Monday, December 10, 2012

A Mediterranean Style Sourdough

As I've perused many of the recipes of breads from Mediterranean countries, I've found that other than shape, they're really quite alike. The recipes call for using a bread flour or an AP from King Arthur, olive oil, and sugar. Most recipes utilize instant dry yeast, a few suggest fresh yeast, and there are still a small number that offer a sourdough version.

This loaf used a formula from Maggie Glezer's "A Blessing of Bread"  as a jumping off point and does share some of my first work on a Pan de Horiatiko. While certainly edible, I do see the flaws in this bake. The first was that I used  too little dough in the loaf. The loaf is meant to be baked in an 8" cake pan and my dough slipped to one side, rolling over as I moved the pan, and hence the off kilter appearance. I estimate that my loaf was 100 g smaller than Ms Glezer's suggestion. A larger piece of dough would have stayed in place against the sides of the pan.  The second flaw is that I used a retarded proofing, which Ms Glezer advised against, and then failed to let the dough finish proofing at room temperature. Three hours just wasn't enough when the room temperature was 70F. That is probably the reason for the crushed looking crumb at the bottom of the loaf. Certainly nothing to cause the bread police to come crashing through the doors to seize my starter and yeast supply.

150g at 80% hydration

Main Dough
285 g bread flour
65 g white whole wheat
230 g water at 85F
9 g kosher salt
10 g brown sugar
10 g olive oil
All of starter

The diving temperatures have brought a lot of birds back to our feeders. Within a couple of hours, I've seen two varieties of finches, siskins, nuthatches, blue jays, cardinals, chickadees juncos, and goldfinches. The sterile Chanticleer pear tree outside my window still has a lot of the berry like growths on the limbs. In years past, flocks of birds would attack the tree and the drop zone below and clean out the berries in less than three short winter days. It's difficult to type when such anarchic activity is going on.

Somebody from Malaysia dropped by for a page view recently.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.
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