The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Field Blend

ldavis47's picture

Field Blend

The photo is the fifth try at a bread loosely related to Forkish's Field Blend.

The smell was sweet and rich; crust crunchy; crumb was soft but chewy and very flavorful. I think it is the best levain bread I have made. Dough is 75% hydration, starter 100% Hydration and starter flour is 20% of total flour. The timing of steps is particularly useful for working hours if the second day is off or you like to get up early. 

My culture is an abused creature. It is 100% hydrated AP flour, refreshed once weekly 10/100/100 fermented overnight, and stored in the refrigerator after the ferment. But it thrives and makes great bread.

AM 1 (starter)

  50 g culture

  175 g water (90deg F because of the cold rye)

  175 g rye (I use a course rye some would call pumpernickel, stored in refrigerator)

mix well, starter temp 73, ambient temp 72. Ferment 8hrs or more. Should have bubbles underneath and holes on top. Fruity smell. 

PM 1(when the starter is ripe, at least 8hrs)

  100 g whole wheat (stored in freezer)

  700 g any combination of AP and bread flour (this try had 300 bread/400 AP)

  550 g water (warmed to about 85 deg)

mix until all flour incorporated, cover and rest at least 30 minutes. Dough temp about 75.

  15 g salt

sprinkle salt over dough and squeeze in with wet hands. Once there is no more gritty feeling from the salt, do a SF(stretch and fold), cover, wait 30 minutes and do SF, repeat wait and SF two more times.

Immediately after last SF, divide into 2 and approximately shape into rounds, cover and rest 30 min.

Dust tops, flip over, stretch and do letter fold, flip to put seams on bottom and tighten into a boule.

wait a few minutes to seal seams then place in banneton, place in plastic bag and into refrigerator.

AM 2 (12 hrs later, crown should be risen to the top of banneton, if not take out and let warm until risen, otherwise leave in refrigerator until oven preheated.)

preheat oven and covered pots to 500 F

Take breads out of refrigerator, place in pots score and cover

reduce oven temp to 450 and bake for 20 minutes, then remove covers

reduce temp to 430. (I switch to convection so bottom and tops brown evenly. With these settings the crust becomes a deep auburn in 25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes with oven off and door ajar, then cool on rack.

Of course water temps will have to be adjusted based on flour temps and ambient temps. I tried to keep the dough temp close to 75.



dmsnyder's picture

Just curious: Why did you feed your white starter all rye flour?

Nice bake. The bread looks delicious.


golgi70's picture

My guess is its just a quick build over to rye.  Bread looks dynamite.  



ldavis47's picture

My neighbor who loves my breads does not tolerate rye well except when I ferment it for a long time. Also it is convenient for the build up. The wheat is too small a quantity unless I start mixing other flour with it, adding steps. I am not scientific about my baking much more trial and error. I found that the crumb became soft and creamy when I fermented the rye as the starter, really the texture of bread baked with milk, oils and sugar. And I am unfaithful to my culture and to get it active I need a one or two stage build up. I maintain only a scant amount of culture and use it as a mother to whatever type of starter I need.


dmsnyder's picture

The purpose of the rye starter is that 1) You want the rye in the final dough for flavor (presumably), and 2) you want the rye pre-fermented for digestibility and crumb texture.

Makes sense.

Thanks for your response.


ldavis47's picture


dabrownman's picture

fine looking loaves of bread.  I too abuse my rye sour starter.  tn goes in the fridge at full strength 100g - 66% hydration and is not fed for 3-4 weeks as I build levains out of it over that period.  It doesn't seem to mind and just gets more sour.  Thanfuly it can't talk back:-)

Nice baking

ldavis47's picture

What you can do to your culture, and it still performs. I especially like not having to throw away a lot of starter after every refresh.