Thursday, May 26, 2011

Five-Grain Bread with Pate Fermentee (Mellow Bakers: May)

At the beginning of the month I think I have all the time in the world to make the breads I want to do that month, and then before I know it, the 31st is upon me!  This is always a busy month for me as I'm sure it is for alot of others.  I plant my flowers and herbs and the end of May is always strawberry picking time, at least here in Central Kentucky. 

During the beginning of the month I was enjoying my new copy of PR's Artisan Breads Every Day, making one recipe after another.  It was interesting that the last bread I made before attempting Hamelman's Five Grain Bread on page 129, was Reinhart's Many Seed Bread from ABED.  Both breads were very good, but I think I'm kind of leaning towards enjoying Hamelman's Five Grain bread the best.

I made my pate fermentee and soaker the night before I planned to bake the Five-Grain bread.  I could not find any rye chops for the soaker, which was no surprise to me, since so many other people cannot find them.  I did buy some whole rye berries from Whole Foods though, and attempted to chop them in my coffee grinder.  It didn't really work too well.  I pulsed a couple times, sifted, pulsed a couple times, sifted (to get out the powdery stuff).  Each time I opened the coffee grinder a 'cloud' of rye dust billowed out and it was kind of messy.  Even after numerous pulses there were still quite a few whole rye berries, but I knew I couldn't keep grinding or I'd have mostly rye dust, so I just dumped the sifted 'chops' along with some whole berries into my soaker bowl.  Since there were some whole berries, I decided to use boiling water in my soaker just to make sure they were softened enough.  I left the sunflower seeds out of the soaker and toasted them in the oven.  (For PR's Many Seed bread the sunflower and pumpkin seeds are lightly toasted and it tasted really good that way.)

The next day before I started mixing, I picked a rye berry out of the soaker to put in my mouth to see if it was soft enough and it was, so I was pleased with that.  My pate fermentee was huge and had bubbles formed on the surface of it, which was quite cool.  No problems mixing, folding, or shaping.  I made four rolls for dinner and one loaf that was a little over 1.5 pounds.  I did have some problems scoring the large loaf and it showed in the end that my scoring was not very good this time, but that didn't matter, because the flavor of this bread made up for any other deficiencies.  I took this picture the next day after baking, in the morning sunlight so you could see the inside:
My husband just loves this bread and so do I.  I haven't made any PB&J's with it because it just doesn't seem like they go together, but we've been making turkey/provolone sandwiches with it all week.  The crust and interior of the loaf is soft, which is kind of nice that I don't have to fight with the bread to rip off a piece to eat.  It makes great toast too!  We'll definitely be making this one again.

Of course the camera said my hand was shaking, but here's another shot of just one slice with the morning sun behind it,
 Thank you for visiting my blog and I hope you'll give this bread a try!


  1. Beautiful, Melanie! I love the morning sunlight crumb pictures! And hey, guess what? I have a turkey and provolone sandwich on JH's 5-grain packed in my lunchbox at this very second. ;-)

  2. It is really pretty! Is that a star pattern for your slashes? I think it looks good! Your crumb is great too.

    Just a question, but if you liked the flavor why not simply grind up that amount of rye berries and not worry about sifting. I think rye would have made mine taste a LOT better.

  3. Thank you guys! The scoring pattern is a box that's rounded at the corners. I should've put the sifted stuff back in with the final dough.

  4. Gorgeous looking loaf and rolls, Melanie! It looks very wholesome, with all that grainy goodness in there! :)