I substituted 2 cups of white whole wheat flour for some of the bread flour, and covered the loaf with foil after 15 minutes.This dough takes a lot of mixing, most recipes I've seen range from 20-30 minutes, and they are not kidding. The oven spring was amazing, which I think can be at least partially attributed to my mom's new convection oven. I couldn't bring myself to tear apart this pretty loaf, but believe me, it's super soft and shreddable.
My family is originally Pennyslvania Dutch, and my dad loves the shiny-topped, sweet, and fluffy "Amish" white breads, so it was a huge compliment when he compared my bread to an Amish loaf. He has decided to call it Kamikaze bread, partially because he forgot the name, and partially because he thinks he's funny.
Deja vu. This weekend I decided to make the Tartine Country rye bread again, this time I made four loaves. The formula in the book:
Water 800 g
Whole Rye 170 g
Bread Flour 810 g
My "modifications" to the formula:
Leaven 200 g.
All Purpose Flour 500 g
Whole White Wheat 330 g
Whole Rye 170 g
Water 818 g
Because I took the starter out of the fridge on Thursday evening, I was able to feed it 3 times before using it in the levain, and it did nicely by Saturday morning when it was time to mix the dough. So, no yeast added this go around.
For me, the most interesting thing about this loaf is being able to taste the wheat, the rye and a mild tang of the sourdough. Usually my bread is not this complexly flavored, or I can't usually taste so many things in each loaf.
I also added a smattering of sesame seeds which I think make the bread all the more delicious.
And a blurry "bottom shot" since a lot of people seem to burn the loaf. I avoid that, I think, by nesting the pans after the first 20 minutes, removing the deep top and putting it under the shallow bottom pan.
Finally made a good pain de mie using white wheat flour 95% extraction and natural leaven. Before there were always problems ranging from not enough dough to fill the pullman pan to taste that was too sour. Now the only thing to find out is if it can be repeated.
I lied. I changed more than one thing and I made two batches again! But it worked out this time, or at least one batch did.
First I made a batch of Forkish's FWSY all-levain overnight country blonde, but I messed up by using my 100% hydration starter where he uses 80% (I'll figure out the math one day). The dough was extremely slack, despite six stretch and folds. As I mentioned in a comment elsewhere, I ended up with a bastard child of ciabatta and baguette (ciabette or baguetta?), but I have to say they were delicious. Nice and tangy on the day of baking, a bit mellower next day. I'm proud of my Brooklyn SD starter! Hard to shape and score due to the slackness.
Crumb was nicely holey and glutinous/custardy:
As soon as I saw these were not going to be my breakthrough baguettes, I started a batch of txfarmer's straight dough. As usual I traded 50g of AP for 25g w/w and 25g dark rye for flavor, and added a 30 min autolyse. After my last failure I was taking no chances and put one cast iron Mega Steam pan and one plain CI pan (getting lava rocks this weekend) on the oven floor as I started preheating. I got more steam than ever before! It was billowing out of the vent (I tried to block it with tea towels) and even out of the sides of the door—never seen that before!
Shaping and scoring were decent, and I think I helped my effort by making 16" demis instead of my usual 20" demi+ size. The smaller size made it easier for me to limit myself to three slashes rather than the four or five I usually attempt. I made a very conscious attempt to overlap by 30% and tried to keep the lame angle correct. There's still some inconsistency between the scores, but overall I am pleased. Watched the bake like a hawk; steam came out at 6 minutes, total bake was 30 mins +5mins with oven off and door cracked.
Ears! Not Spocklike (RIP, Leonard), but better than usual. Less Nessie!
And just to prove I'm really a Brit :-D
Thanks once again to all the fine folks here for the encouragement and insight. Now to try it with other recipes and aim for consistency!
It's been quite some time since I baked a pure levain from FWSY so yesterday I decided to make the Overnight Country Brown. Right off the bat I had a couple of problems. First, I use equal weights of white and whole wheat flours in my starter and keep it at 100% hydration while Forkish uses an 80% hydration starter. This was not a huge obstacle since I'm pretty good at math so I could do a conversion. My second problem was that I didn't have enough whole wheat flour to make the levain per Forkish's formula and still have enough to make the final dough, and I didn't feel motivated enough to go to the store.
Since the final dough requires only 216g of levain, I scaled down the formula while simultaneously adjusting so the final levain hydration was 80%:
Active Levain @ 100% hydration 22g
White Flour 82g
Whole Wheat Flour 27g
Otherwise I followed the directions without deviation. As an experient I used two different sizes of dutch ovens. One was a standard Lodge cast iron dutch oven and the other was a smaller 4-quart Emile Henry. My experience was exactly what Forkish said it would be (p. 47), which is the loaf in the smaller D.O. baked up higher with a more pronounced split. You can see the two loaves side-by-side in a photo below.
This is a delicious bread with a very moist, creamy crumb and a wonderful substantial crust. I won't wait so long before making it again.
The loaf baked in the 4-quart D.O. is on the right.
So I'm back from my travels and this is my first attempt at Hamelman's Vermont Sourdough. What a pleasure this recipe is. Enjoyed this bake a lot and very pleased with the results. Crumb shot to follow...
And here's 2 crumb shots. One end and another towards the middle. Not bad for a 65% hydration bread. Nice and soft with somewhere to spread the peanut butter.
I've been working with liquid sourdough starters for the last several years and have just started investigating stiff starters, something that you can store for longer term. Any thoughts would be appreciated.