5 grain Bread* - Yields: 3 (medium) loaves

When I think of bread, I think of a soft cream-white crumb surrounded by a light thin crispy crust. If you could compare it to a beer it would be reminiscent of a nice crisp lager or pilsner.

Well this bread is like a strongly seasoned IPA. It hits you hard and finishes strong. It might even be the Elven bread Tolkien penned as “Lembas” in the trilogy, Lord of the Rings. It’s robust, seriously flavored; yet it has a soft, dense, chewy interior. One slice is both filling and satisfying. It makes great toast as well. If your looking for bread that takes you back to medieval times, this is the one for you.

Soaker

1 1/8 cups Rolled Oats

¾ cups Flaxseed

1 ½ cups Wheat Bran

3/4 cups Cornmeal

2 cups Cold Water

DOUGH

All of the soaker

3 3/4 cups Bread Flour

3 cups Whole Wheat Flour

1 cup Whole Rye Flour

1 ¾ cups Water

3 T + 2 t Vegetable Oil

2 Eggs

1½ T Salt

2 ¼ t Instant Yeast

PREPARING THE PRE-FERMENT

  1. Place all the ingredients for the pre-ferment into a small bowl.

  2. Mix all the ingredients with a wooden spoon until well blended.

  3. Cover the bowl and let it rest overnight at room temperature.

PREPARING THE DOUGH

  1. Add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl.

  2. Using a dough hook attachment, knead the dough on low speed until it comes together. Increase the speed and continue mixing for an additional 3 minutes. Desired dough temperature should be 76°F.

  3. Place the dough into a slightly oiled bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.

  4. Allow it to ferment overnight in the refrigerator, folding the dough once after the first hour.

  5. The next day, transfer the dough onto a slightly floured surface.

  6. Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Round them slightly and let them rest cover for 20 to 30 minutes. Then round them into tight rounds or ovals and place them into prepared bannetons. I used lightly oiled mixing bowls.

  7. Cover them tightly with oiled plastic wrap and allow them to ferment for 1½ hours at room temperature.

  8. While you are waiting, line a sheet pan with parchment, sprinkle it with cornmeal and set aside.

  9. Pre-heat the oven to 460°F. You may need to turn down the oven 10 or 20°F partway through the baking time.

  10. Turn the loaves onto separate sheet pans when you are ready to bake them and score the top before placing them in the oven.

  11. Place a heatproof pan on the bottom layer of the oven. Pour in about 1/3 cup of boiling water. I also spray the oven sides as soon as I place the bread in the oven and again 10 minutes later.

  12. Place the sheet pan on the center rack and bake for 40 minutes turning once halfway through the cooking time. The bread should be nicely browned when done. Round loaves will take a little longer to cook than oblong loaves.

*Adapted from: Jeffrey Hamelman: BREAD - A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes (2004,415p) ISBN: 9780471168577

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