Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Flaxseed Bread (Mellow Bakers: April)

I baked my first bread from the sourdough rye section of Hamelman's book Bread yesterday.  I'm now keeping a second, rye starter to go along with Lucky, and its name is Rudy.  I know, the name thing is kinda silly, but right now it seems fun to name them.  My husband loves to know what I'm doing at all times, and so now when he asks what I'm up to, I can reply, 'Oh, just feeding Rudy' and he'll be satisfied with my comprehensive answer and not ask any more questions.

On to the bread.  I made the flaxseed bread from page 211 in the book.  I cut the recipe in half, like alot of others did and just made one loaf.  The violet was looking so pretty yesterday, so I included it in the picture for added color.
For the sourdough that I mixed together the night before baking, I used a 100% hydration rye starter that I'd been feeding whole rye flour.  Since its been so warm in the house, in the upper 70's, he was quite perky all week and after each feeding it puffed up nicely and probably doubled.  It was so cool to look thru the bottom of the bowl and see the intricate network of air pockets.

The flax soaker was also prepared the night before, however I did contemplate just soaking the flax for a couple hours in the morning to avert any gooeyness issues.  Here's the soaker after I added it to the other ingredients.  It kind of oozed as one big glob into my mixer bowl.   Could that creepy blob be used to garnish some kind of Halloween dish?

I had some trouble with my dough coming together in the mixer.  It was so sticky that even though I kept adding flour, the dough hook just wouldn't grab the dough and bring it together.  I was worried about adding too much flour and/or mixing it too long in the mixer so I stopped the mixer after ~ 3 1/2 min. and finished kneading by hand.  The first bulk fermentaion was 40-45 minutes and then came the shaping.  Right after shaping, I rolled my boule onto a damp cloth and then rolled it onto a plate of sesame seeds.  I probably didn't use more than a Tbsp of seeds as I knew that most of the seeds would end up on the floor or the counter when I sliced the bread anyway. 

After the final fermentation of exactly 60 minutes, I uncovered my boule, which I'd covered with plastic wrap and..... bummer!!  The surface of the dough had started to kind of tear, or pull apart on top.  I should have taken a picture, but I just didn't think to do it at the time.  I scored the loaf, still puzzled by the ripping phenomenon, and slid the parchment and boule onto my baking stone. 

The baking went great, and the top looked pretty good, except just a little rough where the surface of the dough had torn a little during final fermentation.  I searched in the rest of the Bread book trying to figure out what caused the tearing and spent the rest of the afternoon online looking at The Fresh Loaf site and the Mellow bakers site, trying to find a cause.  I dunno???  I thought one of the other Mellow Bakers, with sourdough expertise, might know what happened.  Was I too rough in shaping?  Did I add too much extra flour?

I didn't cut into the loaf until today as instructed.  It had nice flavor, although I couldn't taste the golden flax seeds the way I can in a loaf I make where the seeds are all ground before going into the dough.  It definitely had a nice tang to it and the crumb was not too chewy, not too soft, but just right for my turkey sandwich. 
Take a look at Joanna's post of her flaxseed sourdough rye at Zeb Bakes.  She has some wonderful pictures of the whole mixing/shaping/baking process that bring everything to life.

Thank you for visiting my blog!


  1. Just left a comment and a pic of the 'tearing' dough on Mellow Bakers for you! Thanks for the mention. If you look at my pic of it sitting in the banneton it is tearing away in there. The trick is to put the 'torn' side on the bottom when you bake. I wish I'd remembered the sesame seeds like you, they make a beautiful contrast and I would tuck into your loaf with gusto - but this is one of my favourite loaves :)

  2. Nice boule shape, and the crumb looks really good too! Hope you enjoy it!

  3. The flaxseed bread really looks tasty where you sliced the bread.
    I like your picture and heading at the top of the blog page--Mel's Home Baking adventures.
    Your write-up on the flaxseed bread is well written and shows imagination. You are talented indeed.

  4. I agree with Joanna...your picture looks great with the sesame seeds...I'll have to try that next time. Mmm turkey favorite thing to do with these loaves! =)

  5. Great post! this looks delicious and healthy.Definitely organic flaxseed bread is low in carbs, making it a good choice to have in bread when you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

  6. Hi, nice post. Well what can I say is that these is an interesting and very informative topic. Thanks for sharing your ideas, its not just entertaining but also gives your reader knowledge. Good blogs style too, Cheers!
    If you are looking for an all natural Flaxseed Bread to enjoy with your sandwich, we sell some of the best-tasting, Genuine Bavarian Flaxseed Bread on the market.- The flaxseed bread