Monday, October 15, 2012

The 125% Solution Bread

The latest loaf from my kitchen taught me the value of writing down notes of what I'm doing. Don't bet on my applying the lesson learned but I will endorse the practice. I got distracted while building my starter, it was 730AM-GMAB,and my original target hydration went out the door before I even had my first cup of coffee. Coffee is my friend at that time of day. I had intended on a 150g build at 100% but ended up with about 310g at 125% hydration.

Adding foolishness to the ridiculous, I couldn't recalculate my formula because I had an appointment at the opthamologist office where I thought I would scratch out some numbers while waiting for the exam with dilated eyes. Working out arithmetic with eyes that look as big as pie pans is very much as silly an idea as it sounds. Mathematics isn't my strong suit in academia. But the doctor was slow in arriving at the exam room and after presuming I had scratched a groove into my head while working out the numbers, I reached something that appeared to be reasonable.

The starter reached its desired state by 730PM so I applied the following formula that did work out with only an additional 8g of water added as an adjustment.

180g at 125% hydration.

Main dough
266g bread flour
134g white whole wheat
236g water at 85F
9g kosher salt
1/4 tsp active dry yeast
All of starter

This is somewhat similar to J Hamelman's sourdough loaves but I used more whole wheat than in his formulas. There was also a big difference in results but I don't mind, he's had a lot more practice than I ever hope to achieve.

1. Build starter
2. Add starter, whole wheat flour, water, and  226g of bread flour to the mixer bowl. Using a dough hook, mix for up to one minute or when a shaggy mass is formed.Cover the mixer bowl and rest for 20-30 minutes.
3. Add remaining flour. Mix at first speed for 3 minutes.
4.Add salt to the bowl and fold into the dough. Add the ADY or IDY, if using, and fold into the dough. Adjust dough for moisture if needed, with one Tbs of water at a time. Mix at second speed for 3-4 minutes.
5.Turn the dough out of the mixer bowl and transfer into a covered, oiled container for bulk fermentation.
6. Stretch and fold at 50 and 100 minutes.
7. At 150 minutes, preshape the dough into a ball, cover, and allow 10-20 minutes for the dough to relax.
8. Proof for about 2 hours at room temperature or do a retarded proofing in your refrigerator overnight. Bring the dough out and let it rest covered, on counter, until fully proofed.
9. Preheat the oven and baking stone at 450F.
10. Slash the loaf before loading.
11..Bake on a thoroughly preheated baking stone and oven at 450F for 15 minutes. Turn the loaf around and lower the oven to 425F. Bake for 22 minutes or until the internal temperature is 205F.
12. Turn off the oven and leave loaf on the baking stone for 3 minutes with the oven door cracked open.
13. Cool the loaf on a wire rack for at least 3 hours before eating.

The trees in the yard are shedding their foliage as quickly as I expected. Before long, I'll get to enjoy the spectacle of watching flocks of birds descending upon the Chanticleer pear tree outside my window. I don't know what type of birds to expect this year but in the past, flocks have exercised ferocious gluttony and eliminated almost all the sterile seed berries on the tree. That's better than my having to rake up the dried berries and much more amusing.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.

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