This sourdough bread is made with four grains: white bread flour (70%), sprouted wheat and sprouted spelt (for a combined 30%) and amaranth. The seeds are flaxseeds, pumpkin, sunflower and black sesame seeds (making up about 18% of total flour weight).
The long list of mostly wholesome ingredients conjures up the image of a nutrient dense bread. This recipe was a rough adaptation to David Lebovitz’s multigrain bread in The Paris Kitchen. Similar ingredients to his recipe with additional sprouted whole grains but a very different mixing (or rather undermixing) and fermentation (or slow) process was used. A half-way decent levain bread was the result.
With over 30% of sprouted whole grains and 18% of seeds in the dough, you won’t expect an open crumb texture to the finished loaves, but they are. The sourdough levain contributes to a flavorful tang and excellent keeping quality of the bread. The flaxseeds and amaranth were soaked in cold water so that I can check the hydration at the time of mixing. (Although, in retrospect, I may not have been as careful as I should.) The flour, water and levain mix was autolysed for an hour since whole wheat flours would benefit from a longer resting period. See the cheat sheet below for details.
I scratched my head thinking that: this may be the best laid plan, but somehow something is falling short. With no ears, no bloom, the bread sadly spread out like that of a ciabatta. Oh, well! This was not what I’ve expected, comparing with similar multigrain or seed breads I posted previously (as shown below).
Every bake is unique: the workmanship of risk. That’s what makes bread-making magical. Consider the following for an improved seed bread:
- Add the seeds an hour into bulk fermentation when the gluten has built some strength. Or roll them to coat the shaped dough so they don’t interfere with gluten development, give the bread some sheen and prevent the dough from sticking.
- Another round of stretch-and-fold may help to build dough strength and elasticity.
- Reduce and carefully adjust hydration level. The dough was slack and almost too sticky to handle after the first and second rise.
- For comparison, let one dough proof and bake directly in a loaf pan which supports a taller structure. (See the sunflower seed bread.)
- Be watchful: The dough may be overproof given the more active enzyme activity with sprouted flour.
Please visit the online group Cook-the-book-fridays to see how we tackle the multigrain bread, what works and what doesn’t. Our goal is to work through each and every recipe in David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen. You are welcome to join the group and bake along with us.