Monday, March 28, 2011

100% Whole Wheat Flax Seed bread

From WWFlax

I have been experimenting with soaking the fresh ground flour in kefir/buttermilk overnight before making it into a loaf of bread. This is supposed to make the bread easier for your body to digest. What I am finding however is that it makes the entire loaf of bread easier to make, and gives me a lot more consistent results in the end. I have decided though that I will hold back about 100 grams of the flour in order to make it easier to add the yeast and salt the next morning. My loaves seem to rise better and their texture and crumb seem better too.  It's all just an experiment right now, but it seems to be working quite well.

Here is the formula I used for this loaf and the rolls. I used an egg wash on them, and the crust color difference is simply baking at different temperatures.  The rolls were baked directly on a pizza stone, at a lower temperature.  I simply mixed the soaker ingredients together the night before, then added the 20 grams water, 9 grams salt, and 10 grams yeast in the morning.  I held the salt back for the first two minutes of kneading till the yeast and water were mixed in well.  Next time I will also hold back 100 grams of flour from the initial soak, just for easier mixing of yeast and water, but I will probably allow it to autolyse for 30 minutes before adding the salt to the mix just to make sure that it doesn't end up to dry.

Note: Due to egg being in the soaker I refrigerated it overnight rather than leaving it on the counter.


  1. Joanne ,would just buttermilk work the same without kefir?

  2. Kefir is a lot like buttermilk, but you can actually use a number of different things that are similar. Yogurt, buttermilk, even a couple tablespoons of lemon juice, all seem to break down the grains according to what I am reading.

    I use at least a 1/2 cup kefir or buttermilk for this recipe and the rest is water. The day I made those loaves I had a lot of extra goat milk kefir so that is what I used. I normally change the recipe as I am making it, tweaking it, so the recipe reflects exactly what I used to make the loaf look and taste like it does. Just in case I really like the results and don't want to change anything. The worksheet I use has two parts, one is the formula baker's percentages that I start with to make exactly the amount I want. The second part is the part you see above, which I add the amounts I actually used in case I needed more water etc so that I can track exactly what I actually did put in the loaf. I tend to change things as I go, so if I don't write it down it gets lost.

    Just a note, adding milk products to bread changes the texture of the crumb, so it might change the results simply by using all water with the lemon juice which I haven't tried. I make kefir every day, so always have some on hand. As for making it easier to digest, my stomach seems to react better to the breads I make this way, so I will probably continue to do this if for no other reason than that. I notice that I didn't say that the flax seed is ground.

  3. BTW, egg is about 85% water, so if you remove the egg from the bread your hydration levels will have to be upped by 85 grams for every 100 grams of egg. It also makes this formula a higher hydration than it first appears.

  4. Thank you for the indepth answer!