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dmsnyder

Today, I baked Hamelman's "5-grain Levain" from "Bread."


Various TFL blogs have featured this bread. They can be found by searching the site. The recipe was posted by fleur-de-liz here: Eric: Hamelman's Five-Grain Levain. She was a very active contributor to TFL at the time I joined and an inspiration to me. She encouraged me to bake this bread for the first time way back when. It is, indeed, among the most delicious breads I've ever made or tasted.




David

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dmsnyder

 


I made my San Joaquin Sourdough today with a couple of modifications.



 


The last few bakes, I have substituted a liquid levain for the the firmer levain and also have used a higher percentage of levain, although, since I've used a liquid levain, the percentage of pre-fermented flour in the dough is actually lower. Also, note that, while the “final dough” hydration is 72%, the total dough hydration is actually closer to 78% because of the high-hydration levain. This is actually a somewhat higher hydration than my original formula for San Joaquin Sourdough.


The second modification was to cold retard the dough for a longer time – 36 hours as opposed to the 16-20 hours I have generally used. This was for my convenience, but I've also been curious about the effects of longer cold retardation on this dough.


 



Liquid Levain:

Baker's %

Weight (g)

Flour

100

60

Water

125

75

Starter

25

15

Total

 

150

Final Dough:

Baker's %

Weight (g)

AP Flour

90

450

Whole Rye Flour

10

50

Water

72

360

Salt

2

10

Pre-Ferment

30

150

Total

 

1020

Procedure

  1. Mix the liquid levain (1:5:4 – Starter:Water:Flour). Let it ferment at room temperature for 12 hours.

  2. Pour the water into a large mixing bowl. Add the starter and dissolve it in the water.

  3. Add the flours and mix to a shaggy mass. Cover tightly and let it sit for 20-60 minutes.

  4. Sprinkle the salt over the dough and mix thoroughly using the “stretch and fold in the bowl” technique. Let it rest for 30 minutes.

  5. Repeat the “stretch and fold in the bowl” for 30 strokes 2 more times at 30 minute intervals.

  6. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board, and do a stretch and fold.

  7. Return the dough to the bowl and cover.

  8. After 45 minutes, repeat the stretch and fold on the board.

  9. Reform the dough into a ball and replace it in the bowl.

  10. Allow the dough to continue fermenting until the volume has increased 25%.

  11. Cold retard the dough for about 36 hours.

  12. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and immediately transfer it to a lightly floured board.

  13. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and pre-shape them into logs or rounds, depending on whether you want to make boules or bâtards. Cover the pieces with plasti-crap and let them rest for 60 minutes. (Give them a shorter rest if the kitchen is very warm. You don't want them to expand very much, if any.)

  14. Pre-heat the oven to 500ºF with a baking stone and your steaming method of choice in place.

  15. Shape the pieces and place them in bannetons or on a couche. Cover the loaves and proof them until they have expanded by 50-70%. (30-45 minutes)

  16. Pre-steam the oven. The transfer the loaves to a peel (or equivalent). Score them, and load them onto your baking stone.

  17. Steam the oven. Turn the oven down to 460ºF.

  18. After 12 minutes, remove your steaming apparatus. Turn the loaves 180º, if necessary for even browning.

  19. Continue to bake the loaves for another 15-18 minutes or until their internal temperature is 205ºF.

  20. Transfer the loaves to a cooling rack.

  21. Cool the loaves completely before slicing.

Because I was planning on a longer cold fermentation, I refrigerated the dough sooner than I would have otherwise – when it had expanded about 25%. In the refrigerator, the dough continued to expand, but very slowly. At 24 hours, it had expanded to 150% its original volume. At 36 hours, it had doubled in volume.

The dough was of about the same consistency as usual. This is a sticky dough, at 78% hydration, but it was easy to handle with lightly floured hands. The dough had nice extensibility but excellent strength. The pre-shaped pieces and shaped loaves held their shapes very well. I could not say that the longer cold retardation resulted in any problematic gluten degradation.

The crumb was as expected with this bread. There was no evident effect from the longer retardation. The flavor, on the other hand, was distinctly tangier. The initial flavor was the lovely, complex flavor of the San Joaquin Sourdough. The moderate sourness came through a bit later, and the flavor lingered on the palate for an exceptionally long time.

