Thursday, November 17, 2011

Five-Grain Sourdough w/ Rye Sourdough (Mellow Bakers: November)

I decided to bake the Five-Grain Sourdough first this month for mellow bakers, since I hadn't used by starter to bake with in awhile and  I was eager to try it after reading Cathy's post on this bread.  She did an excellent post of this bread here and like her, I didn't have any rye chops so I thought it an excellent idea to use rye flakes, which I have, and to make a cold soaker as opposed to a hot one.

I chose to cut the recipe in half for this one, whereas Cathy made the whole recipe, and since it was a cold soaker I decided it wasn't necessary to include the salt in it.  I added the salt in when I mixed up the final dough.  I included some process pictures below for fun, since the shaping process went smoothly and I was in the mood for taking lots of pictures.  I'm also trying to learn how to use Picasa to do fun things like making collages and this gives me more practice.

The top left picture is the dough just after pre-shaping.  I used ~ 2lbs of the dough for my batard and since I only had 8 ounces left, I decided what the heck, rolls would be nice for dinner.  So with the 8 oz piece of dough, I made two little 4 oz dinner rolls.
I folded the dough for my batard just like Cathy did, except that I added the 4 or 5 extra steps that JH includes in his book Bread on page 72, which is what I was doing in the bottom left picture.  I finished the final shaping of my batard and the rolls and transferred them to a piece of parchment on my peel, covered them for their final fermentation, and then scored them after ~ 70 minutes.  Since Cathy liked her loaf with the single score down the middle I went with that one too.  I tried snipping my rolls w/ the scissors for scoring, but the slits actually just closed right back up when they baked :( 
It's always fun to see just what shape the bread is going to assume after scoring it, since for the home bread baker like me,  the scoring is a constant struggle and learning process.  On this one my bread opened WAY up, and it looked pretty neat.  It almost kind of looked like it had an 'ear' on top, but I'm not really sure.  Regardless of whether the scoring was correct, hubby and I thought it looked wonderful and possibly like I'd just gone and picked it up from the corner artisan bread bakery :)
The loaf was soft inside, but the crust is firm and just slightly crunchy, which hubby said was a good thing.  We couldn't really taste much tang from the sourdough component, but it does have a mellow, nutty quality.  I made the loaf on the day I did, with the hopes that it might make good grilled cheese sandwiches to go w/ homemade tomato soup the next night.  It tasted super as 'grilled cheese bread', and I think I'll probably make this one again, as it is quite tasty.  The batard shape made it much easier to get nice sandwich slices from it, which can be more difficult when I shape the loaf as a round boule.
Mmmmmmm, it doesn't get much better than grilled cheese and tomato soup on a rainy, cold evening after a difficult day at the office (for hubby)!


  1. I agree: your batard looks just like you picked it up at the local bakery! :) And so glad to know that it worked as grilled cheese bread because that is just what I had planned. What tomato soup recipe do you use?

  2. Beautiful loaf, Mel! Love how red your soup is too, would have been very warming on a cold night! :)