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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Mixed Flour Sourdough with Wheat Germ - made with 7 types of flour!

Follow up on my previous post; multigrain pan bread made with 6 different types of flour, I wanted to find out the true flavour profile of mixed flour alone without the distraction of seeds and grains. This week’s bake was the result of that curiosity. The multigrain pan bread was really flavoursome, which I think was a result of tasty grains and seed mixtures. I also like to think that the flour mixture contributed to the bread’s exceptional taste as well. So, I set out to bake with just the same flour combination to find out.

I also upped the flour mixture to seven, by adding corn meal into the mix, which was all the kinds of flour in my pantry. Actually, there was one type of flour that got missed out, Italian Tipo 00 flour! Never mind, next time.  Seven different flour types in the recipe were bread flour (64%), whole wheat flour (15%), rye flour (5%), durum flour (5%), corn meal (polenta flour) (5%), rice flour (3%) and soy flour (3%). I also included toasted wheat germs (can’t help myself with my favourite) at 2.5% in the recipe.

The bread was lovely, chewy and flavoursome, with pronounced acidity (from mixed flour starter). However, I still couldn’t tell the flavour difference from this 7-type mixed flour bread from all-wheat sourdough. I made sourdough with 20% polenta flour (corn meal) before and the flavour was changed noticeably with natural sweetness and creaminess from the corn. One noticeable difference was crumb colour. It had lovely yellow tone, possibly from soy flour and corn meal.  

Crumb comparison between this bread and Vermont Sourdough.
 This bread has yellower and creamier crumb.

The bread was nice and tasty but, to be honest, I probably wouldn’t have gone the distance to include this many types of flour if they weren’t already in my pantry. The basic flours, like wheat flour, whole wheat flour and rye flour, would deliver equally good flavour. But I can’t help wondering if I had missed something? Did I fail to detect any flavour or texture differences? To find out, I will have to continue my quest and the experiment.

Recipe note:
I adjusted my baking temperature this week to avoid too crusty bread issue I had a couple of weeks ago. I now preheated the oven to highest temperature for 60 minutes. Then turned it down to 235C just before loading the breads and baked at 235C for 15 minutes. The bread was then baked at 225C for the rest. This resulted in better crust this week.

To toast wheat germs, place wheat germ in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Regularly shaking and tossing the pan so that wheat germs are cooked evenly. Toast the wheat germs until they are golden brown and fragrant.

I used mixed flour sourdough starter that was built in three feedings at 8-10 hours interval before the final mixing. The sourdough starter has 50/50 whole wheat and bread flour and 100% hydration (104 g whole wheat + 104 g bread flour + 208 g water = 416 g starter).

Mixed Flour Sourdough with Wheat Germ Recipe
Makes 2 large loaves

Bread flour 486 g (I used flour with 12.5% protein)
Rye flour 46 g
Whole wheat flour 34 g
Durum flour (very fine semolina) 46 g
Rice flour 28 g
Soy flour 28 g
Corn meal (polenta flour) 46 g
Wheat germ, toasted 23 g (see above note on how to toast wheat germs)
Water 428 g
Salt 18 g
Sourdough starter 416 g (mixture of 50% whole wheat, 50% bread flour and 100% water, in baker’s percentage term)

Overall Formula
Baker’s Percentage
Bread flour
590 g
Rye flour
46 g
Whole wheat flour
138 g
Durum flour
46 g
Rice flour
28 g
Soy flour
28 g
Corn meal
46 g
Wheat germs, toasted
23 g
638 g
18 g
1.60 kg


Mixing: Add all the ingredients to the mixing bowl, except salt.  Mix until the ingredients are incorporated. Leave it to autolyze in a bowl covered with plastic bag or wrap for 15 - 30 minutes. Desired dough temperature 24C (76F).

Sprinkle salt over the dough surface and mix on the first speed for 3 minutes. Continue mixing on second speed for further 3 – 4 minutes, until a medium gluten development is achieved (the dough can be stretched gently, stay in piece and doesn’t tear).

