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dmsnyder

In my opinion, the formula for 5-Grain Levain by itself fully justifies the price of Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread. This is just one of several formulas for multigrain breads in the book. I believe I have made all the levain-based ones, and I haven't found one that wasn't scrumptious. I think my very favorite is actually the one that uses a rye sour for leavening. 

I looked it up. I first  blogged on this bread December 21, 2007. I was inspired to make it by a couple things. First, it was highly recommended by Fleur-de-Liz, a very active TFL member in those days who was an adventuresome and accomplished baker and a great photographer. When I was first learning to bake, I wanted to be her when I grew up. Unfortunately, she disappeared from TFL not long after that. The second thing was that Jeff Hamelman described this bread as "the most delectable tasting bread" he'd ever had. Considering the source, how could you not make it?

The first two times I baked the 5-Grain Levain, I found that this is a bread one really should cold retard after the loaves are formed. It makes an enormous difference in the flavor. I baked it the first time without retardation and thought it was good but nothing special. The second bake, with overnight retardation, I discovered what the fuss was about. It really is incredibly delicious.

This formula calls for a liquid (125% hydration) levain and a multi-grain soaker. The soaker is supposed to include cracked rye, but I've never had any. This time, I substituted a very coarsely milled rye flour. Otherwise, I followed Hamelman's instructions, including omitting the instant yeast. I did let the loaves warm at room temperature for about 90 minutes before baking. I've found that baking this bread right out of the fridge results in explosive oven spring and bursting cuts. I prefer it a bit more controlled.

 

Every time I've made this bread, the flavor surprises me. It is so good. This time, the first flavor hit was sweetness, although the bread has no sweetener, other than what is generated by amylase. The crunchy, nutty, caramel crust is fabulous.

Okay. That's enough. Time to heat the soup, dress the salad and slice more bread!

David

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dmsnyder

After the last bake of this bread, I wondered if I could get a more open crust by doing all the mixing by hand, rather than some by machine. So, that's what I did. The formula was the same as that used in Pane Valle Maggia, ver. 2 3/7/2014, except I did not take the time to grind fresh whole wheat flour. I used Giusto's Organic Fine Whole Wheat flour instead.

My procedure was as follows:

1. The two levains - rye sour and whole wheat - were mixed the night before mixing the final dough and fermented at room temperature for 13 hours.

2. Around 11 AM, I mixed the levains with 500g of water and the AP and WW flour. This was left on the counter for a 3 hr. "autolyse" while I raced to the hospital and taught a class for pediatric residents. (How you spend your autolyse time is your choice.)

3. The salt was added and mixed into the dough with a spatula. Then about 60g of additional water was added. This was mixed in by hand, using the pinching maneuver recommended by Ken Forkish in FWSY.

4. Bulk Fermentation was done at room temperature for about 3 hours with stretch and folds every 30 minutes for 2 hours.

5. The dough was then divided into two equal pieces and pre-shaped as rounds. These were allowed to rest while I washed the container I had used for bulk fermentation and floured my linen-lined bannetons.

6. The pieces were shaped as boules and placed, seam-side up, in the bannetons which were then placed in food safe plastic bags and refrigerated. 

Note: This was one of the stickiest doughs I have ever worked with. Not surprising given the combination of lots of rye and lots of water. Shaping was a real challenge!

7. After about 12 hours, the oven was preheated to 500 dF with a baking stone and my usual steaming apparatus in place. 

8. The loaves were transferred to a peel and scored. 

9. The oven was steamed and the loaves were transferred to the baking stone.

10. The loaves were baked for 13 minutes with steam and then another 20 minutes. Note: Inadvertently, the whole bake was done with the convection fan on.

The loaves sang loudly as they cooled, and nice crust crackles developed.

I sliced the loaves after 3 hours. The crust was crunchy. The crumb was somewhat more open and, overall, less dense-seeming than the last 2 bakes. It was tender and chewy. The flavor of the bread was mildly tangy with a nice wheaty flavor. I really can't say it was noticeably different than the bake using fresh-milled whole wheat flour.

