The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pain Ordinaire with Rye and Spelt

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OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

Pain Ordinaire with Rye and Spelt

A few days ago our son announced he had bought a scale, and he needed a straight dough formula for non-sourdough (his preference) "french bread".  He has been baking "French Style Bread" from "Beard on Bread" for a couple of years, and he wanted a weight-based formula for a similar bread.  I gave him some tips on how he could convert his cups-and-teaspoons formula to weights by baking to volume and weighing everything, and I also gave him the flour/water/salt/yeast basic formula for a 65% hydration straight dough bread for a loaf of about 850 grams.  I have not heard back from him yet on what he chose to do or how it came out.  He did, however, get me interested, and thanks to the influence of my recent experience with the Rubaud flour mix, I've taken a new interest in spelt as well.  I decided to try putting them together.


I put together what is, loosely interpreted, Pain Ordinaire...  Ordinary bread.  The formula is my own concoction relying on a basic hydration of 68%, and flour mix of 75% Pendelton Mills Power (Bread) flour, 10% BRM Dark Rye and 15% Montana Milling Whole Spelt (Thanks Stan!) flour.  I started with a 5 hour poolish of 160 grams of water, 160 grams of flour mix, and a scant 1/8th teaspoon of instant dry yeast.  Because the arthritis in my wrists has been bad lately, I assembled the dough, including the poolish but holding back the salt, in my Bosch mixer.  I mixed the ingredients for about three minutes, then left it to sit for 30 minutes (autolyse).  I then added the salt and "kneaded" the dough till it was well developed (8 or 9 minutes).  Considering the amount of spelt flour in my formula I think this came back to haunt me later.  I think spelt does not tolerate over-kneading well.  Here is the specific formula I used:



Flour  1158 grams     100%
Water  787 grams       68%
Yeast    17 grams       1.5%
Salt       20 grams      1.7%


Total Dough Weight:  2000 grams  (I planned for 2 1Kg boules)


After kneading I moved the dough to a dough bucket for bulk fermentation, noting that I had 2 liters of dough.  It hit 4 liters in less than two hours.  When that happened I decided to go ahead and shape the loaves and retard them overnight in the refrigerator to bake this morning. I hoped that strategy would slow down the yeast and help develop some flavor.  I preshaped the two boules and let them rest, then tightened them up and put them in my large round floured baskets, covered them with oiled plastic wrap and into the refrigerator.  I put them on the bottom, coldest, shelf in hopes of being able to hold them off till late afternoon or evening Saturday.


I looked in on them about bed time, four or so hours later, and they were obviously not very retarded!  I knew I was in trouble, but it was far too late to try to bake them before retiring.  Instead, I set my alarm for 6:30 AM, an inhumane hour for me for a Saturday morning.  When it woke me I got up, started the oven, and checked the bread.  Yup.  In trouble.  It had over proofed, even in the refrigerator.


Because of the size I baked them one at a time, directly from the refer with no bench time at all.  Even so, they fell badly when I slashed them.  There was some oven spring, but not a great deal.  I have a good deal to learn about spelt I'm afraid.  The loaves did not come out "bad", but rather, they look like their namesake:  ordinary. 


I got little oven spring because the dough had little left to give.  I got a great crust thanks to the roaster-pan-lid steaming method and a liberal spritzing with water before covering.  The crumb is dense, as would be expected from loaves that were over proofed and fell significantly on slashing, but supple and chewy.  Maybe even a bit "rubbery", probably because of the high gluten flour.  The flavor is very pleasant, and the poolish made a very positive impact.  I also like the flavor of the spelt and rye together.  It was not a disaster by any means, and it was a good lesson, but I look forward to trying again.  I will be much more careful of my timing next bake, especially if I use as much spelt flour again.


Here are some pictures to illustrate my points, beginning with the loaves.




And then the crumb shot:


As you can see, I even botched the slice, leaving a jagged surface.  And I did it twice.


This is not a candidate for the "Ugly Bread" thread, but there is plenty of room for improvement.  I'll bet it makes good French Toast for breakfast tomorrow or Monday though!


OldWoodenSpoon

Comments

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

We've all had those days...but all in all it looks good enough to eat.  At least you got up early to bake..I won't get out of bed for bread 'lol' especially if it's a cold morning, but I will stay up late to bake.


