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I love sunflower seeds. They are delicious, nutritious, and have a very happy name that makes me smile whenever I eat them. So, when I saw this next bread I was overjoyed to be using them in this recipe. By now, I have already baked and eaten my weight in rye breads, but somehow the sunflower seeds just makes this next one seem less disheartening. This is bread recipe #35 in The Bread Baker's Apprentice book by Peter Reinhart, and according to Mr Reinhart, this recipe is an adaptation of Craig Ponsford's 1995 Coup du Monde team. Mr Reinahrt uses both a soaker, a wild yeast starter, and commercial yeast, but if you ahve been following along while I am doing this Challenge, you will see that I am attempting all of his recipes using only wild yeast. As per the rules of the Challenge, I will not post the recipe, but you can follow along on page 249 in the book, or find a copy here.
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So, my wild yeast:"Adam" is alive and kicking on the left, along with the rye soaker left overnight on the right.

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The next day, the soaker, Adam, and the rest of the final dough ingredients gets to be all cozy together into a tacky but not sticky ball.

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Now here is where the good stuff goes in- the addition of toasted sunflower seeds. The smell of toasted sunflower seeds made me a little crazy when they came out of the oven, because I was eating a kernel here and there while they were cooling off. So, I may have had slightly less seeds in the final bread than the recipe called for.

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After I managed to incorporate all the seeds into the flour, the dough cam together rather nicely. It was left to bulk ferment until almost doubled in size. For me, that actually took about 5 hours.

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After bulk fermenting, the dough was then divided into two and shaped into the "couronne" loaves as you can see. They were then left to rise again until almost doubled in volume and to be put into a screaming hot oven.(500 degreesF along with poring boiling water into a pan) I then lowered the oven temp to 450 degrees F and continued baking until done-- around 25 mins or so.

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The final loaves were beautiful and oh so tasty. I found the sunflower seed taste to be just as "loyal" as Mr Reinhart says, and the slices were perfect as an accompaniment to cheese and wine. Who knew sunflowers and rye would be such a delicious combo. I will definitely be making this one again!
yeastpotted

 
 
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So, here is another rye recipe from The Bread Baker's Apprentice. I am one of many people across the online community of bakers who is participating in the BBA Challenge, only I am planning to do all if not most of the bread recipes using wild yeast only. As per the rules of the challenge, I am not posting the recipe but in case you still don't have your copy of the book you can find an adapted version here. This is bread number 34, and If you have been keeping up, I have been really impressed by the rye bread recipes so far. Not being a huge fan of rye breads in the past, I am slowly re-thinking my distaste for rye breads. I always thought of Pumpernickel bread as being dark from the color of the rye itself, but it appears that is not the case at all.
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This is a 2 day bread using a wild yeast starter, and in my case ONLY wild yeast. "Adam", (my wild yeast) was refreshed and bubbled away like a champ.

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The recipe also says to use bread crumbs,preferably rye bread crumbs. I had some leftover rye bread from the previous rye bread and toasted and then ground coarsely for texture as was recommended by Reinhart.

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Here is the final dough kneaded and oiled-- ready for the initial rise. This one was also not over-kneaded so as not to make the rye become "gummy".

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The second rise took forever. I waited for 7 hours before putting the loaf into the oven, and it still didn't have an impressive rise. I don't know if that is the nature of rye flour or not, but so far, none of the rye breads had an impressive spring.

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This loaf was very chewy and dense with a heavy crumb. I now understand why as a kid I always saw pumpernickel breads sliced so thin. Also, Reinhart was absolutely spot on about the addition of day old bread to improve the texture, which seemed give a interesting crunch that was unexpected. The tasty loaf was probably my favorite so far and quite difficult to resist when hot from the oven. yeastspotted.

 
 
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I was actually a little intimidated when I first thought of making this bread. In case you've missed out, I have been baking my way through the cookbook: The Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart. This bread, which is on the cover of his book, mimics the bread Lionel Poilane made famous from his family recipe. We went to Paris and found one of Poilane's bakery in the St Germain district and were completely blown away by his breads. In fact, we were so excited when we smelled the aroma, we had eaten all of the bread and forgotten to take pictures. So, you can imagine the fear and the delight when I saw this recipe in the book and thought about recreating such an iconic delight. What I really loved about this recipe is that Peter goes into the explanation using "clear flour" which is not easy to obtain here in the States, but he says to sift the bran from whole wheat to get a similar product.Follow along on page 242 or you can find the recipe here.
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Since I did not have any clear flour, I took the time to sift whole wheat flour into a bowl. I was actually amazed at how much bran was left behind, and almost felt guilty leaving it out. But, I knew I could save it for another application elsewhere.

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Here is the firm sponge mixed with my starter:"Adam" and left to ferment for a few hours. I then refrigerated it overnight to retard slowly.

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The next day I cut the starter blob into several pieces and waited about an hour to take the chill off. I then mixed the final dough ingredients along with the now room temp starter into a soft, pliable dough.

