Toasted Walnut & Cranberry Sourdough 88% Hydration
This dough was pretty hard to work with and the crumb and oven spring wasn't as exciting as my other loaves, but I think it is my new favorite bread. The flours I used are white bread flour and 20% wholewheat. I'll probably add more wholewheat or grain to this dough next time. Since a 50% wholewheat dough at 88% hydration would be much easier to work with than a 20% wholewheat at 88% hydration.
Here are the process pictures:
After mixing the flour and water together sans the levain and salt, I let it autolyse for 10 hours and although it was much more extensible after that period, it had relaxed to the point where it was almost soupy. The next day I mixed in the levain and salt and the dough got even waterier. To pull it together, I followed the method demonstrated by Trevor J Wilson on how to mix wet dough. In his video, the dough he used was much firmer than mine (because of the added whole grains and slightly lower hydration) so I just followed his instructions but adding an extra 15 minutes of kneading (scoop and stretch motion), making it 30 minutes of hands on kneading time in total. By the time I was done, the dough was still pretty loose but it held together enough to be lifted up in one piece and transferred to a clean bowl. I wish I got pictures of this process because the nuances of the dough texture aren't properly described in words, but my hands were matted with wet dough the whole times and I didn't want to kill my camera.
Next I let the dough rest for an hour, did a stretch and fold, rest for thirty minutes, and added the toasted walnuts and cranberries.
The added cranberries and walnuts somehow helped the dough pull together a bit. I proceeded with gentler stretch and folds after incorporating them to keep the whole walnuts from tearing the dough excessively.
After four folds:
after the sixth fold:
The walnuts started to react with the flour giving those pretty purple stains.
After shaping, I let proof at room temperature for about two hours, which might not have been enough. I usually retard the dough overnight in the fridge and proof the next day, but today I wanted to be done with my day and clean the kitchen.
Mediocre oven spring.
Crumb is okay. I like the purple and pink splotches.
I just made a batch of fresh ricotta and will be having it with this bread tomorrow for breakfast.
Happy baking everyone!