I would certainly recommend trying this version to any who have enjoyed the San Joaquin Sourdough before and favor a more assertive sourdough tang to their bread.

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

 

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dmsnyder


The boules are Vermont Sourdough from Jeffrey Hamelman's "Bread." I made these using a San Francisco Sourdough starter from Sourdo.com that sat, without being fed, in the way back of my refrigerator for at least 6 months. It had been a firm starter, and while looking kind of gray on the surface, came back to life after 4 feedings at 125% hydration. And by then, was really, really happy to be making bread.


The Vermont Sourdough has a crunchy crust and chewy crumb. The flavor is just about perfect - moderate sourdough tang but not so sour as to mask the complexity of the wheat flavors. 



Vermont Sourdough Crumb


The bâtards are my San Joaquin Sourdough. No crumb shots or tasting notes on these. They are being frozen to take on a family vacation next week.


David

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dmsnyder

I usually don't get to bake during the work week, but this was a slow week so I got some afternoon time at home. Last night, I made pizza with dough I froze a couple weeks ago.



I had used Peter Reinhart's formula from BBA. I'm going to get the hang of stretching pizza dough yet. My wife generously consented to eating pizza once a week or so, providing me more opportunities to work on it. She is so supportive ... at least in agreeing to eat one of her favorite foods.


Yesterday afternoon, I also mixed the dough for San Joaquin Sourdough and baked it this afternoon.



San Joaquin Sourdough with peaches and nectarines from this afternoon's farmers' market



Crumb


 I made this with a firm (50% hydration) starter that had been refrigerated for 6 days. I did not refresh it before mixing the dough. It was plenty active.


Because I used a firmer starter than my usual 75% hydration, I increased the water by 10 gms to get my usual dough consistency. I kept the same ratio of starter to flour by weight, so the actual amount of pre-fermented flour was higher than usual. The flavor that resulted from these variations was slightly but noticeably more sour.


It's been fun, but I'm back to my customary work schedule for the rest of the week.


David

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dmsnyder

 


I've been baking the San Francisco Sourdough from Michel Suas' Advanced Bread and Pastry frequently over the past few months. It's very good. This weekend, I decided to try a couple of his other sourdough breads.


Right after the formula for “San Francisco Sourdough,” Suas gives two other formulas for Sourdough Bread, differing in the levain used. One uses a 100% hydration levain and the other a 50% stiff levain. Both differ from the San Francisco Sourdough in using a smaller starter inoculation for a levain that ferments for 24 hours. This week, I chose to make the one with the stiff levain, which Suas calls “Sourdough Bread One Feeding.”



 


Levain Formula

Wt (oz)

Baker's %

Bread flour

3 1/4

95

Medium rye flour

1/8

5

Water

1 ¾

50

Starter (stiff)

7/8

25

Total

6

175

 

Final dough

Wt (oz)

Baker's %

Bread flour

14 7/8

100

Water

10 7/8

72.8

Yeast (instant)

1/8 tsp

0.1

Salt

3/8

2.53

Levain

6

40

Total

2 lb

215.43

Note: The over-all hydration of this dough is 64%.

 

Procedure

  1. Mix levain thoroughly.

  2. Ferment for 24 hours at room temperature.

  3. Mix the dough ingredients to medium gluten development. DDT 75-78ºF.

  4. Transfer to an oiled bowl. Cover tightly and ferment for 2 hours.

  5. Divide into two equal pieces and pre-shape into balls.

  6. Rest for 20-30 minutes, covered.

  7. Shape as boules or bâtards.

  8. Proof in bannetons or en couche for 90-120 minutes at 80ºF.

  9. Pre-heat oven to 500ºF for 45-60 minutes, with baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  10. Pre-steam oven. Transfer loaves to the peel. Score with “chevron” or “sausage” pattern, and transfer to the baking stone.

  11. Steam oven and turn temperature down to 440ºF.

  12. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until done.

  13. Remove loaves to a cooling rack and cool completely before slicing.

Note: My oven has a convection mode and a conventional baking mode. My actual baking procedure is to pre-heat the oven on Convection-Bake to 500ºF. After the bread is loaded and the oven steamed, I turn the oven to the recommended temperature using conventional (non-convection) baking. When the bread has started to color and has had full benefit of the steam, I switch to Convection-Bake again and lower the temperature by 20-25ºF. (This assumes I'm not baking with “falling temperatures,” as with some rye breads.)

