The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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varda

Learning to make bread is full of milestones - some large, some small.   For the last few months I have been trying to get pointy ends on my batards.    This seemingly modest goal has eluded me.   No matter what they looked like after shaping, by the end of proofing it was back to rounded ends.   Gradually though, I've been adjusting my shaping, and today - drumroll please - pointy ends!    This is solely an aesthetic pursuit, with no impact whatsoever on the taste of the bread except, I suppose,  for the end pieces themselves which have a nice crunch to them.   

The bread itself (apart from the ends) is a 23% medium rye sourdough, 65% hydration, baked in my WFO.    I changed my process today by placing a pan with water and a soaked towel into the oven just before loading the loaves.  

It made a tasty afternoon snack with just the smallest possible pat of butter. 

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varda

I haven't had a chance to comment or post lately due to difficult circumstances.   I have been reading and enjoying people's posts from time to time and regret that I haven't had a chance to comment on them.    Today I finally had time to uncover my Wood Fired Oven and bake.    I gave it a long firing since I haven't used it since a brief hot spell in March - then baked a couple of durum loaves.    It was hot, too hot and when I came out to check the loaves after 25 minutes, they were done, done, done, with a bit of char to boot.  

I have been frustrated lately with the raggediness of my score openings, and thought that it probably was a function of air flow in my gas oven.   Despite fiddling this way and that, I wasn't able to fix the problem to my satisfaction.    Today, I think I confirmed that it is oven related, as I was much happier with the result in the WFO.   

I only sprayed the loaves with water before loading and didn't put a steam pan in the oven.  

And here's the crumb:

Formula and method:

Seed hydration

67%

 

 

 

 

King Arthur All Purpose

95%

 

 

 

 

Whole Rye

5%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1st feeding

 

Total

percent

Seed

32

 

 

 

 

King Arthur AP

18

143

 

161

95%

Whole Rye

1

7

 

8

5%

Water

13

100

 

113

67%

 

 

 

 

282

 

Feeding factor

 

 

 

 

8.8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Final

Starter

Total

Percent

 

King Arthur AP

0

137

137

21%

 

Whole Rye

0

7

7

1%

 

Durum

300

0

300

47%

 

KA Bread Flour

200

 

200

31%

 

Water

334

96

430

67%

 

Salt

12

 

12

1.9%

 

Starter

240

 

 

22%

 

 

 

 

1086

169%

 

Starter factor

0.9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mix all but salt - autolyse for 1 hour

 

 

 

Mix for around 5 minutes with salt

 

 

 

Bulk Ferment (BF) 1 hour 5 minutes

 

 

 

 

Stretch and Fold

 

 

 

 

 

BF 55 m

 

 

 

 

 

Stretch and Fold

 

 

 

 

 

BF 45 m

 

 

 

 

 

Cut and preshape

 

 

 

 

Rest 20 m

 

 

 

 

 

Shape and place in couche

 

 

 

 

Proof for 1 hour 25 minutes

 

 

 

 

Slash and spray with water

 

 

 

 

Bake in very hot WFO for 25 minutes

 

 

 

 

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varda

 

Some time ago, I attempted many times to follow Franko in making a high percentage durum loaf with low hydration and shaped by a simple fold - in fact an Altamura style bread.   I was never altogether satisfied with my progress, and finally set it aside and focused on other baking.    While I stopped trying to make an Altamura style loaf, that doesn't mean I stopped baking with durum - in fact my regular rotation (that sounds more formal than it is) includes medium percentage durum loaves like Hamelman's Semolina (p. 171 of Bread) and Sylvia's pugliese.   I think this regular baking has made me more comfortable with durum, and I stopped looking at it as a crazed and evil beast that required a lot of fuss and nonsense to get right.    That more relaxed attitude led me to throw together a loaf that I realized just in time for shaping had many of the characteristics of the Altamura style bread that I had tried so hard to master.   So I folded and proofed and baked and voila, the best Altamura style loaf that I've yet managed to produce.    There's a lesson in here somewhere but I'm not entirely sure what it is.

