The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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PMcCool

I have been on a baking hiatus, of sorts, realizing that the stash of bread in my freezer needed to be reduced.  Having worked through that gradually, I finally got around to baking again the weekend before Labor Day.

What my mouth wanted was something robust, chewy, mildly tangy, and thoroughly wheaty.  And it had to serve as a reliable foundation for sandwiches.  What to do, what to do?  Leader's Local Breads beckoned, and in it I found the Whole Wheat Sourdough Miche, modeled loosely after the Poilane miche.  After checking the metric weight quantities (which are generally less error prone than the others in this book) and deciding that it was safe to proceed, I hauled my starter out of the refrigerator and gave it a couple of good feeds.  It didn't take long for the starter to bounce back to vigorous health, especially with kitchen temperatures just slightly below the 80F mark.  It more than doubled in less than 5 hours!  

For once, I stuck pretty closely to the formula and process.  The one deviation of note was that I dissolved the levain in the water before adding the rest of the final dough ingredients.  Since I mix by hand, I find it easier to do that than to mix the levain into the already-mixed dough as Leader instructs.  Other than making my life easier, I don't see that it makes any real difference in the outcome.  Because of the warmth of my kitchen that day, I did have to trim fermentation times to avoid over-fermenting the levain and the final dough.

The outcome, by the way, was stunning!  A deep, brown-verging-on-black crust, lightly crackled; a firm, moist crumb; a heady aroma redolent of toast with sweet and tangy overtones.  I can't remember a recent bake that I was happier with than this.  And then there is the flavor!  It was everything the fragrance promised, and more.  Roasted nuts and malt, a gentle hint of acidity, a down to earth wheatiness, and other good things that I don't have words for.  The crust, after cooling, was more leathery than crisp but that played well against the moist coolness of the firm crumb.  The crumb texture is rather fine-grained for this style of bread; that comes from the extended kneading that Leader recommends.  Frankly, I didn't knead it as long as he recommends and I might even cut it back to just a couple of minutes of kneading for future bakes, combined with more stretch and folds to build strength.  That would open the crumb somewhat, but not to the point that condiments would be oozing out of sandwiches.

Here's a picture, which doesn't do the bread justice:

Good stuff, even if it is me that says so!

Both our daughters and their families were with us for the Labor Day weekend, which gave me the excuse to do some additional baking.  The tally for the weekend included Portugese Sweet Bread as rolls for barbecue pork sandwiches, sourdough English muffins for one morning's breakfast, and lemon oat scones for another breakfast.  Fun!

Now I need to finish testing the breads that I plan to teach at the Culinary Center of Kansas City, starting in November.  More fun!

Paul

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Although my baking has waned recently because I need to reduce the bread backlog in my freezer, it hasn't gone entirely dormant.  For instance, I baked some hamburger buns today (thanks, dolfs!) as a demonstration/interview for an instructor's position with the Culinary Center of Kansas City.  It was a lot of fun and felt more than a little bizarre.  After all, I am, to steal proth5's pet expression, just a raggedy home baker, not a professional chef/baker.  Still, any time that you get to talk to people about baking bread is a pretty good time.  And I apparently managed to do so in a coherent fashion because they asked me to teach for them.

The demo was slated as a 30-40 minute session in front of six of the CCKC staff and instructors, followed by their feedback.  That's a very small slice of time to work with, so I broke it into two separate phases and applied some "TV cooking" tricks.  The first phase was to demonstrate the mixing and kneading of a single batch of dough (using pre-measured ingredients), fielding questions as I went.  Some of the reviewers are bread bakers, some are not.  From a previous test run with the dough, I knew that I did not want to add more flour to the dough.  I also knew that the butter content was high enough that the dough would not stick to the work surface.  Consequently, I only did a rough mix and dumped the not-entirely-cohesive mass out onto the work surface, which was a polished marble or travertine material.  That elicited a few questions about why I wasn't worried about the whole thing sticking, so I showed them how the butter in the dough was keeping my hands and the counter comparatively clean.  I only kneaded it enough with the push-turn-fold-push method to get everything to hang together, then started French folding, a la Richard Bertinet.  That triggered a number of questions and comments, since none of them had seen that technique previously.  They were impressed with how easily the dough developed and smoothed out, and with how it picked up the initial goop from the countertop.  Putting that aside, I pulled out six batches worth of dough that I had made prior to leaving home for the demo and put each of them to work shaping the dough into the bun type of their choice, with pointers on how to achieve the various shapes.  I gave them tips for the final fermentation and baking (they have plenty of ovens to work with at the center) and that was the end of the demo.  Next up was listening to the critiques, which were uniformly positive and provided some very useful tips for me as a presenter.

