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.
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!
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!