The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Weekend Reclamation Project – Back At It

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wassisname's picture
wassisname

Weekend Reclamation Project – Back At It


 


The goal:  A simple, 100% wholegrain, sourdough bread that I can make on an after-work weeknight schedule. 


I've tried a variety of approaches.  As is so often the case, simpler seems to be better.  On past attempts I was making things harder than they needed to be and the bread suffered.  This time I refrained from making any radical changes to the method and focused on a few details, trusting more to feel and less to thinking (and by thinking, I mean over-thinking... and over-thinking, and over-thinking).


Flour.  I switched from a WW bread flour that sounded good but just didn't feel right to a combination of Bob's Red Mill organic WW and Heartland Mills whole white wheat, about a 50/50 mix.  The dough felt better right from the start.


Hydration.  It needed more, so I gave it more.  I was resisting this earlier to keep the math simpler (I know, I know, but it seemed like a good idea at the time) and to keep the loaves from going flat, but the bread wants what the bread wants.


Salt.  Again, I ignored the math and reduced the salt because I was tasting too much of it in previous versions, even though the same amount worked fine using traditional methods.


Steam.  This method tends to produce a heavy crust so... less steam!



Fortune smiled on me and I managed to bake a couple nice loaves of bread.  It still isn't quite at the level of a one-day, Saturday sourdough, but it will certainly get me through when time is tight.  I plan to try this method again without any changes, and a result worth repeating must be a good sign.



The Method - for 2 loaves


Evening 1 - Starter Build - 335g WW flour, 250g water, 100g WW starter @ 75% hydration.  Mix 3-4 minutes.  Ferment @ room temp overnight, refrigerate the next morning.


Evening 2 - Final Dough - All starter, 500g Whole White Wheat flour, 200g WW, 2 tsp sea salt, 600g water.  Cut up starter and mix w/ dry ingredients.  Add water and mix until incorporated.  Knead 5-7 min wetting hands as needed.  Rest 5 min.  Knead 2-3 min.  Ball and refrigerate in closed container immediately.


Evening 3 - Proof and bake - Gently stretch dough into a rectangle 1 inch thick or less and place on floured board.  Cover with plastic wrap and let warm 1 hour.  Shape gently and proof 2 ½ hours.  My microwave functions as my proofing box.  It starts about 70F and will get to about 80F after 1 hour - this helps a lot.


Bake on preheated stone 500F for 5 min w/ steam.  Reduce heat to 460F and bake 45 min.  Place on cooling rack and go to bed.


Percentages (give or take, if you find fault with my math I don't want to hear about it, it's a work in progress [the math as well as the bread] =)) WW flour 52% / White WW flour 48% / Hydration 81% / Salt 1.6% / starter is approx. 35% of finished dough weight.


-Marcus


 

Comments

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Beautiful Work, marcus! Inspiring, Indeed!


Seems you've gone overboard with hydration, but the breads turned out lovely, all the same!


Lovely!

wassisname's picture
wassisname

Your kind words are appreciated as always.  I did get lucky with the hydration, the dough had just enough strength to hold some shape and also allow the crumb to open up a bit.  Any more water and it probably would have been a mess!

Christl's picture
Christl

glad you're back, looks delicious


 

wassisname's picture
wassisname

Thank you