The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

WW Loaves / Sales Pitch

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Soundman's picture
Soundman

WW Loaves / Sales Pitch

I recently added a thread on the Introductions forum (Hello From Connecticut). I mentioned that a particular website (sfbi.com) offered a solution to the slashing tool problem. I put my money where my mouth was and bought their replaceable blade lame. Sad to say, that money was wasted. More below.

Sales Pitch:

Soon after my posting, holds99 (Howard) mentioned that Eric Hanner had pointed TFL bakers in the direction of the PureKomachi Tomato Knife as being similar to an old serrated knife he has been using to score loaves. Thanks go to Howard and of course to Eric. This knife is a wonderful tool for scoring loaves.

The sfbi.com offering, well, not so much. They provide a very small handle and some basic double-edged razor blades and offer that you thread the tip of the handle into the openings in the blade to secure it! OMG, a starring role in my very own bloody-hands slasher movie! Fortunately this so-called tool didn't set me back too much.

My first opportunity to use my new PureKomachi was yesterday. I just jumped a grade or 2 as a bread scorer. It was easy as pie (maybe not the best simile) and stress-free. I even relaxed as I made the cuts.

Pix:

Whole Wheat Boules

Whole Wheat Boules

WW 1

WW 1

WW2

WW2

WW High Angle

WW High Angle

The only time I felt the knife dragging was when I slashed across an already slashed portion of the dough. It was much easier to get a deeper slash than I ever experienced with my KA lame.

About the loaves:

They're my typical weekly WW bread. It uses a preferment with all the WW flour for the recipe, and as noted elsewhere (down toward the bottom of PaddyL's recent post about Whole Wheat vs. Sourdough) uses buttermilk, which, as an acidic medium (thanks, subfuscpersona) does good things for making the WW nutrients more usable.

I baked these loaves at a slightly lower temperature than usual (440 to start, then 410) and it did good things for the crust. The spackling on the crust is bran from sifting coarse red whole wheat to get some high extraction flour.

PureKomachi, for all your scoring needs!

Soundman (David)

josordoni's picture
josordoni

We don't seem to have the full range here in the UK or else they are called something different over here.  As they seem to be all different colours, what colour is the Tomato knife?  I can find a serrated utility knife that is yellow - would that be it?

 This seems to be the range available here:

 http://www.cooksknivesshop.co.uk/Knives/Kai_Japanese_Knives/Kai_Pure_Komachi_Japanese_Knives/2236

 

thanks!

Lynne

 

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Hi Lynne,

I bought mine Pure Komachi at amazon.com. It's close to tomato red. Here's a link:

http://www.amazon.com/Komachi-6-Inch-Stainless-Steel-Tomato-Serrated/dp/B000B698PQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1216742520&sr=8-1

It's now a relatively reasonable $18 USD.

Maybe amazon.uk can get it?

Soundman (David)

ehanner's picture
ehanner

David,

I'm happy to hear you are enjoying that little knife for slashing. The good news is that the more you use it for real cutting and it gets worn down some, the better it will work. It's our little secret that it works so well.

Eric

Added by edit: BTW Great looking ww boules. I'm going to take your advice and try the buttermilk tonight. 

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Eric, thanks for the kind words, and most of all for passing along the information about the nifty tomato knife. Having gone through a whole slew of different devices for slashing loaves over several years, I was thrilled when finally the little knife bit into the dough, nice and deep, and ran. (TFL is a priceless resource.)

I wish you excellent results using buttermilk in your next bread!

Soundman (David)

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

Your loaves are beauties. Did you post the recipe anywhere here? I'd love to see it if it's not a bother.              weavershouse

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Thanks for the kind words, weavershouse. I'm working on posting the recipe. I never had to write a bread recipe up for anyone else to read before! By tomorrow I should have all the math worked out.

Soundman (David)

Soundman's picture
Soundman

I've never written up a bread recipe before, so bear with my learning curve. Plus, I had a few problems. My nicely tab-delimited table of measurements was translated into spaces, so I had to adjust it and it doesn't look so good. I'm sure there's a way to do this, but I don't know it. Also, I tried to use HTML tags for bold and such, but they didn't work. When I went to the 'more information about formatting' page I lose my edited table. So, what you see is what you get.

Also, here is my scooper-disclaimer: I am a weigher, by grams, and not a scooper, so the volume measurements are not guaranteed (like the weighed ones are!).

That said, I think of this whole wheat bread in a sense like those "rustic bread" recipes in which half the flour is in the preferment. In this case I use a biga which contains all the whole wheat flour for the recipe. It also uses a substantial portion of buttermilk (as does the final dough). Some of the advantages of this pre-ferment have only recently become clear to me. Soaking the WW flour not only softens the whole grain, the acidic medium helps make the nutrients in the WW more available to be used by our bodies. (The buttermilk idea came from Peter Reinhart's Crust and Crumb, I think, where he mentioned that it softens the crumb.)

Guidelines: Start the preferment the morning before bake day. Mix the ingredients long enough to hydrate all the flour and make the proverbial shaggy mass. (It will be relatively dry.) Remember to take the chill off the buttermilk first: 20 or 25 seconds in a microwave does the trick.

