Monday, July 16, 2012

Leinsamenbrot: Sourdough Rye Flaxseed Bread

I have not baked this bread since last winter, but I did make a note in pencil alongside the formula which read: "very tart, good nutty flavor". This is another bread in which Hamelman calls for medium rye flour. By now, my readers should know how I feel about that. There is so much flavor in the bran and the germ, and I would much rather bake a heavy flavorful loaf as opposed to a lighter less flavorful loaf. I really believe that sourdough ryes should taste like sourdough ryes and I believe that starting with a whole rye flour is the best way to go about this.

This bread also includes a flax seed soaker, which contains a fair amount of water, so the water in the final mix is quite low. You will notice that the flaxseeds grow quite a bit in size and become softer when soaked. Human teeth find flax seeds very difficult to break apart. In fact, if they are consumed whole, none of their nutritious qualities can be utilized by the body. So when you see products which contain flax seeds and also contain nutritious claims, know that they are of absolutely no use when they are not cracked or ground. Another thing to note its that once flax seeds are ground, they must be consumed quickly or the oil will spoil and the nutritional benefit will be greatly diminished.

A song from Bob Dylan and The Band

All this being said, I did not grind these flax seeds. When they are left whole, they add quite a nice texture to the bread. I think the soaker does help to increase absorption, but there is not any real science behind this, so I could be wrong. There are also many individuals which combine the flax seed soaker with the rye sourdough build, but I do not. I like keeping them separate. This is another Mickey Mouse thing! Others have suggested that I combine them, but I still have not tried it. I am a purist when it comes to sourdough builds.

This bread is 60% whole rye flour and once again Hamelman called for medium rye flour. I used whole rye flour, so the bread was probably a little heavier than he intended, but I like a good heavy rye bread. In addition, a fair amount of the total is in the sourdough build; 40%, which was 67 percent of the rye flour in this bread. This sourdough build is somewhere between loose and firm at 80 percent hydration.

This song struck me yesterday during a car ride, I enjoy it.

This bread is a classic in Germany, where it is called Leinsamenbrot.This bread is often coated with raw sesame seeds (which toast during the baking). When adding seeds, bread bakers in large scale operations often place the top of the loaf on a damp towel and then dip the moistened tops into a pan of sesame seeds. I went about this a little differently. After shaping the loaf I used a pastry brush dipped in water and brushed the whole loaf and then sprinkled a heavy dose of sesame seeds on the loaf. You could easily do this after proofing, but I chose to do this prior to the proofing stage.

I really love how the score opened in this bread. It created a sort of in between area which split the sesame seeds. The easiest way to describe this is with a photo. I just love the appearance it has.

I really love this bread for its nutty flavor, its consistency and tartness and for its pairing with goat cheese and just about any savory sandwich. It makes awesome croutons, but it does take a while to toast. This bread really acquires quite a bit of sourness as it sits. You will find that with each passing day the breads flavor develops. 

Bake On


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Lovely loaf, and you are (unfortunately) right, whole flax seeds are only useful to enhance your digestion. They look much nicer whole, though.