So, the next step is to work out what courses to offer and to get them scheduled.  The catalog for the November 2012 - April 2013 semester is being developed now, so my timing was good.  I'll probably teach once, perhaps twice, a month.  This promises to be a lot of fun and I'm really looking forward to sharing the joy of good, home-made bread with others.

Paul

 

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Although my posting has been erratic, baking has continued at a fairly steady pace.

The Saturday of the Easter weekend, I baked Beth Hensperger's Sweet Vanilla Challah from her Bread Bible.  It is a favorite of my older grandson and we took a loaf with us for dinner with he and his parents.  I've blogged about it previously.  By the way, if any lasts long enough, it makes some of the best french toast, ever!  The turban shape is still a favorite of mine for its elegance and simplicity:

I also baked some honey whole wheat bread that same day for sandwiches:

This weekend, I managed to squeeze in a pain au levain with whole wheat, from the King Arthur Whole Grain Baking book.  One loaf was served at dinner with friends today and one went home with them (along with a bunch of hostas that were getting too big for their growing area.  Loaf:

Crumb:

I had elected to do some kneading for the dough, followed by a single stretch and fold about 45 minutes into the bulk ferment.  My rationale was that I wanted a finer, rather than more open, crumb.  It worked.  Other tweaks included bumping up the quantities by about 40% to achieve slightly larger loaves and using an autolyse of nearly an hour, which is longer than mentioned in the formula.  Otherwise, I hewed to the directions and was rewarded with some bread that is pleasing to the eye and the tongue.  

Paul

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Last weekend, as I was trying to decide what I wanted to bake next, two things occurred to me.  First, I had only baked one bread from Inside the Jewish Bakery so far.  Second, a rye bread sounded like a good thing.  

Although it was a matter of moments to pull the book from the shelf, it was probably half an hour later before I actually got to, and selected, the Rustic Pumpernickel bread as the weekend's bake.  Part of that is me; I'm easily distracted by books and usually spend more time in them than intended.  Part of it is the nature of ITJB itself; this award-winning book has so much interesting information which is presented so lovingly that, well, how could I just look at the formula and ignore everything else?  It's a good thing that I'm not looking at it now, or I wouldn't be writing this post.

Note: I consulted the errata sheet available here and marked the corrected quantities in my copy of ITJB before starting.

Since I don't keep a rye sour on hand, I seeded the sour with my mostly-white starter and built it up as directed, trusting that the coarsely-ground whole rye flour I had on hand would suffice for the dark rye called for in the formula.  There's something magical about a rye sour.  It looks like a grey-brown sludge but has the most amazing aroma!  Sour, yes, but also fruity and spicy, all at the same time.  Good stuff!

 The dough came together very easily as I mixed it by hand.  Since I don't have first clear flour on hand, I subbed in some bread flour in its place.  That's where I encountered a surprise.  This bread is about 80% rye to 20% wheat.  It should have been hyper-gluey, but wasn't.  An occasional moistening of my hands was enough to keep the stickies at bay.  Understand, it was sticky and I did need to clean some paste from my hands when finished, just nowhere near as much as I have experienced with other breads of similar composition.  Maybe it was because part of the rye was scalded.  Or maybe not.  I'm not sure.

Since one member of the household is not fond of caraway, I elected to include dill seed instead of caraway seed.  Rye and dill get on very nicely.

Although the yield for this bread is listed as one loaf, I elected to shape it into two loaves.  As two loaves, each was large enough to provide a week's worth of sandwiches.  The final dough rose quickly in the warmer temperatures that we were experiencing last weekend.  Given the high percentage of rye, I was concerned about the amount of expansion I was seeing.  Rye breads that go one step too far tend to collapse spectacularly.  I needn't have worried:

In fact, I could have let it ferment a while longer, as is evidenced by the cracking caused by a vigorous oven spring.  Why the dough was so resilient, I don't know.  Maybe it was related to what I saw with the less-than-expected stickiness.  Still, these loaves were almost doubled in size before they went into the oven.  In my rye experience, that's living on the ragged edge.  

