Flax and Durum Wheat Bread with Pre-Ferment

I have had a bag of durum wheat kernels in my pantry for quite a while now. Durum wheat is used for pasta, but also in bread baking. It has a lot of protein but it’s gluten content isn’t that great. Therefore it’s not the best choice for breads. If a dough contains a lot of durum flour, it can easily be over-mixed and you will end up with a flat brick instead of a airy bread. This can be avoided by combining durum with regular wheat and by baking with a pre-ferment. Long fermentation times always strengthen the gluten strands and give the dough stability. If you don’t have durum flour on had, you can use whole wheat or other flours. I would still recommend to not skip the pre-ferment as it adds both strenght and flavour.

Flax and Durum Wheat Bread with Pre-Ferment

For the pre-ferment:
200 g (1 1/2 cups plus 2 1/2 tablespoons) all-purpose flour
200 ml (6 2/3 oz) water
1/8 teaspoon yeast

Combine all ingredients and stir until well combined. Cover and let rest at room temperature for 12 hours.

For the dough:
200 g (1 1/2 cups plus 2 1/2 tablespoons) all-purpose flour
100 g (3/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons) durum flour
100 ml (3 1/3 oz) water
1 1/2 teaspoons yeast
10 g (1 2/3 teaspoon) salt
80 g (1/2 cup) flax seeds

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Knead the dough for 6-10 minutes, until elastic and firm. Add more flour or water if necessary. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest until doubled in size, about 60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 250°C (480°F). Flour a banneton or grease a loaf pan. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured counter and knead for one minute, then shape and place in the prepared pan. Cover with a damp cloth. Let rise for 60 minutes, or until doubled in size.

If using a banneton: Carefully turn the loaf on a baking sheet with parchment paper. (It’s best to keep the sheet in the preheated oven and then turn the loaf directly onto the hot sheet. Slash the bread with a rasor blade or a very sharp knife.) Transfer to the oven immediately.)

If using a loaf pan: Place the loaf pan on a rack in the oven.

Bake for 10 minutes, the reduce the temperature to 200°C (400°F). Bake for 30 more minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely.

9 thoughts on “Flax and Durum Wheat Bread with Pre-Ferment

  1. Stunning as always Mihl. It looks like the loaf I always pick up from the health food store because I’m too lazy to make it myself!

  2. Oh hello there you beautiful thing. This bread wouldn’t stand a chance here, it’d be gone within a hour of being baked. And I’d blame Chaz, even though he’d only get to eat one slice of it.

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