Blackberry Yeast Water bread
After some inspiration from recent posts about different kinds of yeast water folks are making, I revived one I'd had neglected in my fridge for about a year. It was originally made with plums from my back yard, but I ended up maintaining the apple one I made at the same time and ignoring the plum one, until now. I took it out - it looked and smelled fine, so I scooped out the depleted plum pulp and dumped in a handful of fresh blackberries. After two days it was beautifully fizzy and smelled great!
I followed Hamelman's recipe for Swiss Farmhouse Bread (from "Bread"), more or less. The first build was a bit of a disappointment. After sitting for most of the day it was stretchy but had no perceptible rise at all.
Given that result I deviated from the recipe and used yeast water (rather than plain water) for the second build as well, and left it overnight. Much better results - this morning it was billowy and smelled lovely.
I made the dough as per the recipe except rather than raisins I used chopped prunes (it did start as plum water, after all). Also, I don't really like nuts in bread so didn't add the walnuts. The dough was very strong and I found it a little stiff so added a bit more water while mixing (in the Ank). I did two stretch & folds 30 minutes apart as the fruit wasn't quite evenly distributed. Very strong, smooth dough. I put it in a clear container so I could look for bubbles. YW dough seems to ferment / proof differently. There seems to be very little action for the longest time and then, suddenly, it's ready! Bulk ferment was a little longer than Hamelman's instructions though the dough temperature was almost identical to his. I divided into three loaves rather than two, as we like smaller loaves for just the two of us (so, three loaves at around 640 grams each). Pre-shape was a dream; this dough is so soft and silky, and has terrific gluten development.
After proofing the loaves were still holding their shape perfectly.
I baked it in cast iron pots at 440F to start, then down to 425 after the lids were removed. I'm glad I used a slightly lower temperature than normal so it didn't burn at all. When I took the pots out of the oven they looked so good I couldn't wait to take a picture. :)
The loaf maintained its beautiful shape throughout, with great oven spring.
And the crumb is absolutely wonderful - moist, light and creamy, with a delicate flavour and a thin tender crust. The texture of the best sourdough with no sour! I'm very, very happy with this bread and will maintain that plum/blackberry yeast water now for sure!