Yes, I’ve been on a bread baking kick. It’s no surprise really – there is something so magical about that transformation of dough into the finished product. And the discovery that we home bakers can create bakery quality loaves bread at home using a dutch oven makes me incredibly happy!
No doubt though, bread baking is not something that can be learned simply by following a recipe. There is far too much to learn by doing. For example, learning to read your dough for signs of sufficient proofing and sufficient mixing.
At this point, it seems that the best strategy to do this is to bake the same recipe consistently until I have perfected the stages of mixing and proofing. Sounds like a fun experiment, no?
This was my first time baking this bread and I was pleased overall. I had hoped for a more open crumb but I’m unsure if a bread with the amount of seeds that this recipe contains could have a very open crumb. Still, I think my ultimate goal is to make some type of whole grain bread with a light airy crumb as well as the perfect baguette. Oh, bread baking could sure keep me busy!
I think this might have been one of my husband’s favorites. It was very tasty! This will definitely be made again soon. A great bread to serve with simple pan roasted vegetables or to make a quick sandwich.
Recipe from Bread by Jeffrey Hammelman
Homemade Healthy Wholesome Five-Grain Sourdough Bread
For the levain:
- 8 ounces bread flour
- 10 ounces water
- 3 tbsp starter
For the soaker
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 5/8 cup flax seed
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 3/4 cup oats
- 1 5/8 cup water boiling
- 1 teaspoon salt
For the dough:
- 4 3/8 cups bread flour
- 1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon yeast
- soaker (all the above from prior step) 1 pound, 8 oz (all of the above)
- liquid levain (all but 3 TB from first step) 18 oz, (all but 3 tablespoons)
To Make the Levain (the day before making the dough):
- Mix the levain at least 12 to 16 hours before you plan to mix the dough
- Combine all levain ingredients and let stand covered at about 70 degrees F
- At the same time, mix the soaker by mixing all of the grains in a bowl, and pour boiling water on top. cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature
To Make the Dough
- Add all of the ingredients to a standing mixer and mix on low speed for 2.5 minutes and then low-medium speed for 4 to 5 minutes. the final dough temperature should be 76 degrees
- Bulk ferment for 1 to 1.5 hours (fold once at 45 minutes if fermenting for 1.5 hours)
- Divide and shape into 1.5 pound pieces and place into bannetons and cover with towel or plastic wrap
- Final fermentation is 1 hour at 76 degrees (or you can refrigerate overnight; if refrigerating, bulk fermentation should be extended to 2 hours and commercial yeast should be left out of the mix).
To Bake the Bread
- Preheat oven at 500 degrees for at least 30 minutes with dutch oven inside placed on baking stone
- When ready to bake, load loaf into dutch oven, score the top with lame or razor, and reduce heat to 460 degrees
- Bake bread for a total of 40 to 45 minutes (covered for the first 20 minutes)
- Let cool on rack for at least 2 hours