It is a sad truth that supporting oneself can seriously compete for the time we want to spend on the really good stuff. Last week I squoze in some shopping between business errands. That trip to the bulk bins let me get some rice flour to help cotton release dough during proofing and barley to attempt home made malt. Although I am a child of the sixties, I never could get grains to sprout uniformly and this test was more of the same. Some grains go ahead and sprout and others just go to funk.
As unsuccessful as the malt test was, the rice flour test was super-successful. That flour is like a zillion little ball bearings that will send things zipping around the counter and floor with just a tap. A tub of fermenting dough hit the floor and when the bread baker's canine apprentice came running, her hind overtook her frenzied fore in a clatter of claws. She's not the kind of dog to feel embarrassment at indignity, just some disappointment that I was quicker to recover than she was!
But back to the rice flour; no dough sticking to the cotton towel at all. Rice flour does stick to the top of your loaf giving it a grainy texture. I'm wondering if the linen or synthetic proofing cloth are nonstick all on their own or do they need less flouring?
The goal for my weekend bread baking was to use notes from Susan's Sourdough Under Glass and my newly purchased pizza stone for some small boules and also create a multigrain 4# Sourdough ala Mountaindog. I don't have a big pyrex bowl but I have very large stainless bowls that my girls used for sledding when they were small. I believe they are 13 quart and they perfectly cover a large pizza stone. Too bad, I didn't get to view the oven-spring!
Small Sourdough Boules
WW Sourdough 4#er
WW Sourdough Crumb
3 7/8# Sourdough Loaf
I spent about 20 hours on a slow fermentation, leaving the dough refrigerated overnight and at a cool room temperature for an additional 8 hours the next day. The basic formula is Thom Leonard's Country French increasing the proportions of rye and whole wheat flours to taste. I use Pendleton Mills flour and used a 12% protein pizza blend white for this loaf.
This was a fun process and I'm getting no complaints from the test consumer group!