The loaves were proofed at 80ºF for 2 ½ hours and expanded by 50-75%. I was concerned about the long proofing. One of the boules did deflate slightly with scoring, but I got very nice oven spring and bloom.  

The crust was crunchy and the crumb was soft - not very chewy. (I made this bread with KAF AP flour.) The flavor was sweet and wheaty with the barest hint of sour, and that was of the lactic acid type ... I think. Frankly, I missed the tang and the flavor tones of whole grains, which my preferred breads all have. On the other hand, this may approach the French ideal of a pain au levain, which is not sour in flavor. 

For those who prefer a not-sour-sourdough, I would recommend this bread without hesitation.

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

 

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dmsnyder

 


I have some experience baking Jewish Sour Ryes and German-type rye breads. Suas' formula for “Sourdough Rye Bread” (Advanced Bread and Pastry, pp. 212-213) seems to me to be for a French-style “Pain de Seigle,” although Suas does not label it as such. It uses a stiff levain identical to the one Suas uses for his “San Francisco Sourdough,” but then the final dough is 60% rye flour. Overall, the rye content is 52% of the total flour. The overall dough hydration is 70%.



 


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Levain Formula

Wt (oz)

Baker's %

Bread flour

2 1/2

95

Medium rye flour

1/8

5

Water

1 1/4

50

Starter (stiff)

2 1/8

25

Total

6

230

 

Final dough

Wt (oz)

Baker's %

Bread flour

6

40

Medium rye flour

8 7/8

60

Water

10 7/8

72.8

Yeast (instant)

1/8 tsp

0.12

Salt

3/8

2.53

Levain

6

40

Total

2 lb

215.43

 

Procedure

  1. Mix levain thoroughly.

  2. Ferment for 12 hours at room temperature.

  3. Mix the dough ingredients to achieve some gluten development. DDT 75-78ºF. (I mixed for 7 minutes at Speed 2 in a KitchenAid stand mixer.)

  4. Transfer to an oiled bowl. Cover tightly and ferment for 2 hours.

  5. Divide into two equal pieces and pre-shape into balls.

  6. Rest for 20-30 minutes, covered.

  7. Shape as bâtards.

  8. Proof in bannetons or en couche for 90-120 minutes at 80ºF.

  9. Pre-heat oven to 500ºF for 45-60 minutes, with baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  10. Pre-steam oven. Transfer loaves to the peel. Score as desired, and transfer to the baking stone.

  11. Steam oven and turn temperature down to 450ºF.

  12. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until done.

  13. Remove loaves to a cooling rack and cool completely before slicing.

This dough does develop some gluten from the 12.7% protein bread flour used, but it otherwise handles like a high-rye bread. The dough is clay-like and sticky, although less so than if it had had higher hydration. It was easy to shape with a light dusting of flour on the board.

The loaves expanded by no more than 50% after over 2 hours proofing at 80ºF on a couche, and they had modest oven spring. The cuts opened up nicely, considering.

 

The crust was hard and crunchy. The crumb was soft and moist. This is a pretty thin loaf - marginally bigger than a baguette. The ratio of crust to crumb is relatively high with a marked contrast in texture, which makes it quite interesting in the mouth.

The flavor is mildly sour with a sweetish, earthy rye flavor. Very nice. The French prefer this type of bread with smoked meats, soft cheeses and fish. We are having salmon for dinner tomorrow, and I have a nice Laura Chanel Chevre in the fridge. This rye should be delicious with both.

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

 

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dmsnyder


SD Psomi after Greenstein's "Psomi Bread"


On page 151-153 of Greenstein's “Secrets of a Jewish Baker,” there is a recipe for what he calls “Psomi Bread.” He says he had this from a bakery in New Hampshire and made his own version. His formula is as follows (The weights are my estimates. Greenstein only provides volume measurements.):



Sponge (150% hydration)


½ cup warm water (120 gms)


2 packages active dry yeast


1 ½ cups buttermilk or sour milk at room temperature (357 gms)


3 cups whole wheat flour, preferably stone ground (384 gms)


 


Dough (67% to 82% hydration, depending on am't of AP flour added)


4 tablespoons honey (84 gms)


2 tablespoons butter or shortening (24.5 gms)


2 to 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (266-399 gms)


2 teaspoons salt (9.24 gms)


½ cup toasted sesame seeds


Flour, for dusting work top


Oil, for greasing bowl


Additional sesame seeds, for topping (optional)


Shortening, for greasing pans


Procedures




  1. Dissolve yeast in water. Add other sponge ingredients and mix. Cover and ferment for 45 minutes.




  2. Mix dough ingredients into sponge using 2 cups AP flour. Mix and add more flour as necessary. In stand mixer, dough should clean bowl sides. Mix 8-10 minutes. Dough should be smooth and elastic.




