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Dutch Oven Baking - Atta Durum Flour and K.A. Bread Flour

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holds99's picture
holds99

Dutch Oven Baking - Atta Durum Flour and K.A. Bread Flour

This bread is made using 50% Golden Temple Atta durum wheat flour (not semolina) and 50% King Arthur bread flour.  In the past I have used King Arthur durum flour.  For this bake I decided to try Golden Temple Atta.  The main difference I noticed between the King Arthur and Golden Temple durum flour, is King Arthur durum gives a yellowish color to the crumb, whereas Atta gives the crumb a light- golden tan color.  Other than color, I think the flavor of the two flours are comparable in taste/flavor.  After I finished baking this bread, I was putting away the Golden Temple Atta, it dawned on me that Varda had written a blog a while back on Atta durum flour, where she discussed some problems, options for mixing and hydration.  Using the TFL search function I found Varda’s: “Atta Durum Hearth Loaf” and read her excellent post on the characteristics of this flour and how she dealt with “taming the beast”.   The comments on the post were also interesting.  Varda used 100% Atta durum in her loaf, where I used only 50% Atta.  Incidentally, Varda’s loaf was beautiful.  Next time I will try using 100% Atta durum flour for this formula to see what results I get.

As can be seen in the photos, I used the Dutch oven method, which works well with this high-hydration dough.  In fact, I bake about half of all my bread in a Dutch oven.  As for shape, my personal preference is oval, rather than round Dutch oven.  The main reason is the oval (except for each end of the loaf) allows the slices to be fairly uniform in size/shape; nice for sandwiches.

After shaping, the loaves were retarded overnight in bannetons inside a plastic bag.  I preheated the oven to 500 degrees.  The temperature of the Dutch oven were room temp., not preheated.  I turned the shaped loaves from the bannetons into the Dutch oven, put the lid on and set them on the stone in my oven (see photo).  As can be seen in the photo, these Dutch ovens are large; the pair span the entire oven rack. 

I made slightly less than 8 pounds (7.85 lbs.) of dough and divided it equally into 2 – nearly four pound loaves.  The formula can be halved to produce approximately 4 pounds of dough, which can then be divided equally to produce 2 – approximately two pound loaves.  I also used a double-levain build.  The first build takes 12-14 hours (overnight), the second build, because of the yeast activity, takes much less time, 2-3 hours.  The final-dough flour and water was mixed together and allowed to autolyse for 30 minutes before adding the levain to the final dough mix.  After the autolyse, the levain was mixed with the final dough mixture for approximately 8 minutes (DLX Attendent - 10 qt. stand mixer - low speed) before the salt was added.  After adding salt it was then mixed an additional 4 minutes on low speed.  The dough was given 4 stretch and folds; one at the beginning of bulk fermentation, 3 more at 20 minute intervals for a total of one hour.  The dough was allowed to bulk ferment for an additional hour after the stretch and folds.  At the end of the 2 hour folding and bulk fermentation process the dough was divided, pre-shaped and allowed to rest on the work surface, covered, for 30 minutes.  Then the final shaping was done, after which the dough was placed into bannetons (seam side up) and retarded in the fridge overnight in plastic bags.

Note 1:  Before turning the dough into the Dutch oven, generously sprinkle the top of the dough in the bannetons with semolina.  After the dough is turned out of the banneton(s) into the Dutch oven, the semolina will act as an insulator and keep the bottom of the loaf from scorching.

Note 2: After 20 minutes of baking at 500 deg. F, reduce the oven temperature to 480 deg. F.  After an additional 10 minutes further reduce the oven temperature to 470 deg. F.

Also, turn the Dutch ovens around every 20 minutes.  Remove the lids approximately 10 minutes before the end of the baking cycle.  These 4 lb. loaves were baked for 58 minutes, the final 10 minute with the lidsoff the Dutch ovens.