The crumb shows good aeration, especially for a high-rye bread.  It is a solid, hefty loaf and works very well as a base for sandwiches made with ham or other flavorful meats.  Turkey breast, unless smoked, really doesn't have enough flavor of its own to compete with the bread.  Although, with bread this good, it's still a good sandwich!

Thank you to Norm and Stan for bringing ITJB to fruition, and to the TFL testers.  I'll be making this bread again and I'll be a bit bolder about pushing the fermentation envelope.

Paul

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First, a tip of the hat to theuneditedfoodie for his recommendation of Chris Glen's breads.  Thank you, Raj!

Because of Raj's comment on a recent blog of mine about Fervere Bakery, my wife and I made a jaunt down to The Bad Seed market in the 1900 block of McGee Street in Kansas City.  It's a funky little (with emphasis on funky and little) marketplace that features different providers of everything from hand-crafted soaps to free-range chicken (and eggs) to breads to produce.  Plus a few other things that I probably missed.  It is open on Friday evenings from 4:00-8:00.  The market has recently added a new vendor of artisanal breads, The New Traditionalist. 

You may have noticed that The New Traditionalist, aka Chris Glen, was quite outspoken in his praise of Fevere's products.  On the one hand, that's a very gracious acknowledgement of a competitor.  On the other hand, Chris knows whereof he speaks because his own breads are equally praiseworthy. 

I purchased a loaf of his whole wheat bread.  It is a naturally leavened bread consisting of organic whole wheat, water, and sea salt.  You can't get much more elemental than that.  

Shaped as a batard, the loaf was boldly baked,

which enhances the play of flavors between crust and crumb.  The crumb texture is very light and open.  No bricks here.

You can see that the crumb is open, laced with bubbles of all different sizes.  The sheen of the cell walls attests to full gelatinzation of the starch.  Chris shares a commercial kitchen with another business, baking his breads in pizza ovens.  That isn't an ideal setup but Chris has found a way to go beyond his circumstances instead of being limited by them.  As I write this, I realize that I ought to have asked Chris what flour he uses.  It appears to be very finely ground since large flecks of bran aren't evident in the crumb.

Now, you may have wondered why I mentioned a chocolatier in the title for this blog.  That has to do with a bit of geographic serendipity.  Christopher Elbow Chocolates has a store exactly one block north of The Bad Seed.  In appearance, it is everything that The Bad Seed is not.  Glamorous.  Gleaming.  Elegant.  Refined.  Although Elbow refers to his products as artisanal, one would not be far off the mark by referring to them as art.  We, naturally, did not leave empty-handed.  Once my wife spotted the toffee robed in dark chocolate and covered with toasted pecans, the deal was sealed.

There is a greater serendipity at work here than just geographic location.  The one that I was surprised by this evening has to do with flavor, with maximizing the potential of the ingredients.  I had savored two or three slices of Chris' whole wheat bread with a bowl of soup at dinner, marveling at the richness of the flavors he had teased from such simple ingredients.  And then the stunner: I tasted many of those same flavors in a piece of Christopher's toffee when I had it for dessert.  Yes, there were differences.  The candy, for instance, tasted nothing of wheat or levain and the bread wasn't nearly so sweet as the candy.  But both the candy and the bread shared flavor notes of nuts, of toast, of chocolate, of deeply roasted malt, of butter.  I am frustrated by my inadequacy in providing an accurate description of what I sensed, because there was so much more than I can put down here in words. The parallels were so clear, so surprising, and I would have missed them entirely if I had not eaten the two in close succession.  Beyond the specific flavors, the bread and the toffee each displayed a respect by their makers for the ingredients, as well as a willingness to apply skill and technique to realize every potential locked in those ingredients.

Thank you, Chris, for a superb loaf of bread.  May The New Traditionalist prosper.

Paul

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Every so often, I like to make a batch of sourdough English muffins.  My go-to recipe is one from the King Arthur 200th Anniversary Cookbook, which I have blogged about previously.  Today's post is just a series of photos showing the muffins as they cook for your viewing pleasure; something only a bread-head would love.

Up first, the muffins waiting their turn on the griddle:

After feeling the heat for a little bit:

Still growing:

Ready to turn:

And just after being turned:

And yes, they smell good too!

Paul

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Last weekend, I had a number of errands to run and it occurred to me that I could plan a route that allowed a stop at Fervere Bakery and then go on to the River Market and (since it was close by) The Planter Seed and Spice Company.  Think of it as a trifecta for a foodie.