Bottom line: This is a delicious bread. It is similar to several of the breads I have been making from FWSY since last Summer with mixed flours, except that this bread has the highest percentage of whole grain flours. It is a type of bread that has become our favorite.

My next variations may be to add mixed seeds and cracked or flaked grains and to try a version with added dried fruit and nuts. I have also though about baking this bread in the Lodge Combo Cookers, as I bake Forkish's breads and the Tartine Basic Country Bread.

David

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dmsnyder

Pane Valle Maggia, ver. 2

March 7 , 2014

 

Last month, I made Pane Valle Maggia, inspired by Josh's “Pain Maggiore.” It was a very good bread, but I wanted to make it again using freshly milled whole wheat flour. Also, I thought it would be improved by pre-fermenting the rye component. So, I made both changes for today's bake. The Total Dough ingredients were basically unchanged.

The whole wheat flour was milled with the KitchenAid mixer's Grain Mill attachment. I put Hard Red Winter Wheat Berries purchased in bulk at Whole Foods Market through 4 passes, starting with the coarsest setting and progressing to the finest setting.

The rye sour was elaborated in 3 builds from my refrigerated rye sour.

  

Whole Wheat Levain

Wt. (g)

Baker’s %

Active liquid levain (70% AP; 20% WW; 10% Rye)

16

48

Fresh-milled Whole Wheat flour

33

100

Water

36

109

Total

85

257

 

Rye Sour

Wt. (g)

Baker’s %

Active Rye Sour (100% hydration)

54

50

KAF Medium Rye flour

109

100

Water

109

100

Total

272

250

 

Both levains were mixed in the late evening and fermented at room temperature for about 14 hours.

 

Final Dough

Wt. (g)

Fresh-milled Whole Wheat flour

141

KAF AP flour

544

Water

566

Salt

17

Both levains

357

Total

1625

 

Total Dough

Wt. (g)

Baker’s %

AP flour

550

64

Whole Wheat flour

175

20

Rye flour

137

16

Water

746

86

Salt

17

2

Total

1625

188

 

Procedures

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle installed, disperse the two levains in 500g of the Final Dough Water.

  2. Add the flours and mix at low speed to a shaggy mass.

  3. Cover and allow to autolyse for 1-3 hours.

  4. Add the salt and mix at low speed to combine.

  5. Switch to the dough hook and mix to medium gluten development.

  6. Add the remaining 66g of water and continue mixing until the dough comes back together.

  7. Transfer to a well-floured board and stretch and fold into a ball.

  8. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover.

  9. Bulk ferment for about 3-4 hours with Stretch and Folds on the board every 40 minutes for 3 or 4 times. (Note: This is a rather slack, sticky dough. It gains strength as it ferments and you stretch and fold it, but you still have to flour the board and your hands well to prevent too much of the dough from sticking. Use the bench knife to free the dough when it is sticking to the bench.)

  10. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and pre-shape round.

  11. Cover with a damp towel or plasti-crap and allow to rest for 15-30 minutes.

  12. Shape as tight boules or bâtards and place in floured bannetons, seam-side up.

  13. Put each banneton in a food-safe plastic bag and refrigerate for 8-12 hours.

  14. Pre-heat the oven for 45-60 minutes to 500 dF with a baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  15. Take the loaves out of the refrigerator. Place them on a peel. Score them as you wish. (I believe the traditional scoring is 3 parallel cuts across a round loaf.)

  16. Transfer the loaves to the baking stone.

  17. Bake with steam for 13 minutes, then remove your steaming apparatus/vent the oven.

  18. Continue baking for 20-25 minutes. The loaves should be darkly colored with firm crusts. The internal temperature should be at least 205 dF.

  19. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely before slicing.

 

The whole wheat flour particle size was much larger than that of the Giusto's fine whole wheat flour I had been using. It had a sandy consistency, not unlike Semolina flour. When mixed, the dough was slack but also soft like an semolina semolina dough. It did pass an early window pane test after mixing. The dough gained strength during bulk fermentation with 3 stretch and folds on the board, but it remained more extensible and less elastic that the dough made with fine whole wheat flour. I was concerned that the crumb would be too dense.