I used an entirely passive method of dough development.    First I fed my regular starter with durum flour and water, and immediately refrigerated it for around 20 hours.   Then I mixed all ingredients until dough formed a shaggy mass for a couple minutes only, and then refrigerated for 24 hours.   Then I let warm on counter for around four hours,  then pressed out slightly (hardly at all) folded over and proofed for around 50 minutes, then baked for 20 minutes with steam and 35 minutes without at 400F.    I had no idea when I cut into it what to expect,   but here's what I got:

Altogether a happy result from a casual approach mostly forced by time constraints.     And yes it's tasty - the good taste of durum shines through.

Formula:

5/11/2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seed hydration

66%

 

 

 

 

KAAP

95%

 

 

 

 

Whole Rye

5%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5:00 PM

 

 

 

Seed

100

 

 

 

 

KAAP

57

 

 

57

36%

Whole Rye

3

 

 

3

2%

Durum

0

100

 

100

62%

Water

40

66

 

106

66%

 

 

 

 

266

2.7

5/12/2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

Final

Starter

Total

Percent

 

KAAP

 

57

57

9%

 

Whole Rye

 

3

3

0%

 

Durum

500

99

599

91%

 

Water

330

105

435

66%

 

Salt

12

 

12

1.8%

 

Starter

263

 

 

24%

 

 

 

 

1105

168%

 

Starter factor

1.0

 

 

 

 

 

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varda

Today,   I made a tiny little leap to no where in particular by teaching a small class to make bagels.    Since people (including me) had limited time I did a few practice rounds, taking note of the times, so we could fit in everything, including a potluck lunch, into a 2 hour period.

Despite experimenting this way and that in my practices, I decided to faithfully follow Hamelman in most regards except for a couple of simplifications.   I was pleased that this approach seemed to work.   I had started a batch of six bagels the night before and refrigerated, and we started with mixing up a second batch of six, then finishing the first batch.   This was done in time (ok, a little early) to cut, weigh, roll and shape the second batch, which the students took home to finish.   

These were not bakers (bar one) who were familiar with the use of a scale, much  baking with yeast, or what not.    Everything went well, though.   People had fun, and we had a nice lunch.   Phew!

The finished product

I brought the ham

Rinsing the bagel (in lieu of ice water)

Ready to eat with plenty of treats

 

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varda

Lately I have been trying to make a passably authentic Russian Borodinsky Rye.    Fortunately Russian bakers are very generous.    Eliabel referred my last Borodinsky post to two Russian bread bloggers - Serghei and Masha.    They gave her some feedback which she very kindly translated for me.   I've tried to incorporate their advice into my latest bake.   A sticking point for those of us who would like to make authentic Borodinsky is the malt.   The original requires a fermented rye malt called red malt.    As far as I can tell this is not available in the United States.   Furthermore the process for making it is not well adapted to a home kitchen.   See for instance the discussion on dabrownman's post.   However, there are excellent rye malts available.    I was able to purchase three different malts at a brewing supply store in Cambridge, Massachusetts:   caramel, chocolate, and simple malted rye.    The chocolate and caramel are malted seeds which are then roasted to the desired color and flavor.    For the simple malted rye, the seeds are sprouted and then dried in a kiln.  

The advice I got through Eliabel was pretty straightforward.  

1.   Kvas is not a sufficiently concentrated source of rye malt for Borodinsky

2.   Molasses should go in the final dough rather than in the scald

3.  Eliabel also quoted a new book on Rye Zavarka breads which says that the red malt process retains some of the diastatic enzymes of the malt.  

For this bake I used the chocolate malted rye in the scald, and then added some of the simple rye malt to the final dough.   I also added the molasses to the final paste rather than the scald. 

Since in earlier Borodinsky attempts both Masha and Eliabel had mentioned there should be no cracking of the top, I modified a few things to see if I could avoid it.   First, I went way up on the hydration to 98%.   Second I took Howard's advice to dock the top, and Minioven's advice to take a spatula and separate the top of the loaf from the side of the pan prior to proofing.    This is the first of many attempts in which the top did not crack.    Otherwise I followed the three stage Auerman process as detailed by Andy.    I was again unable to cover the pan during the bake because I had added so much more water that the dough was too high.   It just ended up doming slightly.  

I cut in and tasted today after a 20 hour rest.

Since the chocolate malted rye had such a strong flavor, I should probably have used a bit more freshly ground coriander than I did.    I had cut back because my malt in previous attempts wasn't strong enough to balance the coriander flavor.   Other than that, I was pretty happy with the result.