  3. Transfer dough to oiled bowl. Cover and ferment until double.




  4. Divide dough into two equal pieces and preshape. Rest 10 minutes.




  5. Shape into pan loaves or free form.




  6. Proof until doubled. Score with 3 diagonal cuts and brush with water.




  7. Bake in pre-heated 375ºF oven 35-45 minutes.




  8. Brush again with water and cool on a rack.




 



Now, over the past year, I've been trying to find recipes that would produce the kind of Greek bread that my daughter-in-law has described having in Greece. About the first thing I learned is that the Greek word for bread is … Psomi. So, Greenstein's formula surely was for a bread of Greek origin. I gather he had no clue that he was making “Bread Bread.”


I also learned that the typical Greek village bread was always made with a sourdough and that it used whole-grain flour. Inclusion of fat – either lard or olive oil – was common, as was the addition of honey. Sesame seeds and at least some, if not all, durum flour were also commonly used.


So, looking at Greenstein's formula, I see he uses a yeasted sponge made with buttermilk or sour milk. I think it's safe to assume this was to acidify the dough to taste somewhat like sourdough would. I see Greenstein uses both AP and WW flour, but all the WW is pre-fermented. I decided to take Greenstein's recipe a step back towards it's presumed origin. More steps may follow in the future.


I also decided to apply some of what I'd learned about whole-grain bread baking from Peter Reinhart's books and used both a soaker and a levain and pre-fermented 25% of the total flour. Following Reinhart's formulas in “Whole Grain Breads,” I divided the whole wheat flour equally between a soaker at 87.5% hydration from milk and a levain at 75% hydration, with the seed culture 20% of the flour. I used my stock sourdough starter which, as it happens, is kept at 75% hydration. I also followed Reinhart's guidance and used 1.8% salt for the total dough, with some of the salt in the soaker (to inhibit enzymatic activity).


So, this is the formula I developed:


 


Levain

Wt. (gms)

Baker's %

Whole wheat flour

192

100

Water

144

75

Active starter (75% hydration)

38.5

20

Total

374.5

195

 

Soaker

Wt. (gms)

Baker's %

Whole wheat flour

192

100

Milk

168

87.5

Salt

3.35

1.7

Total

363.35

189.2

 

Final dough

Wt. (gms)

All of the levain

374.5

All of the soaker

363.35

Bread flour

384

Water

241

Honey (4 T)

84

Olive oil (2T)

24.5

Salt

10.45

Toasted sesame seeds

½ cup

Total

1481.8

 

Procedure

  1. The night before baking, mix the soaker. Cover the bowl and leave at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours. (If not then ready to mix the final dough, the soaker can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.)

  2. Mix the levain and allow to ferment until ripe (at least doubled and volume, with a domed top) – 4 to 6 hours. (This can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.)

  3. If either (or both) the levain and soaker were refrigerated, take them out to warm to room temperature (about 1 hour) before mixing the dough.

  4. Cut the levain and the soaker into about 12 pieces and put them in the bowl of a stand mixer together with the other ingredients. Mix with the paddle until they form a shaggy mass (1-2 minutes at Speed 1).

  5. Switch to the dough hook, and mix to achieve moderate gluten development. (7 minutes at Speed 2)

  6. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover the bowl, and ferment until increased 50% in bulk with folds at 50 minute intervals. (About 2 ½ hours)

  7. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and pre-shape into balls. Let the dough rest, covered for 10-15 minutes.

  8. Shape the pieces into boules, batards or pan loaves and place them in bannetons or pans or on a couche.

  9. Proof until increased 50% in bulk. (2 hours, 15 minutes in my kitchen at 72ºF)

  10. While the loaves are proofing, pre-heat the oven to 425ºF with a baking stone in place and your steaming method of choice. (If baking pan loaves, the stone and steaming are not necessary.)

