As usual, my starter which sometimes goes by the nom de levain Nelson, is taking its duties with a wintertime casual attitude. In order to get my loaves finished in a reasonable amount of time, I resort to spiking the dough with a 1/4 tsp of either ADY or IDY. I just don't bake often enough to ever presume or pretend that I'm a purist kind of home baker. My most recent loaf was done with another venial sin, an oversized portion of starter. It could've been worse, ending up as food for the squirrels that have been enjoying the bounty of bird seed that I provide for our feathered friends.
The wrinkle in the latest two stage starter build was to add some wheat bran just because I wanted to do so. No harm done at all.
15 g starter
30 g water
25 g KAF AP
5 g wheat bran
50 g water
50 g KAF AP
I have a practice of starting with adding the starter, all of my water, and about 100 g of the flour, along with the dry yeast to mix and then soak for about 20-30 minutes. I think it might make mixing the rest of the ingredients somewhat easier. It's a no harm, no foul thing that I do.
30 g locally grown and milled whole wheat flour
30 g KAF WWW flour
40 g KAF bread flour
190 g water at 84F
170 g starter
In order to keep my work area clear of obstacles, I scale the remaining flour and blanket the first mix. I put my salt on top of that to prevent absent mindedness from ruining a good loaf. Dish washing ensues.
200 g KAF bread flour
8 g kosher salt
After the initial soak, I do a rough mix to incorporate the rest of my ingredients. After another twenty minutes of rest, a series of three or four stretch and folds at 25-30 minute intervals begin. 45-60 minute intervals are doable as well if you want. I just like to run errands or go to the gym during the remainder of the bulk ferment which in this case took another four hours.
Once the dough had doubled, shaping, a retarded proofing, and baking followed. While cooling, the finished loaf chattered away as fast as Brian Blade hits his cymbals during a drum solo. Mrs PG and I like this one a lot.
Even though the polar vortex that afflicted much of the central states came through here and put a big chill on us, we weathered through without power failures and only minor snowfalls. I did have to find the heavy thermal underwear and a pair of ugly boots meant for such times. I'm hoping that those wind chills hitting as low as -24F will have killed the oak leaf itch mites that torment me in the summertime.This week is different with the high today expected around 56F and tomorrow will be a day to grill outside when the thermometer hits 64F.
Other than a few daffodils sending up their leafs, there aren't any other signs of Spring. Well, maybe the long lines at the car washes might be reason for optimism but mostly we're seeing bare trees and brown grasses. Lately, a Carolina wren or two, have been added to the list of feathered friends and usual suspects at the feeders. According to my copy of "Birds of Kansas", they're a year round resident in this area. They're known to have quite a repertoire of songs so if they bring more family or friends with them, I won't mind at all.
Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.