Lucy was really depressed this week. It was the first time in along time my Baking Apprentice 2nd Class couldn’t come up with her own recipe for the Friday Bake. She was also more than a little surprised that the Plotziade Olympic Bread was not the full flavored pumpernickel of her Black Forest youth .
She is starting to wonder how San Francisco Tartine like …her German countrymen, back in the old country, have become. No worries! Lucy couldn’t be left out of the Bread Olympics no matter what - especially when it was being held in her homeland she misses so much.
Right off the bat she ran into trouble. There isn’t any T550 flour within 6,000 miles of Gilbert, AZ and she wouldn’t allow me to ruin everything by adding some VWG to our 10% protein AP. We are also out of our favorite 12% protein LaFama AP
So, as a work around to get some decent white flour and to give her something to do, she freshly milled some whole wheat berries and sifted the result to get exactly 113 g of 85% extraction white wheat. When added to the majority of the weak AP it would be as close to T550 as she could get in a pinch.
As luck would have it, our rye and wheat 66% hydration SD starter has been in the fridge getting more and more sour for the past 4 weeks – unfed and undisturbed. This is when it really starts to make fine sourdough bread - it would be perfect for Plotzaide. Lucy decided that the levain would total a little over 16% of the total flour and water weight of the final dough. We hoped this whould give us a 12 hours retard without over proofing in the fridge.
All of the whole rye was freshly home milled and used in the 3 stage levain build so that the whole grains in this bread would be wet the longest and hopefully be softer and contribute mire flavor tin the end. We did out usual levain build with the first 2 stages being 4 hours each where it doubled after the 2nd stage and then we refrigerated the levain for 24 hours after the levain had risen 25% after the 3rd feeding.
The levain doubled again in the fridge and smelled very sour. An hour and a half after we took it out of the fridge to warm up, we started the 1 hour autolyse of the dough flour and water with the pink Himalayan sea salt sprinkled on top of the autolyse ball so we wouldn’t forget to add it later.
In the two and a half hours the levain was on the counter warming up it nearly went from doubling to tripling in volume and was just starting to crash. We mixed the salt into the autolyse and then added the levain and mixed it in with a spoon. We then did 3 sets of slap and folds on 7, 2 and 1 minutes that were separated by 15 minute rest periods. The 78% hydration dough finally quit sticking to the counter at the 7 minute mark of the first set.
Then we did 3 sets of stretch and folds on 15 minute intervals doing one stretch from each of the 4 compass points and folding over. Then Lucy decided to do a Chacon design on the bottom of the basket - which we like to do for special occasions such as this one. So, we cut off 2 pieces of dough about 100 g each and, with lightly flour dusted hands, rolled out two logs.
One we formed into Kaiser….eeerrrr….Franz Joseph roll and the other we cut into 8 pieces and roll them into little balls. The FJ roll went into the bottom center of the basket and the 8 balls surrounded it . We wanted to do a Twisted Sister rope to surround the balls but this bread is just too small and doing this wouldn’t leave enough dough to cover the entire design in the bottom.
So, the rest if the dough, about 700 g, was pre-shaped and then shaped into a boule and placed in top of the Chacon design. We love the way the Chacon cracks under the heat and steam of the oven to reveal the hidden design. Only the best for the first Plotziade! Once the design was complete, we immediately trash bagged the basket and put it into the fridge for a 12 hour retard.
It proofed nicely in the cold to about 85% and when we took it out of the fridge in the morning, Lucy fired up Big Old Betsy with baking stones top and bottom to 550 F, regular bake. We also got the Mega Steam ready with 2 of Sylvia’s Streaming Pans, with a rolled up kitchen towel inside and one of David’s Lava Rock Pans - all 3 half full of water. This steaming combination takes up the entire width if the bottom rack of the oven. The steam went in when the GE hit 525 F.
15 minutes later the oven was at 550 F, the stones were at 525 F and the steam was billowing. We un-molded the bread into parchment paper on a peel and slid it onto the bottom stone. After 2 minutes of steam we turned the oven down to 475 F regular bake and continued steaming for another 10 minutes. At the 12minute mark, the steam came out and the oven was turned down to 425 F – Convection bake this time. 10 minutes later the bread tested 205 F on the inside and it was removed to the cooling rack.
We liked the way it looked in the outside from a browning point of view, but it only cracked over 1/3 of the design on the top for some reason? Either it was over proofed or more likely over hydrated or a little of both I’m guessing.
In the past this has happened with high hydration white breads like this but to get a more open crumb we like the hydration a little on the high side, The design portion also had smaller blisters while the much larger bottom potion sported more numerous larger ones. The crumb came out fairly open, glossy, very soft and moist.
The sour also came through very nicely and should be just the way we like it for tomorrow's breakfast. Very tasty indeed - for a white bread:-) It made for a fine lunch grilled chicken sandwich with all the fixin's, veggies and fruits! Poor Lucy! She feels like she let her countrymen down with a Chacon that didn't pop - and has gone into her kennel and won't come out.
Lucy says not to forget the salad. Thanks to Plotzblog for holding the Plotzaide and to Karin (hanseatta) for pointing us to it. A fun time was had by all no doubt.
SD Starter - 4 g Rye, 2 G AP & 4 g water
85% Extraction Wheat
SD Levain Totals
Flour - 50 g of Rye and 26 g of 85% Extraction
Levain % of Total Weight
85% Extraction Wheat
T. Dough Hydration with Starter
Whole Grain Rye %
This bread cost 99 cents for ingredients and elecricty to bake
I went in and got Lucy out of her kennel fiunk - but she still isn't the Doxier dog we know and love......I'm hoping the sunset will cheer her up some!