This particular loaf is inspired from Maurizio at The Perfect Loaf. I was looking for a different flavour combination and this intrigued me. I am not particularly fond of fennel but the rave reviews convinced me.
The first hiccup was to find some diastatic malt because Maurizio uses malted flour but no such animal is available in Canada. I thought I had made diastatic malt last weekend but since I let the shoots get green, I was informed by “the powers that be” that my diastatic malt was no such thing. Well that explains why I didn’t notice a darker crust or crumb. So I was on the hunt to find some locally. Long story short, I found some CMC Canadian 2-row malt berries in a small brew shop. Yes! And “the powers that be” on TFL tell me that this will work! Double yes!
The second hiccup was milling my whole grains. Maurizio used whole wheat flour but I wanted to change things up so I subbed out some Kamut and Spelt just because. 😁Well, I didn’t quite mill enough to provide enough bran for the levain so I ended up using some bran left over from last week’s bake. I was short 2 g of Kamut so I simply added 2 grams of red fife. I adjusted the quantities below so that it should be okay. If there isn’t enough bran for the levain, just make up the difference with unbleached flour.
Makes 3 loaves
25 g starter
50 g bran/flour mixture left over from milling and sifting
50 g unbleached flour
90 g water at 85F (divided into 50 and 40 g portions)
125 g high extraction Red Fife flour (mill and sift 140 g of whole berries)
50 g high extraction Kamut flour (mill and sift 65 g of whole berries)
50 g high extraction Spelt flour (mill and sift 65 g of whole berries)
800 g unbleached all purpose flour
11 g diastatic malt powder (mill finely 11 g of CMC Canadian 2-Row Malt barley berries)
50 g freshly ground flax
12 g vital wheat gluten
800 g of water at 86F
20 g pink himalayan salt
30 g yogurt
150 g levain
200 g golden raisins (soaked in hot water for 30 minutes and drained)
7 g freshly ground fennel seed
2 days before:
- In the morning, take a bit of your refrigerated starter and feed it equal quantities of filtered water and unbleached flour. Do the same again about 12 hours later. I prefer using bottled or filtered water as the chlorine can affect the wee beasties in a negative way.
- Mill the grains (red fife, kamut, spelt) and sift out the bran.
- Mill the malt barley berries to get diastatic malt powder.
- Grind the flax seeds in a bullet (Komo recommends against milling oily seeds like flax in their mills).
- Weigh the high extraction (sifted) flours needed and place in a tub. To the tub, add the diastatic malt, the vital wheat gluten and the ground flax. Stir well to distribute the malt and the VWG, cover, and reserve.
- Save the bran and the extra flour for the levain.
- Grind the fennel seed in a bullet to get a fairly fine powder. Reserve.
1 day before:
- In the morning, do the first build of the levain by adding 50 g of warm water and 50 g of bran/left over milled flour to the revived starter.
- 4 hours later, add the 50 grams of unbleached flour and 40 g of warm water. Let rest for 6 - 8 hours and then refrigerate overnight to let the acid work its magic on the bran. I let mine rise for 6 hours since it peaked at that point then into the fridge for 15 hours. Hopefully, this was long enough for the acid to soften the bran and prevent it from cutting too many gluten strands.
Dough making day:
- Take the levain out of the fridge and let it warm up.
- Add the warm water to the flour tub and autolyse for at least 3 hours. The dough felt very firm right from the beginning. I am not sure if this was because of the hydration or the additives but this was definitely not a loose dough.
- Add the salt, the yogurt and the levain and mix well to integrate. Do 50 in tub folds/coils and let rest 30 minutes in the oven with the lights on and the door cracked open (~82F). The gluten seemed really well developed and the dough pulled cleanly off the walls of the container about half way though the folds.
- The plan was to remove the dough from the tub and do 100 slaps and folds on the counter. I decided that this dough didn’t need this so I did regular stretch and folds for a total of 8 folds using both hands to really give it a good stretch. Place back in the warm spot.
- At this point, boil water and pour the hot water on the raisins and let soak. 30 minutes later, drain the raisins. I saved the soaking water with plans to either flavour my kefir with it or use it in another bread recipe.
- Take the dough out of the tub onto a barely damp counter and do a set of envelope folds in both directions. Let rest 10 minutes. Spread the dough out in a large rectangle and sprinkle with part of the raisins and ground fennel. Fold the dough into envelope folds and sprinkle more raisins and fennel on the bare spots. Do gentle slaps and folds until the raisins stop popping out of the dough. Place the dough back into the tub and into the warm spot. Be sure to keep the dough covered whenever it is in the tub.
- Continue doing stretches and folds every 30 minutes until the dough holds itself nicely into a round shape. It took another 3 sets after the addition of the raisins with this dough. Then let rest until you can see small and large bubbles on the surface. Total bulk fermentation for this particular dough was 4.5 hours.
- At this point, I thought I wouldn’t have time to divide and shape the dough before my walk so I put it in the fridge. The walking buddies decided that 37C was too hot to walk but my dough was already in the fridge. So some time was spent baking blueberry muffins, French blueberry yogurt cake and a blueberry crumble pie. Oh, did I mention I got my hands on some wild blueberries? The dough stayed in the fridge for about 2 and a half hours.
- Remove the dough from the tub into a bare counter. Sprinkle flour over the dough and divide into 3 equal portions of about 790 g. Sprinkle a bit more flour over the portions and round the boules using a bench knife. Let rest. Eat one or two blueberry muffins. 😁
- After an hour rest, shape tightly into boules (I used this method:https://youtu.be/ww78_SfGyQE ) and place seam side down into rice floured bannetons. Cover and let rest at room temperature (73F) for two hours. Then place in a cold fridge (38F) to proof overnight.
- The next morning, heat the oven to 475F with the dutch ovens inside for at least 45 minutes. Place rounds of parchment paper in the bottom of the pots, and gently place the dough seam side up inside.
- Cover the pots and bake the loaves at 450 F for 25 minutes, remove the lids, drop the temperature to 425F, and bake for another 22 minutes.
Looks like I got fantastic bloom on these loaves. They really burst open! I hope the crumb is as nice as the outside! Oh and they smell wonderful!