Update:   Oh, one more thing I would change.   The scald was a little dry without the molasses and so hard to mix in with the rye sour.   Next time, instead of adding the extra 50g of water to the final dough, I would add more water to the scald.   

Borodinsky with Chocolate Rye Malt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rye Sour

 

5:15 PM

9:00 PM

 

 

Seed

60

 

 

 

 

Whole Rye

32

75

140

247

 

Water

28

135

250

413

167%

 

 

 

 

660

 

Scald

 

 

 

 

 

Whole Rye

104

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Malted Rye

36

 

 

 

 

Boiling Water

249

adjusted for evaporation

 

Ground coriander

4

 

 

 

 

 

393

 

 

 

 

Sponge

 

 

 

 

 

Rye Sour

552

 

 

 

 

Scald

393

 

 

 

 

 

945

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

Final

Sour

Scald

Total

Percent

Whole Rye

207

207

104

517

79%

KABF

138

 

 

138

21%

Water

50

345

249

644

98%

Molasses

41

 

 

41

6%

Chocolate Malted Rye

 

 

36

36

5%

Malted Rye

9

 

 

9

1.4%

Salt

10

 

 

10

1.5%

Ground coriander

 

 

4

4

0.6%

Sponge

945

 

 

 

 

 

 

552

393

1400

 

Sour factor

0.84

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feed starter as above

 

 

 

 

 

At second feeding, make the scald

 

 

 

Leave overnight (12 hours.)  Sour is frothy

 

 

 

Mix scald and starter

 

 

 

 

 

Ferment for 5.5 hours

 

 

 

 

 

Add final ingredients - mix by hand until blended

 

 

Ferment for 1 hour

 

 

 

 

 

Note that paste was very fluffy and aerated at this point

 

 

Spoon into greased bread pan.   Smooth down with wet spatula.

 

Spray top with water and do so at intervals

 

 

 

Cover

 

 

 

 

 

Proof for 1 hour 55 minutes

 

 

 

 

Very bubbly and starting to get holey on top

 

 

 

Oven preheated to 550 for 1 hour - steam pan for last 30 minutes of preheat

Put bread in oven and bring temperature back to 550

 

 

Then reduce to 350

 

 

 

 

 

Bake for 1 hour 15 min covered with foil after first 15 minutes

 

 

 

then remove steam pan, remove bread from pan and bake for 30 minutes

 

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varda

The other day I posted on preliminary miche attempts.   Due to problems with handling high hydration dough, the results were fairly disreputable.   The nice crumb did give me hope that I was on the right track.   Today I tried again, taking extra care not to fumble the dough.   While the dough throughout had the consistency of a water balloon I handled with care and got a better result.  This has a crispy crust and complex flavor which I don't really know how to describe, but it is definitely memorable.    It is made with 40% hand-sifted whole wheat flour, which I think I'm safe in describing as 90% extraction and the rest AP and Bread Flour.    For a simple formula - predominantly wheat - this bread achieves flavor that I usually can only coax out of multigrains and/or added ingredients.    I think it's all about the fermentation which is aided by the high hydration.  

I picked a difficult bread to try out a crescent moon score, but here it is:

Formula and method:

Starter

 

4:45 PM

9:15 PM

 

 

 

 

 

Seed

28

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KAAP

15

 

120

135

 

 

 

 

KABF

 

47

 

47

 

 

 

 

Dark Rye

1

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

Whole Rye

 

3

5

8

5%

 

 

 

Water

12

34

145

191

100%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

382

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Final

Starter

Total

Percent

 

 

 

 

Hi Ex

303

 

303

41%

 

 

 

 

KAAP

150

96

246

33%

 

 

 

 

KABF

150

33

183

25%

 

 

 

 

Whole Rye

 

6

6

1%

 

 

 

 

Dark Rye

 

1

1

0%

 

 

 

 

Water

480

135

615

83%

 

 

 

 

Salt

14

 

14

1.9%

 

 

 

 

Starter

270

 

 

18%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1367

 

 

 

 

 

Starter factor

0.7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave starter overnight after second feed for 10 hours 45 minutes before using