Sylvia

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

I don't mind staying up late to bake, but starting the oven after midnight is taking it a bit too far, even for a night owl like me. As for getting up in the morning, cold or otherwise...  It's not my thing. :)  But I knew I was in trouble on these loaves, and I was determined not to lose them.


Thanks
OldWoodenSpoon


 

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

In spite of the frustration, those are some lovely loaves.


1. You are right that spelt's gluten is more fragile than wheat's and therefore less tolerant of kneading.  However, at just 15% of your flour mix, that probably isn't the major contributor to your woes.


2. Combining the poolish with the dough prior to autolyse is okay; you'll need the moisture in the poolish.  I'd have left out the yeast until after the autolyse, though.  That gave the yeast a running start on fermentation during the autolyse period.


3. Considering that you already have a yeasty preferment, the poolish, the yeast quantity seems a bit high.  I might have aimed for a teaspoon or so for the final dough.


4. My impression is that you weren't originally intending to retard the dough.  If retarding was part of the plan, a lesser quantity of yeast would also have been a good idea.


5. Dividing that large mass of dough before refrigeration was a good thing.  Even so, each 1 kg loaf was still quite a lot to cool down enough to slow the fermentation.


As you noted, that isn't bad bread at all.  Enjoy the eating and the knowledge gained.


Paul

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

Thank you Paul, for all the helpful advice.  Do you have an opinion on the percentage of spelt at which I would have to start watching the kneading more carefully?  After the fact I rather thought 15% might be close to the line.


I have not yet come to terms with the power of IDY.  It just seems to jump out of the bucket every time I bake with it. Also, I obviously under-estimated pretty badly the amount of time it would take to slow down the fermentation in my big loaves.  I did plan to retard them, but had expected to bench proof them for an hour or so first.  The surprise was the speed at which the bulk fermentation took off, which is why I decided to retard them immediately after shaping them.  Had I not, it would have been "Lucy and the bread dough" in my fridge this morning!


Thanks again.  I shall adjust, and bake this again soon.
OldWoodenSpoon


Edit:  It does have very good flavor, and I think I willstick with the same flour mix next time.

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

I have baked with it twice, maybe.  That's not enough to offer any informed opinion.


My uninformed opinion (much less work involved in those!) is that until you get to the 50% or above range, your bread will behave more like a wheat dough than it will like a spelt dough.  I'm basing that on my experience with ryes.  Yes, characteristics shift as you move along the continuum, but the dough tends to behave more like a (fill in the blank) dough when the (fill in the blank) flour is greater than 50% of the mix.  


I see that you are in central CA.  Have you had a warm spell in the past few days?  My doughs here in Pretoria are benefitting from the warm summer weather--it got to 85ºF this afternoon. 


Oops! I need to run downstairs to see if they are ready to go into the oven.


Bye,


Paul

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

Don't knock those "uninformed"opinions...  They trump my "outright guess" every time!


As to our weather lately, I don't know that I would call it a warm spell, but it has been just plain beautiful for the past few days, for sure.  We got 3/4" of rain last Sunday.  Before that we had two days that nearly reached 80F, but since then we have only been to about 66F +/- 2F.  The overnight lows have been in the mid to low 30s, so Fall is certainly here, but it has been a gorgeous one.  Is it not coming into summer for you down there on the "lower half"?


Careful of those loaves, or you will be over-proofing.  Keep out!  That's my trick!


Thanks again
OldWoodenSpoon

wally's picture
wally

We'd all, obviously, rather share triumphs than disappointments.  But it's good to know what can go awry in our efforts.


One thing that did occur to me as I read your post: did you lightly or deeply score your dough before baking?  Something I learned through instruction and experience is that if you think you have overproofed loaves, score them very lightly.  Scoring always yields some degree of deflation, and with overproofing there's no oven spring to counter that, so a shallow cut can sometimes compensate somewhat for the overproofing.


Larry

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

Scoring:  I had just put a brand new blade in my lame!  It scored pretty deep, and things went flat like a souffle dropped on the floor!  Thanks for the boost though.  It all helps, as baking is full of ups and downs. :)


OldWoodenSpoon