The Fresh Loaf

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I admit it. I came upon this by accident. I was experimenting with improving the texture of my 1/3 whole wheat bread by adding 35g of cornmeal to 1000g flour recipie. The texture was what I wanted, creamy, schredable, open, but there was an aftertaste I didn't like. I had softened the cornmeal in 700g boiling water. So I tried the recipie without the cornmeal but measured out the hot water to keep all variables constant. After 30 minutes cooling, I decided why not mix in the 300g whole wheat from the freezer both to warm it up and hydrate the flour. The water had cooled to 120 degrees before adding the WW. after 1 hour, I added 100g starter (100% hydration white), 650g KA bread flour, and 20g salt. Mixed it until there was no dry flour and rested 30 minutes. Then did 3 stretch and folds 15 minutes apart with wetted hands. The dough had a wonderful springy strong feel to it. Despite 75% hydration it was not sticky at all. It was covered and placed in the oven with the light on overnight, 10hrs. Temp in the oven is about 76deg F. The dough rose to within half an inch of the bowel rim. I thought for sure this was going to be overrisen. With wet hands I loosened the dough from the bowl and it did not collapse, surprise. The dough was cut in half and pre shaped, rested 30min, shaped and proofed for 1.5 hrs at 90 then removed from the oven while the la cloche pots preheated, 30 minutes more. The rise was huge, and I again thought these went too long, and would deflate. When I scored them, I expected the dough to collapse but No. So in the oven they went 20 min at 450F, remove cover and finish baking at 410F for 25 min. Just what I wanted. The aroma was sweet and wheaty, crust color was deep auburn, crumb was tangy and shredable with a custard like feel on the tongue.

So what happened? The hot water may have had less chlorine because I usually use tap water. But maybe the warm water reacted with the wheat flour similar to the rou method or the mash that Reinhart talks about, except the water temps are much lower and the flour was not cooked. No matter, I will be repeating this for holiday breads.

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Sorry this is upside down. Don't know why that happened.

Lloyd D.

ldavis47's picture

This is a country style bread (mix of rye, ww, and bread flours) 75%(+) hydration leavened with my home culture. The added protein and fiber comes from pre cooked French Lentils. The crumb is soft but chewy, aroma sweet caramel, and the taste is nutty and rye. Just some slight lentil flavor. Bread has depth of flavor but only slightly sour, which is the way I like it.

AM mix, ferment at 75deg F for 8-10 hrs, will smell very fruity like peach schnapps at the end

50g starter (AP 100% hydration)

175g rye (Hodgson Mill)

175g warm water (I need warm water because rye is refrigerated)

boil 1/4 cup cleaned and rinsed French lentils in 1 cup water covered for 25 min, let cool

PM mix, maintain dough at 75-78deg

550g warm water (strain excess lentil water into bowel then add water to make total)

150g WW (mine is frozen)

650g bread flour

rest 30 min covered

Add 20g salt and squeeze in with repeatedly wet hands

rest 30 min covered

Add all of lentils and any remaining fluid and stretch and fold (SF1) with wet hands until incorporated

rest 30 min covered

SF and rest 30 min 3 more times, Total of 4

rest 60 min covered after last SF

with wet hand remove dough to counter lightly coat with flour and divide into 2 pieces, shape into rounds with bench knife

rest 30 min covered

dust with flour, flip, and four corner fold. tighten into boule

place in banneton, place in plastic bag and refrigerate overnight

AM pre heat oven and Dutch ovens to 500deg, sprinkle dough in banneton with bran to prevent sticking, place boules into Dutch ovens and score, cover and regular bake at 450deg for 30 min.

remove covers and bake 430 convection setting for 20 min. Rest, oven off with door ajar 10 min. Remove from Dutch oven to cooling racks

ldavis47's picture

The photo is the fifth try at a bread loosely related to Forkish's Field Blend.

The smell was sweet and rich; crust crunchy; crumb was soft but chewy and very flavorful. I think it is the best levain bread I have made. Dough is 75% hydration, starter 100% Hydration and starter flour is 20% of total flour. The timing of steps is particularly useful for working hours if the second day is off or you like to get up early. 

My culture is an abused creature. It is 100% hydrated AP flour, refreshed once weekly 10/100/100 fermented overnight, and stored in the refrigerator after the ferment. But it thrives and makes great bread.

AM 1 (starter)

  50 g culture

  175 g water (90deg F because of the cold rye)

  175 g rye (I use a course rye some would call pumpernickel, stored in refrigerator)

mix well, starter temp 73, ambient temp 72. Ferment 8hrs or more. Should have bubbles underneath and holes on top. Fruity smell. 

PM 1(when the starter is ripe, at least 8hrs)

  100 g whole wheat (stored in freezer)

  700 g any combination of AP and bread flour (this try had 300 bread/400 AP)

  550 g water (warmed to about 85 deg)

mix until all flour incorporated, cover and rest at least 30 minutes. Dough temp about 75.

  15 g salt

sprinkle salt over dough and squeeze in with wet hands. Once there is no more gritty feeling from the salt, do a SF(stretch and fold), cover, wait 30 minutes and do SF, repeat wait and SF two more times.

Immediately after last SF, divide into 2 and approximately shape into rounds, cover and rest 30 min.

Dust tops, flip over, stretch and do letter fold, flip to put seams on bottom and tighten into a boule.

wait a few minutes to seal seams then place in banneton, place in plastic bag and into refrigerator.

AM 2 (12 hrs later, crown should be risen to the top of banneton, if not take out and let warm until risen, otherwise leave in refrigerator until oven preheated.)

preheat oven and covered pots to 500 F

Take breads out of refrigerator, place in pots score and cover

reduce oven temp to 450 and bake for 20 minutes, then remove covers

reduce temp to 430. (I switch to convection so bottom and tops brown evenly. With these settings the crust becomes a deep auburn in 25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes with oven off and door ajar, then cool on rack.

Of course water temps will have to be adjusted based on flour temps and ambient temps. I tried to keep the dough temp close to 75.


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