Wednesday, April 27, 2011

the base returns

some weeks ago, the cloche's base self-destructed in the middle of a baking cycle.  i brought the pieces to judy who, after much research, produced a New and Improved base.
for the new base's first flight, a very multi-grain bread: white wheat, whole wheat, rye, rough rye, pearl barley, and bulghur, to be exact. it has a nice crust, a really, really great crumb, awesome flavour, though less oven spring than a less whole-grain-y bread. having toyed briefly with breads requiring minimal intervention and few bowls, i am now all the way at the other end of the spectrum. here is the bread:

this formula involves 2 small bowls, 1 large bowl, no kneading, and

  • 520g all-purpose unbleached white flour
  • 72g rye and rough rye flour
  • 30g whole wheat pastry flour
  • 100g mix of pearl barley and bulghur, about half each
  • 360g water
  • 216g 100% hydration starter
  • 14g salt
you will have a baked loaf about 6 hours after when you begin mixing the final dough (but you may also retard the dough after shaping. so far, up to 12 hours has worked for me). 

8-12 hours before mixing final dough
  • make your 100% hydration starter by mixing equal masses of flour and water with a bit of your sourdough starter and leaving at room temperature until the whole begins to bubble. i do this in a 4qt glass bowl with a cover.
  • saturate the rye and whole wheat flours with 180g of cool water (the other 180g goes into the final dough); store in a covered bowl.
  • saturate the 100g mixed grains with water to cover, and then a bit more. no need to measure this water, as you will drain it completely later.

making the final dough
  • drain the 100g mixed grains in a sieve and press out as much free water as possible. i measure and use this water as part of the 180g of water in the final dough.
  • combine the 216g starter, 520g A/P flour, 180g water (slightly warmed; part of this was drained out of the grains), and the water/rye/whole wheat mixture, then mix thoroughly. i use a big spoon for this. leave to sit for 30-60 minutes.
  • after 30-60 minutes, sprinkle 14g salt over the dough and mix salt in thoroughly. the dough will be too wet to knead easily, so i stick with the big spoon.  
  • cover again and leave to bulk ferment at room temperature (should be about 72F). fold every 45 minutes for 2.5 hours.
pre-shape, rest 20 minutes, final shape, then proof (covered) for another 2 hours (or, better yet, do one of the proofing tests). i bake at 450F, with steam for 8 minutes, then without steam for 21 minutes.

i have also had good results from retarding the shaped loaves for anywhere from 8-12 hours before baking.

[another guest post from vt]

Saturday, April 23, 2011

April BreadPots, freshly fired

Get Bakers Jobs, a site for professional bakers will be featuring the BreadPot this week.
Here are the BreadPots fresh from the kiln.
I fired 5 of them with combustibles in a saggar so they are mottled and marked with the fire.