I baked these loaves right out of the refrigerator.

 

The crust was thinner and less crunchy than the last bake of this bread. The crumb was less open than last time and had fewer large holes than ordinarily expected of a dough at this high-hydration level. I really can't attribute the denser crumb to the coarser whole wheat flour. This bread is 20% whole wheat, while the San Francisco Sourdough I made with the same flour has 30% whole wheat. I really am unable to nail any of the other "usual suspects" at the moment. I'll just have to make this bread again and see. Oh, the sacrifices we make! 

This bread had a wonderful aroma. It was very tender and less chewy than the last bake.The flavor was extraordinary. When first sliced after cooling, the bread was very sour, which I attribute particularly to my use of rye sour. It was not so sour as to mask the delicious, complex flavor. A wonderful sweet, wheaty flavor predominated. I could not discern a distinct rye contribution to the flavor. In fact, the flavors were well-balanced and integrated. I am accustomed to this kind of mixed flour bread needing at least 24 hours for the flavors to meld. It will be interesting to see what this tastes like tomorrow.

I found myself wanting to keep tasting the bread while cleaning up after lunch. It occurred to me that this is a bread I could easily make a meal of, no butter, cheese or other distractions necessary. This is definitely a bread I will want to make frequently.

Since I was going to be milling flour anyway, I figured I might as well mill enough to make a couple loaves of San Francisco-style Sourdough Bread with increased whole wheat. (See: San Francisco-style Sourdough Bread with increased whole wheat flour)

 

I was pleasantly surprised when I sliced the SF SD. The crumb was really nice and open. Moreover, the crumb was moderately chewy. Obviously, there is more going on than the difference in the whole wheat flour. The flavor had in common with the Pane Valle Maggia a moderate sour tang and a lovely, wheaty flavor. 

And, since I was feeding my rye sour anyway, I figured I might as well build enough for a couple loaves of Jewish Sour Rye.

 

 

 This rye, like the last ones, was baked at the higher temperature - 460 dF for 15 minutes, then 440 dF for another 20 minutes. I do like the results better than those I got baking at 375 dF. Very good when first sliced and delicious toasted  for breakfast.

All in all, a very good couple of baking days. 

Happy baking!

David

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Pane Valle del Maggia

February 23, 2014

 Several bakers on The Fresh Loaf have shown us their bakes of “Pane Maggiore.” This bread comes from the Swiss Canton of Ticino, which is the only Swiss Canton in which Italian is the predominant language.

While the Ticino Canton has Lake Maggiore on its border, the name of the bread supposedly comes from the town of Maggia which is in the Maggia valley, named after the Maggia river which flows through it and enters Lake Maggiore between the towns of Ascona and Locarno.

I was interested in how this bread came to be so popular among food bloggers. As far as I can tell, Franko, dabrownman and others (on TFL) got the formula from Josh/golgi70 (on TFL) who got it from Ploetzblog.de who got it from “Chili und Ciabatta,” the last two being German language blogs. While Petra (of Chili und Ciabatta) knew of this bread from having vacationed in Ticino, she actually got the recipe from a well-known Swedish baking book, Swedish Breads and Pastries, by Jan Hedh.

 

 For your interest, here are some photos from Petra's blog of this bread as she bought it in it's place of origin: 

Pane Valle del Maggia. (Photo from the Chili und Ciabatta blog)

Pane Valle del Maggia crumb. (Photo from the Chili und Ciabatta blog)

 

After this bit of backtracking research, I ended up with four … or is it five? … recipes. I had to decide which one to start with. I decided to start with Josh’s version, posted in Farmers Market Week 6 Pane Maggiore.

 Josh’s approach used two levains, one fed with freshly-ground whole wheat flour and the other with white flour plus a touch of rye. I did not grind my own flour but followed his formula and procedures pretty closely otherwise. What I describe below is what I actually did.

