I haven't really been taking full advantage of Mr. Hamelman's book. The 90% rye made at the beginning of this year was the one and only formula from his book I've attempted. For the most part of the year, I've been taking my time to upgrade my equipment, getting to know their properties, and playing with a simple formula. Now it seems that I've gotten a hang of the very basic aspects of bread baking, I'm ready for more 'adventures'.
This time I picked the five-grain sourdough with rye starter. This is a pretty straight-forward formula. Despite the high % of whole grains in the dough, the high gluten flour used has made up for decent gluten development. Due to the relatively high hydration, the dough was very loose in my mixer at the beginning. I briefly mixed all the ingredients and let them sit for a while and ran the mixer again. I considered this the 'S&F' by my mixer. By repeating this a few times, the gluten had developed to the extent I preferred and the dough had formed within the first hour. The handling of dough was not a problem at all.
To prepare for this and other future bakes of Mr. Hamelman's formulae, I stocked up with 50 lbs of cracked rye. Considering how frequently I bake, it should probably last through next decade! Just kidding! I've found other uses of cracked rye, thanks to the delay of my bake. Each morning in the week following the original bake that was cancelled, I ate some of the refrigerated soaker with my oatmeal. At the end of that week, all the old soaker was consumed. I prepared a new batch of soaker for this bake.
I was hoping this bake would serve as a test for temperature and timing required for fermentation of dough leavened by an active, systematically refreshed starter. Inevitably, the original bake was put off and I was, again, working with a weeks-old, unrefreshed starter. When I prepared this starter for the original bake, I did not follow the instruction in the book. Instead, I used up most of my 100% rye starter on hand and built it into an 83% levain.
When my dough is in final proof, I usually check on its progress before I go to work in the morning and adjust the thermostat accordingly, so that it would be ready for baking when I return. There was an episode this time which almost gave me a heart attack. Instead of seeing the 54F I had set for the overnight proof, the bright red, heart-stopping 64F on the digital display made my eyes pop! I had forgotten to turn on the refrigerator! I said to myself: 'I'm dead, it's over!' (今次死梗, 衰硬!) Thank goodness, the dough was a little shy of ready; my sluggish starter had saved the day! I froze the dough immediately for an hour and moved it to a 33F refrigerator. When I got home that night, it had reached the perfect stage for baking. Whew! ( 險過剃頭!)
The following is a summary of my interpretation of the formula:
This is one of the loaves I'm going to bring home to my parents during Thanksgiving. In order to come up with a variety of breads, I have to complete a few more bakes within the next few days. Time is running out. Yikes! The pressure is on!
Here are some pictures: