Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Sesquicetennial Miche

Saturday, 29 JAN 2011, was the 150th anniversary of Kansas statehood, also known as Kansas Day here in the Sunflower State. Accordingly, I started a sourdough miche loaf that would have sunflower seeds on the crust. It looks like I chose my flour content incorrectly in that the traditional flour used is a whole wheat of around 85% extraction or a combination of 85% whole wheat flour and 15% bread flour. This loaf got about 25% whole wheat and it came out flatter than I hoped for. I also experimented with a 70% hydration level which did give me the more open interior crumb.
The flavor is much more than edible, it's great. Even though there's hard red winter wheat in the recipe, it came out very sweet with no bitterness. I did use 4g of dried malt extract for crust color enhancement but that shouldn't have added any residual sweetness in the crumb. There has long been a suspicion in the back of my mind that the sourdough levain and retarded proof break down the phytin compounds in the WW flour but I haven't read anything conclusive about that.

In the que for upcoming bakes this week are whole wheat pan loaf with some add ins of either rolled oats or a multi grain cereal. It's time to clean out the cupboards of odds and ends. There's also a sourdough rye with caraway seeds for the Super Bowl party. With good timing, I should be able to build a two or three step rye sourdough starter to give the loaf some added zing.

Outside my window today is the big blizzard. It's about 15F, winds are out of the north at 20-35 MPH, and a fine grained snow. Visibility is between 1/4 to 1/2 mile. There are only a few bird types feeding today, chickadees, juncos, finches, and goldfinches. The juncos are particularly territorial and driving off the other birds. I haven't seen any cardinals today. We are now in the time period that should deliver the most snow and bothersome wind.

It's a good day to take a refreshing nap and later on find a friendly book and warming sip of bourbon on ice, maybe Gran Marnier. The snow will be there tomorrow. Shoveling can wait until I've at least had some lunch.
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