  

Whole Wheat Levain

Wt. (g)

Baker’s %

Active liquid levain (70% AP; 20% WW; 10% Rye)

16

48

Giusto’s Fine Whole Wheat flour

33

100

Water

36

109

Total

85

257

 

White Flour Levain

Wt. (g)

Baker’s %

Active liquid levain (70% AP; 20% WW; 10% Rye)

17

50

KAF AP flour

28

82

BRM Dark Rye flour

6

18

Water

34

100

Total

85

240

 Both levains were mixed in the late evening and fermented at room temperature for about 14 hours.

 

Final Dough

Wt. (g)

Giusto’s Fine Whole Wheat flour

137

BRM Dark Rye flour

66

KAF Medium Rye flour

63

KAF AP flour

504

Water

659

Salt

18

Both levains

170

Total

1618

 

Total Dough

Wt. (g)

Baker’s %

AP flour

555

64

Whole Wheat flour

177

20

Rye flour

138

16

Water

746

86

Salt

18

2

Total

1618

188

 

Procedures

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle installed, disperse the two levains in 600g of the Final Dough Water.

  2. Add the flours and mix at low speed to a shaggy mass.

  3. Cover and allow to autolyse for 1-3 hours.

  4. Add the salt and mix at low speed to combine.

  5. Switch to the dough hook and mix to medium gluten development.

  6. Add the remaining 59g of water and continue mixing until the dough comes back together.

  7. Transfer to a well-floured board and stretch and fold into a ball.

  8. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover.

  9. Bulk ferment for about 4 hours with Stretch and Folds on the board every 40 minutes for 4 times. (Note: This is a rather slack, sticky dough. It gains strength as it ferments and you stretch and fold it, but you still have to flour the board and your hands well to prevent too much of the dough from sticking. Use the bench knife to free the dough when it is sticking to the bench.)

  10. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and pre-shape round.

  11. Cover with a damp towel or plasti-crap and allow to rest for 15-30 minutes.

  12. Shape as tight boules or bâtards and place in floured bannetons, seam-side up.

  13. Put each banneton in a food-safe plastic bag and refrigerate for 8-12 hours.

  14. Pre-heat the oven for 45-60 minutes to 500 dF with a baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  15. Take the loaves out of the refrigerator. Place them on a peel. Score them as you wish. (I believe the traditional scoring is 3 parallel cuts across a round loaf.)

  16. Transfer the loaves to the baking stone.

  17. Bake with steam for 13 minutes, then remove your steaming apparatus/vent the oven.

  18. Continue baking for 20-25 minutes. The loaves should be darkly colored with firm crusts. The internal temperature should be at least 205 dF.

  19. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely before slicing.

 I had some trepidation about baking at 500 dF, but the photos I had seen of the Pane Valle del Maggia were really dark. Also, it made sense that, if I wanted a crunchy crust on a high-hydration bread, I would need to bake hot. I baked the loaves for 33 minutes. They were no darker than my usual lean bread bakes. The internal temperature was over 205 dF. The crust was quite hard, but it did soften some during cooling. In hindsight, I could have either baked the bread for another 5 minutes or left the loaves in the cooling oven for 15-30 minutes to dry out the crust better.

 

I can tell you, these breads sure smell good!

When sliced, the crust was chewy except for the ears which crunched. The crumb was well aerated but without very large holes. Reviewing the various blog postings on this bread, all of the variations have about the same type of crumb. The high hydration level promotes bigger holes, but the high percentage of whole grain flours works against them. In any case, this is a great crumb for sandwiches and for toast.

Now, the flavor: I was struck first by the cool, tender texture as others have mentioned, although there was some nice chew, too.  I have been making mostly breads with mixed grains lately, so this one has a lot in common. It has proportionately more rye than any of the others, and I can taste it. The most remarkable taste element was a more prominent flavor of lactic acid than almost any bread I can recall. I really liked the flavor balance a lot! I would describe this bread as "mellow," rather than tangy. The dark crust added the nuttiness I always enjoy. All in all, an exceptionally delicious bread with a mellow, balanced, complex, sophisticated flavor.

