Power Bread with the BBB

Shortcuts that work are a wonderful thing.  I wanted to make the BBB bread this month but it has been way too hot to use the oven.  So we had our first cool weekend in two months, I had company and then realized the bread usually takes 2-3 days to make.  Well it was going to be hot again the next day so I condensed that process down to one day with a few tweaks!  What follows is the recipe as posted on the host kitchen's blog.  And here are the changes I made and what I did to condense the timeline.  And really, everything got its 8-10 hours, just all at the same time!  The extra time would add more flavor and ease of digestion as well as some keeping quality.

I made the pre-soaker as listed only I used very hot water and let it soak for under an hour before blending with a stick blender. Then I added my soaker and biga ingredients at the same time. Here's how that worked: I used sprouted whole spelt and 20g whole grain emmer instead of the whole wheat and bran. To give a speed boost to the biga, I substituted sourdough starter, 300g, for the combination of flour and liquid, and I added another tbsp of milk as well. Mixed all those together for one giant starter and let it sit for most of the day. For the final dough I substituted sprouted millet ground into flour for the sunflower seeds, white spelt for the whole wheat, and coconut sugar for the sweetener. I also roughly ground the sesame seeds. Finally, to make the moisture appropriate for spelt, I added probably 1/3 cup more sprouted spelt while kneading. I only kneaded with a paddle for a few minutes, then did a good hand knead for 10-15 turns right before shaping. The gluten was ready for it then. The final rise was ready to bake in 35 minutes and I cut a deep slash down the center so it wouldn't shred too much in the oven as spelt tends to do for me. A final brush of butter on the warm loaf out of the oven gave it beautiful color. The next day, the loaf smells just amazing! It really reminds me of an old recipe called Squaw Bread I used to make in high school. The bread slices nice and thin but is very hearty. I think my favorite will be making toast with it. You can also make rolls out of this dough and I think they would make brilliant whole grain dinner rolls with rolled oats sprinkled on top.

Power bread
(adapted from Peter Reinhart's "Whole Grain Breads")


71 g (or 2.5 oz or 6.5 Tbsp) raisins
14 g (or 0.5 oz or 1.5 Tbsp) flaxseeds
170 g (or 6 oz or 3/4 cup) water

Mix all pre-soaker ingredients together in a small bowl, cover, and let sit at room temp for 8-24 hours.

All of pre-soaker
170 g (or 6 oz or 1 1/3 cups) whole wheat or white whole wheat flour
14 g (or 0.5 oz or 2 Tbsp) oat bran
4 g (or 0.14 oz or 1/2 tsp) salt

Puree the pre-soaker in a blender (or use a hand-held blender), and mix with the remaining soaker ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir for about a minute, until everything is thoroughly combined and it forms a ball. Cover the bowl and leave at room temp for 12-24 hours (or, refrigerate it for up to 3 days, but let sit at room temp for 2 hours before mixing the final dough). Go ahead and make the biga now.

170 g (or 6 oz or 1 1/3 cups) whole wheat or white whole wheat flour
1 g (or 0.03 oz or 1/4 tsp) instant yeast
142 g (or 5 oz or 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp) milk, buttermilk, yogurt, soy milk, or rice milk, at room temp

Mix all of the biga ingredients together in a large bowl. Wet your hands, and knead for 2 min. Then let it rest for 5 min and knead again for 1 min. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 8 hours to 3 days. Two hours before you're ready to mix the final dough, let the biga sit at room temp for 2 hours.

Final dough
All of soaker (at room temp)
All of biga (at room temp)
56.5 g (or 2 oz or 6 Tbsp) sunflower seeds, ground into a flour
56.5 g (or 2 oz or 7 Tbsp) whole wheat or white whole wheat flour
28.5 g (or 1 oz or 3 Tbsp) sesame seeds, whole
4 g (or 0.14 oz or 1/2 tsp) salt
7 g (or 0.25 oz or 2.25 tsp) instant yeast
21 g (or 0.75 oz or 1.5 Tbsp) honey or agave nectar or sugar or brown sugar

Cut the soaker and the biga into 12 pieces each. (My starter was not firm enough to cut, but worked fine.)  Grind the sunflower seeds into flour in a blender, food processor, or spice grinder (gently pulse or it will turn into sunflower seed butter, not flour). Mix ground seeds with remaining ingredients, including the soaker and biga pieces. Knead the mixture with wet hands for 2 min, or until everything is thoroughly mixed. Dough should be slightly sticky; if it's very tacky, add more flour; if it's very dry and not sticky, add more water.

If using a stand mixer, put the pre-dough pieces and all of the other ingredients except the extra flour into the mixer with the paddle attachment or dough hook. Mix on slow speed for 1 minute to bring the ingredients together into a ball. Switch to the dough hook and mix on medium-low speed, occasionally scraping down the bowl, for 2-3 minutes, until the pre-doughs become cohesive and combined. Add more flour or water as needed until the dough is soft and slightly sticky.

Dust your counter (or whatever you're using) with flour, and roll the dough around in it. Knead it for 3-4 min. Let the dough rest for 5 min, and then knead for another minute. At this point your dough should pass the windowpane test. If not, knead more until it can pass the test. Then form your dough into a ball, place it into a lightly oiled bowl, roll it around in the oil, and let it sit covered at room temp for 45-60 min (until it's about 1.5 times its original size).

Lightly flour your counter again, and form your dough into either a loaf shape or rolls. Put the loaf-shaped dough into a lightly oiled 8.5" x 4" loaf pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let it sit at room temp for 45-60 min (until it's 1.5 times its original size). Or, if making rolls, place them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a silicon mat. Preheat the oven and a steam pan (an empty metal pan on the bottom oven rack) to 425º. Put bread in the oven, pour 1 cup hot water into steam pan, and reduce oven temp to 350º. Bake for 20 min. Then remove steam pan, rotate bread 180 degrees, and bake for another 20-30 min, or until loaf or rolls are brown, have an internal temp of at least 195º, and have a hollow sound when thumped on the bottom. Remove the bread from the pan and let cool completely (at least 1 hour) before serving.


  1. How brilliant are you to have turned this into a one-day bread! And it looks fabulous.

    (That's our favourite way to eat Power Bread too: thinly sliced and toasted.)


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