Abe's do-nothing bread gets a soaker (thanks, CedarMountain!)
As I mentioned previously, Abe taught me many months ago about do-nothing bread -- I think it was to help me get over (yet another) failed bake. This was ostensibly foolproof and painless. I believe it's based on Teresa Greenway's overnight sourdough, which in turn might have been based on Yoan Ferrant's do-nothing, 16-hour bread. In any case, Abe gave me an easy-to-remember formula, and I've used it faithfully for the occasional midweek bake, when running low on bread.
I'd been afraid to tweak, fearing dire consequences of any variation during the course of the 12-14 hours of bulk ferment, although occasionally swapping in 10-20% of something other than white flour.
But last week, I did make two changes at the same time: swapped in 10% whole wheat, and added a handful of seeds. While the loaf lacked in loft, the crumb was good, although less flavorful than, say, the Hamelman 5-grain levain. But also much less hands-on.
Having been recently converted to soakers, I'd wondered about, but was afraid of, adding a soaker into the mix. Wasn't sure what having the stuff ferment overnight in the dough would do.
Then CedarMountain posted his fermented oat loaf. Well, if he could ferment his soaker overnight, how terrible would it be to add a soaker that would ferment with the dough?
So I refreshed my starter and poured 100g of boiling water over 50g of rolled oats. When the fomer was nice and active and the latter had cooled, I took 20g of one and all of the other, mixed them up with 500g flour (T65 bread flour with 15% T150 whole wheat), 350g water and 10g NaCl, covered and left overnight on the counter, with one set of folds before going to bed about four hours after mixing.
Very poofy, proofy, sticky dough the next morning. Turned it out onto the counter and gave it a couple of sets of letter folds about 30 minutes apart. By then the dough became workable and tacky, rather than sticky. And too slack for me to shape as tightly as I would have liked. Gave the loaves a coating of nigella seeds and plopped them into baskets.
A couple of hours later, preheated the oven, turned the loaves out into the roaster, spritzed, slashed, spritzed and baked covered for 20 minutes, then 20 minutes open.
Like I said, I had trouble shaping these, but considering how slack the dough was, I'm pretty satisfied with them and will continue to work on shaping.
Next bake: something with a CedarMountain fermented oat soaker. And maybe some dried fruit and cinnamon…