Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pixies

There just wasn't enough water. It's a typo, I'm sure of it. 500 scant g's of water almost ruined this batch of baguettes, I begrudgingly confess. You know by now that I feel that Tartine Bread can do no wrong.


Alas, I squeezed and smashed and kneaded, but the large amount of leftover flour in the bottom of the bowl got more and more crumbly and hard and grody. You know what I mean. My poor dough was practically screaming for a sip.

So I added more h2o. It's my blog. I'm allowed.

I didn't add so much as to obscure the formula. After all, I am baking my way through this book, so I try to keep the formulae as close to the book as possible. Well, as close as I'm able to. You know, when I get in there, I always monkey around and do something differently. I'm an artist. I have a vision. What can I say.


I thought it was me. Remember last week? When I blamed lack of coffee for getting the whole deal wrong? Well, it turns out that it wasn't lack of coffee that caused a mis-measure, because what happened this week happened last. The only difference is that this week, I did have my coffee first, and I was cognizant enough to fix things.

Once I ameliorated the water situation, this batch of baguettes was a hoot. Mine turned out to be more like Pixie Sticks, really, because the Tartine book declares that this formula makes 4, but I wanted a bushel of 'em, so I made 'em 8 and skinny. And listen to this, friends, the hootiness of the whole shindig was elevated because the appliance delivery guy brought me a brand new oven at a bright and shining 10 am. No more toggling, guessing, scorching the crust. No more lost steam from the oven door that never really closed all the way. Can you believe that I baked so much bread with a broken oven y'all? All these months. Yeah.


I learned some things that I wanted to relay to you. The number one consideration is the length of your baguettes in relation to your baking stone. Two of the loaves from my first batch of baguettes were more like S's than pin-straight spears, because I had to curve them to fit them onto the stone. Not a bad thing, if you're baking snakes for your 5 year old son's Jungle themed birthday party.

I don't have a son.


In order to circumvent the 'S factor', I found it helpful to keep a ruler extended to the ideal length of the baguettes (minus a couple of inches to cushion the expand factor) at the top of my work surface so that I wouldn't exceed the desired length of the loaves. I seriously recommend this little maneuver. You can see what I'm talking about in the series of shaping pix below.


The next thing I learned is that it is really easy to overhandle the dough, because, well, you have to handle the dough more to shape it into baguette form. Be light of finger when shaping the dough.

With that said, I must say that the shaping was not as difficult as I thought it would be, in terms of handling. In fact, the dough was uber easy to handle from autolyse through proof, and I even used flour on my board instead of olive oil. You know, I just had to conquer that fear. It was starting to hamper me.


The best part of baguettes, aside from sharing the lot, is that they bake in 30 minutes. Plus, an hour to an hour and a half is shaved off of the proofing time. So this means that baguettes are like the 'fast food' of the bread world.

But enough opinionated blather, here goes the how, the why and the whatever for.




THE NIGHT BEFORE:

The poolish and the levain times posed a bit of a conundrum. Levain, as we all know, takes 8 hours to fully ferment, the poolish only 4. But the book dictates that you can refrigerate your poolish overnight, which would bring it to the finish line right around when the levain is finished doing its thing. It all worked out just fine.

MAKE THE POOLISH
200g KA AP flour
200g 75 degree h2o
3g active dry yeast

Mix together the ingredients for the poolish, cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

MAKE THE LEVAIN
15g mature starter, I used my rye starter
200g KA AP flour
200g 80 degree h2o

Mix together the ingredients for the levain, cover and let it bloom at room temp for at least 8 hours.


BAKE DAY

MAKE THE DOUGH
All of the poolish
All of the levain
600g  KA AP flour
350g KA bread flour
50g KA whole wheat flour
600g + 50g h2o
25g salt

(NOTE, the Tartine book does not use whole wheat flour at all, it calls for 350g of bread flour and 650g of AP. I like seeing little flecks of whole wheat in my baguette. And again, the Tartine book calls for only 500g of water, plus 50g more when the salt is added. Trust me. It's not enough. I wish I would have remembered to photograph it. In fact, I will next week so you can see for yourselves because I plan to do more baguettes with some changes).

OK. Here we go:

Dissolve the poolish and levain in 600g of water. Add the flours and mix until you achieve a cohesive, shaggy mass. The dough will be quite firm. Autolyse for 40 minutes.


After 40 minutes, add the salt and the remaining 50g of water. Mix well. The dough will feel well hydrated, but still firm.

