This particular wheat is milled from California-grown Red Wing with 13.61% protein. It's 100% stone milled on a granite wheel at temperatures below 110 degrees. Cooler milling temperatures mean that less of the grain's vitamins are destroyed in the process. As well, the wheat at Community Grains is milled without separating the germ, bran and endosperm at any point during the milling process. And here's some news: many companies separate the germ, bran and endosperm in the milling process then later combine the bran and endosperm to make 'whole wheat' flour, leaving the germ out because it can go rancid quickly. This separation process means longer shelf-life for companies but less nutrition for us since it is the germ that contains most of the grain's nutrients and fats. 'Whole grain' flour by definition is a flour where the grain has been milled in its entirety - 100% of the germ, bran and endosperm. 'Whole wheat' flours are not whole grain flours if the grain is not milled in its entirety. Just some food for thought when you reach for your next bag of flour. Know your miller's practices if you want to be confident about the nutrition of your flour, not to mention flavor.
In the first Tartine Three loaf, Chad has tempered the more stalwart flavors of red whole wheat with white whole wheat. Though I happen to find bitterness agreeable. Dandelions are my favorite greens. Campari is my favorite drink. When I hear of people talk about the unpleasant bitterness of whole wheat bread, I don't understand. All that aside, I do like the idea of using white winter wheat in bread because I think it lightens the loaf. Not only aesthetically, but I think that it opens up the crumb in what could otherwise be a very serious bread. It's like 'the other white flour'.
For the white whole wheat flour I used Bob's Red Mill hard white wheat and the marriage of the two flours was harmonious indeed. The nuances of the red wheat shine through here where they might otherwise be clouded by its own bitterness. A temperance that hinted at so many possibilities, so many ideas for later loaves. And so I think you are going to see it make regular appearances in our bread lab.
In keeping with this decision to start with pre-milled flour, instead of sifting out some of the bran to make high-extraction flour - which is near impossible to achieve if you are not milling your own flour and able to control the coarseness of the grind - I decided to go with Chad's suggestion of mixing 50/50 whole grain and sifted strong flour, in this case I used King Arthur bread flour. In the future I am going to work to control the extraction rate through sifting, but when I began this post, my screens had not yet arrived, and since I really wanted the first post to be about using pre-milled flour for people who don't want to mill and sift their own, I figured that it's most logical to make our high-extraction flour using this method because this is probably how you will do it yourselves.
Aside from the welcome addition of higher percentages of whole grains in our breads, in this particular experiment I wanted to try my hand at a couple of different things, namely shaping, making high-extraction flour, and sorting out all of this autolyse business. Actually, let's start there.
To refresh everyone's memory, on the first leg of the experiment, I routinely used one-hour autolyses. It worked for me, so I just carried it over from loaf to loaf. Sometimes I would go a little further. I have gone to an hour and a half with fantastic results. In Book Two, Chad calls for a twenty-five to forty minute autolyse, and now with Three, he comes along and blows our minds with an overnight autolyse. To begin our experiment, I used a conservative hand. Three-hour autolyses for the first round of loaves. I think that through the last experiment we all learned that it's best to start conservatively and push the boundaries gently. It's easier to make adjustments this way because narrow parameters are more manageable. The narrow margins allow us to focus on specific things. When we experiment too widely within a given bread we can get lost, never able to determine what went wrong in the broad sea of variables. Within this new autolyse question, I wanted to keep in mind that our bread is already really time-intensive, so if we can achieve happy results with lesser autolyse, then let's do that, right?
PLEASE SEE THE NEXT POST FOR AN EYE OPENING UPDATE ON AUTOLYSE
In our next post I am committed to try some longer autolyses for the sake of the experiment, but unless this new extended autolyse manages to part the sky and sea, then I think this may be one area of my bread where I am willing to be practical. I like the idea of being able to make bread in a manageable time-frame. I have worked out a schedule where if I rise early, I can make a levain in the morning, work the dough in the afternoon, proof it in the fridge overnight then bake the loaf by noon the next day. This round of loaves found smashing success with a three-hour autolyse, and it fell within a reasonable time-frame, so instead of baking at noon, I could conceivably bake at around 2pm, still enough time to have bread for an afternoon charcuterie and cheese plate.