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The dough should be tacky but not sticky. The dough was then left to rise until it doubled. For me this took about 5 hours or so.

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After the dough had risen I then gently formed the dough into a free form boule to rise againtil it reached 1.5 times it's initial size,

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Here is the risen dough slashed and ready to go into a preheated oven at 500 degrees. I used the spray method to create steam in the oven and reduced the oven temp to 450. After 25 mins, I then rotated the loaf and reduced the temp again to 425 degrees an baked until it was a deep golden brown. (about 30mins longer)

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This bread tasted really wonderful. There was a lovely nutty flavor and yet the wheatiness was less apparent than in other whole wheat breads that I 'd baked. Of course to me, Poilane's bread in Paris was so much better-- but maybe that's because I was in Paris. Yeastspotted

 
 
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This bread was a little misleading. If you want the bread to be totally all rye, then your barm has to be made from all rye. I use "Adam" (my wild yeast sourdough starter), and it is made of 100% whole wheat. At any rate, to say that this bread is dense, is an understatement. I have so little experience using rye flour and as per Reinhart's instructions, I tried to knead the dough as little as possible without kneading too much. It was definitely harder than I thought. However, to be quite honest, the flavor really surprised me. The rye had an almost "sweet" and creamy taste and texture and I have to say, it was less offensive than I thought it would be. So, if you are like me, and have a dislike for rye, this might be a good recipe to try. You can follow along in the book(The Breadbaker's Apprentice) on page 239, or if not, try to see it here.
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Here is my starter, Adam bubbling away once again. Adam is actually a whole wheat starter culture, but I refreshed him using rye flour. The initial "barm" as Peter calls it only a half cup, and that's the only non-rye ingredient involved otherwise. If you are a purist, he tells you how to make a barm using only rye flour here.

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Here is the final dough after mixing the starter with the soaker(half cup rye flour and half cup water left overnight) and the remaining ingredients. In the book, Peter explains that you can actually knead the dough too much because the rye has far less gluten than wheat. You will find that the actual kneading will be stickier than most of the breads that you are used to making.

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So in the end, the shaped loaf has not risen much-- only about 1.5 times larger. I found also that there was not much oven spring in the final baking of the bread as well. However, the taste was way better than expected.

 
 
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For those of you who know of my keen dislike of rye bread, this particular bread might make me change my attitude just a little. The savory additions of onions really stole the show for me in this particular loaf. If you are still with me from the beginning, you should know that I am baking my way through the book: The Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart, and joining the many others who have embarked on this challenge. My personal twist is that I am attempting to do all of his recipes using only wild yeast. This rye bread is actually not half bad as rye bread goes, but, again, I am not a rye bread fan, and this IS a challenge after all, right? If you are following along in the book, we are now on page 236, or you can find the recipe here.
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So, this again calls for a starter, or as Peter calls it "barm", but mine's called "Adam". Here is Adam mixed with rye flour and allowed to double in size.

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I added the onions and the rest of the ingredients to let it bulk rise.

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After the bulk rise, the dough was shaped and turned out onto a nonstick surface to rise again before baking.

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The finished bread-- not so rye tasting and plenty savory.

 
 
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Finally, a bread with some real character! Who could not like the chewy, toothsome, and not to mention the wholesomeness of  multigrain bread.
Multigrain bread is bread made with multiple grains such as oats, cracked wheat, buckwheat, barley, millet and flax. Some multigrain bread is also whole grain bread. Yet all multigrain breads are not necessarily whole grain breads as found in this next bread in The Breadbakers Apprentice book. I have played around with many multigrain recipes, but this one is uses both brown sugar and honey, and  since it also uses "bread flour", it delivered a slightly lighter, and sweeter loaf. Reinhart suggests toasting the slices because the sugars in the bread then caramelizes into a beautiful golden color. If you have been following along in this challenge and you have your own copy of the book, turn to page 187. Otherwise, you can find a version here.
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Beautiful quinoa unraveling

As usual, Reinhart gives a soaker to soften and release enzymes in the "multi" grains used in the bread the night before. I used a combination of quinoa, cornmeal, and wheat bran.

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The next morning, I assembled the ingredients together and tried to mix. The dough was stickier than most so I ended up adding more flour to get a cohesive ball, but eventually, it did come together.

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After the initial rise the dough was then punched down and formed into a  loaf and into a 9" pan.

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After about 90 mins, this is what I got. You can see the dough had cracked and split in several places. I am not sure what could have caused that to happen, so if anyone can shed some light, I would really like to know. I just sprayed with water and then topped it with poppy seeds anyway, and baked.

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This was a delicious recipe, although, my loaf looked a little "rustic", it still tasted quite delicious. The texture was pleasantly "lighter" than 100%whole wheat multigrain, and I could definitely taste the honey. Mr Reinhart was right, it was divine toasted with butter the next morning. Another for yeastpotting.