Instead of my usual round loaf, last weekend I decided to step out of my comfort zone with this beautiful Pain d’Epi, or Wheat Stalk Bread. It was easy to shape the long thin loaves, snipped with scissors to form the stalk pattern. We loved the crispy, crunchy crust and soft crumb!
- 2-1/4 cups whole grain flour
- 1 cup bread flour
- 1/3 cup instant nonfat dry milk
- 1/2 tsp. instant yeast
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. diastatic malt flour
- 1 tbsp. softened butter
- 3/4 cup sourdough starter
- 1 tsp. honey
- 1-1/3 cups warm water
- olive oil
- red pepper seasoning
Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk well. Add the starter and honey to the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. Gradually add the flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time on low speed, alternating with the warm water. Use all of the water, whole grain flour needs more liquid than white flour to fully hydrate. Increase the speed to #3, and knead for 5 minutes to form a soft, supple dough.
You can see how elastic the dough is as it pulls away from the side of the bowl, and there are lots of happy air bubbles!
It smells good already! Now we transfer the dough onto an oiled cutting board and divide it roughly in half.
Do a letter fold with each section.
Shape each piece onto a log. Cover with plastic wrap and rest for 15 minutes.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and dust with cornmeal where you will lay out the loaves.
Once the dough has rested, you will easily be able to shape each log into a long thin baguette, about 15″ x 2″. Lay them on the baking sheet, leaving plenty of space in between.
Starting at one end, use scissors to snip the loaves every few inches (don’t cut all the way through), and as you snip each section, pull it over to one side, alternating left and right.
It takes no time at all to create the wheat stalk pattern. Now brush the loaves with olive oil and sprinkle with pepper seasoning. I used a garlic infused oil, and the aroma as it baked was wonderful.
The loaves are beautiful, and the smell of freshly baked bread has filled the entire house.
Allow the bread to cool for at least 2 hours before slicing, you will have a hard time waiting! Check out the bottom of the loaf. Can you say crunch?
And now for all the Bread Heads out there, who have been patiently waiting to see the crumb. Here it is!
This was my first time making this style loaf, and it was AMAZING. Now that I know how easy it is I’ll be making it often. I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I did! Your comments are always welcomed ♥
The Extruded Noodle ©