Let this stand for 30 minutes, which is the first 30 minutes of your 4-hour bulk fermentation, then perform one series of turns every 40 minutes, for a total of four series.

The turns look like this: dip your hand beneath the belly of the dough, fold the bottom portion of the dough up over the top, spin the bowl 1/3 turn, fold, then spin the bowl a 1/3 turn and fold again. This is one series.

Let the dough ferment for another hour and 20 minutes unmolested. Your bulk fermentation should total 4 hours.

fully fermented dough

When the 4 hour fermentation is complete, pour the dough out onto a floured workspace.


Divide the dough and shape it into rough rectangles (I divided mine into 8 pieces, if you have a wider oven and want to make longer baguettes, you can divide yours into 4 as the book directs). Let it rest on the bench for 30 minutes.


NOW FOR THE SHAPING:


Take a rectangle.


Pull the bottom of the rectangle up to the center of the dough.


Stretch the sides of the dough to elongate it.


Pull down the ears.


Press the ears into the dough.


Pull down the top of the dough to the center.


Press the seam.


Fold this roll in half, and press down on the seam to close.


Now roll the dough back and forth, gently stretching, to elongate it into your baguette shape, keeping in mind the length of your baking stone.


Get the dough onto a couche that has been liberally dusted with brown rice flour, pulling up the slack between the baguettes to make snug compartments for each one.

Wet a towel with warm water and squeeze well, drape over the dough, then pull the leftover couche flap (or another dry towel) over the wet towel.


Let it proof for 2.5 to 3 hours, checking at 2.5 to see if it has fully proofed.

30 minutes before you plan to bake, preheat the oven to 500 degrees with a cast iron pan on the floor of the oven. At the last 5 minutes of preheat, fill a one-cup measure up with ice then fill with cold water. Dump this into the hot cast iron pan. Let the oven fill with steam for 5 minutes. Transfer the dough onto an inverted sheet pan (a peel will not be wide enough to hold the full length of the baguettes) that you have layered with a piece of parchment. Score the baguettes **and be sure to score horizontally. Scoring horizontally creates the ears on baguettes. When you slash straight down into the dough (like I did on 6 out of 8 of my baguettes) the score marks bleed open and do not develop prominent slashes.

Jerk the parchment onto the hot peel, close the door quickly, and turn the oven down to 475 degrees. Immediately open the oven door a hair and squirt the left wall with a water bottle whose nozzle has been set to 'stream'. Squirt until the side of the oven stops hissing, then repeat with the right wall. Do this every 4 minutes for the first 16 minutes. After the 16 minute steam, pull out the cast iron pan if it still has water in it. You no longer want steam in the oven. If it does not, leave it there so it's good and hot for the next batch of baguettes. Rotate the baguettes after 20 minutes for even browning. Bake until the loaves are brown. Mine took 30 minutes total. Repeat with the next batch, if you must bake in batches, and be sure to refrigerate the other doughs while they are awaiting their turn in the oven, so that they do not over proof.

Verdict:

Crust: Very crisp. A little on the rustic side. Didn't have the sheen that you get with commercial ovens with 'real' steam, but good, crisp crust nonetheless. Crumb: Open sesame! As you can see. Try not to overhandle the dough! Flavor: Pretty darn remarkable. But try not to overbake, especially if you make skinny loaves, to maintain a tender crumb. My French friend Francois love the flavor of the baguettes that I gave to him. Yes, he is my tester when it comes to all of my breads. So far so good for every one, including these! Ease of handling dough. Simple Notes: Be sure to keep a measuring stick on your workspace so you don't make your baguettes longer than your stone. Try not to overhandle the dough. This is tricky, and it will take more than one batch to work this out. Be careful not to overproof the dough, it proofs quickly. What I would do differently: I am undoubtedly going to try a lengthy and cold proof, because, well, you all know how much I love a good, long proof. I want my baguettes to get the lovely blisters and brittle crust that develop with long, cold fermentation.Remember, it's because  it allows the sugars to fully release from the flour and thus caramelize in the oven. I am also going to play around with the commercial yeast factor. How much and all of that good stuff. Whatever I do, I will report back at once. Frankly, I think the next few posts are going to be baguette posts, because the next couple of breads rely on a the formula for them. I have to perfect it if I am to move on and expect any sort of success with the upcoming breads.

To the staff of life!


This pixie post was spirited off to Wild Yeast Blog's Yeast Spotting.

