The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My Lazarus bread

UpsideDan's picture
UpsideDan

My Lazarus bread

The name was contributed by DanAyo in response to “A series of unfortunate mistakes” I posted on September 26 – thank you Dan for your kind comment. I made a second attempt, this time using the correct technique and the resulting bread was so good that I encourage the forum to try. At 50% whole grain and 70% hydration, it is aromatic, moist and tasty. And very easy to make, so here we go (quantities for two 700 gr loafs):

Evening before baking day: make poolish from 400 gram organic stone-milled whole spelt, 400 gram water and less then 1/8 tsp instant dry yeast.

Morning: by now, the spelt grown at least 3 times in volume and most likely lost structure all together due to enzymatic activity. I think that this is the source of the qualities with this bread, but I have not experimented enough to be sure.

Now, the order to operations is important for avoiding my previous “unfortunate mistakes”:

1.    Mix 165 gram water into the poolish
2.    Mix 15 gram salt into the poolish
3.    Add 400 gram strong bread flour and mix to combine
4.    With the first folds, add 70 gram toasted sunflower seeds
5.    Proceed with your usual routine

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Nice bread, Dan!

I would be interested to see the formula in it’s entirety. I have some initial thoughts but need to see the formula before submitting any input. If interested, I’ll take a look.

Judging the outer shape of your crust, it appears the bread had good structure and rise. 

Dan, the other one :D

UpsideDan's picture
UpsideDan

Hi Dan, I will re-write it as a formula. the motivation behind it was to have a bread with relatively high content of whole grain, and have it pre-digested by the yeast to both separate more sugars from the grain and to make it easy on our digestive system

Poolish:

400 gram organic stone-milled whole spelt

400 gram water

1/6 tsp instant dry yeast

Final dough:

all the poolish

400 gram strong bread flour

165 gram water

15 gram salt

 

Maverick's picture
Maverick
Spelt50%
Bread Flour50%
Water71%
Salt1.9%
Instant Yeast0.0625%
Sunflower Seeds9%

-------

% Pre-Ferment Flour50.0% Pre-Ferment Hydration100%

 

It surprises me that you don't add any more yeast besides that used in the poolish.

UpsideDan's picture
UpsideDan

Didn't need to. The final dough completed bulk in less than 3 hours - I am working in my basement at about 21 C, maybe two as far as I recall. I did stretches in 30 and 60 minutes and (let's say) 1.5 hours additional bulk rest. Then, preshape, 15 minutes rest, shape, one hour rest, score, and into the oven. stretches like in one minute into this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgz0oAhgwyg

Maverick's picture
Maverick

That is interesting because I see most books adding more yeast to the final dough when they use so little in the poolish. I have seen ones where they use more (not a lot more) in the poolish and then that is used for leavening too. But I think it is cool that you didnt' need to add any more yeast. Perhaps the recipes are just trying to get things done in a certain time frame, and since the flavor is already developed from the poolish they don't do a long bulk ferment. But  your bulk ferment time is on par with the short mix method. Maybe  it has to do with the fact that your poolish is half of the final dough vs 1/3 or so.

I haven't really worked with spelt, but have been exploring more whole grains lately. The way spelt flavor is described makes me think I should try it out sooner rather than later.

UpsideDan's picture
UpsideDan

My attraction to spelt was the fact that I can buy it as a stone ground whole grain. Whole wheat is sold here as a "reconstructed whole grain", meaning, they combine together flours made from different parts of the grain and basically emulating a whole grain. this way, there will always be some parts missing in the whole wheat flour. I also find the spelt as having a more delicate smell and taste and I am getting to like it more.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

The small percentage of yeast is exactly what you want. The longer a dough ferments the more flavor and nutrition (broken down sugars) it will have.

Your hydration works out to 70.6%. Is your 400g of stone ground spelt store bought? I ask because if it is, it is not 100% extraction, and that will make a difference in handling. Whole (whole grain) flour is generally not sold commercially in stores. This is because it has a short shelf life and will go rancid after expiration.