Note 3: A few months ago I started experimenting with Chad Robertson’s technique for high-hydration dough.  He uses warm water in his final dough mix.  After final dough mix, Robertson places the dough into a plastic tub and over a 3-4 hour period he thoroughly turns the dough back on itself at half hour intervals (see Chad Robertson’s Masters Video clip on YouTube).  This method is really effective for developing strong gluten and really gets the yeast cranking.  So much so that when you try to retard the dough the yeast keeps on cranking/fermenting in the fridge, and when it is taken out of the fridge the following day the dough is over-proofed.  This results in the dough degassing when it is scored, before going into the oven.  This happen to me three times, with two different types of dough.  So, I asked David Snyder what he thought about solving the problem?  He suggested using cold water in the final dough mix and lowering the fermentation temperature.  Thank you, David.  That’s what I did.  In short, I used cold water for the final dough mix, shortened the total bulk fermentation time to 2 hours and retarded it overnight for about 12 hours.  The combination of cold water and shorter bulk fermentation time kept the yeast activity suppressed during retardation.  After removing the bannetons from the fridge I was able to leave the dough in the bannetons for close to two hours, allowing them to nearly double in volume, at room temperature, before putting them onto the D-o, scoring them, covering them and placing them in the preheated oven.

Note 4: If you are not retarding your loaves, then you don’t need to use cold water in the final dough mix.  You can use room temperature water.

Overall, the final dough mix has: 71 oz. flour, 53.25 oz. water and 1.42 oz. salt.  These ingredients make 7.85 lbs. of dough. The final dough is 75% hydration. 

Levain build No. 1  (12—14 hours)

2 oz. ripe sourdough starter (heaping tablespoon)

8 oz. water

8 oz. bread flour

Levain build No. 2  (2-3 hours)

All of levain build no. 1

8 oz. water

8 oz. bread flour

 

Final Dough Mix

 19.5 oz. bread flour

35.5 oz. Atta durum flour

37.25 oz. cold water (keeps the dough from over-proofing during retardation)

1.4 oz. salt

 

Comments

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Those are lovely round loaves for such a high hydration. Good job, Howard, they look wonderful. I love atta flour in bread.

-Khalid

holds99's picture
holds99

I too love the color and flavor that the atta imparts to the bread.  The crumb of this bread was one of the best I've ever done.  I normally use around 70% hydration, but ended up adding an additional 2-3 oz. of water.  I'm thinking it may have been the bran in the atta that was absorbing the water.

Best to you,

Howard

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

It has to tastes great and make some fine sandwiches.  The color of the loves, outside and in, really is attractive -nothing like durum for that.

One of the things about GT Durum Atta is that they mill the grain and then add back some of the bran.  How much I couldn't figure out  After home milling some wheat and sifting it to 75% extraction it looked like KA White Whole Wheat.  So I sifted half a bag of Golden Temple and got out the same amount of bran 25% so it looks like to me that they are putting most of the bran back in.  The sifted GT semolina is terrific too and no more tan color innteh crumb results.  I like to sift it and feed the bran portion to the levain so it is wetter longer and hopefully softer but we stil get the whole grain goodness out of it with less gluten damage.

Very nice baking indeed.

holds99's picture
holds99

I appreciate your kind words.  It does taste great, and my wife, Charlene, really likes this bread.  It's her favorite.

Also, thanks for the interesting information on the amount of bran in the GT Atta durum.  I suspected what you found when you sifted, that there's quite a bit of bran in the GT Atta flour, because it took more water than I thought it would to get the hydration up.  I scale everything, but after the final mix is complete I also use the "touch test: to see if the hydration is where I think it should be before I proceed with the stretch and folds and bulk fermentation.   

Best wishes,

Howard

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

spread too.  Well deserved Howard!

holds99's picture
holds99

What a very nice surprise from Floyd. 

I've  been sort of inactive for a while.  Now that I have more time I hope to be able to contribute more often than in the recent past.

Thanks again,

Howard

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

What a beautiful bake and such lovely large loaves.  I like a good sized loaf and usually do around a 2 lbs. Having an oval DO baker 'which I don't' does make for some nicely sliced loaves.

Your post is very well written and a world of information on using GTAF.  I have not baked with it and your post is very inspirational.  

I have not been able to get very successful oven spring using a cold start when baking with my Dutch Oven pots.  I usually just pre-heat the DO and get a very nice spring to my bread.  I see now you place yours onto a pre-heated stone.  I don't use a stone when baking with my DO so that's probably my problem.

Sylvia

 

holds99's picture
holds99

Your complements on the post and bread are greatly appreciated. 

