Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Miche or a Boule? The Return of Turkey Red Flour

It was a hot time around the oven yesterday as I finished out some ideas that had been percolating in the back of my mind. The first idea was to try my hand at baking a miche with some of my Turkey Red flour from Heartland Mill. Since it's a bolted flour, some of the bran has been sifted out, I decided to skip soaking the flour. Because I had some 165g of 75% starter bubbling up, I used all that as well. I figured that shooting for a 72-75% hydration level would complicate it all and make it closer to the usual high hydration level of Hamelman's miche from his book "Bread", about 82%. With only two truly bad loaves in the past 30 months, I could take a chance on a fail without too much humiliation or hurt.
165g of 75% hydration white flour starter

All of starter
267g bread flour
133g Heartland Mill bolted Turkey Red flour
280g water at 85F
9g kosher salt

After a 20 hour retarded proofing and about 2.5 hours at room temperature to warm up, this loaf spread out like a pancake on the baking stone. 15 minutes into the bake, when I removed my water pan, there was good oven spring made evident by the rounded edges of the loaf.

With no experience at using so much starter in a loaf, I didn't expect to find so many big holes in the loaf. I'm interested in how much further the holes go. As an experiment in wet dough, I think it worked out well as far as taste goes and it leads me to think that I could easily use a regular WW or WWW flour with even more hydration. That may be a stretch of my ignorance but there's no harm in trying it out. If it's that ugly, no one will know if I don't post pictures.

The last picture is a loaf that I baked for my mother-in-law. It's a simple 35%
white whole wheat/ 65% bread flour loaf made with a poolish.

60g white whole wheat
60g bread flour
120g water
1/2 tsp active dry yeast, about 2.5g

320g bread flour
80g white whole wheat
266g water at 85F
9g kosher salt
8g honey
1/4 tsp active dry yeast

Since the loaf is now in Omaha, NE, I don't have a crumb shot but I'm sure Mrs PG will fill me in on whether or not her mother approved. Delores has asked me to try my hand at baking a potato bread loaf or two for her. I'm hoping that she'll dig up her recipes from her old cookbooks so I can replicate them. I know there are plenty of potato bread recipes available online but I'd rather use hers to be able to pass it along to her other children and grandchildren when they ask.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.
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