The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Portus's blog

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Portus

In preparing for the 123 community bake on Saturday morning I hauled out my wooden dough board and gave it a brief scraping down.  My usual maintenance regime is a simple scrape after use, then an airing outdoors in the sun, weather permitting, followed by a light scrape prior to next using.  This time I decided apply science to the "light scrape" residue by dropping the bits (<2g) into a plastic container to which I added another <2g water, closed the lid and waited for the evening.  I then added 20 g each of water and flour, and Sunday morning it presented a decent outcome as shown in these pictures.

I therefore conclude that a wooden dough board is superior to marble/other impermeable surfaces for mixing dough as it has the advantage of an inherent reservoir/store of starter should accidental destruction of the usual, maintained starter occur.  It also brought to mind the item I read a while back about one or other community that did not rinse out the wooden mixing bread bowl; the locals simply added water and flour, mixed the lot which was left to ferment overnight for their morning bake.

I wonder if, in terms of sourdough genetics, this wood be called a chip off the old block?

 

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Portus

 

… bakes by Lechem and leslieruf presented a personal challenge, so midweek I retrieved my aging AYW from the depths of the fridge, fed it a fresh apple and tried my hand at Hamelman’s recipe this weekend.  These pictures tell half the story, and the second half will follow with a crumb shot tomorrow – my first slice will be a celebration of SA’s victory over England at rugby this evening!  At first blush the raisins look a bit sun burnt notwithstanding a bake at 230C with protective stainless steel lid for the first 15 minutes followed by the balance of time at 220C.

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Portus

 

… with good results, I decided to adapt the recipe for a 750g loaf, plus a bit. 

Starting off with 120g 100% hydration rye starter (base NMNF), I built a loaf comprising a mix of 33% rye, 20% each of whole wheat, AP and HG flours, 10% spelt, 1.75% caraway seeds, 1% VWG, 2% malt powder, with a reduction in water resulting in 73% overall hydration. 

Slow bake for some 40 minutes, starting at 235oC reducing to 220oC after 20 minutes, this delivered a pleasing and rather tasty loaf with a decent rise and happy crumb.  Thank you Edo bread for the template!


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Portus

A Johannesburg filling station keeps passing motorists entertained with its daily ration of aphorisms.  I think this one is worth repeating, even if it's not new!

 

 

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