The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Farmer's Market Week 20 (Fig n Fennel) and Volkornbrot take 4)

golgi70's picture

Farmer's Market Week 20 (Fig n Fennel) and Volkornbrot take 4)

Officially done with 20 markets out of maybe 24 that have ensued since I started this fiasco.  Next week would be the last week and maybe worth celebration but for the first time ever they've decided to add a Winter Market.  So there is no end to this everlasting spoof.  I'll probably take a short hiatus with the holiday's and miss some markets and get back on the weekly market come the new year.  

So I got some local dried mission figs last week with this weeks bread in mind.  I did  fig n fennel back towards the beginning but I didn't even look at my notes and made up another formula.  Just compared and the previous had way too few figs in it (half of this one at 5%) and this one can use a bit more.  Its also a whiter bread than this one which is only 25% whole grain, the previous was 15%.  And the first thing I thought after finishing was to increase the wheat to 40%.  And of course increase the figs up to 15%.  All in all though this was a nice loaf.  Still not as good as Dave Miller's mission loaf but the same flavor profile.

Also continuing on my Volkornbrot with 100% rye and sunflower seeds.  I cut the chocolate malt to see how the flavor changes.  I have the last batch left so I'll be able to taste side by side.  The color is obviously lighter.  I followed the 3 stage detmolder process again and really hit the times and temps the best yet.  But i still have that compressed section at the bottom of the loaf which I really want to get rid of.  I think I may not be doing a long enough final proof.  I may tinker with adding commercial yeast to the final paste to help boost that final fermentation and see if I get rid of that issue.  Otherwise i think I've taken yet another step forward.  It's really an amazing process which with the help of Andy (ananda) and Hamelman's "Bread" has given me a much better understanding of rye in just a few goes at these typesof bread.   

Without further ado:

Fig n Fennel

20% prefermented flour
300 g Ripe White Starter (100% hydration) @ 75-77 deg F
412 Malted Artisan Flour (11.5%)
150 Fresh Milled Wheat
 37 Fresh Milled Rye
404 H20
16 Salt
2.25 g Fennel, toasted
15 Vanilla Sugar
90 Dried Figs rough chop
2 loaves
Autolyse Flours, h20 and fennel for 1 hour
Add levain, sugar, and salt.
Mix until well combined on low speed (3 minutes)
Turn to medium speed and develop to medium consistency (3 minutes)
Add figs and stir in on speed 1 until well dispersed (1 minute)
Bulk Ferment 2 1/2 hour
Stretch and Folds (2) @ 40 minutes and 80 minuts
Divide @ 700 preshape and rest
Shape to floured bowls and retard immediately (8-12 hours)
Bake 500 with steam for 12 minutes then vented at 460 for 20-25 more.


Really don't like that compressed bottom there.  Its bout 40 hours old now.  Tasting will ensue tommorrow



Mebake's picture

Those are excellent loaves, Josh!

As to the volkornbrot, i found that the best way to judge readiness is to gently tap with your palm on the bottom of the banetton / pan. If it sounds hollow with a thump then it is ready, if not, it needs more time. Nevertheless, the volkornbrot looks great.


golgi70's picture

I'll have to try that next time.  But essentially this type of bread should go in the oven in 50-60 minutes and the longer it takes the more it will break down.  I'm gonna just use some rye flour on the tops next time to look for the cracking as my sign to load in the oven.  It actually tastes great but I just wish that dense bottom was open like the rest.  I noticed many formulas use commercial yeast to finish these loaves and i'm guessing its to ensure a fast final rise and maybe give an extra bump at the same time.  I can't imagine in 45 minutes any compromise in flavor so I may give this a try next time.  


annie the chef's picture
annie the chef

Although figs has been added but the crumb is just so wonderfully opened. How did you manage all the fig pieces to stay inside the dough? Although I was extremely gentle, all the chunky pieces (about 250g in 900g dough) in my loaf were just moved up to the surface after I shaped the dough (sigh...). I can't wait to see your shaping video now.  Please make one with the chunky add-ins dough will definitely make my day. :)

Beautiful bake as always, Josh.

Happy Thanksgiving from Down Under.


golgi70's picture

For the kind words of course.  Well how do you add your "chunks' to your dough?  When you say to the surface of your dough does that mean the top bottom and sides ?  If so it just sounds like your not distributing the chunks around the dough during the mix.  When I do a nut/fruit add in I like to mix my dough a little less than normal then add the fruit/nuts and mix on low speed until they are well dispersed.  Many say this will tear up the gluten structure but i have found that adding them later say during folds I get poor distribution through the dough.  If you are gentle these won't hurt development at all.  In fact the dough will continue to get stronger during the bulk ferment, especially with folds that don't have fruit/nuts creating layers.  

I'll have to find someone to tape me shaping the next time I do a loaf like this. 

Hope that helps a bit.  


PS  250 g of figs in 900 g of dough is a lot and maybe part of the problem?  I used 454 g figs in 7000 g of dough which is 12% baker's percentage (granted i'd like this to be closer to 20%).  sounds like you had closer to 50% figs in your dough which will be hard to work with and for the dough to hold.  

annie the chef's picture
annie the chef

By the time the dough was pre-shaped, some of them were already on the surface. One time I decided to shape it into a boule, oh dear, as I was using 2 hands to drag the dough towards myself, about three drags or so, those add-ins started to pop out.  When I sliced my fig and cranberry batard, the top and tail areas literally were plain bread. :(

I think I will have to adjust the amount of figs to add to the dough as your suggestion. No wonder the crumb of my loaf was quite tight.

Thank you so much for everything Josh and l look forward to read about your next bake.



Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Nice Josh.  The volk is looking better and better.  I will be trying that one out soon.  Can't go wrong with the fig and fennel combo either.  The crumb looks perfect to me.  I want to bake this one real soon but I will be using my usual rye starter in lieu of the white starter.


isand66's picture

Great bake Josh.  Love your crust and crumb on all of these.



CeciC's picture

Hi Josh,

Your Loafs are fantastic!!! I wish I can just buy a loaf from you. The Fig and fennel combo are very interesting. I will put that on top of my list!!