Sift Whole Foods Whole Wheat flour to around 90% extraction

Autolyse flour and water for 45 minutes

Mix in salt and starter for 20 minutes at KA Speed 1, 20 minutes KA Speed 2

Dough should cohere into a loose ball by end of mix

Do a quick stretch and fold in bowl right after

BF for 3 hours

Stretch and fold in bowl

BF for 30 minutes

Stretch and fold on counter by pulling out in all directions flat (around 2.5 ft diameter)

and then folding into center

BF for 30 minutes

Remove from bowl and preshape into a loose ball

Rest 15 minutes

Shape into a ball by loosely turning corners into the center

Dough is very squashy like a water balloon

Place seam side up into a basket covered with tightly woven well-floured cotton cloth

Proof for 1 hour 40 minutes until dough starts to lose spring

Very gently turn dough onto peel with wheat bran under parchment paper

Slide onto stone

Bake with steam at 450F for 20 minutes, without steam for 35 minutes

Leave in oven for 5 minutes with door closed and heat off to finish

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varda

Other people's obsessions can be dull.   That's what the back button, the scroll button and the  block this user button are for.    But if you'll bear with me I have more to say about Borodinsky.    First, misunderstanding a suggestion by eliabel, I searched high and low and found a Russian grocery in Allston, MA which carries Kvas.   So I made the trek over there, and discovered that they also carried Borodinsky.    I bought a loaf, prepared in a sliced sandwich bread format, thinking how good could this be?    The answer - extremely good, extremely fresh, extremely coriandery.   I consider myself corrected.   Then it turns out that eliabel was not suggesting that I buy bottled Kvas, but instead Kvas concentrate.   But I had my Kvas, and by golly (remember, this is a well-mannered site) I was going to use it.  

The Big Sky Borodinsky

The Kvas - It tasted like bread.

Borodinsky with Kvas

Again I followed Andy's Feb 6, 2012 post, but with enough deviations that it warrants specifying formula and method directly.

Rye Sour

 

2:00 PM

9:00 PM

 

 

 

Seed

50

 

 

 

 

 

Dark Rye

12

 

 

12

 

 

Whole Rye

15

75

125

215

 

 

Water

23

147

208

378

167%

 

 

 

 

 

605

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scald

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whole Rye

104

 

 

 

 

 

Malted Rye

 

 

 

 

 

 

Molasses

41

 

 

 

 

 

Boiling Kvas

272

 

 

 

 

 

Ground coriander

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

420

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sponge

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rye Sour

552

 

 

 

 

 

Scald

420

 

 

 

 

 

 

972

 

 

 

 

 

Final dough

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whole Rye

207

 

 

 

 

 

KA Bread Flour

138

 

 

 

 

 

Salt

10

 

 

 

 

 

Sponge

972

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Final

Sour

Scald

Total

Percent

 

Whole Rye

207

196

104

506

 

 

Dark Rye

 

11

 

11

 

 

KA Bread Flour

138

 

 

138

21%

 

Water

 

345

 

345

94%

 

Kvas

 

 

272

272

 

 

Malt

 

 

0

0

 

 

Molasses

 

 

41

41

 

 

Salt

10

 

 

10

 

 

Coriander

 

 

 

3

 

 

Sponge

972

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

552

420

1327

 

 

Sour factor

0.91

 

 

 

 

 

Feed starter as above

At second feeding, make the scald

Leave overnight (15 minutes short of 10 hours)

Mix scald and starter

Ferment for just over 4 hours

Add final ingredients - mix by hand until blended

Ferment for 1 hour

Note that paste was very fluffy and aerated at this point

Spoon into greased bread pan.   Smooth down with wet spatula

Spray top with water and do so at intervals (Mini's suggestion)

Using spatula, separate top edge of bread from pan (Mini's suggestion)

Cover with Pullman top

Proof for 2 hours 5 minutes

Note -Very bubbly and starting to get holey on top

Oven preheated to 550F for 1 hour - steam pan for last 30 minutes of preheat

Put bread in oven and bring temperature back to 550  (Note I was too worried to cover it for first 15 minutes since it had risen so much during proof - I could have though)

Then reduce to 350F

Bake for 1 hour 15 min (without top for first 15 minutes with top for an hour)

then remove steam pan, remove bread from pan and bake for 30 minutes

Note that uncooked dough weight was 1275 so lost 52g in between steps

Tastewise, and despite the fact that I used canned Kvas rather than roasted rye malt, this was the best yet.   Absolutely delicious, with sort of a tart, tangy taste overlaid on the (freshly ground) coriander, malt, and molasses.   Addictively delicious.   Watch out.  

