German breads are often made with a combination of three or more flours, and loaves with grains and seeds are, also, very popular. Flaxseed breads are, therefore, one of the regulars in German bakery shelves.
My Leinsamenbrot, made with bread flour, rye and whole wheat, is a hearty bread with a pleasantly nutty taste and little crunch from the seeds.
Though whole flax seeds, even when thoroughly soaked, do not release much of their nutrients into our digestive system, the little brown specks give the bread an attractive look - and the fiber supports (to put it elegantly) bowel movement.
Like most German everyday breads, Leinsamenbrot makes good sandwiches with ham, salami or cheese, but tastes also good with jam or honey.
Different from Americans, Germans eat their sandwiches mostly open faced - only if they take it to work or school the cold cuts will be covered by a second slice of bread.
Brot backen" by Cornelia Zingerling.
It contains a lot of good recipes, though I "remastered" the techniques to more modern methods, utilizing pre-doughs and autolyse, as well as cold fermentation.
Leinsamenbrot is made with a soaker and biga. I like mixing the dough the day before and let it rise slowly overnight in the fridge.
This kills two birds with one stone, I don't have to wait for the rise, and I don't need to get up too early on baking day.
The heavy lifting being all done, I only take the dough out of the fridge 2 hours earlier to de-chill, and shape, proof and bake the breads.
But you can also prepare the biga in the evening, and the final dough on baking day, but the soaker should be mixed 24 hours earlier, so that the flax seeds have time enough to soften and absorb all the water they need.
To achieve the pretty star pattern, you need a large, star shaped cookie cutter.
|Scored with a smaller cookie cutter|
200 g whole rye flour
111 g whole wheat flour
5 g/1/2 tsp. salt
150 g whole flaxseeds
273 g buttermilk
33 g water
311 g bread flour
1 g/1/4 tsp. instant yeast
203 g water
all soaker and biga
78 g bread flour
7 g salt
7 g instant yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
19 g/1 tbsp. honey
15 g/1 tbsp. pumpkin seed oil (or other vegetable oil)
milk, for brushing
In the morning, stir together all soaker ingredients until well hydrated. Cover with plastic wrap, and leave at room temperature. (Soaker will become pretty stiff).
Mix together all biga ingredients at low speed (or with wooden spoon) for 1 - 2 minutes, until all flour is hydrated. Knead for 2 minutes at medium-low speed (or by hand).
Let dough rest for 5 minutes, then knead for 1 more minute. Place biga in lightly oiled bowl, turn around to coat with oil, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate (up to 3 days). Remove 2 hours before using, to warm up.
In the evening, mix together ingredients for final dough for 1 - 2 minutes on low speed, or by hand, until dough comes together. Knead for 4 minutes on medium-low speed. Dough should be slightly sticky, adjust with a bit more water as needed.
Let dough rest for 5 minutes, then resume kneading for another minute. Place dough in lightly oiled container, turn around to coat with oil. Cover, and refrigerate overnight. (I divide the dough at this point already into 2 portions and refrigerate them in 2 containers.)
|The dough has risen overnight in the fridge|
Remove dough from refrigerator 2 hours before using, to let it come to room temperature.
Shape dough into 2 boules, and place them, seam side down, on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with milk. Score them with a big star shaped cookie cutter. Spray breads with baking spray, and cover them with plastic wrap. (To learn how to shape your bread into a boule, click here.)
|Shaped (and cookie cutter scored) boules on baking sheet|
Let breads rise at room temperature for 45 - 60 minutes, or until they have grown to 1 1/2 times their original size. (Poke test: gently poke dough to make an indentation, it may slowly come back a bit, but should stay visible.)
Bake breads at 350ºF, steaming with 1 cup of boiling water. After 20 minutes, rotate breads 180 degrees, remove steam pan, and continue baking for another 20 - 25 minutes.
They should be a deep golden brown, sound hollow, when knocked on bottom, and register at least 195ºF (instant thermometer).
Let breads cool on wire rack.
|Breads at Hamfelder Hofladen, a farm bakery near Hamburg|
Submitted to YeastSpotting and BYOB