I have baked using both preheated and cold DOs.  When I do the preheated DO, because the DO is 500 deg. F, I proof the loaves on parchment in a banneton with enough parchment edges to be able to safely lift the dough out of the banneton and place it into the hot DO without serious burns to hands and fingers.  With the parchment it isn't necessary to use semolina since the bottom is sitting on the parchment and the parchment provides some insulation against the high heat of the oven and stone.  As you know, the stone spreads the heat more evenly over the bottoms of the DOs.  I agree that the preheated DOs produce slightly better oven spring.

I did the cold DO this time as a test to see the difference between preheated and cold DO bakes.

Thanks again,

Howard

 

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

Gorgeous looking loaves!

This weekend I'll have my kitchen back, new oven and all... can hardly wait to bake a loaf of bread, it's been a loooooong time!

holds99's picture
holds99

Your comment/complement is much appreciated.  I'm glad you're getting your kitchen back this weekend.  I know how really difficult it can be not to be able to bake.  A few years back we had our kitchen remodeled and I was without a kitchen for nearly three months.  I cooked on a plug in hot plate and washed dishes in the laundry tub.  I wasn't able to bake at all during the three months.   When the new kitchen was operational it was akin to what heaven must be like. 

Best to you and have fun baking and cooking in your new kitchen.

Howard

Casey_Powers's picture
Casey_Powers

I really enjoyed your details and photos.  Now, I wish I had 2 oval DO. I think the shape would fit better in my oven!  I also like the look.  You made an excellent point regarding slicing.  Thank you for such a nice post.  Your crust and crumb are nice.

Warm regards,

Casey

holds99's picture
holds99

I truly appreciate your comment on the post.  When I post I try to give enough details and photos so that a home baker can replicate the formula and repeat the process without a great deal of difficulty. 

Re: Dutch ovens, I have two each of both round and oval Dutch ovens.  I use both shapes when baking, but am partial to the oval.  I found the oval shaped Dutch ovens at Big Lots store here in St. Augustine, FL.  They're made in China and are just fine for baking.  They cost about half the price of Le Crueset.  

Best regards,

Howard

Maureen Farndell's picture
Maureen Farndell

Hi Howard and thanks for your comments on my posts. Now I see you knew exactly what I was talking about. I do so love my bread pots and yep....... I went the expensive route with le creuset but I'm not sorry! Having said that my first pot bread was in an old camping cast iron one, the good old fashioned black outdoors type..... It worked like a dream but hubby wanted it back! Those loaves look amazing. Mmmmmm - fig jam!

holds99's picture
holds99

Maureen,

As I mentioned in my comment to your post, Le Creuset is far better quality than the Chinese look alike(s) that I bought at Big Lots.  On the other hand the look alike(s) work fine for bread baking.  The look alike(s) lids don't fit as snugly and the top handles cracked and fell off in the high heat (500 deg. F) of my oven.  But, as I said, they work good for baking.  I noticed in Chad Robertson's Master Video that his Dutch oven that he's using doesn't have a handle on top, just the hole in the lid where the handle used to be fastened.  Don't know if he removed them to allow some steam to escape or they cracked and fell off from the heat.  Maybe Chad's using look alike(s) too.  :-)  I have a couple of round Le Creuset Dutch ovens and a very large oval that I use for cooking ragouts in large quantities.  They're old friends and I love them.

Howard

varda's picture
varda

I had more or less forgotten my atta experiments.   I think yours came out much nicer.   No difference in taste?   That surprises me.   Love your pair of dutch ovens nestled in the oven.   They really do the job.   -Varda

holds99's picture
holds99

Thank you for your complement.  Charlene says the Golden Temple has better flavor than K.A.  Maybe my amnesia is kicking in again.  It's been a while since I use K.A. durum.  The Golden Temple does have a great taste and I will do 100% atta durum loaves in the future.

Howard

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello Howard,
What a lovely example of DO baking, with these big, beautiful loaves.
It's a striking contrast between the browning, and the flour on the crust - very pretty!
Thank you for the detailed write-up on your process.
:^) breadsong

holds99's picture
holds99

I really appreciate your comment on the write up. You do such beautiful baking yourself that your complement on the bread is greatly appreciated.  