All recipes in this post are derivative of those in the Tartine Bread book. I urge you to get your own copy.

Friday, October 21, 2011

ciabatta baguettes (why not)

You guys are going to be totally disappointed in me this week, but you might understand all at once.

Here goes...

When I started making my baguettes this morning, I had not had my coffee yet. Well, there is one thing that you should know about me, and that is that NOTHING happens before coffee. The only thing that I am capable of is putting the kettle on to boil, and even grinding the beans requires some serious effort (I have actually scooped sucanat - my natural cane sugar - into the coffee mill instead of whole coffee beans and ground it, and on more than one occasion). Suffice it to say, pre-coffee, my brain is stuffed with cotton, so, attempting to accomplish math or measure upon waking is not the brightest idea I've ever had.


With that said, I began making the Tartine baguette this morning, and while Chad says that the dough should feel stiff compared to the country loaves, the dough was beyond stiff. It was extraordinarily dry, so dry that there was simply not enough water to hydrate a good portion of the dough at all. Mind you, all of this measuring and observing is taking place pre-coffee, so it is possible that I thought that I was adding the right amount of water (500g, which puts the Tartine baguette somewhere in the neighborhood of 64.3% hydration), but missed the mark by a landslide.

The story gets better (or worse)...

I proceeded to try my hand at some bakers math to try to rectify the problem, to no avail. I added a bit of water to the dough to hydrate it more, but because my brain was so foggy, I think I added hell o' more, really, and I kept getting confused. 'Did I just add 70 grams or 300 grams?'. Yeah. Hella o' confused. And of course I didn't write anything down (but then, how could I have? I had no idea that I was even making bread until my first sip), so poof, all figures, measurements and times are dispersed into the ether.


Just a quick note, baguettes are supposed to be anywhere from 60 - 70% hydration. Evidently, those in France maintain lower hydration because of the flour that they use, and artisan baguettes in America can be on the higher end because of qualities of our flour. Evidently our flour is parched in comparison. Of course, my baguettes have something like 1 million percent hydration, give or take a few grams.

Laugh (cry). Out. Loud.


In the very least, I wanted you to see that I actually did try my hand at baguettes this week. Just know that I will be back front and center the drawing board next Tuesday with my second attempt along with a proper formula and method. I promise to embark upon the next venture post coffee, to be sure.

When life hands you a lemon, brush it with olive oil and call it a ciabatta baguette :)

See you Tuesday! (ps, despite everything, they were really bleepin good!)


To the staff of life!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bench Exam

Whew! Well, this is a beast of a post if there ever was one, so settle in with a cuppa something, because we are covering a lot of ground, I think you will agree.

Here goes...

tartine country boule

Before I progress onto the next Tartine phase, I decided that I should do a 'bench exam' where I could noodle around with some of the things that I've learned over the past however many months: increased fermentation times using cold proof to my advantage, adjusted hydration, and one loaf where I completely revised the formula (I wonder if you can guess which one that might be).

polenta boule, my very own formula

For the exam I put myself to the test with several loaves, ambitious, but fun! First, I did an experiment in hydration and fermentation with two breads: a country whole wheat with increased hydration and extended cold fermentation along with my City Bread, using a rye levain, extended cold fermentation and increased hydration. I then did a variation on the Tartine country loaf using a little more whole wheat flour which came out well. I made a semolina boule to see if I could improve the crust and open up the crumb using a lengthy fermentation and increased hydration to lovely success, and finally, I attempted another polenta boule (yikes), completely revising the formula. Its taken me a little bit of time to pull it all together, hence the 'missed' post last week. As you can see, I have not been resting on my laurels.


increased hydration, shattery crust, city bread

I've taken meticulous notes for all of the breads that I baked and all of the formulae are submitted below, including those two loaves that I've been wanting to experiment with in the arena of hydration and fermentation to open up the crumb - my City Bread, which is an ongoing pursuit, and the whole wheat loaf.


increased hydration, city bread, second loaf

With these two loaves I increased the hydration just a bit, and I'm learning that there is a fine line between enough and too much hydration, and as little as 20g of water can push your hydration over that line. You will know when your loaves are too highly hydrated when they don't 'hold their ears', which you can see from these experimental whole wheat and City loaves.


city bread, playing with hydration

Even though the crust for these particular breads did not hold les grignes, while the very same loaves with a little less hydration in previous posts did, I thought it was worth posting this experiment because the experiments themselves were/are important to share, since we are all working with hydration and fermentation and trying to see what less, more, longer and shorter yield.

