The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Field Blend #2 from "Flour Water Salt Yeast" by Ken Forkish

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dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Field Blend #2 from "Flour Water Salt Yeast" by Ken Forkish

Yesterday, I baked the “Field Blend #2” bread from Ken Forkish's Flour Water Salt Yeast. It is a mixed grain and mixed leavening formula with 30% whole grains (wheat and rye). It is similar in method but quite different in flavor from the “Overnight Country Blonde,” which was the first bread I made from this book.

My experience with two bakes of the Country Blonde prepared me for shorter fermentation times than Forkish specifies. This week is significantly cooler than it was when I baked the Country Blondes, however. My times for ripening the levain and for bulk fermentation were actually pretty close to Forkish's.

The result was a dark, crusty bread with a tender crumb that is somewhat less open than the Country Blonde because of the whole grain flours and the lower gluten in the rye. It has a complex flavor and moderately pronounced sourdough tang. On the day after baking, the rye flavor was quite present, although it is just 17.5% of the flour.

 

I like Forkish's approach to time management a lot. I am currently fermenting the levain for an “Overnight Pizza Dough with Levain,” but with a different timeline than he suggests for that dough. I'm going to cold retard the levain tonight and mix the final dough tomorrow morning and make pizzas for dinner.

We took 4 short vacations last month, so I baked less than usual during July. I did get back in the swing starting last weekend with some San Joaquin Sourdough Baguettes and San Francisco-style Sourdoughs with increased Whole Wheat.

 

Looking forward to Fall and cooler weather.

 Happy baking!

David

Comments

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

What a nice selection of breads. SJ baguettes sounds like a great use for this recipe.  The SFSD is a dusey too. Just beautiful bread.  I'm surprised the Forkish Field loaf has a moderate tang since he tries his best to tone the tang down those combinations of flours in those amounts really have to bring out the flavor.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The tang surprised me too. The power of hindsight suggested it was the rye's fault. However, (in the interest of science) I have now tasted the FB#2 at 4 successive meals. The tang has subsided steadily. This bread has a really nice flavor.

Forkish encourages experimentation with flour blends, particularly. I'm thinking I would like this bread more with less rye and more whole wheat. Or maybe some spelt.

David

 

 

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

What beauties you bake. I love your SJSD but haven't tried it in that shape. I just received my steel baking "stone" and haven't tried it out yet. I keep looking at it and planning :) I will have to give it a try first with pizza and then with baguettes. I think I will try shaping the SJSD...but they won't be near as pretty as yours !  I hope you post pics of your pizza . c

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The SJSD dough makes really great baguettes. They don't have to be conventionally beautiful. They can be beautifully rustic (Or "rustique," if you prefer.) 

BTW, I've also use the SJSD for pizza - good but not my favorite.

David

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Are you kidding me with post David??  Doesn't get any more tempting than loaves with crusts like these.  You seem to up your posts each and every time.  What a treat.

Happy baking indeed!

John

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Love the scoring and colors of the crust you got on the KF loaves.  

I have started baking a lot hotter too and, so far, have had only compliments on the results….Never would have guessed that!  No more worries about burned bread. (I seem t recall somewhere that you once wrote one can never burn bread but an undercooked loaf is 'yucky' ….I can't recall the word used so I tossed in one that came to mind :)

Prior to TFL I had no clue how to utilize the refrig. when baking.  Now I use it all the time - even with leavens and it makes a huge difference in time management when the 'unexpected' interruption happens.  

Thanks for the post and photos.

Take Care,

Janet

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Well, you can burn bread, but I think most American bread would benefit from bolder baking. I certainly resonate with Forkish's enthusiasm for the flavor of a darkly-baked crust.

The interesting thing is that the first American cookbook author, as far as I know, to (forcefully) advocate liberal use of refrigeration in bread baking was Julia Child, writing in the 1960's. She highlighted refrigeration as a way of temporarily stopping the process for the convenience of the baker. I believe she was addressing busy stay-a-home moms who needed to be convinced that they did have time to make good "French bread." The virtues of cold retardation for controlling flavor were not discussed until some 15 years later, again, as far as I know.

David

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Very very nice!

I love the Summer weather we are having and know it won't last long, but I agree about looking forward to Fall.  Maybe just a week or so of cool rainy weather so I can get some baking in, then a few more weeks of sun?  That'd be awfully nice.   

bakingbadly's picture
bakingbadly

Nothing beats bold breads.

Thanks for posting! Very nice loaves to ogle. :)

Zita

Abelbreadgallery's picture
Abelbreadgallery

Very nice! Congrats.

Abel, BCN.

annie the chef's picture
annie the chef

Beautiful breads, David.

Annie

SCruz's picture
SCruz

I agree the color of your loaves is beautiful. To get it are you baking at the common 450 F or hotter?

Jerry

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Forkish specifies baking at 475dF in a Dutch oven - covered for 30 minutes, then uncovered for 15 minutes. That's what I did, except I baked uncovered for only 10 minutes at 450dF convection.

David

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

For your kind comments.

David

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi David,

I have Forkish's book, and have flicked through and enjoyed it a lot too.   Your posts showing speedy mastery of another author's formulae are fantastic to read, and will hopefully encourage more people, including me, to re-visit the pages of this lovely book.

I really love the "well-fired" aspect to your baking these days.   Inspiring stuff as always.

I trust you enjoyed your short holidays.   But i'm clinging on to the hot weather; I'm really not at all ready for the cooler season in the UK I'm afraid

Very best wishes

Andy

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

If you do take a deeper look at Forkish's book, please let us know how it  comes across to a professional. It is clearly aimed at home bakers, but it seems to me that he has thought about the translation from the bakery to the home environment in an exceptionally creative way.

I do appreciate that your attitude toward the changing seasons would be different from mine. For example, for us, planning a Summer vacation entails finding somewhere cooler than home. A weekend at the foggy coast is a nice break from 38-42 dC.

David

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi David,

Catching up a bit here with your latest bakes from Ken Forkish's book, all of which look wonderful!

Everything you've baked from Forkish's book so far has me considering lifting my year long moratorium on buying another baking book. From your own description, and from online excerpts I've read, it sounds like it's as much a book on method as it is a recipe book. Recipes I have plenty of. Learning a new or different approach to a process is far more interesting to me these days, simply in order to gain a different perspective on managing the time/fermentation/ handling equation for best results. Thanks for sharing your impressions of the book as well as the splendid results of your own bakes from it.

Franko 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I would agree with your perception of Forkish's book. I doubt there is anything in it you don't already know. But it is a different perspective. It is about applying the principles of gentle mixing and long fermentation to a home environment. Forkish has also minimized the equipment needs, space requirements and other costs. He has maximized flexibility regarding time.

If you "get" the perspective, you see he is making it as hard as possible to find a reason that you can't make amazing, delicious bread at home. 

It would be really interesting to know how he applies these principles in the bakery. I have the impression he's a very bright, creative guy who may look at baking issues differently from someone who has lived in a bakery since puberty.

David

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Attractive boules, David! and a fine crumb.

-Khalid

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

And I like your new photo!

David

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thank you , David!