Before I talk about the details of this bread, I have to express my gratitude for Joze and Alan. Without their tips and advises, it would not be born. Thank you so much!
This is my fifth attempt at barley flour, which also happens to be the first successful one. Regarding the challenges I faced when working with it, please refer to my recent forum post: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/56589/does-barley-have-exceptionally-high-enzymatic-activities
The major changes I made for this bake are cutting the room temperature bulk fermentation drastically from around 8 hours to 1.75 hours only, as well as skipping the autolyze. They're essential for the preservation of gluten and thus the structure of the dough.
Barley, Spelt and White Wheat Bread With 10% Sprouted Spelt
Dough flour (all freshly milled):
120g 40% Whole white wheat flour
90g 30% Pearl barley flour
60g 20% Whole spelt flour
30g 10% Sprouted spelt flour
20g 6.7% Starter
20g 6.7% Bran sifted out from dough flour
20g 6.7% Water
280g 93.3% Dough flour excluding bran for leaven
212g 70.6% Water
53g 17.6% Whey
60g 20% Leaven
7g 2.3% Powdered Alt Altus
9g 3% Vital Wheat Gluten
6g 2% Salt
215g 70.5% Whole grain
295g 96.7% Total hydration
Sift out the coarse bran from the dough flour, reserve 20g for leaven. Soak the rest (I got 4g) in equal amount of whey taken from dough ingredients for a minimum of 4 hours.
Combine all leaven ingredients and let sit until doubled, about 4 hours.
Roughly combine all dough ingredients and set aside for 15 minutes. Stretch and fold the dough until the gluten is lightly developed then ferment for 15 minutes. Construct another two sets of stretch and fold with a 30 minutes fermentation in between. Leave the dough to ferment for the last 45 minutes untouched. This gives rise to a total of 1.75 hours of bulk fermentation.
Preshape the dough then let it rest for 15 minutes. Shape the dough and put in into a banneton. Leave it on the counter for 15 minutes before retarding for 16.5 hours.
Preheat the oven at 250°C/480°F. Remove the dough from the fridge to warm up at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Score the dough and bake at 250°C/480°F with steam for 15 minutes then without steam for 25 minutes more or until the internal temperature reaches a minimum of 205°F. Let cool for at least 2 hours before slicing.
I love this crust despite the slight over-bake! It’s shiny and crispy: just how all rustic bread crust should be like. The dough rose by approximately 20% only during the retard but it did spring a bit in the oven. Extending the bulk fermentation by 15-30 minutes may promote a better rise.
No gluten degradation this time! The crumb is not very open but I do not get pancakes… As always, this bread is chewy but very moist at the same time.
The sweetness and nuttiness of barley shines through in this bread. I put just 10% sprouted flour into the formula for this bake to limit the enzymatic activities. Now I’ve more confidence in working with barley flour, a higher percentage of sprouted flour would go into the mix for sure in future bakes. That’s because nothing beats the taste and aroma of freshly milled sprouted flour:)
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