Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Pain aux Cereales by Eric Kayser

While the Dutch Regale’s Finnish Rye proofed , I looked at The Fresh Loaf for some inspiration. There were people raving about Pain aux Cereals made by Eric Kayser. I was intrigued and had a look at the website of Kayser. There are some nice recipes I will make one day.

I had to know why people call this “the best bread in the world”. I don’t know about "the best" of anything. Everything is relative and subjective. Of course we can talk about what is ‘good’ and what is ‘good looking’ and what is … And maybe most people agree on this, but it is still a personal judgement and that will change in time. I can talk about my “best tasting and best looking bread”. And this also changes, like everything changes.

Anyway, I can’t bake this bread like Kayser has baked it. There are some ingredients not the same. So, is it even the same bread? Even Don decided to formulate his own interpretation of Kayser's Pain aux Cereales based on his compilation of information gathered on the internet and relying loosely on the recipe in his book. And I’m using the information Don provides. But, I don’t care. I bake with what’s available (ingredients, equipment, weather and other unforeseen influences) and accept the result.

The result for us is: a good looking and very tasteful bread. The seeds gave it a nice flavor and a bit of nutty taste. I baked 2 loaves and the first one was gone before I could take a nice crumb shot and the other one went into the fridge for next time. But, I can tell the crumb looked nice with some big holes, although it didn't have the biggest holes I hoped for, yet. 

This is what Don used (and this is what I used):

Flour Mix:
- 250 Gms KA Organic Artisan Select AP Flour (all purpose flour)
- 250 Gms La Milanaise T90 High Extraction Flour (all purpose flour mixed with whole wheat flour)

Liquid Levain Build:
- 25 Gms ripe Liquid Levain (100% hydration)
- 50 Gms Flour Mix (all purpose flour)
- 50 Gms Spring Water (normal water)

Seed Mix:
- 2 Tbs Golden Flax Seeds
- 2 Tbs Brown Flax Seeds
- 2 Tbs Yellow Sesame Seeds
- 2 Tbs Millet Seeds
- 2 Tbs Poppy Seeds
(for the dough I used 4 Tbs of 7-grains mix and added 3 Tbs toasted black and white sesame seeds. For he topping I used 3 Tbs black and white sesame seeds)

Final Dough Mix:
- 450 Gms Flour Mix
- 325 Gms Spring Water (normal water)
- 125 Gms liquid levain build
- 1/4 tsp instant yeast
- 10 Gms grey atlantic sea salt (sea salt, dont’ know from where it comes)
- 1/3 of seed mix (toasted in a non-stick pan)

This is what I did:
Prepare the liquid levain and let ferment at room temperature until it triples in volume.

Mix the flour mix and the water and let autolyse for 30 minutes. Add the levain, yeast and salt and mix for 4 minutes on low speed for 4 minutes. Add the 1/3 toasted seed mix and mix for 30 seconds until it incorporates into dough. Transfer to a slightly oiled bowl; cover with plastic and let ferment for 2 1/2 hours with stretch and fold in the bowl every 30 minutes. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 18-24 hrs.

The next morning divide the dough into 2 pieces. Preshape into balls and let the dough rest for 1 hour. Shape them into batards and proof on couche for 1 hour. Pre heat the oven and prepare for steam.

Transfer the loaves to the peel, lightly mist with a vaporizer and sprinkle with remaining un toasted seed mix.

Score and bake at 230˚C. Bake 12 minutes with steam and 20 minutes at 190˚C without steam.

I send this to YeastSpotting and BYOB 


  1. I understand what you mean, the personal taste differs so much. BUT the seeded bread is very good looking, I love this kind of breads.

  2. I agree, Stefanie, seeded breads look very good and they also taste very good! Eric Kayser is an bread artist.
    There are so many good breads, it's hard to choose which one to bake. Since I started baking bread, some months ago, I've baked so many delicious bread thanks to all the people who were sharing their recipes and knowledge.