Now, it wasn't so sophisticated that I hesitated to sop up the sauce from my wife's Chicken Fricassee with it! It did a commendable job, in fact.

 

I baked some San Joaquin Soudough baguettes while the Pane Valle del Maggia loaves were cooling.  

They had a pretty nice crumb, too.

Happy baking!

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

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Pizza made with Sourdough Starter Discard

February 14, 2014

 

I ended up this week with even more sourdough starter discard than usual and a craving for pizza and no activated starter and it's Valentine's Day and my wife loves pizza and so I made pizza with the sourdough starter discard.

 

 

Wt (g)

Sourdough starter from fridge (firm)

241

Water 85 dF

153

AP flour

298

Instant yeast

2

Salt

6

Total

700

The starter discard was approximately 50% hydration, so this dough was 65% hydration.

Procedure

  1. Put the water and the starter in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix at low speed to disperse the starter.

  2. Add the yeast to this mixture, then the flour and the salt.

  3. Mix at low speed with the dough hook until the dough forms a ball on the hook. Add a small amount of water or flour to achieve a medium-consistency dough.

  4. Mix at Speed 2 until you get an early window pane (about 7 or 8 minutes).

  5. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl. Cover it tightly.

  6. Ferment at room temperature until the dough volume has about doubled (2-4 hours).

  7. Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Shape as balls and place in Ziploc bags with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil.

  8. Refrigerate for at least two hours or up to 3 days.

  9. Before using, take the dough out of the refrigerator and warm at room temperature for an hour.

  10. Preheat the oven at its hottest setting with a baking stone in place.

  11. Shape for pizzas and allow to proof for 30-60 minutes before topping and baking.

  12. Bake to taste (in my oven, 10 minutes).

I preheated my oven at 500 dF for an hour before baking the pizzas.

My toppings were (in the order put on the dough):

  1. EVOO brushed all over.

  2. Finely chopped fresh rosemary sprinkled over dough (1 tsp/pizza).

  3. Thinly sliced fresh garlic (2 cloves/pizza).

  4. Hot red pepper flakes sprinkled to taste.

  5. Oil-cured olives, pitted and sliced.
  6. Fresh broccoli cut into small florettes (about 3/4 cup/pizza).
  7. Fresh mushrooms, sliced (about 1.5 cups/pizza).
  8. Yellow onion, sautéed in EVOO until golden, then moistened with one Tablespoon of balsamic vinegar (2-3T/pizza).

 

The pizza was pretty good. It wasn't as good as the ones I made with the Ken Forkish formula. But it was crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. It was thin, yet firm enough to support itself. It was nice tasting with no hint of sourdough tang, interestingly enough.

 I'm happy to know I can make very good pizza dough in a few hours and that I have a really good way of using starter discard besides pancakes.

 David

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White Flour Warm-Spot Levain from Flour Water Salt Yeast 

February 12, 2014

On my way to the Pizza section towards the back of Ken Forkish's Flour Water Salt Yeast a few days ago, I stopped in the “Advanced Levain Dough” chapter (Chapter 11) to see what Forkish regarded as more “advanced” than the other breads in his book. There are just two formulas in the chapter, and both are different mainly in calling for more frequent levain feedings. I was reminded of the day in the San Francisco Baking Institute Artisan II (Sourdough Baking) workshop when we made 4 breads which differed primarily in the levain feeding schedule. The one with the best flavor was made with a liquid levain fed twice a day. The aim was to bring out the maximum flavor from the wheat itself, unmasked by excessive acetic acid sourness or off flavors from over-fermented levain. It was an impressive demonstration.

Anyway, rather than making pizza dough, I made one of the “advanced levain” breads which Forkish calls a “White Flour Warm-Spot Levain.” This bread is made with a levain that is fed 3 times over 2 days before mixing in the final dough. These builds are supposed to be fermented at a warm temperature. I used my Brød & Taylor Proofing Box set at 85 dF.  I modified the schedule Forkish gives just a bit to accommodate other obligations, but I don't think those changes impacted the quality of the product.

