Whole, soaked grains add a fantastic flavour and extra nutrition to a loaf of bread. Over the weekend, since we were running low, I decided to make two large loaves of sourdough with a range of different grains and seeds thrown into the mix.
In order to get the best out of the grains, both in terms of flavour and digestibility, an overnight soaking is required. I timed this loaf to be baked on the same day of mixing – no overnight retardation. This meant that the starter needed refreshing a couple of days before, and on the night before at the same time as mixing the soaker. I also wanted to push the hydration of this loaf up to give it a lighter texture, so I increased the amount of water I normally use both in the starter and the loaf itself. In order to develop the gluten in the dough, I have used the “stretch/fold” method of kneading. Whilst the timings may seem a little over the top (a quick knead every ten minutes, then every half an hour) it is really very easy and does a fantastic job.
This loaf uses a combination of rye flour from the starter, and wholemeal spelt and white baker’s flour for the dough. The rye and spelt give an excellent flavour and colour, whilst the white flour lightens the texture further – something which can occasionally be an issue in wholemeal multigrain breads.
- 50g rolled spelt grains
- 50g rolled wheat grains
- 50g polenta
- 25g red quinoa
- 25g linseed
- 200g water at room temperature
- 400g rye starter at 150% hydration
- 400g white baker’s flour
- 400g wholemeal spelt flour
- 650g water
- 20g salt
- all of the soaker
- Two nights before making the dough, refresh 50g of rye starter with 100g rye flour and 150g water.
- The night before making the bread, mix the soaker ingredients and cover. Refresh the starter with 100g rye flour and 150g water.
- The morning of making the bread, mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Autolyse for 20 minutes.
- Stretch/fold the dough 10 times, rotating the bowl. Cover and leave for 10 minutes. Repeat three times.
- Stretch/fold the dough 10 times every half an hour for three hours (six times). Cover and leave the dough for one more hour.
- Divide and shape the dough, and place into bannetons extremely well-floured with rice flour.
- Proof for two hours at room temperature. Preheat the oven to 240°C with a Dutch Oven (Le Creuset style cast iron pot with lid) on the middle shelf.
- Upturn the bread onto a well floured peel. Carefully remove the Dutch Oven, remove the lid, slide the loaf in, replace the lid and place in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on, and 15 minutes with the lid off. Reduce temperature to 230°C if the loaf looks too dark.
- Repeat with the remaining loaf. Cool loaves on a wire rack before slicing.