Stepping out from a handbook recipe: 34% light rye boule
I am using JMonkeys polish baguette handbook recipe as my base for further experimentation. I love rye bread, but am not all that partial to caraway seeds. As well my sourdough starter experiment is not going all that well so far, so I thought I would try a formula variation using 34% light rye flour by weight, all of which is used in the poolish.
5:30 pm Thursday
170 grams light rye flour, = 11/2 cups
54 grams AP flour = ½ cup=1 Tbs
224 water = 1 cup
1/8 tsp yeast
Mix and cover and let ferment at room temperature overnight. Normal temperature is 68F, but it drops down to 62 or so most nights in winter.
By 8:30 Friday am, the polish was nice and bubbly and smelled really good! So off the counter and into the fridge. I will mix après ski!
448 grams Bread flour
224 water = 1 cup
½ tsp yeast
2 tsp table sea salt
Mixed/kneaded by hand or about 10 minutes to get everything nicely combined, then began a bulk ferment a room temperature, with 3 stretch & folds @ 30 minute intervals, followed by a 1 hour bulk rise.
After the 1 hr rise, I degassed, divided the dough in two pieces and pre-shaped both into balls. One ball rested for 25 minutes under a floured towel after a spritz of cooking spray, (thanks Peter Rienhart!).
The other ball went back into the oiled bowl, was covered with oiled wax paper, the lid loosely fitted and into the fridge for the rest of the day and night.
I got pre-occupied with the first loaf and let the pre-formed ball rise up 2 hours. I forgot to shape the darn loaf, oh well. I scored and baked the ball at 450 with steam or as Mr. Reinhart, hearth baking. The loaf turned out quite well and tasted great, despite my mental lapse. Baking can be forgiving at times.
I also began to experiment with using floured cloth to attempt to direct the rise up.
The next day, I removed the second half of the batch from the fridge and let it warm up and continue rising to 2.5 -3x bulk in about 4 hours. At this time I de-gassed and pre-formed a ball which I let rest 20 minutes. This time I set the timer and shaped a boule. I am staying with the easiest shape, so that I can work on the dough surface tension and once I feel I have learned enough about tension, I will move to batard and finally baguette as my skills improve.
The second loaf had much better rise and way better oven spring. I also scored the 2nd loaf in a hex pattern, which seemed to let it spring more. The best part was a great tasting loaf, plain, toasted and in sandwiches.
I am really enjoying bread baking and would bake every day, except I am running out of freezer space and can only eat so much bread. So thanks again to all who have gone before me and have shared so much of their knowledge and experience. I hope you all enjoy tasty bread!