Fervere is a not-so-old bakery in an old neighborhood to the south and west of downtown KC.  They are known for turning out some of the best breads in the area and for a rather quirky business model.  For pictures and a lengthier description of their products and process, I'll refer you to their website.  There's also a short video on youtube that you can watch.

Having heard a lot about Fervere and their breads, I was eager to try some.  I chose their pain de campagne, reasoning that I would be tasting the bread without any other influences (although I have to say that I sampled their orchard bread and it was wonderful!).  It turned out to be a really good choice!

The loaf is round and miche-like in shape and size, like this:

I would guesstimate it to be about 4 inches high at the tallest point and 12-14 inches in diameter.  As you can see, the crust colors range from golden browns to deeper, more caramelized russet tones.  The bottom crust, where it was in contact with the oven sole, is darker still.  The color and size of the slash indicates an early and large expansion after the dough was loaded in the oven.  This is borne out by the texture of the crumb:

The cells are random in size and distribution.  Although some of the alveoli are fairly large, this bread worked very well for sandwiches; protecting the diner from unexpected drips of condiments.  The crust is fairly thin.  By the time I got home from all of my running around that day, the crust had softened from crisp to chewy, due to being enclosed in a plastic bag.  The crumb was very moist and cool; this is evidently a high-hydration dough.  Oddly enough, although the crumb is relatively soft, it isn't mushy.  Press gently on the loaf and it yields, then immediately rebounds.  There's a firmness, a sturdiness, to this bread.  And it has excellent keeping qualities, having lasted nearly a week at the present cool room temperatures with no appreciable staling.  (My wife was out of town most of the week and, good as it was, a man can only eat so much bread by himself!)

Opening the bag and inhaling the aroma is almost intoxicating.  Deep, toasty caramel, roasted malts, a suggestion of chocolate, a mild tanginess and other notes that I don't have the vocabulary for.  These carry over into the flavor, which also boasts a forward wheatiness while the sourness virtually disappears.  A bite with crust is entirely different from a bite without crust.  If Wonder Bread is at one end of the chewiness spectrum and vollkornbrot is at the other, this lands just about squarely in the middle.  Firm, yes, but it yields to moderate pressure.  This is seriously good bread.  If I weren't a home baker, this is the kind of bread that I would want to buy.  Given the trek from my suburban location, I'm glad that I don't have to depend on Fervere for my daily bread but it is nice to know that it would be worth my time if I were in the vicinity.  And I would recommend that you stop in if you find yourself in Kansas City someday.

Paul

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Warning: I have not baked this bread!  Now that that's out of the way...

I have a 1948 edition of the Culinary Arts Institute Encyclopedic Cookbook, edited by Ruth Berolzheimer.  It had belonged to my mother; a wedding gift, I believe.  

Although the CAI (not to be confused with the CIA or with the other CIA--good grief, now I'm getting confused!) itself had a rather spotty history, it's cookbook lives on in various reprintings.  For its time, it was a big deal in cookbooks.  It has a profusion of photographs, some in color.  It's big--over 1000 pages, including the index.  It covers everything from basic information about ingredients to advice for planning a party; from appetizers to pulled sugar work.  More than just being a cookbook, it strives for a certain sense of personality or style.  As Ms. Berolzheimer put it, "The elusive charm of this personality stems from clear overtones: a light touch--a sense of humor--a flair for the clever idea in cooking and serving that results in something called style, but above all a feeling for the kind of beauty that women want about them in their work-a-day world."  I suspect that what I saw in the kitchen of our small farmhouse in northern Michigan was probably something different than Ms. Berolzheimer envisioned while she lived in the big city of Chicago.

In any event, the book also contains recipes for various yeasted and quick breads.  This one for Dark Rye Bread caught my eye and I thought that some of you might be interested.  Note that a bread with the same title is still included in the newer editions of the book but that the contents have been radically changed.

Dark Rye Bread

1 teaspoon sugar

1 cake yeast

15.5 cups sifted light rye flour

1 cup freshly mashed potatoes

1 quart lukewarm water

3 tablespoons salt

2 tablespoons caraway seed

Mix the sugar and crumbled yeast; allow to stand until the yeast liquifies.  In a large bowl, sift in 6 cups of the rye flour.  Combine the sugar, yeast, potatoes and water; then stir into flour.  Mix until smooth.  

