Multigrain Bread Recipe

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Bouchon Bakery (The Thomas Keller Library)A soaker is baker-speak for whole grains and seeds that are soaked in water before being added to the dough. Here we use rolled oats, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, and quinoa. The most important step in making this multigrain bread is adding the soaker at the very end of mixing; adding it too early will interfere with the dough’s gluten development, resulting in a flatter, denser bread.

  • Yield: 2 Batards or 3 Demi-Baguettes

Ingredients

Soaker for Batards
  • ¼ cup + 2½ tbsp (33 g) Rolled oats
  • 3 tbsp + 2 tsp (33 g) Sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup (33 g) Hulled sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup + 1 tsp (33 g) Flaxseeds
  • 2 tbsp + 2½ tsp (33 g) Quinoa
  • ¼ cup + 3 tbsp (100 g) Cold water
Soaker and Demi-Baguettes
  • 3½ tbsp (18 g) Rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp (18 g) Sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp + 1 tsp (18 g) Hulled sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp + 1 tsp (18 g) Flaxseeds
  • 10.4 tbsp (18 g) Quinoa
  • 3 tbsp + 2 tsp (54 g) Cold water
Dough for Batards
  • 2 cups + 3½ tbsp (311 g) All-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup (89 g) Whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsp (44 g) Rye flour
  • 0.12 tsp (3 g) Instant yeast
  • 4.1 ounces (89 g) Liquid Levain
  • 1 cup + 5 tbsp (311 g) Water, at 75°F/23.8°C
  • 1¾ tsp (10 g) Fine sea salt
How to Make It
    For the Soaker
  1. Combine the oats and all the seeds in a medium bowl. Pour in the water and mix well. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
  2. To mix the Dough
  3. Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray. Place all the flours and the yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook and give it a quick mix on the lowest setting to combine the flours and to distribute the yeast evenly. Make a well in the center, add the levain and water, and mix on low speed for 3 minutes. Sprinkle the salt over the top and mix on low speed for 1 minute to dissolve the salt. Continue to mix on low for 20 minutes.
  4. Add the seeds and any water remaining in the bowl and mix on low just to incorporate.
  5. Fermentation
  6. The dough is now in the fermentation stage. Set a timer for 1 hour. Using a bowl scraper, release the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured board. Pat, stretch, and fold the dough and place in the prepared bowl. Cover and set aside.
  7. Meanwhile, set up your baking stone and kit and preheat the oven to 460°F.
  8. To Divide, Preshape, and Shape the Dough
  9. Spread a linen cloth on a large cutting board or on the back of a sheet pan. Flour the linen.
  10. Use the bowl scraper to release the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured board. Gently pat the dough into a rectangular shape, removing any large bubbles and adding flour only as needed to keep the dough from sticking to the board. Divide the dough into two 550-gram/19.4-ounce portions for batards or three 200-gram/7-ounce portions for demi-baguettes.
  11. Preshape short for batards) or long for demi-baguettes. Let rest for 15 minutes.
  12. Shape for batards or demi-baguettes and lay the loaves on the linen. Fold or bunch the linen to create small walls on both sides of each loaf to help maintain the shape as the dough proofs.
  13. To Proof the Dough
  14. Cover with a plastic tub or a cardboard box and let proof for 1 hour, or until when the dough is delicately pressed with a finger, the impression remains.
  15. To Bake the Bread
  16. Using the linen, move the dough, one piece at a time, to the transfer peel, seam side up, and then to the oven peel, seam side down, spacing them evenly. Score the batards by making a single cut down the center or the demi- baguettes by making 3 cuts down the center.
  17. Transfer the bread to the baking stone. Immediately spray water onto the steam generator (rocks and chain). Quickly shut the oven door and bake demi-baguettes for 15 minutes, batards for 20 minutes, or until the bread feels lighter than you’d expect for its size and the internal temperature is 200° to 210°F/93.3° to 98.8°G.
  18. Let cool completely on a cooling rack.
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