semolina boule

I would be remiss if I only added the prettiest loaves I've baked, especially since these loaves came out earth shatteringly brittle, and the sugars, because the dough was well-hydrated, were able to fully caramelize, which lent the bread an astounding flavor. The texture of the crumb was also a success, fully gelatinized and chewy, and the flavor was fully developed, complex, and, well, pretty damned delicious, especially with Stilton and marmalade. I would love to maintain the flavor and complexity of these breads and still achieve les grignes. So, with that goal in mind, I will continue working with hydration and fermentation with those two breads and post my findings for you in the future.

polenta crumb, from my very own formula

I've also been fine-tuning the method for my turns, instead of doing 4 series of turns where I fold the dough indiscriminately, I've been paying close attention to the expansion of the dough and how buoyant it feels in my hand, and this should determine how many folds I would do within each series.


Finally, I've been working on my 'signature scoring'. I've decided on the two scores that you've seen for a couple of posts now, one producing a cute little chapeau and the other a domed cap with a break down one side of it like a mohawk. I'm not going to tell you how I make the little mohawk ; )


tartine's semolina loaf

I'm trying to better understand my bread. I've gone from following rules to listening to what my bread needs, changing how I respond to those needs given the environment (temperature and levels of humidity) and the mercurial nature of the tools that I have (how thirsty the flour that I'm using might be as well as taking into consideration the protein percentage therein).

city bread, opening the crumb

city bread, up close and personal

One thing that I want to experiment with in the near future is working with different types of flour, both the variety and the miller. Within my experimentation, I've resigned to using King Arthur, Bob's Red Mill and Arrowhead Mills because they are all accessible. While they are all fine millers, there are some exciting local (California), small-scale artisan millers who work with different wheat varieties.

whole wheat loaf, playing with hydration

I do not live in an artisan bread cul-de-sac like Portland Oregon or the Bay Area (anymore), and Los Angeles could not care one iota about any sort of bread movement (you know, these people are terrified of carbohydrates), so, I'm going to have to reach out to those millers and grab their goods via snail mail. I am excited to find out how they will affect my breads, and I will be certain to pass on all of the details so you can have a head start with your own breads using the same flours.

one of my test loaves, (still working out the kinks, will share the formula soon)

So, enough chatter. I will let the post speak for itself, because after baking so many boules I'm too exhausted to tell you a story on top of it all.

Here are the results of the bench exam!

SEMOLINA

This formula makes two semolina boules with a fantastic, brittle crust and a creamy crumb more open than the last.


GATHER THESE THINGS:


700g semolina
300g bread flour
790g h2o
200g (or so) rye levain (formula and method below)
25g olive oil
20g salt

MAKE THE LEVAIN:

15g 100% hydration rye starter
100g h2o
50g BRM medium rye flour
50g KA AP flour

Dissolve the starter with the water. Add the flours and mix to a thick paste. Ferment for 8 hours.

MAKE THE BREAD:

1) Dissolve all of the levain in 750g of h2o. Mix in the semolina and the bread flour. Autolyse for 45 minutes.

2) Add the salt and olive oil to the dough along with 40g of h2o. Mix well, let it rest for 30 minutes.

3) Perform 4 series of turns as follows:


SERIES ONE:
After the 30 minute rest after adding salt, fold the dough by scooping your hand beneath the dough, then folding the bottom of the dough up over the top of the mass, this is one fold; spin the bowl a 1/3 revolution, fold again, this is your second fold...  Perform 5 folds.

SERIES TWO:
30 minutes after the first series of turns, perform your second series, but this time, only fold the dough 4 times.

SERIES THREE:
30 minutes after the second series of turns, perform your third series, but this time, only fold the dough 3 times.

SERIES FOUR:
30 minutes after the third series of turns, perform your fourth series, but this time, only fold the dough 2 times.


The turns that I outlined above were given the temperature/environment that I live in. You will 'read' your dough, and adjust how many folds you perform based on your environment. If your dough is increasing rapidly, you will perform less folds so you don't knock the accumulating gasses out of the dough. Always, no matter how many turns you perform, use a gentle hand with your turns. The dough will strengthen with fermentation. Your folds are an effort to keep the gluten molecules elongated and organized.

3) Ferment the dough for 2 more hours unmolested at room temperature if it's cool enough, if it's warm where you are, pop it in the fridge and ferment for the last 2 hours.