Add the salt, the caraway seed, and another 6 cups of flour.  Mix thoroughly rather than kneading.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until the dough is doubled in bulk.  

Place the dough on a floured board and knead in additional flour until the dough is smooth and almost stiff enough to hold its shape as a single large loaf.  (This may take 3-4 cups of flour to achieve.)  

Round the dough up into one large loaf and place it on a floured baking sheet.  Let it rise until it has doubled in bulk, perhaps 1.5 hours.  

Pierce the dough lightly with a fork, brush the top with cold water, and place it in an oven that has been preheated to 425F.  After 15 minutes, reduce the heat to 350F and bake for 45 minutes longer.  Remove the loaf from the oven and brush the top with cold water.

Makes one very large loaf.  (Ya think?!)

As I said at the top, I have not made this bread.  For one thing, locating light rye flour is something of a challenge for me.  But even if it weren't, I'm pretty sure that I would not be a happy camper with it as written.  Picture the poor soul who is acquainted with wheaten breads that tries to make this for the first time ever.  Oh, the stickiness!  Frankly, I'd skip the knead-on-a-floured-board business and just leave the dough in the bowl.  That would at least allow me to keep one hand clean for things like adding flour while using the other as my kneading/mixing implement.

I would also convert this to use a rye sour, rather than using commercial yeast.  There are so many advantages that accrue from using a sour in a 100% rye bread.  But then, I'd be making a different bread, wouldn't I?

Anyway, there you are; a small look back at baking at home in the mid-20th century.

Paul

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While perusing the cookbook section in a local second-hand bookstore, I came across several copies of Andrew Whitley's Bread Matters in like-new condition.  Despite having a number of bread books already, this one somehow followed me home.  Mr. Whitley's writing style is engaging.  Although he is appalled by the state of British factory breads, he doesn't come across as shrill or vindictive or holier-than-thou.  Rather, he takes a more measured approach in describing what he sees as the problem, how it came to be, the consequences, and some solid recommendations for improving the situation.  (None of which require dough improvers.)  That is not to say that he doesn't employ some well-turned phrases which made me laugh outright in a few instances.  

Having dealt with the deplorable state of the baking industry (emphasis on industry), he turns his attention to providing a tutorial for the home baker who wants to produce healthy and tasty breads.  While I wouldn't necessarily recommend this as a first book for a new baker, Mr. Whitley does take some pains to describe not just what to do but how it works, as well.  He includes a number of bread formulae, including some for gluten-free breads.

One that looked attractive to me was his Cromarty Cob.  It is a lean hearth bread made with a 50/50 blend of white and whole wheat flours, with a rye sour providing the leavening.  

I used a bit of my wheat-based starter to inoculate the rye sour on Friday morning.  On Friday night, I built the production leaven from the rye sour, white flour, whole wheat flour and water, per instructions.  (Note that Whitley's directions assume warm temperatures, since he mentions an approximate time of 4 hours for the leaven to double.  With kitchen temperatures in the 65-67F range, my leaven took about 12 hours to double.)  

On Saturday morning, I mixed and kneaded the wheat flours, water and salt to develop a sticky dough, as directed.  Then I worked in the production leaven.  Whitley only calls for part of the leaven, with no mention of what to do with the excess.  Since I had gone to the effort of making it, I put the entire leaven into the dough.  The weight differential isn't significant, so I wasn't concerned with upsetting hydration levels or dough characteristics.  I then fermented the dough in my proofer at 85F, with one stretch and fold at the 1-hour mark, per instructions.

This formula is sized to produce one loaf weighing approximately 1kg.  When the dough was ready for shaping, I elected to form two smaller boules, since that better fit my needs.  The bannetons went back into the proofer, although only just barely, for the final ferment.  Following Whitley's instructions, the breads were baked with steam at 425F for 10 minutes, then at 400F for the remainder.  And this is what I got:

And the crumb:

Whenever I get around to baking this bread again, I think I will experiment with bumping the temperatures up by 25F or so.  Even with the smaller loaves, I went nearly the entire recommended bake time before the interior temperature was north of 200F and you can see that the color is not particularly dark.

To my chagrin, the bread wasn't entirely cooled when I cut it in preparation for taking to the Kansas City TFL meetup.  Nevertheless, off it went.  In spite of the indignities it suffered, it arrived in fairly good condition.  The crust was still crisp and the crumb still moist.  I especially like the flavor.  While not sour, it is definitely more layered and more complex than a commercially yeasted loaf would have been even with the same fermentation schedule.

