Thanksgiving 2019 (var on Pain de Compagne)
.We attend an annual Thanksgiving reunion, and I usually bring the bread -- adapted to whatever the menu is. Often the menu is comprised of the foods people grew up with in Northern Europe just after WWII, and the breads were the country breads of the time. This year, it is a more refined menu, calling for a more refined bread.
Each year, I put some effort into selecting the right bread, and refining my technique.
This year it is a yeasted bread, 33% freshly milled whole wheat and 66% bread flour, with small amounts of olive oil and dry milk added
I add 500 ml warm water to 200 gr freshly ground whole wheat flour, add 2 tsp dry active yeast, stir, cover, and let sit overnight (in a 2 liter container) in a cool kitchen. In the morning there is “head” of bran over slightly sour liquid. That mix goes into the bowl of a stand mixer, I add 30 gr non-fat dry milk and 30 gr olive oil, the mix in 400 gr bread flour by handfuls, add 12 gr salt, and finish kneading by hand adjusting hydration to give a very workable dough.
I proof at 85F for an hour, pre-shape, bench rest, and form loaves, place in banneton, cover and let rise for an hour at 85F. Then, I bake on a pre-heated stone at 375F convection for 15 minutes, 15 minutes at 350F no convection, then 15F minutes at 325 convection. (It makes a nice bread, but it takes too much oven time for a professional baker.)
It is tender, with a mild, but definite wheat-flavor with mild overtones of the yeast, and only a hint of sourness. After cooling, it has a tender crust. It has a tender crumb that is dense enough to not to drip fillings. Everyone can take home some bread, and the next day it makes great turkey sandwiches.