4) After 4 hours of bulk fermentation flour your workspace (or if you're freaked out like me about adding too much flour to your dough during shaping, be unconventional like me and use olive oil. There are no rules in your private bakery, except those that you make. Until I get hired as a baker somewhere (never), I will use olive oil on my work space, and my breads seem to turn out just fine, if not a little more scrumptious), divide the dough in two and loosely shape into rounds. Bench rest 15 minutes.

5) After the bench, shape the dough into two tight little boules, pop into bowls lined with linen that have been dusted with brown rice flour, and refrigerate for a 10-hour cold proof.

6) With only 20 minutes left of your 10-hour cold proof, preheat the oven to 500 degrees with a combo cooker and baking stone inside.

7) Cut out a square of parchment, place it over the proofed dough, invert this onto a peel so that the parchment is between the peel and the dough.

8) Peel off the linen, score the dough, slide into the shallow part of the combo cooker, spritz thoroughly with water using the MIST setting on your squirt bottle. Cover. Pop into the oven, turn the temp down to 450 degrees and bake for 30 minutes with the lid in place. Repeat with the second boule.

9) After 30 minutes of steam, remove the lid and bake till the loaves are golden, another 30 - 40 minutes.

Verdict:


Crust: Ummm, amazing. Crumb: Beautifully open for semolina, I feel. The mouthfeel was wonderful, full gelatinization realized. Flavor: Creamy and rich. Really beautiful. Ease of handling dough: C'est simple! Notes: For my semolina loaf, I increased the hydration a bit and the fermentation time dramatically. Remember to use bread flour in conjunction with the semolina, you really need the increased and higher quality protein from the flour. As well, when experimenting with hydration, small adjustments make a huge difference in the outcome of the bread. Try not to go 'hog wild' and add huge percentages of water at a time. You may compromise oven spring and the quality of your crust if you over-hydrate our dough when working with boules. Small amounts, like 10g increments will speak volumes in the ensuing loaves. Take scrupulous notes and note the changes with your adjustments so that you are continually improving the formula for your bread. Changes/notes: I think these loaves came out exceedingly well.


POLENTA

Do you remember how I wrestled with Tartine's polenta beast? Well, I finally tamed it by creating my own formula. Here's the master plan.


GATHER THESE THINGS:

200g semolina
300g KA bread flour
420g h2o
35g course polenta
100g (or so) white levain (formula and method below)
10g salt
12g olive oil

MAKE THE LEVAIN:

9g 100% hydration rye starter
50g h2o
50g KA AP flour

Dissolve the starter with the water. Add the flour and mix to a thick paste. Ferment for 8 hours.

MAKE THE BREAD:

1) Pour 70 g of boiling water over the dry polenta in a glass measuring cup. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and set aside until completely cool.

2) Dissolve the levain in 350g of h2o. Mix in the semolina and bread flour. Autolyse for 60 minutes.

3) Add the salt to the dough along with the cooled polenta and olive oil. Mix well, let it rest for 30 minutes.

4) Perform 4 series of turns as follows:


SERIES ONE:
After the 30 minute rest after adding salt, fold the dough by scooping your hand beneath the dough, then folding the bottom of the dough up over the top of the mass, this is one fold; spin the bowl a 1/3 revolution, fold again, this is your second fold...  Perform 5 folds.

SERIES TWO:
30 minutes after the first series of turns, perform your second series, but this time, only fold the dough 4 times.

SERIES THREE:
30 minutes after the second series of turns, perform your third series, but this time, only fold the dough 3 times.

SERIES FOUR:
30 minutes after the third series of turns, perform your fourth series, but this time, only fold the dough 2 times.

The turns that I outlined above were given the temperature/environment that I live in. You will 'read' your dough, and adjust how many folds you perform based on your environment. If your dough is increasing rapidly, you will perform less folds so you don't knock the accumulating gasses out of the dough. Always, no matter how many turns you perform, use a gentle hand with your turns. The dough will strengthen with fermentation. Your folds are an effort to keep the gluten molecules elongated and organized.

5) Ferment the dough for 2 more hours unmolested at room temperature if it's cool enough, if it's warm where you are, pop it in the fridge and ferment for the last 2 hours.

6) After 4 hours of bulk fermentation flour your workspace (or if you're freaked out like me about adding too much flour to your dough during shaping, be unconventional like me and use olive oil. There are no rules in your private bakery, except those that you make. Until I get hired as a baker somewhere (never), I will use olive oil on my work space, and my breads seem to turn out just fine, if not a little more scrumptious), and loosely shape the dough into a round. Bench rest 15 minutes.

