From the Kitchen of The Pearl of Seneca Lake B & B
Dundee, NY

Five-Grain (“Birdseed”) Bread

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This recipe came from Jeffrey Hamelman’s book Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes.   It is a wonderful bread that does require planning, but is well worth the effort.   It is also a heavy dough that requires a heavy duty KitchenAid mixer.   (I think that it might be too heavy to knead by hand.)   I use a variety of flour: bread flour- wheat or white, coarse and/or fine whole wheat flour, and white flour.   At least ¼ of the flour should be white.   Be sure to use instant dry yeast.


Five-Grain Bread Recipe

The night before you plan on making this bread, prepare the soaker and the Pate Fermentee.


Place the following grains in a bowl and pour water over the grains and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.   Allow the soaker to sit at least 4 hours. (overnight is best).   If rye chops are not available, cracked rye can be used, but use boiling water in the soaker.

½ cup rye chops
½ cup flaxseed
½ cup sunflower seeds
5/8 cup oats
1 ½ cup water

Pate Fermentee

Disperse the yeast in the water, add the flour and salt and mix until smooth.   Cover with plastic wrap and let stand 12-16 hours at about 70 deg.

1/8 tsp instant dry yeast
¾ cup water
1 tsp salt
2 ¼ cups Bread flour


Place the soaker (but not the Pate Fermentee) in the mixing bowl along with:

5 cups Bread flour
1 tbsp salt
1 ½ tsp instant dry yeast
1 1/8 cups water

Using the kneading utensil on the 1st speed of a heavy duty mixer, mix all the ingredients, gradually adding the pate fermentee in chunks.   If necessary, add more water. Turn the mixer to 2nd speed and mix for 3 to 3 ½ min.   The dough should be somewhat loose, but with definite dough strength.

Bulk Fermentation

Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough sit for 2 hours total.   After the first hour, remove the dough from the bowl and push down into a square and fold into thirds, similar to folding a letter.   Let sit for the second hour.

Dividing and Shaping

Divide the dough in half and preshape into rounds.   Cover with plastic and let sit 10-20 minutes.   When the dough has relaxed, shape into round or oval loaves (or use bread pans) and place on a Silpat sheet or greased cookie sheet.

Final Fermentation

Let sit approximately 1-1/2 hours.


Score the loaves with a sharp knife to control the oven raising.   Spray the loaves with water and bake at 460 deg for about 20 min.   Lower the temp by 20 deg and bake another 20 minutes for a total of 40 min.   If an oven thermometer is available, the bread is done when its internal temperature reaches 205 degrees.   Place the loaves on a cooling rack and let cool over an hour before cutting.