This preferment uses a relatively small amount of yeast. (I sometimes use even less, 1/16 Tsp, than the 1/8 Tsp indicated here.) This necessitates a long fermentation. Depending on the season, it can take 12 or more hours to ripen in winter, but only 6 or 8 in summer. You need to look in at it after 6 hours, and every couple of hours thereafter to make sure you stop the fermentation when it's ripe. The idea of the preferment is to provide both flavor and strength to the final dough, and you maximize that strength by catching it at its peak. Once the preferment is ready, you want to refrigerate it overnight for use the following morning.

About the whole wheat flour: originally I used all red wheat flour. Then I found out about white whole wheat and switched to that, because the rise was better and I liked the color of the finished loaves. But the flavor was lacking, as other TFL bakers have noted. I now like to add a small percentage of red wheat to the white for the sake of a nuttier, wheatier flavor. It's amazing how little it takes to boost the flavor.

The morning you will be baking, take the preferment out of the fridge and let it warm up for an hour. In addition to all the preferment, the final dough uses bread flour and a small amount of potato flour (optional), which like the buttermilk softens the crumb. The bread flour I use is King Arthur, which has around 12.5% gluten. If your bread flour is less strong, I would suggest adding a little high-gluten flour to it. The teaspoon of diastatic malt powder (optional) helps make the crust a nice golden brown. (It's probably unorthodox, but I included the potato flour and diastatic malt in the flour weight. If you don't use them, adjust the bread flour accordingly.)

For the final dough, mix all the ingredients including the preferment, but leave out the salt, until the liquid is just absorbed into the flour. The dough temperature we want is around 76 to 78 dF, so you may want to adjust the water temperature, cooler for hot days, warmer for cold ones. After mixing, let the mixture rest (autolyse) for 20 or 30 minutes. (During this time gluten will start to form.) After the autolyse, feel the dough. It should be nice to touch, not at all a wet dough, but not dry either. If it feels too wet or too dry, now is the time to make an adjustment. That done, don't forget to add the salt! Mix/knead until the dough is fairly strong. I follow Jeffrey Hamelman and the King Arthur bakers and mix a little less than to the point where the dough passes the window-pane test. I let the subsequent folding of the dough finish building strength into the dough.

Let ferment between 2 1/2 and 3 hours (depending on the air temperature, longer in winter, shorter in summer), folding twice, after 45 minutes and 90 minutes. Shape into 2 boules or batards and proof in baskets, seam-side up. During the proof, preheat the oven to 440 dF. (I have a nice fat baking stone and I like to get it hot through, so I start my preheat after 15 minutes of proofing. This helps give the bread a nice oven spring.) Add a pan for steaming on the bottom rack.

Toward the end of the preheat put a pot with a cup or so of water on top of the stove and heat it up. When the loaves are finished proofing, add the hot (boiling is OK) water to the steam pan. Now, invert the first loaf (the bigger one) onto a peel and use your Pure Komachi Tomato knife (I had to get that in!) to score it. Put it in the oven. Do the same for the second loaf. Bake at 440 dF, spritzing with water a couple of times during the first five minutes. After baking for 10 minutes, turn the loaves, remove the steam pan, and turn the oven temperature down to 410 dF. Bake for 20 or more minutes until the internal temperature reaches 205 dF or so. Remove the loaves from the oven and cool on a rack. Makes 2 1.6 pound loaves.

Overall Formula:
Bread Fl                                              20  oz     570 g     60%
White Whole Wheat Fl                      11 1/4 oz     320 g     33%
Red Whole Wheat Fl                          1 3/4 oz       50 g       5%
Potato Fl                                             1/2 oz       15 g     1.5%
Diastatic Malt Powder                            1/8 oz        5 g       .5%

Water                                             12 3/4 oz    380 g       40%  
Buttermilk                                       8 1/2  oz     240 g       25%

Salt                                                      .6 oz     18  g      1.6%
Instant yeast                                       .06 oz     1.7 g        .2%
Total Yield:                                          56 oz   1600 g


Preferment:
Bread Fl                       3/4 C           3 3/4  oz     110 g       23%
White WW Fl              2 1/2 C          11 1/4 oz     320 g       67% 
Red WW Fl                   1/3 C           1  3/4 oz       50 g       10%

Water                          3/4 C               6   oz      170 g       35%
Buttermilk                    1/2 C          4 1/4  oz      120 g       25%

Instant yeast               1/8 Tsp

Final Dough:
Bread Fl                   3 1/2 C               16  oz      460 g       96%
Potato Fl                  1 Tbsp                1/2 oz       15 g         3%
Diastatic Mlt Pdr        1 Tsp                  1/8 oz         5 g         1%

Water                         3/4 C             6 3/4 oz     210 g       44%
Buttermilk                   1/2 C             4 1/4 oz     120 g        25%
Salt                           1 Tbsp                 .6 oz       18 g         4%
Instant yeast              3/8 Tsp              .05 oz      1.5 g        .3%

Preferment                 (All)                   27  oz      770 g

Soundman (David)

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

Thanks for all the work to write out the recipe. I'll get started on it after I get some potato flour.   weavershouse

ehanner's picture
ehanner

David I know how much work that was and you did a great job! Thanks for the effort. I haven't gotten to the WW with buttermilk yet, but soon. I'll try your recipe first.

Keep up the good work!

Eric