The Fresh Loaf

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Something new

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odinraider's picture
odinraider

Something new

I took the trip to the Amish store, and I brought back two types of bread flour, some high gluten flour, wheat gluten, whet germ, oat bran, and spelt. I wanted to try the spelt to make something hearty, something chewy and rich and full of old world flavor. The first thing I made was pasta. Talk about good! We usually use bread flour because I don't have any semolina to buy nearby. It is always good, but the spelt I put in changed it from good to ridiculously amazing.


Enough about that. The next thing I wanted to do is make a country style sourdough loaf akin to Dan Leader's pain de campagne, but my very own. Talk about success. This is what I came up with. Don't adjust your monitors; the loaf really is that dark. My wife thought it was burnt, even though it did not have a whiff of burnt odor. I was excited, because that is exactly what I wanted. I have the recipe below if you want to try it for yourself.



 


Starter:


50 grams ripe, recently fed 100% hydration starter.


150 grams water.


50 grams whole wheat flour.


50 grams bread flour.


50 grams rye flour.


50 grams spelt.


Mix well and let develope, between 7 to 12 hours.


Bread dough:


350 grams starter (50 grams left over for next starter).


13 grams salt.


250 grams water.


50 grams rye flour.


50 grams whole wheat flour.


150 grams spelt.


250 grams bread flour.


Mix well, do your normal dough mixing operation. I let it go about 10 minutes in my mixer on medium, then one minute on high. The dough should be soft, loose, and tacky.


Let it ferment for about 3 1/2 to 4 hours, the heat the oven to 450 degrees. Shape the dough however you want, I think a boule would work best. I like an oblong, because it is easier to slice. Proof it for 1 and 1/2 hours. I proof it either on parchment or on linen, only because I have no banneton. That would work best. Anyway, bake it for 50 - 55 minutes, until it is nice and dark. Let it cool completely before slicing. Oh, and guess what - this is baked without steam!

Comments

copyu's picture
copyu

That looks totally gorgeous and you got excellent oven spring. The crust looks slightly thick, which I like (but other readers may not be that keen...) The crumb shots look really good to me


As soon as my neglected starter 'comes back to life', I'll give this one a try.


Thank you for posting the formula [and in metric units, too. Great!]


Congratulations on a very successful bake!


Cheers,


copyu

odinraider's picture
odinraider

Thanks, Copyu, for the compliments. The crust is very thick. I have a last piece with me now, and I just measured it at about 5 milimeters. A thick, hearty, and full-flavored crust was one of my main requirements for this bread. Thin, crisp crusts are fantastic, but they are old hat to me. I wanted something with substance. I got it!


I think the crumb is decent. Nice expantion, good consistancy, and excellent flavor from the various grains present.


You are welcome for the formula. Let me know how the recipe serves you, so I can call it confirmed (or not, as the case may be).


-Matt

copyu's picture
copyu

I fed my neglected starter(s)—there were two thicker-than-usual versions, from the same 'family' in the fridge, as I'd been away from home for a while. One of them was completely "off" and went into the garbage, while the other was OK after the top 'skin' was removed


I stirred and split the 'survivor' into 2 cool, sterilized, jars.


Schedule:- 9:00pm stir & feed: (S:F:W=1:2:2) and stir again. 8:50am, next day, no visible action...I should have stirred them, then, but I had a train to catch at 9:09am—not enough time! 10:00pm, the second day, they'd barely doubled! <Grrrr!> But at least they were alive!


'Instinct' told me there's something wrong and I thought I should probably feed them, but I refused. Instead, I gave them both a good stir and they doubled AGAIN within 2 hours...DOH! I am WAY out of touch with sourdough culture...but I'll remember this experience! I didn't discard anything and just gave them both a good feed at the same ratio. They look and smell very good


I'm keeping the starter at room temp, for now, as the weather's got cooler here and I'm stirring as often as I can, feeding when necessary. I'm going to try this recipe, starting Monday night or Tuesday morning...bake day is some time on Tuesday or Wednesday...the dough will dictate the bake schedule. If I get results close to yours, I'm going to have a very happy birthday next week!


