphy's picture

Wow! A nice pan bread for lazy, crazy sandwich-making over the holiday! Perfect!

Nice rise over the pan!

I was reading through the Community Challenge to check the hydration and degree of difficulty. 98% hydration?!?


Many of those bakers said the dough hydration handled more like mid to low 70's, though. How did it handle for you before pouring?

I'm dying to see a crumb shot. And a taste!

I hope it holds a jelly... with five grains, who needs peanut butter?


Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

This is one of my all time favourite breads. Flavour is superb. Hamelman's recipes are all top notch! 

Baked in a pullman with a lid. It's a tall, deep pullman hence the shape. After lots of trial and error in my oven, which is limited, it suits the pullman best. 

Don't be out off by the high hydration. Don't forget it's got the soaker and the final dough is very manageable. No pouring! This dough shales up very nicely. 

Fresh out the oven and cooling. Good idea to take a baked bread out of the oven just before bed. This way as it's cooling I'm not tempted to take a slice. Goes with lots of things and really shines when toasted due to the seeds. Either with a nice nut butter, and/or jam, or some mature cheddar. 

Will post a crumb shot tomorrow. I hope I've done it justice. Being a pullman bread it'll be more of a close sandwich crumb. 

headupinclouds's picture

Pumpking seeds, flax, spelt, oats ... This looks like a very high protein bread.  In a food related video I once saw, someone referred to the root vegetables they were preparing as "workhorse vegetables" -- a phrase I have always remembered.  This looks like a workhorse bread!  A loaf made to be eaten, not photographed.  With all of the references to Hamelman's book, I finally picked up a copy.  I'll definitely add a bookmark for this one.  Thanks for sharing.

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

A book well worth getting. All recipes I've tried have been thoroughly delicious and enjoyable to make. You won't be disappointed. I advise you try the recipe as written first then make changes if need be like making use of what you have in stock. This certainly is a hearty bread, filling and delicious. A well deserved place on one's baking repertoire. 

P.s. one can make this an artisanal loaf but my oven set-up dictates pan loaves. By all means make it fancy. It'll be at heart a workhorse bread and at the same time a show horse.