Multigrain Pain au Levain

20 01 2010
Multigrain Pain au Levain

Multigrain Pain au Levain

Funny story with this loaf… It was intended to be a loaf made of almost completely spelt flour. This was a great intention, until I went to the flour freezer and noticed the bag was mostly empty. Well, that wasn’t going to work. So I switched tracks and decided to throw in a whole bunch of flour types! I didn’t have much direction in exactly how much of any flour I added, I just went by feel … and how much was left in the bag! So even though it was a rather random assortment of flours, it turned out really yummy. Some sweetness, and a lot of nuttiness in the flavor profile.

Multigrain Pain au Levain

Makes: 2 medium, or 3 small loaves

Time: Day 1: Elaborate starter. Day 2: Mix final dough, fold dough shape, proof, and bake.


Ounces Grams Percent
Bread Flour 8 oz 230 g 100
Water 5.25 oz 150 g 67%
66% Levain 3 oz 85 g 38%
Final Dough
Starter 16.25 oz 460.7 g 90.3%
Bread Flour 2 oz 56.7 g 11.1%
Semolina Flour 8 oz 226.8 g 44.4 g
Rye Flour 2 oz 56.7 g 11.1%
Kamut Flour 3 oz 85 g 16.7%
Spelt Flour 1.3 oz 36.9 g 7.2%
White Whole Wheat Flour 1.7 oz 48.2 g 9.4%
Water 15.1 oz 428 g 83.9%
Oil .5 oz 14.2 g 2.8%
Salt .4 oz 11.3 g 2.2%
Final Weight
50.25 oz 1424.6 g 279.2%


  1. Elaborate your starter however you choose, but ending up with the same flour and water weights. (or make a commercial yeast preferment) Allow it to rise overnight.
  2. The next day cream the starter with the water and oil for the recipe.
  3. Mix together the flours, salt, and any other dry ingredients you are adding, then mix in the starter, water, and oil til the dough just starts to come together. It will be very wet, don’t expect it to form much of a ball. Let the dough sit covered in the bowl for 20 minutes
  4. Liberally dust your counter or work space and scrape the dough out. With lightly floured hands, give the dough a stretch and fold and place it seam side down in a lightly oiled bowl.
  5. Leave the bowl covered for 40 minutes to an hour, turn the dough out (seam side up) and give it another stretch and fold, then return it to the bowl. Repeat this process one more time after 40 minutes to an hour.
  6. Let the dough rise until nearly doubled, and turn it out again onto your work surface.
  7. Prepare well floured brotforms, or heavily flour a towel you can use for the final proofing of the bread. Treating the dough gently, separate it into however many pieces you want loaves. Do a letter fold on the dough, along the long side, bringing the bottom and top thirds into the middle and then move the loaf to the prepared towel or brotform. (seam side up)
  8. Leave the loaves, covered, to proof, for me this was about an hour and a half.
  9. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees with your baking stone (on the middle rack) and steam pan inside and heat 2 cups of water to just shy of boiling.
  10. Very gently grab loaves rising on a towel, and as you move them to the peel or parchment paper, invert them so the seam side is down and stretch them to nearly twice their length. The dough may deflate quite a bit, don’t worry it will rise back up in the oven. If using brotforms, just invert the loaves onto parchment or a peel. Load the loaves into the oven and carefully pour the hot water into the steam pan. Be careful of the window and light bulbs in your oven
  11. Bake for 10 minutes, turn loaves 180 degrees and remove parchment paper if using. Continue baking for another 10-20 minutes. Remove finished loaves to a cooling rack and let sit for at least 1 hour before cutting.

I was really happy with how this bread turned out, considering the on the fly flour combo. And really, this is very similar to the rustic sourdough I posted recently, just with a different mix of flours. This was also meant to be posted last week, but I was spending a lot of time with my girlfriend before she flew back to Alaska for her next semester of classes, so that fell by the way side! I hope to have something a little more interesting next week, but even though this is a bit boring, this bread had amazing flavor. The long ferment and flour mix really did bring out a lot of sweetness.

And this is this weeks rather basic submission to YeastSpotting.

Some Pictures:

Multigrain Pain au Levain

Multigrain Pain au Levain

Multigrain Pain au Levain

Multigrain Pain au Levain

Multigrain Pain au Levain

Multigrain Pain au Levain

Bonus shots of Semolina and Teff sourdough (only white flour was from the starter, but this one was a bit too sour for me…)

Semolina and Teff Pain au Levain

Multigrain Pain au Levain

Semolina and Teff Pain au Levain

Multigrain Pain au Levain



3 responses

23 01 2010

I really hope that I am someday a competent enough bread baker that I can just know by feel how much flour to add. Great bread!

24 01 2010

Where are the ingredients? I see a wonderful loaf, directions, pictures, but no list of ingredients!

24 01 2010

Check again now, should be there. I fixed a mistake earlier and inadvertently deleted some of the HTML tags, whoops!

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