Tag Archives: paté fermentée

Jeffrey Hamelman’s Sunflower Seed Bread with Paté Fermentée

Hamelman's Sunflower Seed Bread with Paté Fermentée

I recently made the Sunflower Bread with Paté Fermentée from Jeffrey Hamelman’s book Bread as I have got a bit behind lately with Mellow Bakers, the group that is slowly but surely doing its best to bake all the recipes in the book. This is one of those breads that is full of grains, so if you are a seedy person then it’s another variation to try.

I am not quite sure why this one came out so flat in profile. When I sliced into it it was reasonably aerated and I don’t think it was overproved, but it didn’t do much in the way of rising at any point so I think it was the load of grains, soaked chopped rye, sunflower seeds and some linseed that I added as I was short on sunflower seeds.

Hamelman's Sunflower Seed Bread with Paté Fermentée Crumb shot

So far it’s been fine, but maybe this bread could have done with ten per cent very strong flour in the mix to give it a bit more lift. I was using Shipton No 1 for the flour in this one. Who knows? I’ll have to check out what the others made of this one when I post the link over on the Mellow Bakers forum.  It’s been a while since I made a seeded loaf and I think there are other recipes which are less faff than this one and give you a similar if not better result than this one.

I also bake these breads at a lower temperature than Hamelman gives, simply because I don’t like these grainy breads to have very hard crusts. Any grains that are in the crust area then get super hard and are not pleasant to eat unless you have the teeth of a rodent. More people crack teeth on hard grains in bread than anything else according to my dentist. The trademarked ‘Granary’ in the UK being the worst culprit for this or so she says, not my words, hers!

Hamelman's Sunflower Seed Bread with Paté Fermentée and bacon

I am not convinced that just soaking the chopped rye (which forms a hefty component of this dough)  in cold water for four hours softens them enough either. Another time I would use warm water or gently simmer them to make sure they soften up and maybe soak them overnight in some fruit juice or ale as Dan Lepard does to great effect in his grain breads in the Handmade Loaf.

All the same this made a moist and tasty seedy loaf that improved in flavour and texture on the second day and was lovely with a rasher of middle cut bacon.

The sun came out for this shot!

Just a footnote: I wrote a couple of posts about this book (which is my second most useful bread book)  a while back and I also came across this thread on the Fresh Loaf, which might also be of interest.  It seems to imply that the most recent edition has had all the errors corrected. However, the only way to be sure that you get the most recent edition is to check the printing number at the front, and if you are ordering from an online supplier, they may well have old stock.

Patée Fermentée – For some reason this bread made with five different grains came out gloriously – so have a peek at that one if you want to see seedy loveliness!

Country Bread – Hamelman Style

country bread hamelmanCountry Bread is my second bread this November for Mellow Bakers. The others are the Horst Bandel rye bread and a brioche which I am saving for the end of the month.

If you want to join in with this escapade,  you can get advice, give advice, and talk bread in general on the Mellow Bakers forum. We’re very nice and friendly, jump in at any time, bake any of the breads you fancy, either one for this month or a previous one. Then post on a blog or on the forum direct. You can upload pics if you feel like it. And if you need cheering up,  you can always visit the bread disaster thread too and see my very first loaves.

The Country Bread is a plain dough made with white bread flour, water, yeast and salt.There are no enrichments, no milk to sweeten and soften the crumb, no butter or oil to coat the gluten strands, no egg, no malts.

The recipe uses a paté fermentée, as we have done previously when making Rustic Bread, or for pizza. I quite like using old dough in new dough usually but on this occasion I wasn’t that excited by it if I’m honest, the difference between this bread and the Rustic Bread is gigantic.

sticky dough country bread hamelman

One of those wet and sticky doughs...

Tiny amounts of yeast, long prefermentation of half the flour in the final dough, fairly wet, quite a lot wetter than the doughs we have been making up to now. Needs lots of stretches and folds to bring it under control and I suspect the temperature control is fairly important too otherwise your timings go way off. Drop the dough temperature by four degrees and your proof time will need to be extended and so on.

I used my local supermarket, Waitrose Organic strong bread flour for this bread. You need something with a reasonably good gluten level to cope with the long prove time.

The loaves I made here are certainly good enough to eat, but in a way they remind me of loaves I made when I started out. They stuck a little in the banettons, probably because I dusted them with wheat flour and not rye flour and they spread a lot when I inverted them onto the peel, the knife dragged when I slashed them so I knew they weren’t going to open up properly. They recovered fairly well in the oven; the Angel of Spring doing her thing as always.

