As I mentioned in my previous post I recently purchased a Brod and Taylor proofer and I have been experimenting with it to see how it affects the sourness and overall bread.
For this latest bread I decided to let the starter ferment at 85 degrees inside the proofer for around 10 hours. Probably could have cut the time down considerably in hindsight but it doesn't look like the extended time really hand any effect on the overall bread.
When I mixed the starter which had French style flour along with Durum flour along with the flour for the main dough I let it sit inside the proofer for 2 hours at 85 degrees while I did my normal stretch and folds at 15 minute intervals for a total of 3 S&F's.
I used one of the Ale's I purchased a few weeks ago called Hurricane Kitty in place of most of the water and since one of my apprentices insisted on helping on this particular bake I named it after him.
The next day I took the dough out of the refrigerator and put it in the proofer at 80 degrees for 1.5 hours. I shaped the loaves and let it proof again but at 85 degrees for around 1.5 hours before baking.
The final result was excellent. A nice open crumb with not too thick of a crust. The onions really came through and the small amount of sprouted wheat really combined well with the French flour and Durum flour. The crumb is very soft and it made a perfect sandwich bread for my pastrami. I really like the way this one came out and will make this one again for sure.
Mix all the levain ingredients together for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap. Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled. (Note: I used my proofer set at 86 degrees F.) I usually do this the night before.
Either use in the main dough immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day before using.
Main Dough Procedure
Mix the flours, and Hurricane Kitty Ale together in your mixer or by hand until it just starts to come together, maybe about 1 minute. Let it rest in your work bowl covered for 20-30 minutes. While that is resting mix the onions in the water and let it rest. Next add the salt, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), walnut oil, and rehydrated onions in water and mix on low for 4 minutes. Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds. Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold. Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold. After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours. (Note: I used my proofer set at 85 degrees).
When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator or proofer and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours. (Note: I used the proofer set at 80 degrees). Next remove the dough and shape as desired. and place your dough into your proofing basket(s) and cover with a moist tea towel or plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray. The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature. (I let the dough proof in my proofer for 1.5 hours at 85 degrees). Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.
Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 500 degrees F. and prepare it for steam. I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf. I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.
Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, score as desired and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure. I forgot to include the black sesame seeds I used on one of the loaves. I simply spritzed the loaf with some water and then sprinkled the seeds on.
After 1 minute lower the temperature to 450 degrees. Bake for 35-50 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 205 degrees.
Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.
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