Here we are in Kansas City for a wedding. My wife’s very best friend’s son is getting married. He is the same age as our daughter. It is very cold and raining here today after a cold but sunny day yesterday. We hate cold of any kind and are not fond of having to live in it for a few days this weekend. We had to bring their pet tortoise; Sheldon, who is 25 years old, in from the cold of the back yard so he didn’t freeze because tortoises hate the cold even more than we do. He will call his basement pen home till spring.
I haven’t been baking of late to lose weight, but my daughter is having bruschetta for friends coming over tonight so I got to bake for the first time in weeks - the Community 123 Bake. This one sounds complicated but it is a one, 2, three. First off, it is 26.6% whole grains made up of red and white wheat, oat, rye and spelt.
Pre and post retard
We sifted out the bran and used some of the high extraction flour for the 2 different preferments that added up to the total of the one. The first one was single stage levain and was twice the size of the 2nd one which was a Yeast Water preferment. The first one had two different starters in it. A NMNF rye starter and a NMNF Wild and Forbidden Rice Starter.
Pre and post final proof
Because it technically had two different rice varieties in the 2nd one, it moved the whole grains up to 7 instead of 5 but, we aren’t counting them, even though we should. This one was retarded for 24 hours after it doubled.
The other preferment was a YW one that was made up of two different yeast water, apple and fig. Lucy says why do anything with one of something when you can do it with 2 of something? Personally, I think she comes up with these complicated things just to make see if I can handle it without replacing her with a tortoise permanently.
Crab Cakes with shrimp and Veggie Kabobs
We also did a 2 stage autolyse, a 1 hour one for the remaining high extraction flour and then we added the white flour to it for an additional half hour with the 2 salts; Pink Himalayan and Mexican sea salt sprinkled on top. We held back some water so that we could do a double hydration dough and help get the salt mixed in later too – Jeeze! The white flour was a mix of 3 different ones, LaFama AP, KA Bread and Winco High Gluten with the AP being half of it – triple Jeeze! But this got Lucy up to 8 different flours in this bread.
Chicken Lettuce wraps for appetizers
Once the 2 preferments hit the mix we had a complicated, conflicting, confab of dough in exponential order- just the way Lucy likes it. We tried to our usual slap and folds but this dough was too stiff so they ended up being 2 slaps for every one fold. It really needed another 10-15% more water but we didn’t want to violate the basic rule and just kept on wetting our hands as we did the 3 sets of slap and folds of 125, 40 and 20 on 30 minute intervals. By the last set, the dough had loosened up enough to only do 1 slap per fold.
Three day fermented Dijon Mustard before the 6 week retard
Then, so Lucy could get her jolly’s off, we did three other kinds of folds. We tried to do a sleeping ferret fold but the dough was still way too stiff. So, it was more like a Paralyzed Stiff Ferret Fold. Then we did stretch and folds and finished off with envelope folds on 30 minute intervals. This got us to the number 4 that we had previously skipped, of different kinds of folds without having to do a Strutting Peacock Fold at all …….because there were no add ins for this simple recipe for some reason.
Chicken Chili Verde with Chicken Veggie Stew
Then rounded it into ball and dropped in into an oiled SS bowl for 2 consecutive - 20 minute rests before hitting the fridge for a 12 hour retard. I thought about moving it from fridge to fridge on 4 hour intervals to try to keep the momentum building but Lucy said we don’t have but one fridge. We still don’t have a wine cellar and it isn’t winter time yet so she can’t just chuck it outside overnight either. We did open the fridge door every so often to make it think we were going to move it though – nothing worse than cold and complacent dough in Lucy’s book.
We took the dough out the then next morning but had to leave for a few hours so I stuck it back in the fridge. It was nearly 1 PM before we got home and it got out of the cold for good to warm up on the kitchen Island. Lucy did move it from island to next to the sink and then over by the stove every 20 minutes or for an hour. There is something about a well-traveled dough that makes Lucy sit up and and beg to be noticed.
Denver omelet on bake day
The stiff dough had really puffed itself up in, out and back in the fridge where it easily doubled. We pre-shaped the dough into a batard and 30 minutes later we really got it batardy and into a rice floured basket, seam side down, for final proofing. In an hour and 45 minutes it had gotten to 90% proof, perfect for a white bread.
We unmolded it onto parchment on a peel and slid it into a 500 F oven and chucked 2 cups of water onto the screaming hot lava rocks of the Mega Steam and closed the door for 16 minutes of steam at 450 F. Once the steam came out we, turned the oven down to 425 F convection for 18 minutes of dry heat baking with fan.
It read 208 F when we took it out. It had browned, bloomed and sprang well enough. A couple of hours later, I cut off a heel to taste with some butter and then cut it in half to take a look at the crumb. It was moist and soft and not very open due to its very low hydration for a 26% whole grain bread with HG and bread flour in North America. It would have been killer with more water for sure.
With AP flour only, it would have been way more open too but this crumb is perfect for bruschetta where big holes are a real no no….and no. It was delicious with a mild sour due to the effects of the yeast water masking the sourdough. The YW/ SD combo preferments is perfect for those who do not like really sour bread since a sour bread isn’t possible using both kinds of natural preferments.
A few of the many salads
The dark fig yeast water really gave some color to the crumb too along with the whole grains. Warm it up in the oven or toast it with some butter, cheese, olives, cured meats and some wine would be a great way to pass an afternoon with friends. Haven’t heard how the bruschetta was yet but the loaf was so big my daughter only took half of it. I froze the other half for some bruschetta when we get back home.
And a few more