The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

6 Grain Fennel and Fig Sourdough

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dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

6 Grain Fennel and Fig Sourdough

This weeks bake was brought about by chance.  Lucy found some Turkish figs hiding out in the fridge where they were tossed several months ago.  Thank goodness they were already dried before being lost to the cold.

 

We wanted a bread that was healthy so we picked 6 whole grains to grind up and mix with AP flour to get a 50% whole grain bread.  We picked Kamut, spelt, rye, wheat, farro and barley because of its very low GI index.

 

Can you see where the pint of blueberries landed when my wife had a snack before bedtime and put the berries on top of the bread by mistake?

As usual we fed the sifted out, in this case 13.75% extraction, hard bits to the 6 week retarded rye sour starter, in 3 builds of 2, 4 and 1 hour to make the small levain of a little over 7%,  before it was refrigerated for 24 hours.

 

When the levain came out of the fridge to warm up and finish its 3rd stage doubling in volume, we autolysed the dough flour with the left over fig re-hydration soaker water and some water for 2 hours with the salt sprinkled on top so we wouldn’t forget it.

 

Once the levain hit the mix, it made for a very manageable 78% hydration dough.  After 3 sets of slap and folds of 7, 1 and 1 minute the dough was ready for the 3 set of stretch and folds from the compass points.  The wet figs, fennel and anise were mixed in on the first set and evenly distributed by the 3rd.  The extra moistness in the figs made for a dough that felt like it was over 80% hydration.

 

All the slapping, folding and stretching were done on 20 minute intervals.  We then pres-shaped and shaped the dough into a squat oval and placed it in a rice floured basket for the plastic trash can liner so no bulk ferment was done – it was only 116 F yesterday and the kitchen was 90 F.

 

Don't forget the salad to go with any dinner.... like this grilled chicken one.

With this small levain inoculation, we were hoping that we could get a 20 hour retard and still be able to let the dough finish proofing on the counter for 1 ½ hours as it warmed up without over proofing and ….we did.

 

We could only find one of our steaming Pyrex cups that we use for the mini oven Mega Steam.   Since half the steam was missing on this bake than our usual we tossed some water into the bottom of the mini oven as we closed the door.

 

The bread was upended onto parchment, on the top vented cover of the mini oven’s broiler pan and slashed down the middle. Once the steaming cup that was brought to boiling in the microwave and was added in the back corner, we loaded the whole shebang into the mini oven for steaming at 500 F.

 

Even a black carpenter bee loves this bread.

After 2 minutes we turned the oven down to 475 F and continued to steam for 13 more minutes. Once the steam came out, we turned the oven down to 425 F convection and baked for another 14 minutes when the bread hit 210 F on the inside and was removed to the cooling rack.  Total baking time was 29 minutes.

This loaf immediately spread after it came out of the basket which I attribute to being a wet dough.  It did spring after that and bloomed too but it came out way flatter than it would have been if 5% less liquid was used to account for the wet figs.  It did come out of the oven crunchy and nicely browned.  The kitchen smelled wonderful from bread spice perfume - just lovely.  I’m guessing this bread will be OK in the middle but taste great.  We will have to wait for it to cool though.

The lunch was great and we are stil kind of stunned as to how good this bread is all by itself, no toasting, no butter.  It is slightly sweet from the figs, aromatic from the bread spices. soft and moist with and good chew from the crust.  It is one of our favorite breads.   This one is a Lucy Keeper.

 

Formula

YW SD Starter Build

Build 1

Build 2

 Build 3

Total

%

6 Week Retarded Rye Starter

4

0

0

4

0.89%

13.75% 6 Grain Extraction

4

10

19

33

7.38%

Water

4

10

19

33

7.38%

Total

12

20

38

70

15.66%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Levain Totals

 

%

 

 

 

Flour

35

7.83%

 

 

 

Water

35

7.83%

 

 

 

Starter Hydration

100.00%

 

 

 

 

Levain % of Total

7.57%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dough Flour

 

%

 

 

 

86.25% 6 Grain Extraction

207

46.31%

 

 

 

LaFama 11.2% Protein AP

240

53.69%

 

 

 

Total Dough Flour

447

100.00%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salt

9

1.88%

 

 

 

Fig Soaker Water 272

343

76.73%

 

 

 

Dough Hydration

76.73%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Flour w/ Starter

482

 

 

 

 

Total Liquid w/ Starter

378

 

 

 

 

Figs

50

11.19%

 Dry Weight

 

 

Fennel & Anise Seed

6

1.34%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total. Hydration with Starter

78.42%

 

 

 

 

Total Weight

925

 

 

 

 

% Whole Grain

50.00%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 86.25% Extraction grains are barley, wheat, Kamut, farro, rye  and spelt.

 

 

Comments

isand66's picture
isand66

Looks like another tasty bread DA.  Love that sunset.  I have not tried figs in bread yet, but maybe it's almost time.  I have to mix up some simple pizza dough for dinner tomorrow and then figure out what to bake.

Hi from my apprentices to you and Lucy.

