Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Baurnbrot with Buckwheat

      Baurnbrot, also spelled bauernbrot, is another name for the "farmer's bread" that is known in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. If you look really close, you might think you  mistook it for the French "Pain de Campagne " or country bread. A closer yet inspection of the formula for the breads might convince you they are the same bread. Break out the old "A rose is still a rose.." cliche and insert here.

Baurnbrot can be made with a large number of combinations of white flour and other popular flours, especially whatever is to be found in the cupboards and pantries of the bakers. There are formulas that use a sourdough starter and others that use yeast. It is a wonderful name that allows the baker to be as creative or as frugal as they please while retaining an air of authenticity. Could things get any easier than that?

Today's loaf is a combination of bread flour, whole wheat flour, and buckwheat flour, a combination that was suggested to be popular in Switzerland. After following my now usual procedures to prepare the dough, I thought the dough to be on the dry side and ended up adding three Tbs of water to the dough that was already scaled out to approximately 71% hydration. Even as I was slashing the loaf for loading, the dough seemed to be dry.

Fortunately, my misgivings were alleviated when I removed the stainless steel bowl that I was using as a cloche during the first fifteen minutes of the bake. The loaf had risen nicely. At the end of the bake, the loaf had good color on the crust and did a bit of "singing" as it cooled off.

Usually, I wait 7 to 10 hours before I slice but today I rationalized into a three hour wait, the smallest "acceptable" period suggested for letting a loaf cool off. That turned out to be just fine for this loaf. The crumb was light and moist without being gummy and the crust was firm. Most of the first two slices were used for a ham and Swiss cheese sandwich but I did sample a bit of the heel that wasn't dressed with mustard because, after all, the heel still remains the baker's prerogative.

175g  75% hydration, 75% AP flour/25% fresh whole wheat flour

267g bread flour
100g whole wheat flour
33g buckwheat flour
280g water at 85F, three Tbs were used to adjust
9g kosher salt
All of starter

Attention to detail, patience, and time

Other than an oriole, I haven't sighted any new birds in the back yard at the feeders. My neighbor has temporarily stopped his bird feeding while he deals with an illness. We seem to have become the providers of choice for quite a few more finches, siskins, and sparrows as a result. The monarch butterflies should be passing through on their migration sometime soon but due to the drought, may find food harder to find. The milk weed Monarchs enjoy isn't doing well in this weather. When weeds are having a tough time, you know the drought is bad.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.

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