The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

PAL with 8% White Rye

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varda's picture
varda

PAL with 8% White Rye

Since I got back from vacation my starter has been on rest and recuperation.   We were lucky to miss the hurricane by being in another state, but it still came through here (downgraded to tropical storm) and killed the power for at least some period of time, which made my already neglected starter even unhappier.   I've been baking a lot since I got back and it's been just edible but improving with each bake.  Today, I had a well fed starter ready to go and looking happy, but I really wanted to bake outside to see if I could get a nice burst on the hot WFO floor to make up for my troubles.   It was close to raining and most of my wood was wet from a downpour last night, so things didn't look very promising, but I decided to do it anyhow.   I mixed up a mostly white dough with a touch of white rye and prayed for no rain, scrounging around for wood that wasn't soaked all the way through.    I just managed to get the oven up to temperature with the dry wood that I had, and got my bread baked before it started raining for real.   I've got to stop living on the edge like this :)

 The crumb opened up and I managed to get at least some opening of the scores by using a steam pan in the WFO for the first time.    

The new look comes from my Indian or whatever basket. 

And following Sylvia's example (if not cooking talent) I threw a pan of potatoes and onions into the oven after the bread baked, so as not to waste the heat.  

Formula:

 FinalStarterTotalPercent
KAAP45014259291%
White Rye50 508%
Rye 771%
Water35010145170%
Salt12 121.9%
Starter250  23%

 

Method:

Mix all but salt.   Autolyze for 50 minutes.   Add salt and mix for several minutes.    Bulk Ferment for 2 hours with 1 counter full stretch out until very thin.    Shape into boule and place upside down in basket.   Proof for 2 hours.   Bake in WFO (around 650F floor temperature) for 25 minutes.  Remove and cool. 

Comments

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Varda,

Your soaked wood will dry out quickly if you simply move some into your house for a day or two as long as it was really seasoned before it got drenched.  

If you want to really get fanatical about it you can put it into your oven on the lowest setting. :-0

In case you are wondering - NO, I have not dried wood out in my kitchen oven but some over on Hearth.com have and have posted about their results.....

Tossing a tarp over just the top of your wood pile will keep it dry as well as letting air circulate through the stack drying out any other moisture that may accumulate.  Make sure your stack is stacked off of the ground too because moisture will wick up through the pieces on the ground.....plus the bottom pieces will rot...yuck!

I like the pattern your new baskets leave on your dough. Very pretty!  I am glad to hear your starter is recovering from it's ordeal with the storm.....hardy stuff sd is. 

Take Care,

Janet

varda's picture
varda

Well nothing is coming inside, that's for sure.   The reason the wood wasn't covered is that it's a huge pile of brush from TS Irene, awaiting cutting.   I know you'll say that's not seasoned, but the storm wasn't strong enough to knock down live branches.   Most of it has been seasoning at 100 feet for the last many years and I know from experience that that stuff burns fine.   Eric shared a method for drying out wood which was to put the next load into the oven after baking, and I've used that a few times.   Thanks for your tips on stacking and keeping wood dry.   I'll put into practice once the wood is cut to size.   And thanks for your comments.  -Varda

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Varda,

You just are a lucky one.....you don't have to bring your wood inside to dry it - you have your outdoor oven to do the trick!  Kinda like kiln dried wood.  :-D  Isn't it fun learning the little tricks that help keep things simple?  Those little details that make such a big difference.

Dead wood is seasoned in my book too!  Lots of what I burn is what falls out of our maple trees during storms too. Nothing like having your fuel drop directly out of the sky for you :-)  Now if it would just cut and stack itself.......

:-)

Janet

varda's picture
varda

Janet, Yes it's amazing how a tip like that (put the wood in the oven when it's still warm to dry) can make a huge difference.  I've got my firing time down to around 1.5 hours (from almost 3) through a combo of dry wood, adding a perlite insulation layer to the top of the dome, and adopting my husband's suggestions for how to arrange the wood for maximizing airflow through the fire.   If you invent that automated cut it and stack it tool, I'll buy.  Happy burning!  -Varda

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Varda,

Tools: Local tree service cuts and delivers.... My nephew and one of my sons stack....I cheat ;*) 

Age has it's benifits.

