Monday, May 2, 2011

An Extremely Modified Transitional Multigrain Hearth Bread

Multigrain Bread
I love whole grains. More and more I find that white bread without at least 15% whole wheat is just too bland and I savor anything above 50% whole grains, with the 70% Whole Wheat Tartine Loaf being my favorite bread that I've made. I realized recently that I have a lot of unbleached starter sitting around and I needed to use it for something. So I decided to make Peter Reinhart's Transitional Multigrain Hearth Bread from Whole Grain Breads which is one of the few multigrain breads I have seen that does not require high gluten flour.. Instead of the Biga, I used my white starter.
Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads: New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor
Here is how I modified the recipe (it is now about 71% water instead of 61%):
Day 1: Soaker and Starter
  • 170g water
  • 56.5g red whole wheat flour
  • 56.5g rolled oats (I used steel cut by accident)
  • 56.5g semolina flour (I didn't have any cornmeal around)
  • 42.5g white whole wheat flour
  • 7g flax seeds, whole or ground (I used toasted whole flax seeds)
  • 7g wheat or oat bran
  • 4 salt
  1. Mix soaker ingredients together in a bowl for about 1 minute. It will form a dough that resembles thick porrage.
  2. Cover loosely with plastic wrap at room temperature for 12-24 hours.
  • 200g mature starter (unbleached flour)
  • 100g unbleached bread flour
  • 128g water
  • 28g whole wheat flour
  1. Blend ingredients together until fully hydrated.
  2. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours.
Day 2:
Final Dough
  • 456g starter (all of it)
  • 400g soaker (all of it)
  • 100g whole wheat flour
  • 5g salt
  • 20g sunflour seeds
  • 20g pumpkin seeds
  • 20g sesame seeds
  • You may need a little bit of extra whole wheat flour for adjustments
Two hours before making the dough
  1. Take the starter out of the refrigerator
  2. Toast the sunflower, pumpkin, and sesame seeds. Let them cool.
For the final dough
  1. Mix together the starter and soaker until fully combined. Warning: this was an oddly challenging process, but it does work. I used a danish dough whisk. The dough will be very wet and sticky.
  2. Add in the whole wheat flour a little bit at a time and mix it into the dough.
  3. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.
  4. Mix in the salt and the seeds. Make sure the dough fully absorbs the salt.
  5. Using wet hands (the dough is very sticky) need the dough for two to three minutes.
  6. Use the Peter Reinhart stretch-and-fold technique, but do two stretch and folds in a row every ten minutes for 40 minutes. This dough is very troublesome. Note that it will probably not come completely together until the second stretch and fold and it should become significantly silkier by the fourth stretch and fold. [1]
  7. Let the dough rise between 78-82 degrees for four hours. Do a stretch-and-fold after the first, second, and third hours of the rise.
  8. After four hours, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and fold it in half so both sides are lightly floured.
  9. Then gently stretch it into a rectangle. Fold it up 2/3 of the way, and then fold the left side over 2/3 of the way. Fold the right side directly over the left side and pull the top down over the bottom to develop surface tension. Turn the dough seam side down and let rest under a large overturned bowl.
  10. Let the dough bench rest for 20 minutes.
  11. If the gluten structure seems weak, repeat this process again. If the dough spreads out with fairly even thickness, proceed to the final shaping.
  12. Shape the dough any way you like for the final shaping. I decided to make a large batard. My shaping skills are pretty terrible, so I would suggest looking at some videos (e.g. Bread Cetera) for shaping suggestions. Place in a banneton or in a bowl or pan lined with a floured dishcloth.
  13. Let the dough sit out at room temperature for 1 hour under plastic wrap or similar
  14. Then, place the dough in the refrigerator for 8-16 hours.
Day 3:
  1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees with a combo cooker or brothpot and stone. 
  2. Take the bread out of the refrigerator 20 minutes before you are ready to bake.
  3. When you are ready to bake, turn the bread onto a floured peel and score it.
  4. Put the oven down to 450 degrees F and bake under steam for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Remove the lid for keeping the steam in and bake for another 20-30 minutes until the outside of the bread is a rich brown and the internal temperature reads 212 degrees F.
  6. Wait at least 1 hour before slicing.

The bread is great. It's very hearty and seedy and it has a lovely, rich, nutty flavor. I will most definitely make it again.

I am sending this into Yeast Spotting. I hope it doesn't look like too much of an ugly duckling among the beautiful breads.

  1. I did mixing techniques by trial and error which is why I don't think my bread rose as much as it could have it did not develop quite the crumb I was hoping. I am hoping to have better luck with this technique as written.


  1. This bread sounds great---we used to pay a small fortune at the farmer's market for a bread like this. We'd have it toasted with our morning coffee and feel very healthy. Nice job! I looked on Yeast Spotting but didn't know how to find you.

  2. Hi! I'm having a linky party called A Themed Baker's Sunday where this weeks theme is bread! I would love for you to join! Hope to see you there!

  3. The YeastSpotting was just put up and I am in it! Yay!