Monday, July 16, 2012

A Fresh Flour Loaf

  Saturday mornings  during the summer time are often spent getting to the Farmers Market early enough to purchase some sweet corn from the Jirak Family. While looking over the other vendors stalls, I happened upon a new business called Family, Grace, and Grains. They sell a variety of wheat berries which they will mill for customers, cereal grains, Bosch mixers, Wonder Mills, and other varied baking supplies. I bought a 5# bag of hard red wheat for $4.50 which I thought was reasonable since they milled it for me right away.

A few hours later, I started my procedure for a simple sourdough loaf that has turned out to be dependable. I built a starter of around 170g at 75% hydration in two stages to get an active sample. When it came time to start mixing the dough, I got my sticky mass stage and let it rest for 30 minutes. Whether I add the starter at the beginning or do the more formal autolyse and add the starter after the rest, the rest works for me. YMMV.

After the rest, I added my salt, mixed at low speed for three minutes, determined it needed an extra Tbs of water, and then mixed at second speed for four minutes. The dough was shaped into a rough ball on a floured surface and then placed into an oiled Cambro container for a three hour bulk fermentation with stretch and folds at 60 and 120 minutes. Preshaped, covered, and rested for ten minutes, Shaped, placed in a brotform, covered with plastic bag, rested on the counter for 30 minutes at room temperature, and then into the refrigerator for a retarded proofing. Because of the heat spell we've been enduring here in Kansas, I decided that the dough could sit in the fridge until the evening to lessen the work load on our air conditioning.The dough came out of the fridge two hours before the bake to finish the proof.

After placing the dough on a sheet of parchment paper, I slashed and loaded onto a baking stone in an oven that had been preheated to 450F. Fifteen minutes at 450F, pulled the paper, turned the loaf around, and continued the bake at 425F for twenty more minutes. The internal temperature was 205F so I turned the oven off and left the loaf on the stone for five more minutes. We like a good crust in this house.

The loaf cooled and rested for about ten hours before I sliced it. It's a good bread. I'm certain that the fresh flour contributes to the slight tang in the crust. The crumb was nicely moist and is neither red wheat bitter or overly sour from the starter. I suspect that people who don't ordinarily eat sourdough bread would notice that aspect at all. This loaf used 33% hard red wheat but I think I can push that percentage up and still get an attractive loaf as long as I improve my technique.

Starter:
170g at 75% hydration after a two stage build

Dough
267g bread flour
133g fresh milled hard red wheat flour
280g water at 85F
9g kosher salt
All of starter
Attention to detail, patience, and time

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.









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