 

It has been a very long time since I have made a lean bread with no whole grain flour. In fact, my taste has evolved in the direction of preferring higher proportions of whole grains than formerly. But, I have to say, this bread is a paragon of its type. It is delicious. I think the photos show the pale yellow color of the crumb. This is from the carotenoid pigments in the flour which are oxidized by machine mixing. The crust of this bread was crunchy and sweet. The crumb was very open. (The loaves felt very light for their size.) It was tender and only a bit chewy. The flavor was complex and sweet with a hint of the mellow tang of lactic acid. My wife, who seldom eats more than half a slice of bread at a meal, had her half slice with a bowl of bean soup. Then she had the other half. As I was clearing the table after lunch, I heard the unmistakable sound of a crunchy loaf being sliced and saw her walking off with another slice (minus a big bite) in her hand. Not a word of the “put more whole grain flour in it” mantra.

 Now, I will have to make the other “advanced” levain in the chapter, which does have some whole wheat flour and could certainly be made with even more.

 

Before having this bread with lunch, I had planned to give a little update on what I've been baking since my last blog entry. Here are some photos and some comments on those breads:

 

Jewish Sour Rye after Greenstein and Pain au Levain with Whole Wheat Flour from Hamelman's Bread

The Pain au Levain was made following Hamelman's formula and procedures, but the rye had a few tweaks that are worth mentioning. The formula I developed from the one in Secrets of a Jewish Baker can be found in Jewish Sour Rye. I build up my rye sour in 3 builds, essentially doubling each time, up to something like 800 to 1000 g. This time, I fed the second build with Bob's Red Mill "Dark Rye," which is a fine-milled whole rye flour. The other two builds were fed KAF Medium Rye. So, the breads had more whole grain rye than usual and were darker and more intensely flavored.

Secondly, I used Sir Lancelot (high-gluten) flour rather than First Clear flour. I think this made for a dryer dough and also a stronger dough. That may have contributed to the absence of any "blowouts," which I usually get with this bread. But I also let the loaves proof a little more completely than usual, which also contributed to the lack of blowouts. 

The third change is one I had been wanting to try for a long time and finely remembered to do: I usually bake this bread at 375 dF for 35 to 45 minutes. This time, following a procedure Hamelman uses for light rye breads, I baked at 460 dF for 15 minutes and then at 440 dF for another 20-25 minutes. I got of firmer, darker crust. I think I prefer this procedure.

 

Last Sunday, we had dinner with a couple with whom we share a love of Northern Italy. They cooked dinner, and I contracted to bake some bread. I chose to bake the Pain de Campagne from FWSY, modified to use 70% AP, 20% WW and 10% Rye flour. This has become one of my favorite breads. it is actually quite similar in flavor to the Hamelman Pain au Levain with WW flour, pictured above. 

They say "man cannot live by bread alone." I'm not sure this is what that means, but I cannot make bread alone. I don't have Ian or dbm's kind of help, but I do have ....

Happy baking!

David

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I am on a mailing list which periodically sends me formulas for new breads developed at the San Francisco Baking Institute. The most recent mailing was for a "Finnish Rye." Here's a link: Finnish Rye Bread Formula Now, I cannot attest to the Finnish provenance of this bread. Nor would I call it a "rye bread." It is only 22% rye. In fact, it has more whole wheat flour (35%) than rye. Anyway, it is a multigrain bread made with a liquid levain, a cracked wheat soaker and a flaxseed soaker. It looked interesting, but I definitely would not have made it this soon but for Paul's (PJKobulnicky) bake of it (see SFBI's Finnish Rye) that looks so good. 

I followed the SFBI formula with these modifications:

1. For the Wheat Soaker, I used coarse bulgur.

2. I added about 20g additional water during the early dough mix because the dough seemed dry to me. (That was before the soakers were added.)

