Pain aux Noix (Walnut Bread)
This is my first post in the TFL forum. I've been visiting the forum for some time now, and it has inspired me to start experimenting as an artisan home baker. And we all know it can be a little intimidating to send your first post when you have seen so many beautiful pictures of all kinds of breads and descriptions of such refined techniques.
Anyway, after embracing the adventure of starting my own starter (named "João" by my wife, the portuguese translation for "John") and perceiving the art of baking with it, I feel like I am now able to retribute all the help I got from you guys.
Well, let's getit on then.
The Bread: Whole Wheat Walnut Bread (Pain aux Noix )
The Recipe: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/pain-aux-noix-recipe, from King Arthur Flour, with some adjustments.
How I did it:
First, after taking João (my 100% hydradion AP flour starter) from the refrigerator the night before, and having fed it three times (one after taking it from the fridge, one early the next morning, and the last one three hours later), I took 4 ounces of it and put it in the bowl of my mixer, instead of the instant yeast the recipe called for.
Since I did not know if the brazilian WW flour would work as a substitute for KAF White Whole Wheat flour, I switched the proportions for WW and AP Flour, using 10 3/4 ounces of AP and 4 5/8 ounces of WW (the recipe calls for 6 5/8 ounces, but I subtracted 2 ounces on account of the flour in the starter).
I then added all the other ingredients (remembering to reduce 2 ounces from the ammount of milk the recipe called for, also on account of the starter), except the salt, and mixed with the dough hook, on medium speed, for 10 minutes.
Added the salt, and continued mixing for 15 minutes, until the dough was very smooth, showing a very well developed gluten on a windowpane test.
Then, I've let the dough raise for about 4 hours. In spite of the 28° C heat (82° F), it showed very little signs of having raised at all, except for some tiny bubbles on the surface of the dough.
I then opened the dough over a lightly oiled counter and spread the chopped walnuts over it, pressing gently so that they would stick to the dough, rolled it, folded it, and let it rest for 20 minutes.
After that I shaped the dough as a boule, and let it rise for 1,5 hour, preheating the oven to 230° C (450° F) on the last half hour.
Just before bakinng, I decided to experiment with some stencil, using parchment paper straps and corn starch. Last but not least, the slashing: angled and not very deep (I find that, when it comes to the deepness of the slash, less is more, as you will notice in the pictures below).
This was the result: my first Pain aux Noix, with a very nice ear ("grigne"), and a beautiful stencil stripe pattern.
Unfortunately, I didn't have the time to take crumb shots. I had invited some friends over for a brunch and the bread was entirely eaten before I could think of it... Well, I guess that's what home baking is all about, isn't it?