Götz von Berlichingen Ancient Age Sourdough Bread
Lucy, being a German Baking Apprentice 2md Class in fairly good standing when she isn’t sleeping, came up with what she thinks is a fitting healthy and hearty bread that, if actually baked back in the 15th and 16th centuries would, all by itself, explain this one armed knight’s long life, clean behind and possibly account for his missing arm - especially if he washed it down with too many very dark, high alcohol European brewskies. Lucy does have a thing for men with Von in their name since she is a real Von Snigglefriz herself.
First off, the bread had to be 100 whole grain and sourdough. No tough, self respecting, one armed knight would be caught dead eating fluffy, white, Wonder Bread. Second, some of the grains had to be ancient varieties that might have been found around that time, native to Germany or called dinkel which rhymes with dackel. So Lucy picked, rye, spelt, farro, Kamut, barley and wheat.
Third, since the water was poisonous back then, folks drank beer to keep from having ….dirty arses! But knights didn’t drink woosie low alcohol German lagers, they drank high alcohol dark beers with real oooopphhh to them like the one Lucy chose for the dough liquid - a very dark Grand Imperial Porter at 8% alcohol made in Poland which itself was part of Germany at the time and several other times too. This beer is not for the feint hearted nobility and had a very strong, assertive flavor fitting for the toughest knight.
Fourth, for a bread to be considered hearty and healthy, especially one that made knights seemingly live forever even with appendages and possibly appendices missing, it needs to have healthy seeds packing the inside. Lucy picked wheat sprouts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, chia and lots of flax seeds since clothes were made from flax back then too. Nothing is too small and insignificant for Lucy not to lend a lessened understanding of it in the end.
The grilled salmon for the tacos earlier this week were used for today's breakfast schmear below.
With the bread concept set on parchment, the paper of the day that we now use for baking bread, we set about getting it all organized even before we knew what Karin’s challenge was going to be exactly. We ground the whole berries on Tuesday and sifted out the 15 extraction of hard bits to feed the levain on Wednesday.
The levain was our usual 3 stage build and by using the 15% hard bits for the feed they would be as wet for as long as possible and hopefully not cut the guten stands as much as they could. We used our Ancient Age Rye Starter that had been in the fridge for 8 weeks - it was very sour and nearly gone!. The first stage of the levain build was 2 hours and the 2nd stage was 3 hours when it doubled in volume. We refrigerated the levain for 24 hours after it rose 25% after the 3rd feeding.
The next evening we autolysed the 85% extraction multigrain flour with the Polish Grand Imperial Porter for 1 hour with the pink Himalayan sea salt sprinkled on top so it would not be forgotten. It took 3 hours for the levain to warm up and then double again once it was retrieved from the fridge. Once the levain hit the mix we did 3 stets of slap and folds for 7, 1 and 1 minute each on 20 minute intervals.
We then did 3 sets of stretch and folds on 20 minute intervals. The sprouts were added during the first set and the rest of the seeds were added during the 2nd set. By the 3rd set, everything was evenly distributed and this dough was well packed with seedy goodness. This dough was a little stiffer than our usual and could easily have taken another 5% water to get to 90% hydration - no worries. - and what we will do next time.
After a 20 minute rest, we pre-shaped and then shaped the dough into our normal squat oval fit for the mini oven, placed it in a rice floured basket, bagged it and put into the 36 F fridge for a 12 hour retard. This bread is past the maximum weight and size we usually put into the little blistering beast so we hoped for the best and figured that if the top got too dark we would just turn it over with our remaining good arm.
We let the dough warm up on the counter for an hour and half but it still wasn’t proofed enough for these old eyes to be ready for the oven so we gave it another 30 minutes on the counter before firing up the Mini Oven to 500 F and getting (2) of Sylvia’s steaming cups boiling in the microwave. Total counter proof was 2 hours and 15 minutes.
We upended the dough onto parchment on the top lid of the mini’s vented broiler pan and slashed it twice with an appropriate heavy battle sword which was too big for Lucy to lift. The steaming cups went on the lid catty corner and then we slid the whole shebang into the tiny oven - it was a close fit.
We steamed it for 15 minutes and turned the oven down to 450 F after 2 minutes ointo the steaming process. Then we took out the steam, turned the oven down to 425 F convection and continued to bake for another 15 minutes until the bread hit 205 F on the inside. We did turn it over for 5minutesto make sure the top didn't burn. We let the bread rest for 5 minutes in the now off oven to crisp the skin and then it was removed to the cooling rack.
The left over grilled salmon when mixed with cream cheese made for a fine schmear on this bread for today.s breakfast that was served with a ripe banana, mango, strawberries, cherries, blueberries and Denver omelet made with caramelized onion and mushrooms, some fresh red pepper, smoked Gouda and pepper jack cheese.
The bread sprang, bloomed and browned OK just barely well enough and developed the little blisters on the crust that the MO is so adept at making on whole grain breads. The crumb was not as open as we wanted but it was dark, soft and moist and attractively decorated with seeds. The taste was exceptional and medium sour as the distinctively assertive porter taste powered through for once. We estimate the dough was about an hour under proofed but we ran out of time.
With racks of ribs in the smoker, potato salad and beans to make and my daighter's boyfriend coming into town to drive her to Texas and AP school later tonight - the dough got as much proofing time as life would allow. We love the taste of this bread. After reading about Götz von Berlichingen risking life and limb, I'm positive that knights use to fight over less substantial things thaqn a good bread in the old days.
15% Extraction 6 Grains
Levain % of Total Flour & Water
85% Extraction 6 Grain
Water 60, Porter
Whole Wheat Sprouts
Pumpkin & Sunflower Seed
Ground Flax Seed
Total Add Ins
Whole Grain Equivalent %
Hydration w/ Adds
The 6 whole grain mix is 50 g each of: spelt rye,
Kamut, farro & barley and 150 g of wheat
Lucy says not to forget the salad