Saturday, June 25, 2011

Variation on Pioneer Bread, Again

A brief rain has rendered the lawn too wet to mow safely, so with the house finches outside at the bird feeder as company, I'm going to finish my post with the promised pictures and improvisations on the formula.
This is a much better looking loaf. I thought it deserved a brag shot. The flavor is really good as well despite not having had a long retarded proofing.

There really weren't many changes to the previously posted formula. In my first attempt, I used some Norm's White Winter Wheat Flour which I mixed in dry with the bread flour. This time around, I used Heartland Mills Golden Buffalo which, as I've posted previously, is a thirsty flour. To work with that characteristic, I soaked the 66g with 66g of water. The 35g of yellow corn meal was soaked in 35g of water this time. Both were stirred up, covered, and refrigerated while the preferment went to work.

My choice of white flour was Dakota Maid AP rather than DMs BF. Analysis of the flour from the mill states that there is little difference in the two other than ash content and perhaps a slightly lower protein level. I'm not a professional running a business so I didn't get too wound up about it. Once the math is done, everyone has already figured out that the water for the dough changed to 100g.  Everything else as far as ingredients stayed the same.I didn't do a long retarded proofing, only about 1.5 hours, which meant that my on the counter time to warm up the loaf shrank as well.

There was a change in the baking procedure that helped my effort. I warmed the oven to 475F to get my baking stone ready for work. After loading the loaf, I turned the oven down to 450F with the idea of creating a "slacking oven" effect. That's an idea I read about in Elizabeth David's thoroughly entertaining, "English Breads and Yeast Cookery". After 10 minutes at 450F, I turned the oven down to 425F for 5 minutes, and pulled the parchment paper before turning the loaf around. Five more minutes at 425F led to 400F for a final 15 minutes. At the 35 minute mark, I used my digital BBQ thermometer to check for internal temperature. When the thermometer hit 202F, I called it a day for the oven and shut it down.

I really do need a better camera if I insist on displaying crumb shots  but I have to make do with the one I've got right now. The crumb doesn't have the big holes I like. It is tender and tasty so let me drag out an old lyric from that overly dramatic singer, Meat Loaf, "Two out of three ain't bad".

The next dry yeast loaf in my triple attack on the category will be an acknowledgement of my connection to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Anadama Bread. There's quite a story behind that loaf. I've never done an Anadama loaf so I'll do some research first.  In the meantime, I'll go back to my somewhat neglected but never disrespected starter for something sourdough. 

Comments, email, questions, and humor are welcome.

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