7) After the bench, shape the dough into a tight little boule, pop into a bowl lined with linen that has been dusted with brown rice flour, and refrigerate for a 7.5 hour cold proof.

8) With only 20 minutes left of your cold proof, preheat the oven to 500 degrees with a combo cooker and baking stone inside.

9) Cut out a square of parchment, place it over the proofed dough, invert this onto a peel so that the parchment is between the peel and the dough.

10) Peel off the linen, slide into the shallow part of the combo cooker, spritz well with water using the MIST setting on your squirt bottle. Sprinkle the top of the boule with raw polenta then score the dough. Cover with the deep end of the combo cooker. Pop into the oven, turn the temp down to 450 degrees and bake for 30 minutes with the lid in place.

11) Remove the lid and bake till the loaves are golden, another 30 - 40 minutes.

Verdict:

Crust:  It came out beautifully, thin and brittle. The addition of polenta on the top was nice and added a toasty corn flavor. Crumb: open, fully gelatinized, moist. Flavor: It was delicious. The right amount of tang. The extended fermentation really coaxed out some lovely flavors. Ease of handling dough: C'est simple! Changes/notes: I think this loaf came out really well all in all.


WHOLE WHEAT

I increased hydration a bit and extended the fermentation for this formula in hopes of opening up the crumb a bit. I also used a 50/50 ratio of bread flour to whole wheat to soften it a bit. I think this also helped to loosen up the crumb.


GATHER THESE THINGS:

250g KA AP flour
250g KA whole wheat flour
445g h2o
100g (or so) whole wheat levain (formula and method below)
10g salt

MAKE THE LEVAIN:

9g 100% hydration rye starter
50g h2o
25g KA AP flour
25g KA whole wheat flour

Dissolve the starter with the water. Add the flours and mix to a thick paste. Ferment for 8 hours.

MAKE THE BREAD:

1) Dissolve the levain in 425g of h2o. Mix in the whole wheat and AP flours. Autolyse for 60 minutes.

2) Add the salt to the dough along with 20g of water. Mix well, let it rest for 30 minutes.

3) Perform 4 series of turns as follows:


SERIES ONE:
After the 30 minute rest after adding salt, fold the dough by scooping your hand beneath the dough, then folding the bottom of the dough up over the top of the mass, this is one fold; spin the bowl a 1/3 revolution, fold again, this is your second fold...  Perform 5 folds.

SERIES TWO:
30 minutes after the first series of turns, perform your second series, but this time, only fold the dough 4 times.

SERIES THREE:
30 minutes after the second series of turns, perform your third series, but this time, only fold the dough 3 times.

SERIES FOUR:
30 minutes after the third series of turns, perform your fourth series, but this time, only fold the dough 2 times.

The turns that I outlined above were given the temperature/environment that I live in. You will 'read' your dough, and adjust how many folds you perform based on your environment. If your dough is increasing rapidly, you will perform less folds so you don't knock the accumulating gasses out of the dough. Always, no matter how many turns you perform, use a gentle hand with your turns. The dough will strengthen with fermentation. Your folds are an effort to keep the gluten molecules elongated and organized.

4) Ferment the dough for 2 more hours unmolested at room temperature if it's cool enough, if it's warm where you are, pop it in the fridge and ferment for the last 2 hours.

5) After 4 hours of bulk fermentation flour your workspace (or if you're freaked out like me about adding too much flour to your dough during shaping, be unconventional like me and use olive oil. There are no rules in your private bakery, except those that you make. Until I get hired as a baker somewhere (never), I will use olive oil on my work space, and my breads seem to turn out just fine, if not a little more scrumptious), and loosely shape the dough into a round. Bench rest 15 minutes.

6) After the bench, shape the dough into a tight little boule, pop into a bowl lined with linen that has been dusted with brown rice flour, and refrigerate for a 7.5 hour cold proof.

7) With only 20 minutes left of your cold proof, preheat the oven to 500 degrees with a combo cooker and baking stone inside.

8) Cut out a square of parchment, place it over the proofed dough, invert this onto a peel so that the parchment is between the peel and the dough.

9) Peel off the linen, score, slide into the shallow part of the combo cooker, spritz well with water using the MIST setting on your squirt bottle. Cover. Pop into the oven, turn the temp down to 450 degrees and bake for 30 minutes with the lid in place.

10) Remove the lid and bake till the loaves are golden, another 30 - 40 minutes.

