Sprouted Pa de Pagès Català Sourdough
After seeing Pa de pagès català - Catalan loaf posted by Abelbreadgallery about a week ago, I knew Lucy couldn’t resist making it something more to her liking by mixing it up some. She has been struggling with her sprouted grain project but thinks she might finally have it sorted out after this bake- I’m not so sure since after she turned 10 she has slowed down recipe wise.
She increased the usual amount of whole grains in this loaf to 35%, and sprouted them because we like the taste if we can figure out a way to keep the bread from over proofing due to the way more enzymes the sprouting unleashes…..which makes more sugar from the starch allowing the yeast and Lab in the SD to run wildly out of control.
She also dropped the commercial yeast since it isn’t needed and we don’t run a bakery that needs to speed things along even if the flavor of the bread suffers. She increased the hydration some to 72% and also subbed some Lafama AP and some Winco AP flour too for some of the bread flour. We did use King Arthur bread flour for a third of the white flour making the protein for the white flours averaging out to 12%.
Why the EU gave this straightforward SD bread made with a little whole wheat and bread flour special status for Catalonia is beyond me since people have been making this same bread all over the world for at least a hundred years and likely much, much longer. Still, the Catalonians must be proud of it anyway…..but wish it has some rye or spelt and or both to improve the flavor but that would be another bread entirely.
Our usual 4 day process was extended a day to get the wheat berries sprouted and chitted, which took a day. By the time we dried them in the AZ at 110 F, milled them and sifted out the hard bits it took a day and a half. We ended up with 28 g of hard bits that we fed to the 7 week retarded, huge looking if only 4 g, of 66% hydration, rye starter over 3 stages to build the final tiny 7% levain at 60 g. We retarded the levain after the 3rd feeding for another 24 hours.
Once the levain came out of the fridge to warm up and finish doubling we autolysed the rest of the flour with the dough liquid that included the left over soaker water for the sprouts with the salt sprinkled on top of the autolyse ball so Lucy wouldn’t forget it. After 2 hours, the levain was mixed in and 6 minutes of slap and folds commenced followed by 2 more sets of 1 minute each. All the sets were separated by 30 minutes of rest,
We then did 3 sets of stretch and folds on 30 minute intervals and had planned to add some sage, walnuts and walnut oil to the mix or possibly some olives with the sage but then decided to make a plain old sprouted white bread since we don’t have any in the freezer and my wife might eat it.
After and hour of bulk ferment, we pre-shaped and then shaped the dough into a boule, placing the dough seam side down in the rice floured basket. The dough seemed pretty springy and full of air. Into the fridge it went for a 24 hour retard. We hoped the small levain would not over proof the dough as it retarded but you never know until you look. When we took a peek at 21 hours it looked OK so we let it go for the full 24.
Lucy decided to the boule come to room temperature and bake it then rather than cold right out of the oven. This bread is baked seem side up and not slashed so a little over proofing won’t be a horrible thing like usual – just semi horrible which Lucy equates to semi sweet chocolate which isn’t all bad.
Since it was only 80 F at 7 AM and cloudy this morning we decided to bake the bread in Big Old Betsy…… if it wasn’t 100 F by 11 AM. It was preheated to 550 F and when BOB beeped it was at temperature we loading in the Mega Steam under the bottom stone. 12 minutes later the steam was billowing.
We un-molded the bread onto a parchment covered peel and slid the bread onto the bottom stone. 2 minutes later we turned the oven down to 500 F and 2 minutes later we turned it down to 475 F where it stayed for another 11 minutes when the steam came as we turned the oven down to 425 F – Convection this time.
The bread continued to bake for another 10 minutes when the bread read 208 F on the inside and was removed to the cooling rack. The bread sprang well but didn’t open at the seams. It also browned up nicely with the blisters we love so much. We will have to see how the crumb looks and how it tastes later for lunch. It did come out of the oven light as a feather which is always a good sign.
The crust softened as it cooled and this has to be the softest crumb of all time. Almost impossible to cut while still warm out of the oven –maybe that has something to do with it! The crumb was also open and moist bu8t it was the taste that stood out. Much tastier than the normal 35% whole grain wheat bread and well worth the effort to sprout and dry the whole berries first. We like this bread a lot and my wife might not find any left when she gets home.
RyeSD Starter Build
7 Week Retarded Rye Starter
18.66% Sprouted Wheat Extraction
Levain % of Total
81.34% Extract. Sprouted Wheat
11.97% Protein Flour Mix
Total Dough Flour
Sprout Water 125, Water
Total Flour w/ Starter
Total Liquid w/ Starter
Total. Hydration with Starter
% Whole Grain
11.97% Protein flour mix is equal parts of LaFama 11.22% AP.
12.7% King Arthur bread flour amd 12% Winco AP flour