I kneaded the dough by hand and it took around 10 minutes to get medium gluten development.

Bulk fermentation: - Leave the dough in a lightly oiled container and cover the bowl with plastic bag or wrap for 2.5 hour until doubled in size. Do stretch-and-fold twice at 50 and 100 minutes (with 50 minutes interval).

Divide the doughs into two equal portions. Pre-shape the doughs into rounds and let them rest for 10 – 15 minutes under a tea towel.

Shape the doughs into oblong (batard) or boule (round) and place into proofing baskets/bowls seam side up. Slip the proofing basket into a large plastic bag. Retard the dough in the fridge overnight or proof at room temperature for further 2 hours or until it is almost 1.5 times in size.

Note: I retard the dough at 10 C for 7 hours.

Baking: Preheat the oven to the highest temperature and prepare the oven steaming.

Bake at 235C for 15 minute with steam. Reduce the temperature to 225C and bake for further 25 – 30 minutes.

I usually leave the loaves to dry off in the off-oven with the door slightly open for 5-10 minutes. This helps the crust to brown up a little more and stay crisp for longer.

Submitting this post to YeastSpotting.


  1. wow! lots of holes, holes inside a bread makes me so happy haha

    Today I was making baguettes but the idiot yeast didn't work properly, the dough didn't rise at all so I throw it into the trash in a grudge ahaha..

    I'm on a strict diet, yes unhealty, the type you expect from me :D so no bread for me for 6 weeks :/

    Love you dear <3

  2. Same here, Ceren...holey bread makes me doing happy feet. I was quite happy with this one, given that it got low/no gluten flour in it.

    Oh, no... you poor baguettes, no...I mean you, poor thing:) That must be annoying.

    What sort of diet are you on? low on carb, high on

  3. haha I was planning a glass of milk in the morning, an apple for lunch and soup for dinner, 400 cals but I apparently no longer can starve myself like the old days :S so back to 1000 cals a day..bread? oh yeah bring it

  4. or you can go for 4 macarons a day for 400 cals, lol.

    1000 cals a day is a good and achievable goal, if you combine that with exercise, you can even have one or two macaron a day:). Have fun and healthy diet plan.


  5. haha I could try that.. jk

    I do try to exercise a bit everyday, I've been out of almond flour for long but will go to İstanbul with bestie for a Judas Priest concert, will visit Laduree while there!!! YES!

    I know I can't give up on sweets so I eat sweet stuff in the morning at breakfast time/make it a meal.I've been kind of a cooking block these days, I just bake, don't know why..maybe it's the heat.The bubbling pans and steam, they don't go too well with that when I'm not feeling inspired enough to cook and that's like every other day :D me and Karamel are having General Tso chicken from take-out(Sushico)(we split one dish, so *YES* it's diet food haha-really it's about 135 cals the half), we're sooo used to it haha..

    I should get back to cooking though, 'cause when I don't we have to go eat outside at dinner too, mom's goin to crash...for real :S :D 'Cause I'm such a big consumer of money, she buys me Swarowski jewels and tons of clothes o.0

    haha I don't even know why I'm telling you all this, probably because I'm feeling close to you :)


  6. Umm, Laduree, I had some when I was in Tokyo last year. The shop was elegant.

    Have fun in Istanbul.


  7. i can see you having fun trying with all these flours. How about spelt flour? have you tried using that for bread?

  8. It was interesting working with those flours. Funny you mentioned the spelt. I just bought a bag and plan to try it soon, possibly after holiday. I'm going away for two weeks from next Friday. Won't be baking for a while:)

  9. Hi Sue,

    Good bread! but how to make the sourdough starter??

  10. Hi...sourdough starter are made by mixing flour and water and let the nature performs its miracle of natural levening. Below is the link to Susan's fabulous Wild Yeast Blog on how to make starter.