Saturday, February 12, 2011

Catching Up With The Flours

In my last post, I mentioned that I would be trying a pan loaf with a soaker of a multi grain cereal. That's a project that will have to be repeated because I can't say that I've mastered that type of bread. I had problems with the hydration due to the soaker and the dough was more slack than I wanted. So I added flour, 3 TBL worth, to get a better consistency. I also added 1/8 tsp of active dry yeast to the water to keep the fermentation on schedule. The yeast did bring the schedule in but the ADY lightened the flavor of the bread leaving me to conclude that I would be better served in the future to let the dough take its own time rather than sacrifice flavor for convenience.
The top two pictures are my Super Bowl loaf of what can be called a deli rye with caraway I built up a two stage rye sour and that made for a great flavor in the bread. Carol has given me the green light to make this bread any time I want. We ate it with some kielbasa from Stoysich's in Omaha and its definitely a keeper. I'll have the recipe in a ODF or .pdf for any one that asks in a day or two.
The other two pictures are the latest work in what has become one of my standard loaves. It's 75% bread flour and 25% whole wheat. Substituting 5% rye for some of the whole wheat works well too. I've tried a standard 1-2-3 loaf with 150g of 100% hydration starter, 300 g of water, and 450g of flour with great success. That is a big loaf just under 2 lbs but with the starter and a retarded proofing, the results are worth the effort. The bread doesn't dry out quickly and its taste improves the next day.
This loaf was an odd recipe in that I used a larger than normal starter of 180g at 80% hydration and 400g of flour. I took a guess that the water should be about 280g and that worked. I was rewarded with an open, tender crumb. This recipe will be available for the asking as well.
Out in the yard, new birds are starting to show up. Some starlings showed up in a small flock during Tuesday's snow. Thursday morning was out of the ordinary in that a hawk was perched on the power line to our neighbor's house. Red tailed hawks are prevalent around here but there are three other types in the area at this time of year. There's a lot of snow on the ground still so checking up on the garlic I planted last year will have to wait for a few more days. The forecast calls for temps in the mid to upper 50s for the next six days or so. I don't expect any crocuses for at least two to three weeks but that won't discourage me. We got a nice little catalog full of day lily and peony specials that are very tempting. I've been able to resist ordering, so far.
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