Using the whole grain spelt in the poolish may or may not be a good idea. I have 2 concerns of which I don’t have definitive answers, but the questions bare consideration.

  1. Since spelt is highly extensible (stretchable), should it be used in the poolish? My concern is the long soak of a flour that is known to be highly extensible. If the spelt is in fact 100% extraction it might be good to sift the bran and include only it in the poolish. The long soak should soften the large bits.
  2. How did your dough feel? 50% whole grain is often more hydrated than 71%. But when it comes to spelt (and not knowing the actual makeup of the flour) I can’t be sure.

Not sure about the answers, but those questions come to mind. Is this a known good formula or are you creating your own recipe?

I am interested in your answers and also the replies of others. We can all learn together...

Danny

Don’t get me wrong. Your bread is very nice. But if you’re like me, you are always looking to improve.

UpsideDan's picture
UpsideDan

Hi Dan,

I am very appreciative of you corresponding with me. I am considering my bread hobby a "research" and always on the quest to learn more.


I am very new to spelt and in Canada, it is not really available in regular stores. I found it at a bulk store and the sign claims it is a stone ground organic whole grain so I hope it is what the sign says. The store owner said each new flour they get is fully sold in less than a week, so again, I am hoping for the best. The flour smells sweet so hopefully it is in good condition. I am a bit puzzled about the extensibility of spelt. I was actually hoping to see more of it. The dough is a bit extensible but not very much. Is it because of the timing of adding the salt? I don't know.

I am making my own formulas and the general idea here came from Reinhart's Whole Grain Bread book, where he is teaching overnight soakers and ferments from whole grain. I am concerned that I might have fermented the grain too much since in a second attempt there where some black spots on the surface of the poolish. That can be solved by fermenting the poolish of 3 hours in room temperature and then putting it in the fridge.

When I make an experiment I use a lower hydration, 70% in this case. If all goes well I try higher hydration the next time. Note that the spelt is hydrated at 100% so it can soak as much as it wants. The bread flour is the one that might get less water if the spelt takes too much.

But overall, this beard was good, and the toasted grain added some nice crunchiness. My family is not so much into whole grain, and this is my attempt to "fool" them and make it a bit less noticeable in the bread.

any improvement is welcomed...

 

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

Dan, Around Indianapolis, in regular grocery stores, whole meal flour is a minority, but it can be commonly found in Kroger, Big Lots, Trader Joes's, Fresh Thyme, Market District, and Whole Foods.

Could it be in the hot and humid south it goes rancid quicker, and retailers have learned not to stock it? Or maybe it's just not popular among the general public?

In Indy, Big Lots carries Bob's Red Mill in Whole Wheat (hard red), and Whole Wheat Pastry (soft red), in 3 lb plastic bags.

Kroger carries King Arthur Whole Wheat (red), KA White Whole Wheat, Kroger Brand Traditional Whole Wheat (red), and Kroger Brand White Whole Wheat; along wtih a bunch (20 or more?) of BRM flours/items, some of which are whole-grain specialty flours in those 22-24 oz clear plastic bags, along with the BRM 5 lb opaque plastic Whole (red) Wheat flour and Whole Pastry flour.

Trader Joe's has a house brand of White Whole Wheat flour. I remember seeing a large complement of BRM flours at Market District (Carmel, Indiana).

I don't remember exactly what was at Fresh Thyme and Whole Foods, but I think it included whole grain flours.

Or, do you mean that flours labeled "whole grain" are not necessarily _100%_ whole grain? I know that the commercial bread at grocery stores plays that game: "whole wheat bread" is usually definitely less than _100%_whole wheat bread.

Descriptions/specifications on flour packaging are definitely not standardized in the retail grocery market. How I wish ash content or extraction rate, and exact protein percentages could be listed.

BTW, KA is starting to list protein percentage on at least some of their 5 lb retail packages, saw it at Kroger.

