Times a wasting! Not having had a decent piece of bread in weeks, I thought the best way to quench my craving was to start baking. I had three levains in the fridge. The liquid and solid levains took a single feeding to awaken, perhaps because I had fed them quite often before leaving for Ecuador. Anyway, the first bake was a multigrain loaf we did at SFBI, made with a pre-ferment and some yeast. But this time I made it all natural levain.
Multigrain bread(adapted from SFBI)
30g flax seeds
30g sesame seeds
30g sunflower seeds
30g oats,( I used Bob's Red mill 5 grain rolled cereal)
Soak for at least two hours
215g AP flour
85g Whole wheat
Mix flour and water, autolyse for 30 to 60 minutes. Add in levain and mix at first speed for about 3 minutes. Mix in salt at second speed mix to medium or improved consistency, (window pane), add in soaker until incorporated at second speed.
1-11/2 hour bulk ferment with one fold if needed.
divide into 1lb or 454 g pieces, pre-shape into balls and rest at least 30 minutes.
Shape, whatever suits you, I made batards, since my attempt at school was less then spectacular!
1-2 hours rise in banneton or couche.
Bake about 35-40 minutes with steam at 450 F
These are quite moist and I allowed them to sit in the oven an extra 10-15 minutes with the oven off and the door slightly ajar.
Having followed the amazing home baker, Hans Joakim on his blog at the fresh loaf, I picked one of the many formulas he shared. Not having baked for awhile, I did make some errors in measuring the ingredients for this rye starter-based pain au levain. It still seemed to hold its form and taste. I will give it a proper go again and probably a lot more of this repertoire from this fine baker!
Finally, there's a loaf based on Jim Lahey's "no knead dough", something I'm revisiting, wondering if I can really make this loaf with just a levain rather then yeast. Umm.... verdict is still out as the loaf or blob is still in my oven...maybe I will give that another look over and try again? (or not?).
Well two out of three isn't that bad.