A good book and a good bread.  Both speak well of Mr. Whitley's capabilities.

Paul

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With few exceptions, most of my baking in the past weeks has been, well, pedestrian.  One of the exceptions would be Bernard Clayton's Pain Allemande Aux Fruits.  There's no way a bread like that can be pedestrian, even if the baker's efforts aren't stellar.  There was also the treat of introducing a young South African friend to the simple joys of a Southern-style breakfast featuring buttermilk biscuits, sausage gravy and fried apples.  We initiated him into the Kansas City fellowship of barbecue with lunch at Jack's Stack on another day.  He is also now a fan of key lime pie.  But I digress.

A little more bluntly, I've been baking but haven't invested much of myself in the effort.  And it has showed in some rather medocre, if still serviceable, breads.  So I tried to do something about that this weekend and I'm pleased with the outcome.

Back in April 2009, I blogged about the Whole Wheat Genzano Country Loaf from Leader's Local Breads.  I said that it was so good that I would make it again.  Now, almost three years later, I have.  Almost.

The almost refers to three departures from the formula and process presented in the book.  The formula calls for 250g of whole wheat flour in the final dough.  There were only 140g left in my whole wheat flour container.  How did that happen?!  Faced with a hurried trip to the store or improvising, I improvised by subbing in 60g of whole rye flour and another 50g of bread flour to make up the difference.  So, technically, this is no longer Leader's Whole Wheat Country Loaf.  Rather, it is Paul's Now What Do I Do? Loaf.  The second variation is in the mixing regime.  As with my previous bake, I just don't see the purpose or value of the extended high-speed mix that Leader recommends.  After 10 minutes at speed 6 on my Kitchen Aide mixer (note that he recommends 8-10 minutes at "medium speed" which he defines as speed 8, followed by an additional 10 minutes at speed 10), the dough was already clearing the sides and bottom of the bowl and I was able to pull a windowpane.  That, of course, was after switching off the machine which I had been forcibly holding down on the countertop so that it didn't launch itself.  The third and final variation is that I preheated the oven at 500F and then turned it down to 450F after steaming and loading the bread.

In terms of being more purposeful with this bake, I made sure to pull my starter from the refrigerator and refresh it in ample time for it to be fully active.  The biga naturale was prepared and allowed to fully ripen.  I maintained the prescribed fermentation temperatures.  With the exceptions noted previously, I hewed to the formula and process, only deviating where necessity dictated or experience suggested.  Most importantly, I paid attention to what I was doing.  When it came time to shape the loaves, which is an exercise in minimalism, I was very careful to be gentle.  As a result, most of the gas in the dough was retained in spite of this being a sticky dough that wants to latch onto whatever it touches.  I even did a mini-hearsal of what movements I would need to take to get the shaped loaves onto the stone in the oven, which led to my reorienting their position on the peel.  Based on the loaves' development in the oven, I chose to pull the steam pan at about the 9-minute mark.  That seems to have been a good call, based on their coloring.

Given all of that, was the outcome perfect?  Of course not.  But I'm pretty happy with the bread.  Here's why:

The color on these loaves is much closer to what Leader describes in the book than what I achieved with my previous bake, so my decision to preheat to a higher temperature paid off.  Although the loaves sang softly while cooling, the crust retained its integrity instead of crackling.  Here's a closer look:

The higher preheat temperature had a couple of other effects.  One was to boost the amount of oven spring.  The loaves are probably almost twice as tall as they were when they first hit the baking stone.  The second effect is that the crust is thicker and chewier this time around.  I'll take that, given the richness of the flavor that comes with the bolder bake.

The crumb from one angle:

And face on:

One loaf exhibited slight tearing along the bottom, which suggests that I could have let the proofing run another 10-15 minutes.  However, the dough was so gassy that I was concerned more about overproofing.  

This is a good bread.  The rye doesn't stand out distinctly but it definitely adds another layer to the flavors.  The crumb, a day after baking, is moist, cool and firm.  The crust requires a definite bite and some deliberate chewing.  It went very well with today's dinner of brined pork loin. This week's sandwiches should be good.

My advice (mostly to myself) is to pay attention to the details because every detail matters and good bread is worth the extra effort.

Paul

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