Down side: I pay for their labor but do so happily.

What is left for me is scrounging the kindling and cutting that all up with my trusty Alligator 6" chain saw.

I also do all the daily wood carrying,  fire building and burning....I love it and the warmth it produces.

Only conflict is with time now that I have discovered baking.  Both compete for my attention first thing in the morning.

I love reading your WFO adventures.  Watching how it is evolving for you.  Maybe, one day this winter, I will attempt a loaf in my insert when I have a good bed of coals going - my Romertopf might just do the job.....but, it could create quite a mess and my kids would really wonder about mom's sanity - or lack thereof :-0....

Take Care,

Janet

lumos's picture
lumos

Beautiful pattern on the crust from your barking Indian basket!   I love its warm, reddish colour very much, too.

I always find it fascinating to see how different crumb of your WFO-baked loaf looks from the ones baked in a domestic oven. Must be to do with much more intense heat in WFO. The crumb shot really tells you a good pizza HAS to be baked in a very hot oven with very hot floor......

I'm not considering to get a WFO for myself at the moment (No, DO NOT tempt me!),  so I haven't been following anyone's posts/blogs that involve vey much,  so I might well be asking a question you've already mentioned millions of time, but......do you see a significant difference in flavour or texture if baked in WFO?

lumos

varda's picture
varda

Thanks so much for your comments.   As for your question about difference in flavor and texture - I don't think I've ever got such an open crumb in my gas oven and that is a big difference in texture.  I believe that the food scientists would say that texture is a big component of taste.   Also, the additional heat gives a big burst of final fermentation, which impacts the taste in a good way.   Which is not to say that a more talented baker couldn't get the same results using other means.   It would have been much more practical of me to have cooked indoors yesterday, but it's hard to settle for a less optimal bread-baking environment when that oven is sitting out there.    When it's covered with a foot of snow, it will be a different story.  -Varda

lumos's picture
lumos

Yeah, been wondering intense heat might increase the intensitiy of flavour, too, and possibly the aroma also? Not only breads but Sylvia's idea of cooking potatoes and onions after you take the loaves out sounds extremely tempting...... (Mental Note: No!  I'm not buying any more new cooking equipment!)

If the snow comes, you can always get some warmth by hugging the WFO! :p

lumos

Syd's picture
Syd

The scoring pattern, the basket weave markings and the crust color make for a very pretty loaf.  Just how did you do that scoring pattern? 

It would have been much more practical of me to have cooked indoors yesterday, but it's hard to settle for a less optimal bread-baking environment when that oven is sitting out there.    When it's covered with a foot of snow, it will be a different story.

Varda, I have visions of you tending to your WFO in a blizzard.  Now that would be really living on the edge.  :)

Best,

Syd

varda's picture
varda

snowshoes and a blowtorch to make your vision a reality.   As for the scoring, I have had this idea about a score I want to do with sort of a main trunk curving up with a single branch coming out of it.   I keep trying to do it and it keeps somehow morphing in mid-score and/or during expansion  into something else.   This one morphed into a 5 point star sort of.    I'll keep working on it.   I appreciate your comments as always.  -Varda

wassisname's picture
wassisname

You know, Varda, the more you share your WFO adventures the more I want one - even when you're dodging rain storms and wrestling with soggy firewood!  I like the look from the new baskets, too, very eye-catching. 

Marcus

varda's picture
varda

but not as much fun.    Hope you get a WFO sometime in the future.   And thanks so much for your comments.   -Varda

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Varda,
Your scoring on this loaf reminds me of a pretty starfish :^)
The basket left a really nice flour pattern, too.
:^) from breadsong

varda's picture
varda

on scoring makes my day.   I used regular Hecker's AP for the flour dusting.   I was wondering if rice flour would be better.   I have a bag, but whenever I've used it, it seems to clump up.   Thanks so much for your remarks.  -Varda