  11. When the loaves have proofed, transfer them to a peel. Pre-steam the oven. Optionally, brush or spritz the loaves' surface with water and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Score the loaves. Traditional scoring for a boule is 3 transverse cuts. Transfer to the oven.

  12. Steam the oven, turn the temperature down to 350ºF and bake for 40-50 minutes.

  13. Transfer the loaves to a cooling rack and cool completely before slicing.

 

The crust was chewy and the crumb chewy but tender. The flavor was "sweet and sour whole wheat." It was actually pretty sour - more than my wife liked. I have made sourdough whole wheat breads before and did not enjoy the combination of whole wheat and sour flavors, but I did like this bread. This tasting was when the bread was just ... well ... almost cool. It will no doubt mellow by morning. I'm eager to taste it again after a good night's sleep.

Enjoy!

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

 

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dmsnyder


Vermont Sourdough with Increased Whole Grain


I felt like baking something new this weekend, but I like the breads I make most often. That's why I bake them most often. So, I wanted something I would really like as much as those, but different. I settled on the Vermont Sourdough with Increased Whole Grain from Hamelman's “Bread.”


In the sidebar of this recipe, Hamelman talks about the “two small changes” in this formula compared to the “regular” Vermont Sourdough resulting in “surprisingly large” effects. The two changes are an increase in the whole grain flour from 10 to 15% and in the pre-fermented flour from 15 to 20%. These changes result in “a sharper tang and more or a whole-grain taste.” Well, that sounded terrific.


Then, I recalled the errata sheet for “Bread” that Paul (rainbowz) got from Jeff Hamelman and shared with us. I consulted it and found that the corrections decreased the pre-fermented flour which seemed in conflict with the description in the sidebar. Not having a clear sense of how to deal with this discrepancy, I ended up using the ingredient amounts as printed, resulting in a larger batch of dough than that printed in the book.


The Vermont Sourdough with Additional Whole Grain was made with KAF Bread Flour and 15% KAF Medium Rye Flour. It had 20% pre-fermented flour in the form of a 125% hydration starter fed with a mix of 70% AP, 20% WW and 10% whole rye flour. The total dough was 65% hydration. The loaves were scaled to 810 gms and shaped as boules.


The oven was pre-heated to 500ºF on convection bake for 60 minutes, with a baking stone on the middle shelf, pushed to the left, and a 7 inch cast iron skillet filled with lava rocks at the right front of the lower shelf. The oven was pre-steamed by pouring about 1/3 cup of boiling water over the lava rocks. The loaves were then transferred to a peel, scored and loaded onto the stone. Another ½ cup of water was poured over the lava rocks and the oven door quickly closed. The oven was immediately turned down to 460ºF, conventional bake. The skillet was removed after 15 minutes, and the oven was re-set to 435ºF, convection bake. The loaves were baked for an additional 25 minutes. Then, the oven was turned off, and the loaves were left on the stone with the oven door ajar for another 7 minutes before being transferred to a cooling rack.


I baked this bread as part of an experiment to see if I could reliably produce a crackly crust. My results were most satisfactory. (See Consistent Crackly Crust Conundrum Conquered?)



Crackly Crust


The crumb was fully aerated but without huge holes - good for a 65% hydration sourdough.




The crust was crunchy with a caramel-like nutty sweetness. The crumb was tender-chewy. The flavor had both a sweetness and a moderately assertive sourness. This is a bread that is quite sour, but there is a lot of complexity that also comes through. I'll have to make it again, but based on today's bake, I prefer it to the "regular" Vermont Sourdough.


 


David


Submitted to YeastSpotting


 

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dmsnyder


Achieving a thin, crackled crust has been a frustrating pursuit for many, myself included. I have been able to get it, sometimes, but not consistently. There have been numerous discussions of how to get that crackly crust. I've been slowly digesting what's been written, and I think I may have arrived at a reliable method, at least for my breads, my dough handling and my oven.


The basic principles


The crust crackles during cooling because the interior of the bread contracts as it cools, and the crust is too dry to absorb water vapor which is trying to migrate outward and too rigid to contract with the crumb.


In order to optimize oven spring, bloom, crust shine and crust thickness when baking hearth breads, it is necessary to have a moist environment for the first part of the bake. Keeping the surface of the bread moist delays hardening of the crust, so it is extensible enough to expand with oven spring and permit a nice blooming of the scoring cuts.