 

As for the miche, I have been wanting to follow David's SFBI miche for awhile now, but lacked what I thought was a suitable flour.   When push came to shove, though, my thinking and flour had deviated too much, so I'll just say that I was inspired by David's miches.

First the flour:  I don't seem to be able to find high extraction flour around here, short of milling it myself.   So I decided to sift.   My first try was unsuccessful and essentially I had whole wheat flour.   So I decided to buy a better sieve.  

That made a big difference.   For this miche, I started with 360g of whole wheat flour, generated 30g of bran, and 30g went missing.   So I can't calculate the extraction but it looked good.   Then I followed David in using only half high extraction.   In my case, I used KA Bread Flour as the other half.   

But before I could get to actually making a SFBI miche, I had to pursue a different line of thought.  I was somewhat startled the other day, when I made a Pain Au Levain with no Stretch and Fold whatsoever.   I am totally imprinted on Hamelman - he says Stretch and Fold, so I Stretch and Fold.    But my curiousity was piqued.     This time I decided to make up a very wet dough and develop it in the mixer for as long as it took and then again no Stretch and Fold.    So I made up an 83% hydration dough and mixed it in my humble Kitchen Aid - first at speed 1 for 35 minutes, and then at speed 2 for 10 minutes, with plenty of scrape downs along the way.   The dough came together quite nicely and strongly at the 45 minute mark.    Then I let it bulk ferment without touching it for  3.5 hours, and continued on my way.

Given the hazards of working with such wet dough, then I stumbled.   I proofed in a big ceramic bowl dusted with flour, but it was too big, so I had to basically drop the dough out of it onto the peel.   This compressed the bottom of the loaf a bit.   Worse yet, it snagged on the peel when I "slid" it into the oven.   To heck with the shape.   Despite all that, I think the crumb came out very nicely.   Undoubtedly it would have been quite different had I done a shorter mix, and a few stretch and folds.    But I kind of like this result.  

 

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varda

Word of the day: unseasonable.  I've been hearing that a lot lately.   What it means in practice is that after carefully checking the expected weather for the next few days, I decided it really was safe to bake in my WFO in March!    Last year my first bake was in July, but that was because I had to rebuild the oven first.    This year, the oven came through the winter more or less intact.    I pulled off the tarps and burned a bit of brush in there yesterday to warm it up.    Then today, fired it up and baked.   It was that simple.    Except it may take me awhile to get back into the routine.   This bread was totally overproofed since it took me forever to get a fire going and the weather is so warm that proofing was fast.    If I had baked it in that state in my gas oven, it would have just sunk like a stone.   Also, I didn't quite manage to get a steam pan into the oven.   Too much to keep track of.   Next time.  

 

This bread is a multigrain sourdough.   The wrinkle is that I threw in my leftover rye malt.   My son said it was delicious.    I thought it tasted vaguely similar to eating a beer.   Not sure why, since most beer isn't made with rye.    So actually pretty good, but strange.  

Here is my hobo oven ready for baking:

Update:   Formula and Method

3/20/2012

 

 

 

 

Sourdough with Rye Malt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4:35 PM

9:30 PM

 

 

 

Starter

35

 

 

 

 

 

KAAP

20

47

62

129

 

 

Dark Rye

1

3

3

7

5%

 

Water

14

55

100

169

125%

 

 

 

 

 

305

 

 

 

Final

Starter

Total

Percent

 

 

KAAP

350

123

473

75%

 

 

Dark Rye

 

7

7

1%

 

 

Whole Rye

50

 

50

8%

 

 

Spelt

50

 

50

8%

 

 

Whole Wheat

50

 

50

8%

 

 

Water

285

162

447

71%

 

 

Salt

12

 

12

1.9%

 

 

Rye Malt

17

 

17

2.7%

 

 

Starter

292

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1106

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mix all but salt and autolyse for 45 minutes

 

 

 

Add salt.   Mix in KA at low speed for 25 minutes

 