Regards,
Ian

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

dust storm that trashed the pool - but no rain again.  The sunset was from Thursday - no rain then either.  Figs, Fennel and anise were made for each other - especially in SD bread.  We like this bread a lot.  What a great breakfast toast!

Hope the pizza comes out well - I think we are having hamburgers and sausages but no homemade buns :-(  Lucy says HI to Lexi and Max and the 5 feline apprentices too.

emkay's picture
emkay

I've had figs and fennel on the brain for a few days now. Your lovely loaf is a sign that I must finally try this combo. We're finally getting some summer around here. It was 83F today which is nothing compared to Arizona, but really hot for San Francisco. Once we cool off I will be turning on the oven again. 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

But not too hot to bake.  That is the coolest my air conditioned kitchen gets in the summer:-)  Actually made puff paste yesterday but Lucy iced the marble counter first with ice in a trash can liner - worked great.

You will like this bread  It is delicious and those that don't like sour will like that the sourdough is muted with the sweet of the figs and its soaker water.  Glad you liked it and

Happy Baking in SF.

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Mouthwatering as usual , DA.

I too have some dried figs in the fridge, and haven't used them for months. I'd like to try this fig and spice thing. I'm worried about worms in dried figs; they easily blend in the flesh of a fig.

-Khalid

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

but I can't say i was looking for them either:-)  I expected my baking apprentice to look for them after i slice them but..... Lucy loves to eat worms so....

Glad you like the bread Khalid and

Happy Baking

ZUther5496's picture
ZUther5496

Nice........

ElPanadero's picture
ElPanadero

Love the shot of the carpenter bee !

Small grumble: The numbers in your levain build table look wrong. Check the water entries. Luckily I know your work well enough to know what the numbers should be but for newbies out there it will likely be confusing and that would be a shame as I think many would want to try building levains the way you do.

ATB

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Lucy has then fixed now.  Nice catch.. good to know someone knows what we are supposed to be doing around here.-)

Those big black bumble bees don't have a stinger which makes them less scary - if you know they don't have a stinger.  They love wood but fruit and bread too.  I found him dried out on the pool cool deck - which at 116 F isn't too cool.  Now he is Lucy's pet  even though she tries to eat him at every turn....

ElPanadero's picture
ElPanadero

Even those bees with stings are not scary TBH. They are our friends and without them we would have starved eons ago. Bees just want to go about their business, working tirelessly for the hive. They only sting if we do something stupid, putting them in danger. Many a time I have come across a tired and exhausted bumble bee, given it a small blob of jam and watched it eat its fill, steady itself and then take off into the air again. Love em. Wasps on the other hand . . . . differnet beast altogether !

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

we have several people and many dogs die each year from being stung to death by Africanized honey bees, the last one was an older gent, under 70, out cutting his lawn on his riding lawnmower....not fast enough to get away.  But they only live in the heat.of the tropics and now the Sonoran Desert as they move north on the North American Continent - so England is safe..... for now.  . 

CAphyl's picture
CAphyl

dabrownman:  Love the bread, the crust, the dough...that dough ball looks perfect.  Hard to look at the wonderful bread and food as it is making me hungry for lunch. We love fennel and figs, so this is an interesting and fun combination.  It has to be good.  Thanks for sharing.  Best,  Phyllis

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

The food is pretty tasty around here most of the time.  Fennel and figs is a classic Italian combination in bread.  Some actually bmake it with rye but Lucy went with her favorite 6 grain.  This is one healthy bread and it is nice when healthy ones taste this good too:-)

Happy baking Phyllis 

Kiseger's picture
Kiseger

This looks deeelish, love figs in all forms so a great inspiration!  Lucy does it again!  Love the bee, bzzzzzzzbzzzzzz.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

they won't blend into being the same color as the crumb!  My wife told me to throw the bee away but I told her I was going to put it in some bread for some extra protein -n you should have seen hr face!.  My grandfather used to dip undried bumble bees in chocolate, stinger removed, for a weird and hairy treat going down the throat.  They would actually go out and try to catch them alive with nets as they came out of holes in the ground that led to their nests - I think it was the tequila - no dried bumble bees for them.    I still have nightmares of him eating them:-)  I guess if you were hungry during the depression you would eat anything....

Glad you liked the bread and

Happy Baking

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

I actually am growing it this year and love the lacy leaves on salads. The seeds are starting to mature and will be a welcome addition to the doughs.

Love your bread!

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

in the winter here.  I wonder if it will grow in pots?  Every herb except the basil and sage has been turned to dust in the heat and the sage is just barely hanging on.  Glad you liked the bread Ann and are back to posting again.

Happy Baking

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

At first I thought that was a housefly. Glad to see it was just a friendly bee!  I have been knocked down by carpenter bees buzzing me out in our yard. Amazing what a loud buzz in your ear can do!

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

before I found out they didn't have stingers.  All the bumble bees where we came from sure did but there weren;t any carpenter bees there for some reason and no bumble bees here.  We have all kinds of wasps, hornets and yellow jackets though.  Glad you like the bread David and

Happy baking