Thus, it is desirable to have a humid oven for the first part of the bake but a dry oven for the last part of the bake.


Convection ovens, by increasing hot air circulation, tend to dry the surface of whatever is cooking. That's nice for crisping chicken skin, but it is counter-productive for keeping the bread surface moist early in the bake. On the other hand, convection baking helps dry the loaf surface, as is desirable during the last part of the bake. Convection ovens made for bakeries solve this problem by injecting steam under pressure over a time period under control by the baker. The home baker can achieve something like this by covering the loaves or using a cloche for the first part of the bake. The cover protects the loaf from excessive water evaporation, even in a convection oven. When the cover is removed, the crust can be dried, and a convection oven can presumably achieve this better than a conventional oven.


Allowing the loaf to sit on the baking stone with the oven turned off and the door ajar can achieve additional crust drying, but it may be that a less gradual cooling results in faster contraction of the cooling crumb and greater likelihood of crust crackling, according to some.


The protein content of the flour used and the inclusion of other ingredients that increase water retention, for example, potatoes or soakers, may also have an impact. These factors may impact both the degree to which the crumb contracts and the difficulty of drying the crust, and both of these would inhibit crackle development. If so, crackles should be easiest to achieve in a straight bread dough made with lower protein flour. Indeed, the bread most associated with a thin, crackly crust is baguette, which meets these conditions.


The principles applied


My oven is made by KitchenAid and has both convection and conventional baking options. This provides me with the opportunity to apply the principles discussed above.


I baked two breads yesterday and today with these principles in mind. The first was one I've baked dozens of times, my San Joaquin Sourdough. The second was one I had not baked before, the Vermont Sourdough with Increased Whole Grain from Hamelman's Bread. Both breads had 20% pre-fermented flour in the form of a 125% hydration starter fed with a mix of 70% AP, 20% WW and 10% whole rye flour.


The San Joaquin Sourdough was made with KAF AP and 10% KAF Medium Rye flours. The dough was 72% hydration. The loaves were scaled to 480 gms and shaped as bâtards. The Vermont Sourdough with Increased Whole Grain was made with KAF Bread Flour and 15% KAF Medium Rye Flour. The dough was 65% hydration. The loaves were scaled to 810 gms and shaped as boules.


For both bakes, the oven was pre-heated to 500ºF on convection bake for 60 minutes, with a baking stone on the middle shelf, pushed to the left, and a 7 inch cast iron skillet filled with lava rocks at the right front of the lower shelf. The oven was pre-steamed by pouring about 1/3 cup of boiling water over the lava rocks. The loaves were then transferred to a peel, scored and loaded onto the stone. Another ½ cup of water was poured over the lava rocks and the oven door quickly closed. The oven was immediately turned down to 460ºF, conventional bake.



San Joaquin Sourdough Bâtards



Vermont Sourdough with Increased Whole Grain from Hamelman's "Bread"


For the San Joaquin sourdough, the skillet was removed from the oven after 12 minutes, and the temperature was reset to 440ºF, convection bake. After another 18 minutes, the oven was turned off, and the loaves were left on the stone with the oven door ajar for another 7 minutes before being transferred to a cooling rack. The loaves commenced “singing” immediately and exceptionally loudly. By time they were cooled, they had developed many crust crackles, as pictured.





Crackly Crust on San Joaquin Sourdough


For the Vermont Sourdough with Increased Whole Grain, the skillet was removed after 15 minutes, and the oven was re-set to 435ºF, convection bake. The loaves were baked for an additional 25 minutes. Then, the oven was turned off, and the loaves were left on the stone with the oven door ajar for another 7 minutes before being transferred to a cooling rack. The loaves were already singing when I took them out of the oven, and, to my delight, there were already a few crackles. I had never before seen crackles develop before a loaf was cooled out of the oven. More lovely crackles appeared as the loaves cooled.



Crackles in crust of Vermont Sourdough with Increased Whole Grain, right out of the oven



More crackles appeared as the loaves cooled



And more ...



And yet more crackles


Conclusions


While two bakes is not sufficient to completely establish that the method described will reliably produce a crackled crust with all hearth breads, or even these, every time, this experience certainly supports my current understanding of the mechanisms involved and suggests the possibility that other bakes and other bakers might achieve similar results by applying these techniques.


I'd be happy if others would give this a try and share their experience.


David


 


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