The bread that didn’t want to be or how to make bricks.
I had some leftover levain and raisin soaking water sitting in the fridge from my Raisin Fennel Sourdough and on the spur of the moment, I decided to throw a 1-2-3 loaf together since we didn’t have any plain bread in the house.
So with 185 g of levain, what I came up with looked like this:
185 g levain
370 g of raisin soaking water
550 g of unbleached flour
13 g salt
33 g ground flax
15 g yogurt
Well that bread was a bit too white for me, so I went to look at my stock of ingredients and found some wild rice flour that I hadn’t done anything with so I subbed out 55 g of the white flour for the wild rice flour.
The levain was warmed up for a half hour in my warm spot and the raisin water was barely warmed up in the microwave. I mixed the raisin water with the flours and the whole thing turned to half glue and half dry flour. I kept adding raisin water until I had an extra 96 g of water in there. The whole thing definitely had an odd texture. I thought no problem… I can handle this high hydration dough. I just will need to work a bit harder in developing the gluten. Ha ha! 😉
It should have been a sign when my favourite Pampered Chef spatula broke in the middle of mixing. I finally got everything mixed and into the warm spot for a half hour autolyse.
Ten minutes into it, I realize I forgot to add the flax. I take the dough out of the warm spot and throw in the flax and give it a couple of stirs to get the flax integrated and back into the warm spot. Meanwhile, I post on the buy and sale groups on Facebook trying to find another Pampered Chef spatula - the classic one, not the new fangled scoop.
After the half hour, the levain is nicely warmed up and I add the salt, the yogurt and the levain. I get all that mixed in and the dough feels more like dough and less like glue. Very wet dough but dough none the less. So time to develop that gluten and I go ahead with 150 slaps and folds. Hubby comes along to ask me if I am killing the dough! 🙄
Once the slaps and folds are done, the tub goes back into the warm spot. Stretches and folds are done every half hour. At one point, hubby needed the oven so I moved the dough into the microwave with a cup of hot water. After dinner, the dough still isn’t ready, so I show hubby how to do a stretch and fold so he can do a two of them while I go for a walk. When I get back, I give the dough another hour before it is deemed to be ready. By then, it has been fermenting for about 4 and half hours and has had 6 sets of folds.
While it was bulking, I was thinking about whether to bake this in two boules, just one big one, or a batard. I added up the ingredients and came up with 1267 g. Just to verify, I weighed an empty tub and then the tub with the dough and came up with 1352 g. Uh….where did the extra 85 g come from? I verify everything and I am still 85 g to the good. I can’t figure out how the heck I ended up with 85 g more than what I had down on paper. Oh well… carry on!🤗
I pour it out of the bucket, divide it into two and try to shape it into rounds. It sticks to everything! Lots of flour on top and I manage to round it but it spreads immediately and the flour on top gets integrated into the dough. More flour, more rounding, more shaping trying to give it some structure and some strength. No such luck… the thing is a wet mess. I decided that the gluten isn’t developed well enough and go back to the start. I beat the thing to death with I don’t know how many slaps and folds…this went on for quite some time and I didn’t count how many I was doing. 😡
Once I got a nice window pane, back in the tub for it to rise about 50%. In the meantime, I remembered Mini Oven saying that if it won’t go into a free standing boule, put it in a loaf pan. So that’s what I did. I looked up Dabrownman’s instructions on how to calculate how much dough to put into a pan and figured out that one large and one small loaf pans would do the trick. By then, it was after midnight so it went into the fridge for proofing.
At 5:30 am, I had a look and it hadn’t done anything so out onto the counter to final proof. In the meantime, I looked up baking temperatures and found AndyPanda’s post on placing another loaf tin on top to provide steam and his baking temps. By 9 am, I had had enough, and threw it in the oven even though it hadn’t risen to the top of the tin. The surface was still super wet. So in it went for 25 minutes at 425F covered and 22 minutes uncovered. When I covered it, it hadn’t risen much more, barely to the top of the tin and just a bit more rounded. It also had a strange pale greying colour… I don’t know if it was the wild rice flour or just screwed up fermentation but it didn’t look very appetizing.
Out of the oven, it has some want to be blisters on the surface and it is fairly dark. Nice bricks! Maybe I should go into the masonry business! 🙄