This loaf of bread was made on a whim on a busy weekend mainly devoted to the lab. Tired of refreshing my starter and putting it back in the fridge, I decided that – no matter what – we would be having home-made bread on Super Bowl Sunday. I had to cheat, though. The dough got spiked with some commercial yeast to speed up fermentation. Let’s hope the Wild Yeast Gods will have mercy on me…
SESAME AND FLAXSEED SOURDOUGH
(inspired by Hamelman’s Bread)
2.4 oz bread flour
3 oz water at room temperature
1 Tablespoon mature sourdough culture
1.5 oz flax seeds (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup water at room temperature
12 oz bread flour
1.6 oz rye flour
2 oz sesame seeds, toasted
5.7 oz water
10 g salt
all the soaker
4.8 oz starter mix (you will have a small amount left)
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
Prepare the levain build 12-18 hours before making the final dough. Mix all ingredients and leave in a covered container at room temperature. At the same time, make the soaker placing the flax seeds with water in a small bowl. The seeds will expand quite a bit, so use a bowl that will allow that to happen without overflowing.
Next morning, make the final dough by mixing all the ingredients together in the bowl of a KitchenAid type mixer. Mix on lowest speed for a couple of minutes. Check the hydration level, adjust if necessary. Increase speed to medium-low (level 3 of a KitchenAid), and mix for 3 to 4 minutes.
Let the dough ferment in a lightly oiled bowl for 2 and half hours, folding the dough twice at 50 minutes interval. After 2.5 hours, shape the dough as a ball and place in a suitable container for the final proofing. My bread was ready to bake in 2 hours and 45 minutes.
Bake in a 450 F oven for 45 minutes. If baking covered to generate steam, remove the cover after 30 minutes. Cool completely before slicing.
to print the recipe, click here
Whenever I bake a loaf of bread, I go into full scrutiny mode. I stare at the crust, inspect the edge of the slashing, and look for small blisters on the surface. Then, after patiently waiting for the bread to cool, I cut a slice and start the convoluted process of analyzing the crumb. Phil knows better and allows me this important “bread-introspection” time before reaching to grab a piece. But, once he senses the green light, it never fails: “This is good bread”. Really, this bread is awesome!” It gives me a thrill… I know he means it, and it puts all my bread scrutiny into perspective. For instance, I had to stop beating myself up because the holes in the crumb did not organize into the pyramidal shape I love so much. Oh, well… This is good bread.
The flax seeds are visible, of course, but the sesame more or less disappears in the crumb. However, the flavor is there beyond any shadow of a doubt, and complements very well the small amount of rye and the hint of sourness. Everyone watching the Super Bowl loved this loaf, some even preferred to turn the back to the TV and concentrate on it.
I am submitting this post to Susan’s Yeastspotting….
ONE YEAR AGO: Green Beans with Miso and Almonds
TWO YEARS AGO: Saturday Morning Scones
THREE YEARS AGO: White Bread