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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Transitional German-Style Many Seed Bread 02

OR Baking Off-Site

This was an experience of a different kind. We were going to spend five days at my in-laws' vacation beach house on the Oregon coast. I thought it would be fun to have fresh baked bread to snack on. I wanted to bake a bread that could be eaten by itself and be hearty. The best one of that kind in my repertoire is Peter Reinhart's Transitional German-Style Many Seed Bread. (The previous attempt had accompanied us to Disneyland). Also, I could put together all the dry ingredients at home and I would only need water to make the soaker, biga and the final dough. Perfect!

I was ready to experiment with the ingredients a little. I wanted to make it more whole grain and add some dried fruit to add moisture and sweetness. I replaced most of the bread flour with whole wheat flour and used some all purpose flour for the rest of the measure. While putting together the soaker, I added sugar mistaking it for salt. I had to leave it in and add the salt. I reduced the sweetener quantity in the final dough hoping it wouldn't affect the soaking chemistry. This was the final composition of the soaker: 170 g whole wheat flour, 57 g rye flour, 11 g flaxseed (instead of 7) , 5 g salt, 4 g sugar (added by mistake). The biga was made of 170 g whole wheat flour, 7 g vital wheat gluten, 50 g all purpose flour, 0.25 t yeast. The dough had 50 g sunflower seeds, 50 g pepitas, 40 g, raisins, 40 g chopped apricots, 33 g chopped walnuts, 18 g sugar.  The other (regular) ingredients for the final dough were 56 g whole wheat flour, 7 g yeast, 5 g salt. Note that the combined weight of the seeds and nuts was quite a bit greater than specified in the book.

The wonderful kitchen at the beach house overlooking the ocean

The soaker, biga, and final dough ingredients carried in packets

Soaker and biga put together the first evening

I added about 2 teaspoons of olive oil so the bread would stay fresh longer. I also had to add a couple tablespoonfuls of water to get the right consistency for the dough.

Putting together the dough

Ready for first rise

After the first rise

After the first rise, I needed to delay baking, so I rounded and rested the dough for about half an hour. In the cooler temperature this wasn't too much.

Free form loaf in the absence of a loaf pan.

Proofed and ready for the oven

This was my first attempt baking with a convection oven, so I set the temperature at 325° F for 35 minutes (instead of 375° F for 35 - 45 minutes). However at the end of 35 minutes it didn't look done, so I put it back in at 350° F for another 10 minutes which seemed to do the trick. (I missed my digital thermometer) I used the steam pan method suggested in the book but I wonder if starting out at the low temperature dried out the bread.

Cooling on a makeshift cooking rack

Sliced thin quite nicely

Love the seeds and nuts in the crumb

The bread
The bread sliced thin quite nicely and tasted pretty darn good. I love the taste of the apricot bits in the bread. It was good toasted and spread with strawberry jam. Not a bread for savory sandwiches, but a good hearty snacking bread. It is somewhere between a holiday bread and a plainer seed bread.

Date: May 19, 2011
Recipe: Transitional German-Style Many Seed Bread from Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads

Flours: Whole wheat flour, rye flour, all purpose flour
Bread specific ingredients: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, golden raisins, dried apricots, flaxseeds (vital wheat gluten)
Sweetener used: Table sugar
Liquid: Water

First rise time: 105 minutes, followed by rounding and 30 minutes of resting
Proofing time: 70 minutes
Comments: See description above for measures. Added water and a little oil to get ingredients together. Need to learn more about baking in convection oven. Careful carrying flours through airport security next time. TSA officials might look at them suspiciously and want to put them through additional scanners.



  1. Heh. At first, I thought, "Interesting idea, taking pre-measured bread ingredients along on vacation."

    Then I scratched my head and said to myself, "Wait a minute: How is this easier than taking a recipe card?"

    I like the look of your bread, but I'm struggling with the pros and cons of what you're doing. This initially resonated with me because I am used to taking dehydrated food to the woods on a hiking/camping trip, where one has no access to supermarkets but you can still find potable water. But Oregon? They probably have supermarkets there.

    Wouldn't it be easier to buy flour there and leave some behind for the next person? Then again, who wants to waste vacation time standing in a supermarket line when you can be down at the beach with the ocean wind in your hair?

    Some people actually go on vacation to sample the foods of different places, but I find that hard to imagine. No, it just wouldn't be much of a holiday if you couldn't have home-made bread. :)

    My solution, of course, is just to never leave home...

  2. Hey Cellarguy.
    I wouldn't want to buy 3 lbs of rye flour when I only needed 56 grams...same for the rest. The beach house wasn't very close to supermarkets and any non-standard (read: flour) food left is taken (home?) by the cleaners, not left for the next renters. Also I would have felt at a loss without my digital scale. This was mostly a stay around the house vacation, so baking was a great way to be home, do what I enjoy doing, and have a house smelling of bread. And having pre-measured packets made baking a no-brainer on baking day.