This is a slightly altered version from Mr. Leader’s “Local Breads” recipe called “pain au levain” but with flax seeds. Coincidence or not, after preparing the preferment, I saw I was out of plain bread flour or high gluten flour! So I had to adapt the formula (or I could of course put the fermented piece back into the fridge but hey, what’s baking bread without a little bit of experimenting?)
- 45gr ripe sourdough starter (90% white, I used high gluten flour, and the remaining stone-ground whole wheat flour), at 50% hydratation. Very stiff.
- 50gr water
- 85gr high gluten wheat flour (bread will also do)
- 15gr stone-ground wholewheat flour
Make this 12 hours before you plan on mixing the final dough. I used more wholewheat flour than suggested (only 5 grams) and I like the result.
- 100gr flax seeds
- 227gr water
Make the same time as you mix the preferment. The seeds will stick and absorb everything, it looks kind of gross!
- 230gr water – reduced as the seeds contain some moisture!
- 320gr white spelt flour (the book calls for all-purpose wheat flour)
- 150gr stone-ground wholewheat flour (30gr more)
- 30gr wholerye flour (instead of medium)
- 125gr preferment from above
- 10gr salt
- all of the soaked flax seeds
I did not divert from the baking instructions much – autolyse for about 30 minutes, kneaded using the french fold technique for a minute or 5-6 and folded once after 1 hour of bulk fermenting. The total fermentation time took up to 3 hours because the kitchen temperature was only 20°C and I wanted to make sure they were well risen. After shaping them into bâtards, proofed on the couche for 1,5 hour and baked at 250°C with steam (reduced the heat to 230°C after 10 minutes).
I did not scale the salt and should have added a bit more but apart from that, the bread tasted amazing. We wolfed down a whole bâtard with a baked egg and some salad this evening. Lovely!