About this new extended autolyse. I was a little worried about the possibility of overproofing dough, but I kept a close eye on it as it was hydrating, and it expanded at a comfortable rate. That is to say that it didn't blow up too quickly as I feared it might, possibly resulting in an exhausted final dough. Contrarily, at the end of the autolyse, it had increased just enough and became very much alive. At the end of the bulk fermentation, the dough had easily increased by about 30% as you can see in the photos below, and at the end of the final fermentation, accomplished overnight in the refrigerator, the dough had expanded impressively and yielded a really fantastic loaf. Smoke, hazelnuts, sweet molasses, notes of coffee. A good round flavor with all of the loaves, thanks to the white wheat, yeah, but with varying degrees of sourness due to the varied hydrations employed in each one, which you will read about below. The loaves also achieved fine oven spring (more on this with regard to shaping), and the crumb texture was really light and tender with a ruddy hue and a really brittle crust. It's actually a little hard to believe that these loaves are almost completely whole grain, the only white flour being 125g, or 25%, contributed by the high-extraction flour.
I think I need a little more time to fine-tune my wild side.
In the next post I am going to work exclusively with home-milled grains and give you all some resources to source your own. For those of you who do not want to mill your own grains, splurge on the best whole grain flour you can afford. After all, bread is flour and water, so choose wisely and your amazing loaves of bread will be your reward. To be sure, I will always tell you what brand of flour and grain I use in my loaves, including links whenever possible.
Here are the details of our trio of breads. Please note that all hydration percentages include the flour and water in the starter and the levain, and includes the volume of wheat germ.
This is our 79% hydration bread, and the one that most closely follows the formula in the book in terms of hydration.
The formula below makes one loaf. Gather together these things:
-250g of levain, formula below
-250g high extraction wheat flour, which is simply 125g bread flour (I used KA) whisked together with 125g Community Grains hard red winter wheat flour
-125g Community Grains hard red winter wheat flour
-125g Bob's Red Mill hard white winter wheat flour
-35g wheat germ
-425g cold h2o (see note below which gives hydration amounts for the 81% and 83% hydration loaves) *
-11g kosher salt
A note on the starter. Mine is 100% hydration, 100% dark rye, and I use Bob's Red Mill rye berries in my Komo mill. Until I got my mill, I relied on Bob's Red Mill dark rye flour to feed my starter.
THE NIGHT BEFORE DOUGH DAY
Make your levain. You will need:
-50g active starter (fed about 6 hours before)
-100g cold h2o
-100g Community Grains red winter wheat flour
Dissolve the levain in the h2o, then mix in 100g of Community Grains red winter wheat flour until you arrive at a paste. Cover and let it bloom. I made mine the night before dough day, so it fermented for 8.5 hours. I have had success with levains as young as 5 hours and fermented for 10 hours. For longer ferments, I advise placing the levain in a cool room to ferment more slowly.
After you have accomplished autolyse, squish the salt into the dough along with 25g of the remaining water (see note below which gives the additional hydration amounts for the 81% and 83% hydration loaves)*, and proceed with a 4-hour bulk fermentation, the first 2.5 hours of which you will perform a series of turns every half hour. Take care to handle the dough gingerly during the final turns so that you do not press out the gasses that are developing in the dough. Leave the dough unmolested for the remaining 1.5 hours. It should expand about 30% and when you press it with your finger, it will feel taut and alive. I accomplished my bulk fermentation at room temperature, about 70 degrees.
After the bulk fermentation, scrape the dough onto the bench dusted with brown rice flour. A note on brown rice flour, I used Arrowhead Mills brown rice flour this time around and found it to be much more coarse than Bob's Red Mill organic brown rice flour which is what I normally use. Arrowhead Mills feels more like cornmeal. They both serve the purpose of keeping the dough from sticking to the surface of the bench and the linen-lined proofing cloth. But aesthetically and tactilely I prefer Bob's Red Mill. This comes down to a preference thing.
Back to the task at hand.
Shape the dough into a loose round, cover with an inverted bowl, and rest for 25 minutes. After the bench rest, shape the dough into a round, using whatever shaping method you fancy. You only want to be sure to develop some tension in the dough so that you can achieve optimum oven spring.
Pop the dough into a linen-lined bowl dusted with brown rice flour, seam side up, and refrigerate it for 18 hours. Incidentally, my oven only holds two loaves at a time, so this particular loaf was fermented for an additional hour and a half while the other two loaves baked.
Preheat the oven to 500 with a dutch oven and baking stone inside.
Unearth the dough by placing a sheet of parchment over the mouth of the dough bowl, then place a peel over this and quickly invert the bowl so that the dough ends up sitting on the paper and the peel, seam side down.
Slash the dough, then slide it into the shallow half of the hot dutchie. Cover with the fat half, slide it into the oven, turn the oven down to 475 and steam for thirty minutes.
After the steam, remove the lid, then stack the pan over its mouth. This will help keep the bottom of your bread from blackening. Nice move, eh?
Turn the oven down to 450 and bake the bread to desired darkness. I find that it's almost impossible to go as dark as Chad's without drying out the loaf in a home oven. So I aim for chestnut-colored.
Cool on a wire rack for at least an hour before slicing.
This post was shared on Susan's Wild Yeast Blog