Monday, August 29, 2011

Another Pan Loaf

This pan loaf turned out very well. With a less than academic approach, I got a loaf that looks acceptable and tastes as good as my expectations demanded. I used more than required sourdough starter, by about 27 g, and AP flour so to my inexperience, it seemed like the pan was the only way to go. The dough was too slack for a free standing loaf with my less than perfect shaping skills. I'm still trying to empty out the odds and ends of the flours in the fridge so I can justify opening the Heartland Mills flour that's stashed in the freezer. Perhaps I need to be bold and take a chance on a "leftover" loaf of all the flours I want to use up. I wouldn't be the first or the last baker to do so.

For this loaf, I changed the soaker from a 70% hydration to a 75% level. There was no specific reason to do so, just a whim, and no extraordinary results.I used molasses thinking that I might get a darker crumb but that didn't change. On the other hand, the crumb isn't dense and relatively light, a definite positive outcome. The crust did turn out nicely so molasses stays in the formula.

Here are the ingredients that made up this loaf.


40 g seed of 80% starter
20 g rye flour
60 g AP
60 g water at room temperature


133 g whole meal flour
100 g water

Main Dough

267 g AP flour
166 g water at 85F
8 g kosher salt
15 g molasses
15 g sunflower oil
all of starter
all of soaker

I followed my usual procedures in the mixing and baking of this pan loaf. Using bread flour in place of AP and lowering the hydration by a couple points might give me a dough that would shape up enough for a free form loaf. Raisins and walnuts sound like possible additions. This formula isn't that far removed from my psomi formula so it seems a reasonable assumption.

Here's a brief recognition of the individuality of cardinals. I see a lot of cardinals at the feeder just outside my window. I admit that I had never paid much attention to them before other than recognizing their red color. There is more variation in their appearance than I had thought possible, especially among the female cardinals. It's definitely a subject of curiosity that warrants investigation.
This has become evident after the new feeder with a small bowl or plate like addition on the bottom of the feeder was installed. All the birds spend more time perched, giving us better opportunities to observe. The woodpeckers haven't been around lately to feed at this new station but that may just be coincidence. They've been frequent but never daily guests at the feeder. Chipping sparrows and nuthatches are appearing more frequently so there is no need for us to be concerned that the feed will go stale.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.

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