Five-Grain Sourdough with Rye Sourdough

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Dough Yield: About

    31

    loaves at 1.5 lb each

Appears in

Bread

By Jeffrey Hamelman

Published 2004

  • About

Although this Bread has a Full 75 Percent White Flour, when eaten it has a delicious whole-grain taste, thanks to both the soaker and the sourdough. The white flour provides a strong structure that gives the finished bread a surprising lightness—and with 33 percent of the flour weight being heavy grains, you might not expect such an open texture to the finished loaves. This bread also has excellent keeping quality, due in part to the high moisture retention of both the soaker and the sourdough. Cracked rye is called for in the formula, and since it does not soften easily with cold water, boiling water is used to make the soaker. Rye chops can be used in lieu of the cracked rye, in which case a cold soaker can be prepared. Grains absorb more water when a soaker is hot, however, so if making a cold soaker check the hydration carefully when mixing the final dough. At first glance, there appears to be too much salt in the formula. However, the 2.2 percent salt in the overall formula is based on the combined weight of the rye and white flour. The soaked grains, too, need an addition of salt, and the total amount used in the formula is therefore in balance.

Pre-Fermented Flour: 25%

Ingredients

Overall Formula

U.S. Metric Home Baker’s %
Whole-Rye Flour 5 lb 2.5 kg 8 oz 25 %
Bread Flour 15 lb 7.5 kg 1 lb, 8 oz 75 %
Flaxseeds 1.8 lb .9 kg 2.9 oz 9 %
Cracked Rye 1.8 lb .9 kg 2.9 oz 9 %
Sunflower Seeds 1.5 lb .75 kg 2.4 oz 7.5 %
Oats 1.5 lb .75 kg 2.4 oz 7.5 %
Honey .3 lb .15 kg .5 oz 1.5 %
Water 19.8 lb 9.9 kg 1 lb, 14.4 oz 99 %
Salt .44 lb .22 kg .7 oz 2.2 %
Yeast .36 lb, fresh .18 kg, fresh .19 oz, instant dry 1.8 %
Total Yield 47.5 lb 23.75 kg 4 lb, 10.4 oz 237.5 %

Rye Sourdough

Whole-Rye Flour 5 lb 2.5 kg 8 oz (2⅛ cups) 100 %
Water 4.15 lb 2.075 kg 6.7 oz ( cup) 83 %
Mature Sourdough Culture .25 lb .125 kg .4 oz (1 T + 1 tsp) 5 %
Total 9.4 lb 4.7 kg 15.1 oz

Hot Soaker

Flaxseeds 1.8 lb .9 kg 2.9 oz (½ cup) 27.3 %
Cracked Rye 1.8 lb .9 kg 2.9 oz ( cup) 27.3 %
Sunflower Seeds 1.5 lb .75 kg 2.4 oz (½ cup) 22.7 %
Oats 1.5 lb .75 kg 2.4 oz (¾ cup) 22.7 %
Salt .44 lb .22 kg .7 oz ( tsp) 6.7 %
Water, Boiling 8.25 lb 4.125 kg 13.2 oz (1⅝ cups) 125 %
Total 15.29 lb 7.645 kg 1 lb, 8.5 oz

Final Dough

Bread Flour 15 lb 7.5 kg 1 lb, 8 oz ( cups)
Water 7.4 lb 3.7 kg 10.5 oz (1⅜ cups)
Yeast .36 lb, fresh .18 kg, fresh .19 oz, instant dry ( tsp)
Honey .3 lb .15 kg .5 oz (2 tsp)
Soaker 15.29 lb 7.645 kg 1 lb, 8.5 oz (all of above)
Sourdough 9.15 lb 4.575 kg 14.7 oz (all of above minus 1 T + 1 tsp)
Total 47.5 lb 23.75 kg 4 lb, 10.4 oz

Method

  1. SOURDOUGH: Prepare the sourdough and ripen it for 14 to 16 hours at 70°F.
  2. SOAKER: Prepare the soaker at the same time the sourdough is made. Boil the water in a covered pot to avoid loss of moisture, then pour the grains and salt into the water and stir until everything is moistened. Cover the pot with plastic and let stand at room temperature. The boiling water will activate the enzymes in the grains, so the salt is added to this soaker to inhibit excess enzymatic activity.
  3. MIXING: Add all the ingredients to the mixing bowl. In a spiral mixer, mix for 3 minutes on first speed, checking the hydration once the ingredients are incorporated. The dough should be moderately loose and somewhat sticky. Turn the mixer to second speed and mix for 3 to 4 minutes. In spite of the soaker and sourdough, a reasonable amount of gluten development should be noted when the dough is tugged. Desired dough temperature: 78°F.
  4. BULK FERMENTATION: 1 hour, with no folds.
  5. DIVIDING AND SHAPING: Divide into 1.5- or 2-pound pieces; shape round or oblong. Shaping gives the baker a final opportunity to strengthen the dough. Shape these loaves tightly, but avoid tearing the outer surface. It’s a big effort for the bread to lift all those grains; good shaping brings strength back into the loaves so that when baked they have good volume and crumb texture.
  6. FINAL FERMENTATION: 50 to 60 minutes at 80°F.
  7. BAKING: With normal steam, 460°F for 15 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 440°F and bake for about 30 minutes for a 1.5-pound loaf, 8 to 10 minutes more for a 2-pound loaf. The honey in the dough might cause it to color too quickly, particularly on the bottom of the loaves. The oven temperature can be lowered further, or the loaves can finish the bake on sheet pans to protect them from excess coloring.