The Fresh Loaf

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Multigrain sourdough bread

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Maryann279's picture
Maryann279

Multigrain sourdough bread

So I finally figured out why I was having trouble getting started on making bread at home after my second SFBI class.  It's the scheduling and planning ahead.  At one time I thought bread making could be scheduled around other activities.  Now I am finding out that it's the other way around:  you have to schedule your other activities around making bread.  It will probably continue to be this way until I get the hang of it all.  Non-prefermented, non-sourdough was usually not that much of a problem for me.  When you add in 12-hour preferments, levains, bringing the starter back to life after it's been hibernating in the fridge, etc., this turns into the opposite of a spur of the moment enterprise.  I know I can use other techniques for creating a nice chewy loaf, but for now I'm trying to work with this particular set of recipes.  Add in the fact that I get tired in the evenings and have difficulty motivating myself, some planning ahead is in order.


I refreshed the stiff started ahead of time, but forgot to leave it out of the fridge so it could develop properly.  When it came time to mix the levain yesterday evening, I decided to use the starter as it was rather than disrupt my bread making schedule (I wanted to have the bread done in time for dinner this evening).  This morning, the levain wasn't quite as bubbly as it should have been, but again I forged ahead.  I had premeasured most of the ingredients for the final dough the night before (very helpful), but I forgot that I needed to mix the soaked seed and grain mixture an hour before it was needed.  That delayed mixing the final dough for an hour.  I was a bit ambitious about the quantity of dough I made, about 2.7 kilos, forgetting I only had a 5 qt. Kitchen Aid mixer.  I forgot that the soaker had to wait until the end of the dough development process, because the seeds and grains interfere with gluten development.  The dough finally came together very well, but had a tendency to crawl up the hook onto the mixer itself, and I had to keep scraping it down.


The dough is resting now in its plastic mini-tub, and almost ready for its first turn at 5PM.  No bread for dinner tonight - maybe breakfast tomorrow AM. ;-)


I think this will all get better with practice and getting used to the methods and equipment I need to turn out ~2 kilos of dough in my kitchen (the magic fermentation number).  Maybe I will have to go back to making less at one time.  We shall see.

Comments

Maryann279's picture
Maryann279

The bread came out of the oven about 12 hours after I started mixing it this morning.  Long day of baking.  It tastes great, but the crust leaves a lot to be desired.  I think I will have to try one of the ceramic cloches or covered clay bakers. 

Syd's picture
Syd

 


What flour/s did you use?  What were the other ingredients?  When you say the crust left a lot to be desired, do you mean it wasn't dark enough or crisp enough or something else?  Would love to know more details of the bread.  And a pic would be great, too.  :)


Syd

Maryann279's picture
Maryann279

Flour for the total formula was 89.21% white, 24.64 WW and 10.79 rye, with 84.28% water. I had added 58.14% soaker of water and various seeds/grains.  The levain was made with a partially WW stiff starter, and I added a bit of yeast as well.


The mix ended up being a bit wet, as I ran out of oats for the soaker and substituted hulled barley.  The oats probably would have absorbed more moisture.  Although I put what I thought was a lot of tension in the dough during shaping, it turned out to be not enough to hold the shape well, so everything came out a bit flat.


Other than the flatness, the main disappointment was the difference in crust between what we made at SFBI and how it turned out at home.  It wasn't thick, crunchy and dark, and despite slashing, no ears.  There were definitely difficulties with the dough, but I haven't figured out a home oven setup yet that approximates a deck oven.  That will probably be very difficult.  I had a pan of steaming water on the bottom rack, baked on a pizza stone and spritzed a few times during the first 2 minutes.  Opening the oven door for the spritzing probably caused too much of a temp drop, and the volume of steam was probably inadequate.  Aside from the crust, the bread tastes great and has a nice chewy crumb.  The seeds and grains add a nice flavor.


Maybe the next step will be to get a covered clay baker of some sort - from reading other blogs, it looks like it produces great results.  I will post some pictures of what I baked later.