Friday, November 23, 2012

Thumbs Up for Thanksgiving Day Loaves

It's a tough crowd to please when I'm baking bread for my wife's family in Omaha on Thanksgiving. Since I won't budge and bake the soft, whiter than white crumb dinner rolls that anybody can buy at  a supermarket, I have to make an effort that will please the family and myself as well.When I got the approval of a 16 year old cheerleader niece, a couple of BILs, and my MIL, I admit to feeling pleased with myself. The SIL that kept the few remaining slices at the end of the meal thought the crust was a little chewy but I told her to put them in a sealed plastic bag and they would be just fine for toast in the morning.

The loaf on the right in the first picture starts out as a light caraway rye and then got a couple of twists added in. First, I added some white whole wheat because I find that rye and whole wheat complement each other. You can make a pain de campagne without rye flour but then, why would you do that and miss the extra layers of flavor? I don't recall seeing any rye bread recipes that call for whole wheat specifically but small additions seem to work out for me. Let's call it a case of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". I also added a Tbs of molasses to enrich the color.

The other loaf is a kind of pain au levain loaf, the simple kind of bread that will expose flaws in your ingredients or procedures. I'm glad I passed the test yesterday. Both loaves used a starter that was with a 75 % bread flour and 25% rye combination.

Faux Caraway Rye

Starter
140 g at 75% hydration

Main Dough
300 g bread flour
80 g whole rye flour
20 g white whole wheat
280 g water at 85F
10 g kosher salt
1 Tbs molasses
1 Tbs caraway seed
All of starter

Pain au Levain

Starter
140 g at 75% hydration

Main Dough

380 g bread flour
20 g rye flour
280 g water at 85F
10 g kosher salt
All of starter
Attention to detail, patience, and time

My thanks to the person from Hungary that dropped in for a page view this week.




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