Best to you,

Howard 

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Howard, that us a very kind thing to say - thank you so much!
:^) breadsong

pepperhead212's picture
pepperhead212

I am another fan of oval dutch oven breads.  And I have been a fan of atta flour ever since using it in a lot of Indian breads.  I'll have to try it more in other breads - I have only made a limited number of larger loaves with it.  I'll have to make more this baking season, and also try the Golden Temple brand.  I don't even know what I have down there!

Dave

holds99's picture
holds99

Dave,

I appreciate your comments.  As I said earlier, I bake about half my bread in Dutch ovens.  I still do all the steps, including proofing in the bannetons.  The Dutch ovens sure provide a good safety net when baking high-hydration dough.  The inner walls of the Dutch oven constrain the spread of the dough during oven spring stage, the initial 10-12 minutes of baking.  In the Dutch oven the only way the dough can expand it up. :-)  That's why the Dutch oven gives nice high loaves, even when using 75% hydration.  I really like the large loaves.  They're akin to the 2 kilo (4.4 lb.) miche loaf that they make in France. 

The Golden Temple Atta durum is great flour.  It absorbs water at a higher rate than the bread flour.  That may be the result of the amount of bran they leave in.  The flavor is really great.  I ordered the Golden Temple Atta online because it isn't available at any of the stores here (St. Augustine, FL). 

Best regards,

Howard

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Really nice, Howard.  Would you mind if I featured these on the homepage for a bit?

holds99's picture
holds99

That would be very nice of you.

Best regards,

Howard

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

And a very nice write up. I appreciate the discussion of problems and problem solving. I think we learn from our mishaps, and the community learns when we share them. I'm happy the cold water worked for you. It helped me, buy I have yet to be able to let any of Forkish's "overnight" breads go that long. 

It's cooling down a bit here, and I'm going to try a Forkish formula again in a few days.

I have baked in an oval Le Creuset once with great results, except for one thing. The bread stained the enamel and my wife was not pleased, even though it cleaned up really nicely. I keep my promises, so no more baking in the Le Creuset chez Snyder. 

David

holds99's picture
holds99

I really appreciate your comments re: the write up and, of course, appreciate your help in resolving my over-proofing problem with the cold water.  Now that I have some time I will have to order Forkish's book and try some of his formulas. 

I know what you mean about stained enamel from baking in the Le Creuset.  Fortunately for me, since I do all the cooking Charlene doesn't mind.  Incidentally, I noticed in Chad Robertson's Master Video that he's using a round Le Creuset with no handle on the lid.  Don't know if he removed the handle to allow steam escape, or it melted from the heat of the oven.  One of those mysteries that only Chad knows.  If he's using a Chinese (Le Creuset) look alike I'm giving pretty good odds that the handle melted in the oven.  Been there, done that!

Thanks again for your comments,

Howard

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

They melt at something like 400 dF. However, some one makes metal replacement handles, and they used to be available on amazon.com.

David

holds99's picture
holds99

Thank you David,

I had no idea that 400 deg. F was the critical temp.  I'm giving even better odds than previously, that Chad Robertson doesn't know that either.  Seriously, I tried buying a metal one from Home Depot for one of my ovals.  But the screw is too long which makes it loose to handle.  I'm afraid one day when I lift the lid it's going to drop onto the ceramic tile on the kitchen floor---or on my foot.  I'll check on Amazon and see if I can find a metal replacement that fits. 

Thanks for the info.

Howard

pepperhead212's picture
pepperhead212

I got them on Amazon sometime back, and they were relatively cheap.  I replaced 4 of mine with them.  Funny thing was, a bolt was too long, but only on one of them.  I just used a bolt cutter on a wire cutting tool to shorten it a bit.

holds99's picture
holds99

Thanks Dave.  I'll order 4 also, that will give me a couple of backups.  Using a bolt cutter is a good idea.

Darwin's picture
Darwin

That is two big beautiful loaves of bread.  Well done and congratulations, very nice!

You reminded me that I have an oblong CIDO somewhere, now to dig it out.

