Before anything, I want to apologize for the poor picture quality. I didnt realize my phone's camera had the HDR function turned on, but it made the photos look all weird.
Moving on, then...
Today was a busy day of baking, for sure. 7 loaves! I'm planning on giving some to family and freinds, though, and if there is extra, I can just stick it in the (already bread-filled) freezer.
Rustic Sicilian Semolina Bread
This bread was inspired by the bread of this baker I met named Marie. She was 85 years old, lived in a tiny little town in Sicily, and had been baking bread since she was a teenager. She had a wood-fired oven, a centuries-old sourdough starter, and she made her bread with 100% semolina flour. The bread she made wasn't shaped in perfect little "S" shapes and sprinkled with sesame seeds, like all of the pane siciliano you see: it was roundish, rough, and most certainly rustic. Yet it was incredibly delicious, especially when she cut a fresh loaf, drizzled (or drenched!) slices with olive oil, and topped it all off with some oregano. Here is her bread:
And here's my feeble attempt at making something similar to it. To make it, i did 300g semolina, 200g of water, and 120g of 100% hydration levain (made with semolina). I kneaded it, instead of doing folds, because Marie would knead her dough by hand. I let it ferment for 3 hours, shaped it into a boule, and let it proof free-form with the other loaves on my makeshift couche for 2 hours. Baked with steam for 20 minutes, and 20 minutes without. I scored it, because i was afraid it might burst weirdly if I didn't. I havent cut into it yet, but am planning on cutting it tomorrow night for dinner, so ill post a crumb shot then.
Here are some basic sourdough batards made with some excellent local high-extraction flour. Hydration was at88%. The loaf on the left didnt really bloom too well; i think it was a scoring issue. We ripped through the first loaf for dinner with grilled eggplant and zuchinni, sundried tomatoes, mushroom and walnut pate, etc. Ill post a crumb shot tomorrow morning.
The loaves above are 100% spelt with sprouted kamut. Hydration was also around 88%. I couldnt decide between making pan loaves or hearth loaves, so i did both. Again, crumb shot in the morning....
all in all, a fun day of baking!
2/15/15 edit: crumb shots
Here's the crumb shot for the spelt and sprouted kamut sandwich loaf. The crumb is coarse, pleasantly moist, and soft, but a little dense, perhaps. Maybe it was because I used all spelt flour. Oh well. Anyone work with spelt a lot and have any tips?
Here's the crumb for the local high-extraction flour batard. Extraction rate for the flour was 85-90%.
The crumb is moist, chewy, and is well-aerated. Doesnt have the same open crumb as, say, the tartine country loaf, but I wasnt really expecting it to, with the higher extraction rate for the flour. The flavor wasn't bitter at all, but was sweet, creamy, and complex. I think I'll use this flour again, because it made a beautiful dough that was quite fun to work with.
Ill get the crumb of the semolina bread up later, and possibly a post about 3-stage 90% sourdough rye that I have a dough mixed for. Hope this goes better than my first attempt at sourdough rye, which was nicely flavored but ridiculously dense.
2/15/15 edit: semolina crumb shot
Here's the crumb for the 100% semolina bread. It is quite dense, but it is supposed to be like that. However, it didnt really have the same chew of Marie's bread; maybe i should decrease the hydration a bit. I also might bake with less steam and bake seam side up for the rough, slightly duller crust that her bread had. The flavor is nutty and sweet, and the taste of semolina is prominent. This bread made a very nice panino.