Verdict:

Crust:  So brittle! Crumb: Fully gelatinized, moist, lovely. Flavor: So beautiful. Great tang, but not too much. Complex flavor. Earthy. Ease of handling dough: C'est simple! Changes/notes: I would probably back off of hydration a bit so that the dough scores more pleasantly. I really loved the brittle crust and chewy crumb, but it is important that the bread be visually as pleasing as it is tasty. This is an experiment in hydration, after all, and it was great to see what such high hydration yielded with this whole wheat loaf. I would keep this formula and make it again because the caramelization of the crust was pretty awesome, but if I was baking bread for a gift, I would make sure that the hydration allowed for the development of les grignes. I will post any further developments with my whole wheat breads. Enjoy this bread with stilton.


MY CITY BREAD

My baby. There will be no end to monkeying with my City Bread. There are so many variables to tweak. This is the bread that Thumbelina and I eat most often at home. Have a look.


GATHER THESE THINGS:

700g KA AP flour
300g KA whole wheat flour
870g ice cold h2o
200g (or so) rye levain (formula and method below)
20g salt

MAKE THE LEVAIN:

15g 100% hydration rye starter
100g h2o
50g KA AP flour
50g BRM medium rye flour

Dissolve the starter with the water. Add the flours and mix to a thick paste. Ferment for 8 hours.

MAKE THE BREAD:

1) Dissolve the levain in 800g of h2o. Mix in the AP and whole wheat flours. Autolyse for 60 minutes.

2) Add the salt to the dough along with 70g of ice cold h2o. Mix well, let it rest for 30 minutes.

3) Perform 4 series of turns as follows:


SERIES ONE:
After the 30 minute rest after adding salt, fold the dough by scooping your hand beneath the dough, then folding the bottom of the dough up over the top of the mass, this is one fold; spin the bowl a 1/3 revolution, fold again, this is your second fold...  Perform 5 folds.

SERIES TWO:
30 minutes after the first series of turns, perform your second series, but this time, only fold the dough 4 times.

SERIES THREE:
30 minutes after the second series of turns, perform your third series, but this time, only fold the dough 3 times.

SERIES FOUR:
30 minutes after the third series of turns, perform your fourth series, but this time, only fold the dough 2 times.

The turns that I outlined above were given the temperature/environment that I live in. You will 'read' your dough, and adjust how many folds you perform based on your environment. If your dough is increasing rapidly, you will perform less folds so you don't knock the accumulating gasses out of the dough. Always, no matter how many turns you perform, use a gentle hand with your turns. The dough will strengthen with fermentation. Your folds are an effort to keep the gluten molecules elongated and organized.

4) After 4 hours of bulk fermentation flour your workspace (or if you're freaked out like me about adding too much flour to your dough during shaping, be unconventional like me and use olive oil. There are no rules in your private bakery, except those that you make. Until I get hired as a baker somewhere (never), I will use olive oil on my work space, and my breads seem to turn out just fine, if not a little more scrumptious), divide the dough in two and loosely shape into rounds. Bench rest 15 minutes.

5) After the bench, shape the dough into two tight little boules, pop into bowls lined with linen that have been dusted with brown rice flour, and refrigerate for a 10-hour cold proof.

6) With only 20 minutes left of your 10-hour cold proof, preheat the oven to 500 degrees with a combo cooker and baking stone inside.

7) Cut out a square of parchment, place it over the proofed dough, invert this onto a peel so that the parchment is between the peel and the dough.

8) Peel off the linen, score the dough, slide into the shallow part of the combo cooker, spritz thoroughly with water using the MIST setting on your squirt bottle. Cover. Pop into the oven, turn the temp down to 450 degrees and bake for 30 minutes with the lid in place. Repeat with the second boule.

9) After 30 minutes of steam, remove the lid and bake till the loaves are golden, another 30 - 40 minutes.


Verdict:

Crust:  Very brittle, caramelized, crisp! Crumb: Fully gelatinized, moist, lovely. Flavor: Close to perfect. Great tang, but not too much. Complex and earthy. You really get the rye from the levainEase of handling dough: C'est simple! Changes/notes: I love my city bread, and I had been wanting to monkey with hydration just to see if I could open up the crumb. The crumb did indeed open, but I lost les grignes as a result. I must say, the crust of this bread was so shattery, it was awesome. And the crumb was perfectly chewy and complex. This was an experiment in hydration. I wanted to see how much latitude I have with hydration and my city bread, and this was the result. I loved the outcome of this bread, and I think that it has its own merits, but if I am seeking a loaf that maintains les grignes, I would refer to the older posts where my city bread has such large ears that you could carry the loaf by them. Enjoy this bread with brie and marmalade.


