Saturday, October 29, 2011

It's a Cupboard Bread

Sooner or later, if you bake bread, you'll come up with a cupboard bread. Others might call it a pantry loaf, or a dump truck loaf but they're always a combination of odds and ends of flours or whatever is handy because you don't want to go down to the supermarket for more flour. This is my second loaf of odds and ends this year, IIRC, and probably won't be the last.

This one turned out to be a halfaway point between Pioneer Bread and Anadama Bread. I used honey as in the Pioneer and used butter as the Anadama calls for. Both call for using corn meal but this time around I had white corn meal instead of yellow. There are other differences, enough to justify a new name but I'll wait on that until I bake this a couple more times. The corn meal lends a pleasant sweetness to the bread, something akin to what corn grits do in the grain bill for a batch of American lager beer. Because the corn meal is coarse in comparison to flour and has no gluten, the oven spring was only fair. I think this formula would be better suited to a pan loaf.

150 g 80% hydration starter

Soaker #1
65 g bolted Turkey Red whole wheat flour
65 g water

Soaker #2
65 g white corn meal
65 g water

Start soakers about 4 hours after the starter is built. Cover with plastic wrap and keep around 70-72F.

Main Dough
270 g Bread flour
136 g water at 85F
30 g unsalted butter, about 2 Tablespoons
8 g kosher salt
15 g honey, 1 tablespoon

I didn't feel the need to use more honey in the loaf even though the Pioneer Bread recipe calls for 2 TBS because of my previous bakes where I thought the corn meal was adequate sweetening. Had I used a hard red winter whole wheat flour, I might have followed the suggestion to use 2 TBS. Susan's Magic Bowl technique was used in the first 15 minutes of baking.

My suspicions are that a bread like this would be too much work to be profitable for a bakery and has too many steps for a classroom bread. It definitely produces a lot of bowls and dishes to be washed. The flavor is definitely good and with more practice on shaping, I might get that better oven spring.

The area has experienced more frosts this week so our flowers are few and fading fast. There is still no relief from the drought we've been experiencing so any transplanting of day lilies and daffodils that I do this weekend will have to be followed up with watering in. So far, I've restrained myself from planting garlic but Halloween is on Monday and that has worked as a date previously. It must be working, there are no vampires near here that I know of.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.
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