3. I mixed the dough for about 7 minutes before adding the soakers.

4. After mixing the soakers into the dough at low speed for 3 or 4 minutes, I transferred the dough to a floured board and hand kneaded for another 3 minutes to distribute the bulgur and fax seeds better and develop the gluten a bit more.

5. I bulk fermented at 76 dF for 2.5 hours. I did not feel the prescribed 1.5-2 hours resulted in sufficient fermentation.

6. I proofed for 45 minutes at 85 dF.

The dough was pretty sticky with the additional water I had added. The crust softened quickly with cooling and was pleasantly chewy. The crumb was more open than Paul's, probably because of the additional water and the extra gluten development. The crumb was soft but somewhat chewy.

When first tasted a couple hours after baking, the flavor was very nice except that the flavor of the molasses and the sweetness seemed excessive. There was also a clear flavor of flaxseeds (which I happens to like). However, the flavor profile evolved considerably by the next day. Now, the bread had the flavor of a honey whole wheat bread. The distinct flavors of molasses, flaxseeds and rye have all melded and are no longer identifiable (to my taste). I had said in Paul's blog I would reduce the molasses next time. I'm not so sure now, but I might try it with honey rather than molasses.

I have eaten it plain, toasted with almond butter and un-toasted with a bit of sweet butter. I enjoyed the last option most, so far. We are going to have some tonight as leftover roast chicken sandwiches.

Both my wife and I like this bread a lot, and I expect it will be baked often. However, I will classify it in my my mind as a whole wheat bread rather than as a rye bread.

David

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dmsnyder

My wife and I had a quiet New Years day. Very mellow, except for dinner. My wife gets pretty excited when I make pizza.

I again used Ken Forkish's formula for a sourdough pizza crust. After my successful experience fermenting my SFSD dough in my proofing box (San Francisco-style Sourdough and dishes made with it), I did the same with the pizza dough. The result was pretty much the same as I had had last Summer with this dough (Pizza Bliss), which is to say it was delicious - very flavorful with a mild to moderate sourdough tang. The rim was puffed up and very crisp. Really good eating.

I made two mushroom pizza. One had olive oil, finely chopped fresh rosemary, sliced garlic and mozzarella. The other had olive oil, tomato sauce (from Floyd's Pizza Primer) and mozzarella. 

Wishing you all Happy Baking and a delicious 2014!

David

 

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As the weather has turned cooler, my sourdough breads have become less tasty. They have  had a less complex flavor and have been less tangy than those baked last Summer. My kitchen is in the mid-60's of late, while it was in the high-70's (or low-80's)  in the heat of summer. So, in the interest of science and other noble causes, I set out to return my SFSD to its rightful tastiness.

The truth is that I changed a number things at once, which is poor scientific methodology. But  I think I know what made the biggest difference, and the important thing is that I made some really good bread.

The basic formula and methods for my San Francisco-style Sourdough with increased whole wheat can be found here: San Francisco-style Sourdough Bread with increased whole wheat flour And here is what I did differently:

1. I fed my levain with some firm starter that had been refrigerated for about 3 days, rather than freshly refreshed starter.

2. I fermented the levain for 9 hours at 76 dF, rather than overnight at room temperature. I then refrigerated it for about 12 hours.

3. I mixed the autolyse with water warmed to 90 dF rather than cool water.

4. After a 1 hour autolyse, I mixed the dough and fermented it in bulk at 76 dF for 4 hours.

5. I then divided the dough and shaped boules and refrigerated for 24 hours.

6. I baked at 475 dF for 12 minutes, then convection baked at 445 dF for 14 minutes more.

Here is the result:

The crust is a little darker than usual. I prefer it this way. And the crumb ...

Mixed at the same hydration level as usual, this dough was noticeably  more slack from the time I mixed the autolyse. I guess that must be because my flour had more water content with the cooler whether. I think that is why I got the much more open crumb. It is also possible that increased enzyme activity played a role.

In any event, this bake produced bread with a crunchy crust, chewy but tender crumb and a delicious flavor that was both more complex and more tangy than my previous few bakes of this bread. I think I have a new procedure, at least until hot weather returns.

