This is my first bread for the Mellow Bakers this month – Hamelman’s Five-Grain Bread. I knew from other fellow bakers that this was an awesome bread (see here, here and here), so I was pretty sure I would love it too. And yes, I did! This bread is delicious! Even my kids loved it and asked me to bake it again very soon. My 7-year-old daughter asked me if this was a healthy bread, and I said “Yes, it is!”. She replied “Cool, yummy AND healthy. Really cool!” (yes, we use this English expression in German, too ;-)).
This bread starts with a cold soaker where you combine rolled oats, flaxseed, wheat bran, cornmeal and water. As I haven’t read through the theoretical part of the book yet, I had no idea how long the soaker was supposed to be soaking, so I checked some other mellow bakers’ posts and found time spans from 2 hours till overnight. I went with the overnight version.
The next day I mixed bread flour, some vital wheat gluten, whole-wheat flour, whole-rye flour, water, oil, eggs, salt, yeast, and the soaker. I let it rise for 2 hours with 2 folds after 40 and 80 minutes (the recipe calls for one fold only, but I thought the dough was rather slack and it wouldn’t hurt to fold the dough one more time). Then, I divided the dough in half (I made only 2/3 of the recipe), shaped the pieces and put one piece in my loaf pan and the other piece in my rectangular banneton. I let them rise for about 2 hours, meanwhile I preheated the oven. When I slid the banneton bread on my baking sheet it spread quite a lot, which I was a little disappointed by. I baked the breads at 460°F for 40 minutes.
The smell was great and and the taste even more! Interestingly, the bread from the banneton and the one from the loaf pan are quite different in that the loaf pan bread is more like a rather soft sandwich bread whereas the other bread is a bread with a crunchy crust and a dense crumb. I like both versions very much!!!