The Fresh Loaf

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Country Bread In a Steamy Oven

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GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Country Bread In a Steamy Oven


I joined in the Dutch Oven craze with a Pain de Campagne bake a few weeks ago, and the outcome was fine, but I think I get my best results with Sylvia’s magic towel technique.  So, for my first try at a Tartine-like Country Bread, I baked two sloppy boules on the stone.


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I used the formula Brother David posted last week (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/21389/country-bread-freshmilled-flours, except I used professionally-milled flours rather than home-milled (since I don’t have a hackmesser of my own, nor a KitchenAid grinder attachment [which would not be very useful in that I don’t have a KitchenAid <geez, this sentence has lots of digressions>]).  I used my favored white flour, Central Milling Co.’s Organic Artisan Baker’s Craft, along with KAF Whole Wheat flour and BRM Whole Grain Spelt flour.  (This was the first time I’d used spelt flour and now I have a hankering to fry up some of those small Pacific surf fishes so I can have smelt on spelt.)


The 77% hydration dough was silky and malleable, but it was gumby-in-a-toaster-like to shape.  With a good deal of flour on the board and on my hands, I managed to form pretty tight boules.  I proofed one in the garage (52 F) so they could be baked in succession without the second one being overproofed.


As soon as they were gently plopped from the bannetons to the peel, they spread out.  But they did rise nicely in the oven.


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And there was much crust crazing.


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And this is kinda what I like the inside of my bread to look like.


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The texture is about ideal for me—very moist, tender and airy crumb, but with some chew to it.  The flavor is good, but not the most interesting.  Not quite sour enough and I miss the touch of rye I usually have in my Pain de Campagne.


I think the next test is to try to get the flavor of San Francisco Country Sourdough with the crumb texture of this loaf.  Maybe 70% white/20% whole wheat/10% rye with 75% hydration and a three hour primary ferment.


Of course, Tasha thinks I should forget about bread and learn to bake kitty treats.


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Glenn

 

Comments

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Since you are experimenting with different flour mixes, search TFL for "Gerard Rubaud" and you will find his extremely tasty flour mix.


And, for you pleasure, do not neglect to read M.C.'s marvelous series of interviews with Gérard on her blog, Meet the Baker: Gérard Rubaud She has a number of great videos of him making his signature loaves.


David

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

The Rubaud formula looks good.  The firmer starter should give me more sour, right?  Did the multiple levain builds have a noticeable effect on flavor?


Glenn

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Yes. You should get more acetic acid production with a firmer levain. I think the multiple builds do enhance the flavor, but the effect is not dramatic. It is perceptible.


David

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

and Boules!  Great looking crumb and cracky crust.  As much as I like the results from the ironCC, nuked towel steaming is still my favorite way to steam.


Sylvia

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Sylvia, I tend to include kitty pix in my blog when the breads are not very attractive.  If I could bake bread as attractive a Tasha, I could be a pro (though I wouldn't want fuzzy bread, I suppose).


Can't thank you enough for the steamy towel idea.  It's made a huge difference in my baking.


Glenn

basbr's picture
basbr

Wonderful loafs! How did you shape such high hydration dough? Stretch and folds? How much did they spread out?

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Basbr,


Look at David's blog post (linked in mine) for the technique.  There are four sets of stretch-and-folds over three hours.  The shaping took much flour on board and hands, as the dough wants to ooze everywhere and stick to everything.  I also made sure the seams were well sealed, and proofed in properly-sized linen-lined bannetons.  Even so, the loaves spread like a holiday waistline.


Glenn

breadsong's picture
breadsong

which is prettier, your kitty or those boules.

Re: the boules, a very good job scoring!, and I love the crust (color and crazing).
-- breadsong

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

I love Tasha's coloration. Photos don't quite capture the layers of color--light grey and dark grey on top, fawn below, with cream accents.  I should re-name her Grigne.


Thanks for the comment, Breadsong.


Glenn

Franko's picture
Franko

Nice looking boules Glenn!


The colour alone shows a lot of care was taken baking these loaves. You might find the flavour notches up a bit over time, but I know what you mean about missing the rye. I'm looking forward to seeing your next bake with the flour combination you propose, sounds like a good one.


Franko

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

I think the malted barley in the white flour helps the color (as does the care I guess I took).


I'll try the bread again to check the next day flavor (had scones for brunch).


Glenn