                                                                                             

We often have bread that is a few days old and starting to get a bit dry, even for breakfast toast.  I hate throwing out bread, and I seldom do. Many of my favorite dishes made with bread of advancing age are made with croutons - slices of bread that I dry in the oven before using.

Except when drying bread for salad croutons or breadcrumbs, I slice it thinly and put it on a baking sheet or pizza pan. If I want it to remain pale, I convection bake the slices at 250 dF for 15 minutes on each side. If I want the slices browned, I convection bake at 350 dF for 15 minutes on one side, then turn them over, brush them with EVOO and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes. Then, depending on how I am going to use them, I may rub the warm, dried slices with a clove of garlic. That's what I did for these ...

These croutons served to support heaps of grated gruyere cheese, floating in onion soup and run under the broiler for 90 seconds before serving. 

Croutons made in this way are also delicious put in the bottom of a soup bowl before filling it with ribollita or another hearty soup.

The slices of SFSD can also be toasted in a toaster and then left in the toaster for a few minutes to dry out further. That method makes a nice base for crostini. These are topped by a chicken giblet dice sautéed in olive oil with shallots, herbs and madera wine.

The giblets came surrounded by a whole chicken! We roasted it while eating the crostini and discussing how we really should have just made the crostini our dinner. 

Happy baking!

David

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dmsnyder

When I got Ken Forkish's Flour Water Salt Yeast and started baking from it last Summer, I found the breads and pizza doughs to be delicious, but the fermentation times for both levains and doughs was very much shorter than what were given in the book. I figured it must be due to my warm Summer kitchen, which was in the mid- to high-70's (F). Well, now it is Winter, and my Kitchen is about 68 dF. So, I have begun revisiting some of Forkish's breads.

This week, I made his Pain de Campagne. As given in the book, this is a mostly white bread with a bit of whole wheat. It is a pain au levain, but is spiked with instant yeast. I modified the formula to 10% medium rye, 15% WW and 75% AP flour, and I left out the instant yeast for this bake. I followed Forkish's procedure for mixing and stretch and folds, but I fermented the levain and the dough in my Brød & Taylor Proofing Box set at 72 dF. The fermentation times were just a tad longer than Forkish specified for the bulk fermentation, which could be due to my leaving out the instant yeast.

Here's the result:

The flavor was less sour than I remember this bread being but quite nice. 

I made another batch of pain de campagne dough, wanting to increase the whole grain proportion and also the flavor complexity and the sourdough tang. For that batch, I increased the WW to 24%, keeping the rye at 10%. The AP flour is now at 66%.  That is, the final dough flours were: 500g AP, 200g WW and 100g Rye. (The levain contains 160g AP and 40g WW flours.)

I also included the instant yeast. I bulk fermented at 76 dF and let the dough get to 2.5X the initial volume. That took about 4.25 hours. 

And here are photos of the second bake with increased WW and instant yeast:

I went for a walk, and, when I came back, ....

Megacrackles!!

One of these loaves went to a friend whose Winter Solstice party we attended this evening. The second loaf rested for about 8 hours before I sliced and tasted it.

Just as I had hoped and Josh predicted (see below), this second bake, with more rye and whole wheat and a higher fermentation temperature, was markedly more sour. Interestingly, the flavor seemed more complex overall. 

This was a very useful lesson for me. I will be making this bread using the increased whole grain flour and increased fermentation temperature from now on. This experiment with increased fermentation temperature in particular needs to be repeated with other formulas. Stay tuned.

As a bonus, here is a loaf of  "Hansjoakim's Favorite 70% Rye" I baked a couple days ago and sliced this morning.

Note the blowout on the right. I proofed this loaf seam-side down with the intent that the folds would open up during oven spring, but, alas, I again sealed the seams too well. Thus, the blow out. A good demonstration of that which scoring is meant to prevent.

Of course, the blow out in no way detracts from the eating quality of the bread which in this instance was delicious.

David

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