Sunday, February 9, 2014

Five Grain Honey Levain

A proud moment! Great oven spring, wonderful coloration from the honey and a brilliant imprint from the brotform
This is my adaptation of Richard Miscovich's Seven Grain Bread. There were 2 major differences in my adaptation. First, I used a five grain soaker which included: rye chops, pressed barley, flax, cracked wheat and oats. My second change was the use of white whole wheat flour rather than red or winter whole wheat. I will walk you through the complete process as this bread has a soaker, a levain, and a long fermentation time. 

Lets start with the soaker: the soaker combines two of my favorite things: fresh cracked grains and honey! The soaker is 114% hydrated and contains 30% honey by weight, which is a considerable addition. The soaker is mixed uising room temperature water at the same time that the sourdough build is prepared. It is allowed to sit at room temperature. In summer months or in very hot climates it is possible to add salt to the soaker but since this soaker is in the autolyse, I would try to hold off on adding salt to this soaker. I did cheat and take a taste of this soaker prior to the autolyse and it is sweet and nutty and absolutely delicious! It tasted so sweet and good that it has motivated me to make some Muesli for breakfast tomorrow

The levain Build: The sourdough build contains 25% of the flour in the final dough and is 100% hydrated and contains 50% of the bread's bread flour. It is left at room temp for about 8 hours, but I left mine for ten because Kelly and I were working out in a planned exercise session. Ever since I started feeding Jack Straw with white whole wheat, I am enjoying the taste of my breads a little more. You should see the growth it gets in only 6 hours time; it is incredible. 

Jack straw is my liquid levain which is fed with home ground white whole wheat flour
Autolyse: All of the flour, the soaker and the water are combined in the autolyse. I poured the measured water into the levain to loosen it, and then added the mixture into the mixing bowl with the flour. Then I added the soaker. I then mixed this for about 45 seconds just until a shaggy mass was formed. Then it is allowed to rest at room temp covered for about 35 minutes. 

Soaker: 80g Rye chops, 15g golden flax, 25g pressed barley, 20 g rolled oats, 20g cracked wheat

The mix for this bread is actually quite simple. After the autolyse, the salt is sprinkled on the dough mass and the dough is then mixed on first speed for 3 minutes and then second speed for 3 minutes. The dough is bulk-fermented for 2.5 hours with 1-2 folds. I used only one fold.

Right before the mix!
The bread is then pre-shaped into rounds and then shaped into batards/boules. It then proofs for two hours. The bread is then scored in a simple square pattern if boules are used or the bread is give 5-7 diagonal slashes. It is important to slash through the shoulder of the loaf to get great openings. This bread is baked in a 450 oven for 45 minutes, but can also be made in a combo cooker with great results. 

The boule came out just as beautiful!
I pulled these out of the oven and I can honestly say that I have never ever made a more stunning loaf of bread! This bread had a long ferment, a good mix and a healthy soaker. I am ecstatic. This bread came out amazing. I think that it is the most beautiful bread that I have made to date. This is a loaf to remember and it's definitely going into the Rye King's Hall of Fame.

Bake On!
-DW, The Rye King


  1. Daavid, those breads look great . But I don't understand yout levain build : You say : ' The sourdough build contains 25% of the flour in the final dough and is 100% hydrated and contains 50% of the bread's bread flour " Can you explain ?

    Thanks. Ralph.

    1. Ralph, I am happy to explain. There is a total of 1000g of flour in this bread. 500 coming from bread flour 500 from whole wheat. 25% of the total bread flour is found in the levain build (250g) and the levain is 100% hydrated meaning the levain contains 250 g of flour. Since there is a total of 500grams of bread flour in his bread and 250 of them are in the levain 50% of the bread's bread flour is found in the levain.

    2. sorry, in the third line I mean 250grams of water not bread flour.

  2. David, how much starter do you use for your levain ?

  3. David, they are absolutely gorgeous!!! Wow, you knock my socks off!!! BTW did the apartment smell as good as the breads look? When will you get to taste them and check the crumb? Does Jen get one of these?