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 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
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.