The Fresh Loaf

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Experimentation and ruining dinner - sort of

Bread winer's picture
Bread winer

Experimentation and ruining dinner - sort of

Far too often, I don't stick to any particular discipline or recipe.  It's just not what I do.  That hasn't always worked out on the table but somehow it feeds the soul - I guess.  

Today's fun was a variation of a wet loaf.  

I'm using King Arthur (by chance) white, whole spelt, and whole wheat.  I blend the flours 2 1/2 cups white and 1 cup spelt and 1/2 cup whole wheat.  I used an additional 3/4 cup (spelt/whole wheat) in kneading/final blend.

I started out making a short preferment.  I used 1 3/4 tsp active dry yeast in two cups warm water and 1 teaspoon sugar to the yeast/water mix.  I added 2 cups of blended flour - no salt.  I added 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt to the remaining dry flour blend.  Oh,and I use two pinches of ascorbic acid.

I let the poolish sit for about 45 minutes.  I added about 1/2 cup flour every 45 minutes or so.  I don't get too fussy about blending the flour additions (I use a Danish dough hook).  After all the flour was blended, I took a fourth to a third of the dough and set it aside.  I added a few tablespoons of flour to the main dough, barely kneaded and put it in a buttered glass casserole.  I then added another couple tablespoons of flour to the remaining dough and kneaded for - ahh 7 minutes tops.  Then I stretched it into an 8 X 12 sheet - half inch thick.  I cut it into 3/4 inch strips and made bow-knot rolls - with little to no skill/art/technique/pride/angst und Weltschmertz.  

The main batch rose for an hour 1 and 15 minutes and I tossed it into a 515 preheated oven.  I tossed about 1/3 cup into my trusty cast iron skillet that resides in the oven to steam it.  I then popped it out of the casserole and put it back in the oven for another seven minute or so minutes.

After I yanked the loaf out of the oven, I brushed the rolls with water and tossed those in the oven at 360F.  These took about 35 minutes.  I brushed them again with water in the last five minutes and sprinkled a wee bit of Kosher salt on top - not much.

Dinner was fresh local  sweet corn, fresh picked green beans, a surf and turf on the Weber of very fresh pacific salmon, and grass fed  - tri tip I think.  They do things different out here.  My dear much tolerant wife and a two guests didn't give a darn about the meal.  They ate the rolls and sipped a mighty fine Argentine pinot and then ripped into the loaf. 

The crust(s) were quite thick but oddly delicate (but not fragile).  The crumb had decent cellular structure but not large cells - a trait of spelt (my spelt anyway).   The flavor was insane.  

I guess we'll have salmon salads tomorrow along with the spelt/oat/white pastry flour ginger short bread we didn't get to.....

Life is good.