 

until dough is pretty strong and doesn't just flow down

 

 

when you lift the mixer arm

 

 

 

 

BF for 3 hours with no S&F

 

 

 

 

Cut and preshape

 

 

 

 

 

Rest for 30 minutes

 

 

 

 

 

Shape and proof (2 hrs)

 

 

 

 

 

Bake for 40 minutes in WFO

 

 

 

 

            

 

varda's picture
varda

Over the last few days I've been working on another Borodinsky.   I made some new rye malt, then refreshed rye sour, and scald flavored with the malt, molasses, and not quite as potent ground coriander as my last try.   I followed Andy's Feb 6 Borodinsky post, with the exception of some different timing and a little less coriander.   I cut into the loaf this morning, and felt, that maybe, just maybe I had made something close to a real Borodinsky loaf.  

Gave some to my son for breakfast - he ate it without any topping and without any complaint.   Then cut up some slices and took them to a morning meeting.   Since the people at the meeting were civilians (i.e., don't lie awake at night thinking about how to make such and such authentic Russian bread using the Auerman process) I thought they might not like it, and warned them it was very rye-y and coriandery and so forth.   But everyone ate it and most people seemed to genuinely enjoy it.    One woman mentioned that she thought it would be heavy and dense since it was mostly rye.   But it wasn't - instead very light in a rye sort of way.   

My only complaint is that the bread didn't quite hit the top of the pan, even though I thought I had the scaling (.69 of Andy's bake) perfect.   The bread obviously had some ovenspring, but rather than smoothly expanding to fill the inside of the pan, it seemed to rise as if it was uncovered and then cracked along the top.

I tried to get a very uniform paste in the pan by putting some in with a spoon and then smoothing and flattening it with a wet rubber spatula.  

My rye malt was much more successful this time.    I read through all the links people sent me - thank you.    I took Juergen's advice to raise the temperature while toasting the sprouting berries.    The color was much darker this time but I would call it ginger rather than red.    But I did get a much more powdery consistency when I ground the berries after toasting.   The potency this time around was much stronger, and I was a little afraid that I had burned it, since it had a very powerful aroma.   In retrospect I think it was fine.

Compare this with last time:

I also found what I thought was a very interesting discussion about making rye malt here.   See in particular Ron's comments in this thread.  

Baking Notes:

I always wait to use liquid rye sour until it is frothy on top.   In this case, I fed the sour in the afternoon.   Then again at night around six hours later.   Then left it overnight.   Ten hours later, it was frothy, so I combined it with the scald (made at the same time as the second sour feed) to make the sponge.   Then let ferment for 4 hours, per Andy's instructions.    I added final ingredients (rye flour, wheat flour, and salt)   and fermented for an hour.   Then spread into the pan (9 inch Pullman.)   Then proofed for only 1.5 hours rather than 3.   I used a wet finger to poke and test for elasticity, and just felt it was done earlier than expected.   Andy specifies a long bake at very low temperature with a very high temp start.   That didn't work with my schedule.   Instead I did the following.   Preheated oven to its highest temperature - 550F - for 40 minutes.   20 minutes into the preheat, I added a big pyrex lasagna pan full of water and with three towels in it.   At 40 minutes I added the loaf, and let the temperature come back up to 550F.    Then reduced heat to 350F.   At 1 hour 15 minutes into the bake, I removed the loaf from the pan, and removed the steam pan, and baked for 30 more minutes.    This time I managed to wait for around 20 hours before cutting.  

As for coriander, the first time I made this, I put in a very small amount of coriander that had been ground months before.    I think I underdid it.   Then second time, I put in freshly ground coriander at a little less than what Andy had specified.   The smell of the sponge with the coriander was overpowering to the point of being unpleasant and things didn't get any better with the bread, which failed for other reasons.   This time I scaled Andy's formula to .69 which would have called for 7g of coriander.   Instead I put in 5g of my supply of coriander which had been ground awhile ago.    This worked.   The flavor was fantastic and not overpowering.   Note that in Andy's Feb 6 post, he didn't put in the coriander until final, whereas in earlier posts, he put in with the scald.   Either way seems to be ok.  

I'm happy with this latest effort.   Thanks so much to Andy for his detailed and repeated posts on the subject.  