Cheers and thanks again


copyu


 


 

odinraider's picture
odinraider

Copyu,


I wish you the best, and also an early happy birthday!


I made the dough again today, but a little looser, and made some baguettes out of it. Lightly steamed at 500 degrees, and the thick crust transforms into an incredible crisp, thin(ish) coating over a nice open, soft crumb.


Maybe after you try the original, you can do that as well. I am thrilled that I have created such a versatile dough.


I'm glad your starter was revived. Let me know the end results.


-Matt

copyu's picture
copyu

Will let you know how it goes...now, I wonder where my wife has hidden that un-opened bag of spelt flour...


Cheers,


copyu

copyu's picture
copyu

I'm only about five months late with this response...(a very red face here!)


I promised myself to let you know how this went...it was spectacular! I typed this up last summer, but it was late and I'd had some 'birthday drinks' so never got around to posting...luckily I'd saved a copy of my would-be post. I'd also had to vary the procedure quite a bit, but your formula was flexible enough to cope. Here is the response I typed up at the end of September 2010:—



"I made the starter in a small bowl quite late on Monday night and then checked my schedule for the next couple of days...Haircut, picking up various items, some teaching and dinner date...Tuesday was a complete write-off! Wednesday, there was lunch and shopping with my wife on our only mutual day off


After 2 hours at room temp, I decided I had to put the starter into the fridge overnight. It rose very large, albeit slowly...I couldn't get back to it until Wednesday afternoon. The starter was 'beery' and very sour, but it raised the dough exactly according to schedule. I was impressed


Making the final dough was hard work by hand methods, as I don't (didn't! ;-)) have a stand mixer, so I did one 'stretch and fold' during the bulk proof, just in case. Then I popped it into an oval proofing basket for the final proof. My shaping was sub-par


It's in the oven, now; it has great oven spring and the aroma is wonderful. I'll be making this again (but maybe only once more) since I don't have a regular supply of spelt flour. The technique/formula will definitely work for other blends, though, I'm sure."


The reason for posting this 5-month old response is that I've made this again, tonight, [March 2nd 2011] and the house smells wonderful! I can only put this down to the spelt content...really good formula, so thank you very much! The first loaf was excellent and I'm looking forward to equally good results tonight


Greatly appreciated, and sorry for not getting back to you before this!


Sincere best wishes,


copyu (yes, him—the guy with the very red face!)


(Edited for) PS: The loaf looked pretty flat and sad on the peel, when I turned it out of the proofing basket, but I got spectacular oven spring tonight, as well, and I know the crumb is going to be really good. I baked on a pre-heated stone and had a bit of blow-out on the bottom. It's cooling now. I did the final proof for 75 minutes instead of 90. My 'shaping' skills are still very poor and I think that's why I got the 'blow-out'. copyu

odinraider's picture
odinraider

I forgot about this one. I'm making it again this weekend! Thanks for the reminder.


Matt

amolitor's picture
amolitor

What do you think produced your thick crust?


Also, how humid is your environment (roughly -- jungle? desert? somewhere in the middle?)

odinraider's picture
odinraider

I'm in Ohio, so we get some humidity, but the day I baked was mild. I believe the temperature was somewhere in the upper 70s. I would guess about 40% humidity.


 


The crust is a result of well developed dough and temperature. The mixed grains, large amount of starter, and long ferment convert a fair bit of starch to sugar, which browns nicely. The temperature is relatively low for artisan breads; most are baked higher, at 475 or 500, or even hotter (like my pizza). The lower temperature allows the bread to bake longer without burning, which helps more of the bread become crust. Good shaping with a tight gluten shell also helps.


-Matt

teketeke's picture
teketeke

Hello, Matt


Your bread always look great!  I enjoy feeding my starter more than baking just right now. :P   I hope that I could say good bye to rubbery slipper bread next time without using yeast!  Thank you for sharing your recipe too!


Best wishes,


Akiko

odinraider's picture
odinraider

Hi, Akiko. Thanks for your comment. I hope the recipe works for you. As always, I hope you post your results so I can modify my recipe if necessary.


-Matt