Flax Seed Bread
Ever since returning from the King Arthur Rye class, I've been itching to make the four breads that we baked there, but first I wanted to get my rye starter into better shape. I put both my rye and wheat starters on a twice a day feeding regimen, and gave them time to become happy and well fed. Yesterday I decided it was time, and decided to start with the Flax Seed bread. I followed along with Mr. Hamelman's formula and instructions, and didn't allow myself so much as a tweak. Since I have been keeping a tiny amount of starter (around 50g) to make the twice daily feeding easier, and also to avoid unnecessary wastage, I built it up to quantity yesterday in three stages. While I never got the in your face pungent smell of the KA rye sour, I did remember JH had asked us to taste a bit before baking. So I tasted a bit this morning, and it was pretty tart stuff.
I made two other changes to my routine. First, I recently purchased a cordierite stone to replace the block of granite I've been using for the last few years. That was mostly because the granite was both two small and too heavy, but I think the cordierite is better as well. Second I changed my steaming routine. I have been using towels for the last few years and thought I was getting good results, but when I saw the crust colors at KA, I thought I would see if I could do better. So I ended up doing a combination of the two cast iron pan methods PeterS and Yerffej discuss in this post  and this pos t respectively, not neccesarily intentionally and I'm glad no one was watching as I was flinging hot water around and trying not to get burned. More refinement to come, but I was pretty happy with the crust.
Now on to tasting. This bread has a really nice tang to it, nicely complemented by the flax seed flavor. Despite my inclination against it, given my no tweaks rule, I used a bit of old bread in the soaker. I have no idea what impact that has but it didn't ruin it.
So I'll call myself moderately pleased, and on to formulas 2, 3, and 4.
Night before mix make final starter build, and soaker. When starter is ripe, mix all ingredients. DDT 76F. Proof 1 hour. Preshape, rest and shape. Place in banneton. Proof around 1 hour. Bake at 440F with steam at beginning. JH’s notes say 38-40 minutes. I think we did longer than that in class, and today I baked for around 45 minutes.