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varda

I have been making the same loaf of bread since Sunday and it's not even sourdough.   It is my first Pain de Mie, using the formula that Syd posted here.    Usually when people tell me what a lot of work it must be to make bread, I say it doesn't take much time or effort - mostly you let the dough do the work.   That does not hold for this bread.   Syd's instructions say to work this dough until it either has a gossamer windowpane, or your arms cramp up.   Since my arms never cramped up even though they were (and still are) extremely tired, I worked the dough with a few short breaks for an hour and 10 minutes.   No gym today.   In theory I could have used my Kitchen Aid stand mixer.   In practice it would probably have been the last time I used it.   

Since I have never made/bought/eaten this type of bread before I have no idea if it came out the way it should.  

I will say it's the most flavorful white bread I've ever tasted.  

A few baking notes:

The third day of the formula, or baking day, calls for "whole egg 140g."   I thought maybe ostrich egg?    I clicked through to the site that Syd referenced hoping for some clarification.  Unfortunately I can't read Chinese characters so no help there.   I ended up putting in 3 medium eggs which came to 156g.   Comparing my crumb to Syd's his seems to be a lot whiter, so that may have been incorrect.  

Update:   Syd's instructions call for heating the milk for the first mix (the water roux) but not for the next two.   I scalded for each of these because that's just what I do, but didn't know if it was necessary or not.  

During mixing, the dough stayed fragile until around 40 minutes.    At around 50 minutes it seemed to be getting stronger and silkier.   I went back to the Chinese site to see if they had any pictures of what it should look like.   They did.   I wasn't there yet so I kept going until an hour and ten minutes, at which point it was strong enough to twirl around like a pizza.   

Syd didn't mention steam, and I wasn't sure if that is called for in this type of bread.   Google translate was no help.   I finally decided to do steam for the first 15 minutes.   I baked one slightly smaller loaf in a pyrex bread pan (5 x 9 x 2.5 inches) and the second in my short Pullman (4 x 9 x 4).   Since I was reasonably sure that I wouldn't repeat the disaster of a few days ago where my attempt at a second Borodinsky went very wrong, I decided to cover the Pullman.   It didn't overflow.   It did reach the top.   My first success in covered Pullman baking.   I baked the Pyrex loaf at 356F (180C) for 35 minutes and the Pullman loaf for 40.   Could probably have baked each longer, but I didn't want to push it.   These aren't supposed to be crusty loaves after all, given that Pain de Mie seems to mean Crumb Bread.   (Sounds better in French.)  

Update:  I divided dough as 956g of dough into the Pullman and 820g into the Pyrex. 

So I have now baked an Asian Pain de Mie or a facsimile thereof.   Wonder how a French Pain de Mie would differ.   Just about everything I'm doing here is new to me.  I have certainly never hand-worked dough for over an hour before - maximum maybe 25 minutes.   Any suggestions for improvements are decidedly welcome.  

Oh, and incidentally this is either the 4th or 5th of Syd's formulas that I have tried, or around half of the number posted.   More please!  They are most interesting and excellent.

Bonus Rye Malt

In my efforts to make a second Borodinsky more authentic than the first, I took Janet's suggestion to make Rye Malt.  While I did find a few detailed suggestions on the web for how to do this, I still found it confusing, so I hope these documented steps will be helpful.

Step 1:   Find rye berries.   --- I found them at a food co-op in Cambridge MA which seemed to have bulk berries of many different varieties.  

Step 2:   Soak for 5 hours  --- I only soaked 60g worth because I didn't know what I was doing

Step 3:  Drain, rinse, and then keep moist while the berries sprout.   In the picture below they are just starting to sprout around 16 hours after soaking is complete.   I placed a wet paper towel on top of the berries, and had to remoisten it a few times.  

Step 4:  Put on a baking tray to dry out in the oven.    The picture at the top of the post where the berries are fully sprouted was taken 23 hours after the one above.

Step 5:   Dry out at very low heat for around 2 hours.   I kept the oven between 100F and 200F by acting as the oven thermostat. 

Step 6:   Grind them up.  I used a coffee grinder.

It's certainly not red.   I have no idea if it's Borodinsky appropriate.   But I will say that my Borodinsky didn't fail because of the malt.  

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