By now, you must have decided that I love bread, right? I mean, why would I bake all the time and blog about it if I didn’t? Well, I don’t love this millet bread which I baked for the first time this spring on Day 2 of the Whole Grains workshop at the San Francisco Baking Institute, I positively adore it! Not only is it a lot of fun to make but it is deliciously crunchy and tasty.
It is also a healthful bread. I just read in The Village Baker by Joe Ortiz that, according to a baker he met in Germany who describes himself as “an organic grain madman”, millet seeds and poppy seeds when eaten together make it easier to digest protein. If all these seeds were not such energy powerhouses, I would have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and maybe for a snack in the afternoon too.
Two pre-ferments go into the making of it, levain and pre-fermented dough (a.k.a. “old dough”). You add to that some flour, some pre-soaked seeds, some yeast, some salt, some water and here you are, with your finished loaves that look almost like golden galettes.
Their shape reminds me of the bérets my grandfather used to wear (so French!) Another reason for me to have a deep affection for this bread…
I froze one, gave away two and felt incredibly virtuous (and lucky) to save the last one for us. Believe me, you need to try it. Once you do, there’s no looking back!
Ingredients: (for 4 loaves)
For the levain
- 30 g unbleached all-purpose flour
- 30 g water
- 50 g starter 100% hydration
For the pre-fermented dough
- 278 g unbleached all-purpose flour
- 181 g water
- 5.5 g salt
- 1.6 g instant yeast
For the soaker
- 100 g millet seeds (+ more for the top cover)
- 100 g sesame seeds
- 39 g poppy seeds
- 39 g pumpkin seeds
- 109 g water
For the final dough
- 155 g whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat but regular whole wheat is fine)
- 486 g unbleached all-purpose flour
- 360 g water
- 37 g canola oil
- 74.5 g levain
- 466 g pre-fermented dough
- 2.5 g instant yeast
- 20 g salt
- 326 g soaker
- The day before, mix the pre-fermented dough, leave it at room temperature for one hour or so and put it in the refrigerator for the night
- Also the day before, mix the levain and leave it at room temperature for the night
- Do the same for the soaker
- On the day of the baking, mix the final dough using all the ingredients except the soaker until proper consistency is reached (improved mix)
- When proper consistency is reached, add the soaker and mix at low speed until incorporated
- Transfer the dough to a covered oil container and set it to ferment for 2 hours
- Divide the dough in four pieces and pre-shape each of the pieces in a ball
- Let them rest 30 minutes
- Then flatten each ball into a galette (on both sides) and wet the top
- Dip wet side in millet seeds
- Let proof 1 hour and 30 minutes at room temperature millet side up (a bit longer if the room is cool)
- Score them in a criss-cross pattern
- Bake for 25 minutes at 450 F/232 C (with steam the first 15 minutes).
Please note that the original SFBI formula contains 15% honey and that I didn’t use any. If you do put it in, bake the breads at 410 F/210 C instead of 450 to avoid overbrowning.