The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

One Up, One Down

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wassisname's picture
wassisname

One Up, One Down

This mixed-starter sourdough has become my favorite style of light-ish sourdough.  It has proven itself capable of standing up to my "creativity", and that alone counts for a lot.  The rye flour takes some of the chewiness out of the crumb and prefermenting it lends the flavor of the bread a distinct tang.  If sour isn't your thing then this probably isn't the bread for you.  But, it really works for me.   1/3 whole grain gives it some substance and 70% hydration keeps it easy to work with.  I started the dough in the mixer, just until it came together, then kneaded by hand.

Under the influence of the aforementioned "creativity", I baked one of the loaves with the seam-side up.  I wasn't sure it would be a good idea, but in the end there was little difference between the two loaves.  If anything, the seam-up loaf had a somewhat better crumb.  The scored loaf was scored a little too cross-wise and wasn't able to expand as much.

Seam-Up

Seam-Down

Adjustments for next time:  I think I will take 30 minutes or so off of the bulk ferment time and add it to the final ferment.  Also, one fold instead of two - the dough was already pretty tight, but because it was kneaded by hand I gave it the second fold.  I think I would have been better off without it.  Lastly, the whole wheat starter was more ripe than I would have liked, even with the salt in it.  As the nights get cooler into autumn that should become less of a problem.
Oh, and now that it is officially autumn the next batch will probably be loaded with seeds! 

On a side note:  The trouble I go through for a decent loaf of bread is nothing compared to what I'll put up with to grow a few good vegetables.  I decided to expand the garden a bit and began prepping the ground for next season.  The soil here is dismal so "prepping" generally means digging a big hole and filling it up with something better than what was there originally (except with grapes, grapes just love it).  The only thing worse than the soil is the chalky, volcanic rock underlying the whole neighborhood.  I've been surprisingly lucky in placing my vegetable beds... until now.  There was no getting around this one.

Anyone have a stick of dynamite handy?  I'll be back in the kitchen working on my next bread!

Marcus

 

 

 

Comments

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

but it is a very bad and big rock you got there.  I'm not sure a stick of dynamite would touch it.  Might need some  nitro straight up with AMFO for it.  Like your bread a lot though and at least you found out where to plant the grapes.

wassisname's picture
wassisname

The neighbors are already amused and sometimes bewildered by my constant digging.  Getting explosives involved would probably cross a line.  So, plan B then.  Just keep digging!  Thanks, dabrownman. 

Marcus

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Lovely bread and a nasty rock.

What material is the rock?  If is a sedimentary material, such as sandstone or limestone, it might be weak enough to break up with a jackhammer.  If it is more igneous in nature, like a granite or basalt, then something more forceful is called for.

Paul 

wassisname's picture
wassisname

Thanks Paul.  Rhyolitic Pyroclastics (had to do a little research).  Formed from volcanic ash deposits, exceptionally soft (in this case, but not necessarily so) and pink.  It breaks easily, but in crumbly flakes.  A jackhammer would be just the thing if I could bring myself to go and rent one.  For now I'm working with a breaker bar and a circular saw with a masonry blade - time consuming, yes, but effective.  These are going to be the best zucchini ever!  I have to keep telling myself that...

Marcus

PiPs's picture
PiPs

That bread would taste great ... a lot of flavour creators in there!

... yeah, sorry, can't help you with your vege patch ... maybe an above ground garden bed from now on?

Cheers,
Phil 

wassisname's picture
wassisname

Thank you, Phil.  You're right, there are lots of flavor elements in this one.  Not a subtle loaf.  I used it to make French toast the other morning and, though I loved it, my wife thought it was a little overpowering.  It's much better suited to strongly flavored, savory sandwich toppings.  Mmmmm.

Raised beds would make far too much sense, Phil!  I was ever so close to just filling the hole back in and doing just that, but I can't resist the challenge.  Fortunately, I don't have room in the garden for another bed, so this will be the last.  Whew!  The next round of holes will be for trees and that's much simpler.

Marcus

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Great looking SD breads, Marcus. I love SD flavor for <30% wholegrain. More than 30% , sourness becomes undesireable, especially when the starter is whole wheat.

Lovely backyard, Marcus!

wassisname's picture
wassisname

Thank you so much, Khalid!  There is some room to moderate the sourness by adjusting the preferment schedules, but only to a point.  I am curious to see how the flavor works in different seeded/multigrain versions.  More bakes to come!

Marcus