Weekday baking - Ideas for improving based on the tight schedule?
In the elusive quest to figure out how to bake a good loaf of bread during the few hours a day I have at home during the work week, I baked these loaves according to *my* schedule. I would like some input so I can figure out what to adjust. I am pretty sure the bread was under-proofed based on the fact that it had not risen much. The crumb is kind of dense, though it looks better depending on how it is sliced.
My concern with making the bread was that it was going to become super sticky and not come out of the brotform, but I think I may have moved things along too quickly and am hoping that if I simply leave the dough out of the fridge for a couple of hours before baking, it will vastly improve the crumb. My reason for this hope is that it is the easiest cure from a timing perspective.
489 g home ground whole wheat
270 g home ground rye
241 g AP flour
820 g Water (74 deg.)
20 g salt
200 g levain (100% hydration, 50% WW and 50% AP - made with 17 g. week old starter).
Wednesday Morning (630 am)
1. Mixed the levain and left out.
2. Autolysed the flour and water, and left out.
Wednesday Night (715 pm)
1. Mixed the dough, levain and added the salt.
2. Did a turn at 7:50pm. Dough temp is only 73 degrees. Dough is sticky and tears easily. (I was afraid to warm up the dough because I did not want to over proof. I took it out of the oven with the light on because it had started to have a bubble on the surface at the first turn).
3. Turned at 8:20pm, still sticky
4. At 8:45 I did some slap and folds (This should have been done after the mixing).
5. At 9:20 I did a turn. Dough is still weak and tears a bit. I put in fridge.
6. At 10:15 I do a turn and go to bed.
*Note - the dough did not rise much during the bulk ferment. It was a bit under 2 quarts at the start and a bit over 2 quarts at the end.
1. Divided dough and benched for 20 minutes.
2. Shaped and in the fridge by 6:30 a.m.
1. Out of the fridge by 7:15pm
I floured one of them and left the other as is, for this picture. It is moist and sticky to the touch, but looks like it will come out of the basket as it has not "melted" into the seams.
The dough turned out easily and I brushed excess flour off before scoring.
2. Baked at 8:10 pm.
Things I could do differently:
1) Slap and folds after the autolyse to strengthen dough.
2) Keep the dough warmer during the bulk ferment before sticking in the fridge the first night.3) Keep the dough out longer Thursday evening/take dough out earlier Thursday.
Depending on how you slice it, the crumb looks worse or better. The bread is most and chewy but not soft. It tastes find with or without butter, made good toast and an okay sandwich. Not at all one of my favorites. I would prefer a taller rise and a somewhat less dense crumb.
Things that went well:
1) Ground the flour the night before, and measured the other ingredients as well, so it would be quick to mix in the morning.
2) Dough came out of the baskets -- using milled whole wheat works very well because it is course enough to get an easy release. I use a tablespoon or so, drop it in a sifter and shake over the basket for an even coating. Also added some rice flour just in case.
3) I realize that I need to coat the dough better at the dividing/bench stage before flipping, since one stuck to the counter pretty good. After flouring the other, it was easier to pre-shape.