My darling Sher Brar Mills (miller of flour for the Indian/Pakistani grocery store market) is also loose/inexact in their description on their packages. I can't seem to pin them down on an extraction rate for their two types of durum flour. They're either ignoring my emails, or my emails aren't getting through.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I meant that most commercial “whole wheat” flour is not 100% extraction. Meaning that some of the bran and probably all of the germ is removed. The germ is very susceptible to going rancid. So, even though store bought mass produced flour is labeled whole wheat it does not contain 100% of the wheat berries that were ground. Commercial store bought whole grain is not nearly as thirsty and doesn’t contain the large bits of bran. If you can find a source of fresh 100% e traction flour you are fortunate. Most of us get it by milling ourselves.

100% extraction whole grain has a relatively short shelf life.

It is a great flour and is much better than white flour, but it’s characteristics are very different from 100% extraction. My reason for wanting to know the type of whole wheat flour is to better make suggestions for Dan’s bake.

Dan

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

ok, got it.   

Upside Dan hit the nail on the head, referring to reconstructed, or reconstituted flour.  Peter Reinhart also goes into it in his book Bread Revolution.  He talks about "whole milled" versus sifted/reground/reconstituted. Commercial millers don't like to admit to reconstituting, but it's just a fact of roller mills, they are optimized for refined branless/germless flour.

Stone milling and impact milling can be "whole milled", 100% extraction, if there is no sifting.

But large scale commercial  _roller mills_ have sifting/separation built into the process, diverting off the "chunks" of bran and germ. Then the bran/germ has to pass through additional milling and be added back in to create "whole wheat."

You make a good case for suspecting that almost all of the germ is left out of  commercial "whole wheat." 

Around here, Walmart carries 5 lb plastic resealable bags of whole wheat Prairie Gold (hard white spring), that the grower, Wheat Montana, mills in their own impact mill, and is claimed to have 100% of the berry. 

 (Upside Dan: sorry for the thread-jack.)

UpsideDan's picture
UpsideDan

Although as hobbyists we like to see whole, pure-grain flours, there is logic for the manufacturers to mass produce reconstituted flour. While they receive grain crops of varied qualities and parameters (age, moister, ash content and so on), their flour has to meet predetermined specifications, especially the bulk of flour that goes to bakeries. Therefore, they employ professionals that decide how to blend available grain portions and grain sources to meet the specifications. That is the nature of industry. It is highly probable that the flour in a package is blended from grain coming from different fields, different harvests and having different characteristics.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Dan, the whole trip down grain alley got started when I wanted to know about the type of whole grain flour you were using. The question started because 70% hydration sounds very low for a dough that is 50% whole grain.  Although, I am not familiar with reconstituted whole grain flour and it’s thirst for water. Commercially produced whole grain is perfectly fine and a healthy choice.

By the way, IMO White Sonora is an excellent wheat grain that has a subtle and mild taste. If you can find it, your family may find they really like.

The bottom line is, how did it feel?

Maybe you can find, or we can help with a known good formula with a history of success.  You could compare it to what you are presently baking. Even if you prefer your recipe, you may learn a few tweaks that will enhance what you are doing.

Just a thought, but your bread as is is looking pretty good. It all depends what you want. When starting out with a new bread I always defer to something with a history of success as a starting point.

Danny

UpsideDan's picture
UpsideDan

You are right, we got into some philosophical discussions :) I will make it again tomorrow and will document properly. However, there really were no big problems along the way once I realized in which order to mix everything. Strait forward process and the result was good.

UpsideDan's picture
UpsideDan

Hi Dan, the process is definitely repeatable, this time at 75% hydration and with poppy seeds. I got a response from a miller regarding the freshness of the flour: "The product is stone ground so it can be considered fresh for a few months. In cold storage much longer, over a year"

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Very nice!

Looks like to are developing some consistency. That is the mark of a good baker.

Dan, if your four is 100 extraction whole wheat the hydration seems low. Take a look a THIS BAKE. It feature Maurizio’s 50/50 sourdough. His hydration for the same flours is 87%. You may find something of interest in the post since his bread is very close to your’s. 

An idea. If you are curious and want to check for bran in your whole wheat you can strain the flour through a strainer. The large bits of bran will not sift through. They will look like medium dark brown flecks.

Danny