If this had been one of the first breads I had made I would be really pleased with this – but I know I can make better tasting bread than this. So before  anyone says, oh they look fine, I agree!  Yes they do look fine and rustic and all that sort of thing, I am not complaining, just telling you how it tastes from where I am, the photos don’t tell the whole story after all and sometimes the photos make the breads look better than they really are.

Great texture, shame about the flavour

Taste wise:-  This is a bland bread with a good open crumb, irregular holes and a chewy crust. Maybe it needs a little more salt, maybe I should have added some of my sourdough starter to it to give it some flavour, it needs something, the long pre-ferment didn’t do anything for it tastewise.

The biggest effect of the long pre-ferment and proves is on the texture of the bread, which is very similar to what one get with a white sourdough. So if you want a bread with the open, slightly chewy texture of a typical sourdough but a very mild flavour this is the one for you. It’s not the one for me. If I’m going to spend that much time monitoring a dough, stretching and folding and so on, I want to get great bread, not just a good enough bread.

… Looking forward to making that brioche, a few quick marches to burn off the calories first…..

Rustic Bread – one of those ‘old into new’ breads

Cheddar cheese, baby spinach leaves, tomato and balsamic apple chutney on Rustic Bread

This bread is made with a paté fermentée, or old dough: a firm mixture of flour, water, a very small amount of yeast and salt prepared anything up to 24 hours before you mix the final dough. Why do bakers do this?

The conventional wisdom is that you are prefermenting some of the flour in the bread – in this recipe that’s half of the total flour in the final bread, and therefore the final bread will be more digestible, flavoursome and will keep better.   It is also a way of keeping the yeast alive and storing it from one bake to the next in the absence of refrigeration.

The next day, following the recipe, I mixed the remaining flours, white, wholemeal and rye with water, more salt, a touch more yeast, then cut up the paté fermentée into chunks and….

…went to work.   Mixing an all white firm dough into a new lot of mixed flour dough was a challenge. My hand dough whisk wasn’t up to the task so it was a case of taking a good stance and kneading hard for once!   I worked away on this dough for a good 22 minutes in an attempt to blend the all white paté fermentée into the mixed flour dough.   Once I settled down to slapping the dough around to integrate the two parts I was happy but I hadn’t anticipated how hard it would be, and it threw the timings out. No nice and easy light kneads for this bread!  Another time I think I might mix the paté fermentée with half of all the flours, so that at least it would be the same proportions of flours in each of the two doughs. Or go and buy a mixer…. expensive though aren’t they?

I used two sorts of Waitrose flour:  look where it comes from!

and the stoneground wholemeal bread flour, from Canada too. The very strong white flour was mixed with some of Shipton Mill’s bakers finest white which is not as high in protein but has many good qualities and I had some organic dark rye from the Mill as well.

What else was a bit different?

I added some  whey from my last batch of yoghurt in the final dough but only a small potful, about half the final water weight. I think it adds to the umami flavours of the crust and I have a feeling it speeds up the fermentation – the dough was very lively all the way through, producing huge gas bubbles and I needed to control them with several long big folds as I don’t do punching down.

I made a round boule and an oval loaf, and used a couple of forms dusted with rye flour to hold them while they proved. They were hopping out of these after an hour and 15 minutes. I hoped that they would both fit on the stone, but I realised when I ‘outed’ the first one that I was going to have to do a bit of juggling as they wouldn’t fit. So I started one on the stone, moved it up to the little top oven after 20 minutes, and then put the next one in down below. It all worked out ok in the end.

Here they are just starting their final prove

Like Abby says it wasn’t that easy to slash and I attempted an over ambitious pattern on the round one which went a bit awry.

Cooling down in the garden

English people tend to prefer paler crusts, but I am a big fan of the taste of these dark crusts and the contrast with the airy, creamy crumb flecked with the bran from the stoneground wholemeal flour.  Good crust and a light crumb that didn’t squash together when you sliced it.  Great aroma too  –  I wish WordPress did ‘scratch and sniff’ but maybe one day….

The CBT said it was ‘yummy’ and promptly ate 4 slices so I don’t think it is going to hang around for long. He says it is one to make again and I think he is right :)

I did my own windowpane test to see what the slice looked like. You can see the way that the two doughs didn’t mix perfectly, and that there was the odd huge bubble that got through to the final bread.

Rustic Bread by Zeb Bakes

The recipe for this Rustic Bread can be found in Bread by Jeffrey Hamelman.

3 down…..and a few more to go! I’m enjoying this!