Thursday, December 2, 2010

Hamelman's whole wheat levain

On my never-ending quest to find a home-baked bread that the kids will actually accept for their sandwiches, I tried Hamelman's whole wheat levain. Although I had no experience with wild yeast before a year ago, and I wasn't wild about what I thought of as "sourdough breads," I've come to really like the flavor, texture, and staying quality of breads made with my starter. I've found that most whole grain sandwich loaves made with instant yeast are a little too crumbly to hold up to my two little ones trying to eat a sandwich.

I prefer multi-grains (Hamelman's whole wheat multi-grain levain is my current favorite), but the kids don't really like "things" in their bread.

Anyway, I also thought they might be more apt to eat my bread for sandwiches if it was shaped like a sandwich (in other words, baked in a tin). So I requested a little advice from the Mellow Bakers gang, and, as usual, they were awesome. Jacqueline and Joanna both gave me helpful advice for baking this bread in a tin, and I was off!

The recipe was pretty basic and baking in the loaf pan went off without a hitch. The sourdough bite was pretty pronounced (I imagine it was because I was trying to bake it while making Thanksgiving dinner, so it got a couple of surprise rests in the fridge), so the kids didn't really like it. And hubby and I found it...okay. Nothing great. Also, I buttered the loaf out of the oven, which turned out to be a mistake, as it just made the top kind of soggy. So...not a repeat, but it still provided us with a solid base for Thanksgiving leftovers!

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