TARTINE COUNTRY(ISH)

This formula makes two (slightly modified) Tartine country boules with a little more whole wheat than Chad's country loaf formula.


GATHER THESE THINGS:


850g KA bread flour
150g KA whole wheat flour
800g h2o
200g (or so) rye levain (formula and method below)

MAKE THE LEVAIN:

15g 100% hydration starter
100g h2o
50g BRM medium rye flour
50g KA AP flour

Dissolve the starter with the water. Add the flours and mix to a thick paste. Ferment for 8 hours.

MAKE THE BREAD:

1) Dissolve the levain in 760g of h2o. Mix in the whole wheat and the bread flour. Autolyse for 60 minutes.
2) Add the salt to the dough along with 40g of h2o. Mix well, let it rest for 30 minutes.
3) Perform 4 series of turns as follows:


SERIES ONE:
After the 30 minute rest after adding salt, fold the dough by scooping your hand beneath the dough, then folding the bottom of the dough up over the top of the mass, this is one fold; spin the bowl a 1/3 revolution, fold again, this is your second fold...  Perform 5 folds.

SERIES TWO:
30 minutes after the first series of turns, perform your second series, but this time, only fold the dough 4 times.

SERIES THREE:
30 minutes after the second series of turns, perform your third series, but this time, only fold the dough 3 times.

SERIES FOUR:
30 minutes after the third series of turns, perform your fourth series, but this time, only fold the dough 2 times.

The turns that I outlined above were given the temperature/environment that I live in. You will 'read' your dough, and adjust how many folds you perform based on your environment. If your dough is increasing rapidly, you will perform less folds so you don't knock the accumulating gasses out of the dough. Always, no matter how many turns you perform, use a gentle hand with your turns. The dough will strengthen with fermentation. Your folds are an effort to keep the gluten molecules elongated and organized.

3) Ferment the dough for 2 more hours unmolested at room temperature if it's cool enough, if it's warm where you are, pop it in the fridge and ferment for the last 2 hours.

4) After 4 hours of bulk fermentation flour your workspace (or if you're freaked out like me about adding too much flour to your dough during shaping, be unconventional like me and use olive oil. There are no rules in your private bakery, except those that you make. Until I get hired as a baker somewhere (never), I will use olive oil on my work space, and my breads seem to turn out just fine, if not a little more scrumptious), divide the dough in two and loosely shape into rounds. Bench rest 15 minutes.

5) After the bench, shape the dough into two tight little boules, pop into bowls lined with linen that have been dusted with brown rice flour, and refrigerate for a 10-hour cold proof.

6) With only 20 minutes left of your 10-hour cold proof, preheat the oven to 500 degrees with a combo cooker and baking stone inside.

7) Cut out a square of parchment, place it over the proofed dough, invert this onto a peel so that the parchment is between the peel and the dough.

8) Peel off the linen, score the dough, slide into the shallow part of the combo cooker, spritz thoroughly with water using the MIST setting on your squirt bottle. Cover. Pop into the oven, turn the temp down to 450 degrees and bake for 30 minutes with the lid in place. Repeat with the second boule.

9) After 30 minutes of steam, remove the lid and bake till the loaves are golden, another 30 - 40 minutes.

Verdict:

Crust: The best crust I've made yet. Shattery and fully caramelized. Smoky, rich, chocolate undertones. Crumb: Moderately open. I DID degas this dough, which I think condensed the crumb. I could be wrong. At any rate, I don't think degassing is necessary when working with rustic loaves. The mouthfeel was wonderful, full gelatinization realized. Flavor: Complex, rich, wheaty and the right amount of tang. Really beautiful. Ease of handling dough: C'est simple! Notes: I degassed this loaf, which is something I only ever did with the rye. I don't think that it's necessary, and I could be wrong, but I think that it lessened what could have been a more open crumb and it sort of bummed me out. I think degassing is fine for breads that seek a tighter crumb, but not for a rustic loaf.


THE GALLERY












THE TEST LOAVES


So, that's it for this (and last) week's post. Next week marks a new chapter on my bread journey. I hope that you will join me for the continued trek!

To the staff of life!



This post was sent to Wild Yeast Blog's Yeast Spotting.

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