The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Seed Soaker

tom-cat's picture
tom-cat

Seed Soaker

Hi everyone, completely new member here, though I've learned a lot from these forums in the last few months. I have a question.

I've been making a seeded whole wheat, based on Peter Reinhardts whole wheat loaf, for the last few weeks, and have started soaking the seeds (about 20%) in the same bowl as the soaker, adding a range of extra water to compensate.

My question is, is there something inherently wrong with soaking the seeds with the flour? My reasoning was that I wouldn't lose any of the nutrition from having to drain the seeds, and if I can figure out the soaking value of the seeds then I won't screw up the hydration of the dough.

Appreciate any comments at all.

Schönen Tag euch!

suminandi's picture
suminandi

I see nothing inherently wrong with soaking the seeds and flour together unless you want to (a) soak them for different time duration or (b) want to intensively knead the dough without the seeds in the way. 

Another way to save any flavor or nutrients in excess seed soak water is to save it to use in the next loaf ( if you bake pretty often).

tom-cat's picture
tom-cat

I have two shelves in my fridge full of things I'm saving for my next loaf, sort of a graveyard for good ideas.

I am still kneading until I can get a windowpane effect, although I'm aware that the seeds are cutting through the gluten, my hope is only that the seeds are dulled enough by the long soak (24 hours), but I'm not experienced enough to be able to feel or see if this is correct

Benito's picture
Benito

Sometimes it can be more difficult to develop the gluten when there are a lot of inclusions in the dough early on.  

I generally would soak the seeds separately and when it is time to mix the dough, pour off any excess water from the seed soaker and use that as part of your water for the dough.  This would give you more precision in the hydration of your dough and any extra flavour or nutrients from the seed soaker excess water would be added to the dough.

Benny

justkeepswimming's picture
justkeepswimming

I have been trying to figure out when to soak seeds and when it's not needed, and the effect on hydration either way. I just made a loaf with toasted seeds, and opted to not soak them. It worked out well with that very wet dough, but I'm still uncertain..... Is it best to soak seeds? Does it matter? Thank in advance!

Benito's picture
Benito

Honestly, I seldom soak seeds or nuts.  The only times recently that I’ve done a soak is when making Hamelman’s Five Grain since I also use oatmeal which needs to be soaked in boiling water so I just soak all the seeds too.  Otherwise I really don’t soak them.  I guess unsoaked the seeds will be more toothsome, but I’ve never had a problem with that.

Benny

Walter D's picture
Walter D

One of my regular loaves is 500g AP, 165g WW, 20g Rye. Hydration with the starter is about 83%, but I also add 140g of mixed seeds (Sunflower, chia, sesame and flax). I put them right in with the dry flour and mix then add the leaven with the water.

justkeepswimming's picture
justkeepswimming

That helps a lot. We like the chewiness of seeds and nuts in bread, glad to hear what your experience has been. 

 

tom-cat's picture
tom-cat

Ok, so at what point would you add the seeds then? Final shape?

Benito's picture
Benito

I usually add them during lamination, this is after a series of slap and folds and a bench letterfold.  Adding them in lamination also allows you to have a very even distribution of the inclusions.