Thanks for sharing 

holds99's picture
holds99

When I first started  baking in a Dutch oven I used one that my mother-in-law loaned me.  It was very old and well seasoned and did a terrific job.  But it was a medium size.  Since then, I purchased two large round and 2 large ovals and they work fine, especially for the large loaves.  I hope you dig out your CIDO and try this recipe.  I think you will really like the flavor that the Golden Temple Adda durum flour imparts to the bread.

Best wishes,

Howard

CAphyl's picture
CAphyl

Howard:  I saw your beautiful breads and decided to try your recipe (thanks for the wonderful detail), but I had a number of issues.  i thought I had the right flour, but I didn't.  I used semolina and didn't even have enough of that, so used a bit of kamut flour.  I also don't have the Dutch ovens, but I do have a LaCloche bread baker, so I used that for one loaf.  I had a lot of trouble with the wet dough when i got to the stretch and fold phase; it was very difficult and I had to use a bit of flour on my surface to manage it.  In the end, I divided the dough into three because there was so much! It actually did not come out cleanly from the banneton (another problem!), but it looks OK.   I think I did about a million things wrong, but it tasted really good and looked fine (but didn't look near as good as yours!).

holds99's picture
holds99

First, thank you for your kind words re: my loaves.  The problem you're having may be the result of using semolina rather than durum flour.  Both semolina and durum flour are milled from the same strain of wheat: durum.  However, the semolina is the result of coarsely milled durum wheat, whereas durum flour is the result of finely milled durum wheat.  I have baked using semolina in the past and you won't get the same result as you will with durum flour.  The difficulty you experienced, getting the high-hydration dough to firm up during the stretch and folds is likely a result of using semolina mixed with kamut.  I'm not sure how much gluten kamut will produce.  As for the stretch and folds, there isn't anything magic or sacred about the number of stretch and folds you need to do.  The main thing is to get the gluten strands aligned, which will tighten up the dough.  Don't know if you have seen the Chad Robertson Master Class video.  Robertson is working with some very high-hydration dough.  Here's the link.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIIjV6s-0cA

So, if it takes four stretch and folds to take the slack out of a high-hydration dough then do four.  Adding more flour to the dough after the final dough mix should be avoided if possible.  Anyway, I would suggest that you order some durum flour and try the recipe/formula again.  Next time, try reducing your hydration to 70% and see if that works better.  One thing I know for sure is that the Golden Temple Atta durum flour has bran in it and the bran absorbs a bit more water than higher extraction flours.  The bran is the reason I pushed my hydration to 75%. 

Both King Arthur and Golden Temple sell durum flour online.  Here's a link to Amazon, where they offer Golden Temple Atta durum flour. 

http://www.amazon.com/Golden-Temple-Durum-Atta-Flour/dp/B003OW8XJQ

I purchased 20 lbs.  King Arthur sells 3 lb. bags of durum, but it's very pricey and, in my opinion, doesn't measure up to Golden Temple.  I think once you start baking with durum flour you will love the flavor it imparts to the bread.  I've seen recipes for Italian bread that uses 100% durum flour.  The semolina is used primarily for making pasta.  I use the semolina on the bottoms of my loaves to provide insulation and keep the bottoms of the loaves from scorching.  Semolina works much better than corn meal, which will scorch under very high heat.

I sounds like your bread turned out fine.  Just keep trying and testing. 

Best wishes,

Howard 

 

holds99's picture
holds99

Mix thoroughly, a cup each of rice flour and all-purpose flour.  Generously apply the mixture (50% all-purpose flour (or bread flour) mixed with 50% rice flour) to the inside of your bannetons to keep the dough from sticking to them.  The rice flour mixed with the all-purpose flour is amazing at keeping the dough from sticking to the bannetons. 

CAphyl's picture
CAphyl

Howard:  Thanks for the advice.  I will definitely pick up some rice flour next time I am at the store.  I think I may have had some issues with my starter as well, as it has been a little sluggish, and that probably didn't help. I will make sure I get the durum flour you suggest.

The bread did turn out all right and tasted quite good.  That's the amazing thing about bread!   I actually froze two dough balls as I knew we couldn't eat three loaves.  We have a guest arriving tomorrow, so I am thawing it out and I thought I would try to see if I could correct some of my mistakes.  I had good luck with freezing dough before, so I thought I would see what happens.  i will let you know.  Thanks again for all the advice and happy baking!  Phyllis