Here's the most recent loaf out of the oven. I used the 1-2-3 method to end up with a 71% hydration dough but also added a twist in that I soaked my WW and rye flours at 100% hydration while waiting for my starter to peak out. The soaker technique I used is successful in the crumb, flavor, and oven spring aspects of this bake. The crumb shot doesn't even come close to showing off the openness that extends through the whole loaf. It's an easy technique and I plan on using it for a while until I find a better one.
Here's a short ingredient list of my formula:
75g whole wheat flour
25g medium rye flour
100g cool water
60g water, 85F
45g AP flour
11g WW flour
4g rye flour
300g bread flour
167g water, 85F
15g unsalted butter (1 TBL)
10g honey (1/2 TBL)
9g kosher salt
The starter took about 10 hours to peak, tripling in size. I followed the assembly steps I've posted for previous loaves. I did do an overnight retarded proofing in the fridge for about 13-14 hours. The oven was preheated to 475F. I used my steaming bread pan with grill rocks and placed a wet towel on the hot rocks after loading the slashed loaf. I lowered the temp to 450F for the first 15 minutes of baking. At the 15 minute mark I pulled the steam pan, removed the parchment paper under the loaf, and turned the loaf around. For the next 17 minutes, I baked at 425F, then checked the internal temperature which was 206F, and shut down the oven. I left the oven door cracked open for a few minutes and then placed the loaf on a wire rack to cool. The whole loaf picture was taken a few minutes later as the loaf began to sing its crackling noise song.
My camera and camera technique don't show just how really good this loaf looked. I haven't captured the oven spring well at all.
My next baking project is to build up a dough to be split into a small loaf to go with some pasta tomorrow night and a pizza crust for Friday. I have some old starter (3 weeks now) that probably has lost vitality but not flavor. I plan on using some dry yeast to provide the "lift" for the loaf. The pizza dough will sit in the fridge for at least 24 hours so I may be finding some gluten deterioration by Friday night. I've not done this before with an essentially yeasted dough but I may be seeing it all wrong and overcomplicating the effort in my mind.
Some Chipping Sparrows and their cousins, the American Tree Sparrows, are hanging out at the feeders this week. I've also identified some Pine Siskins, a few House Finches, and Purple Finches. They may have been out here all along but I didn't work that hard to figure out the differences between them and the usual finches that are year round inhabitants. There are also a large number of Cardinals every day. All the birds seem to be feeding heavily as the feeders empty quickly. The woodpeckers haven't been viewed lately but that doesn't mean they've disappeared. They seem to have a schedule all their own for feeding.
The weather has been less than cooperative this week so I haven't done more than just clean up work in the yard. The soil is saturated so digging anywhere would do more harm than good. Mrs PG and I are ready to add the tacky yard ornaments that we found at the Wichita Garden Show soon. They don't hinder the moles but they do make our neighbors scratch heads and roll their eyes.