Friday, December 27, 2013

No Knead Pizza Crusts

 Lately, I've been playing around with two formulas for no knead pizza crusts as opposed to the "sponge crust" that I worked with in one form or another for the six months or so. The first one that I tried was an adapted for yield size from a recipe I found in the March 2013 King Arthur catalog. The second formula is an adaptation of a recipe from Rose Levy Berenbaum's "The Bread Bible". Most of what I did was to merely double the quantity of ingredients since her desired crust size was about ten inches. By doubling the ingredients. I can cover a 10x13 jelly roll pan. I'm sure Ms Berenbaum would recognize her recipe in a heartbeat if she were to stumble across my obscure corner of the internet.

"The Bread Bible" is turning out to be an interesting book. My first time around, I had to read it within the time constraints of a library loan. Now that I've actually bought a copy, I've had time to read and digest concepts more thoroughly. The book appears to be written as something approachable for raggedy home bakers such as myself as opposed to "Bread" by Jeff Hamelman which is aimed as either a textbook or more towards professional bakers. I haven't lost out on a thing by having bought and read both books.

The King Arthur formula is written as a much faster process to dough time. It can also be used a focaccia style flat bread without losing anything in the translation, just dress it in the appropriate toppings and go to town.

293 g KAF All Purpose Flour
187 g lukewarm water
4 tsp olive oil (about 20 ml)
5 g non iodized salt
3 g instant yeast

Optional
1/2 TBS grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Italian seasoning

1. Mix ingredients together to make a slightly sticky soft dough. Cover and let rise 30-45 minutes depending on room temperature.
2. Place dough in a well oiled half sheet pan and let rest 10-15 minutes.
3. Pat and stretch the dough to cover the bottom of the pan. Cover and let rest for 30-40 minutes.
4. Preheat your oven to 425F.
5.Dressing for focaccia. The dough will already be oily so top the dough with coarse sea salt and if desired, grated parmesan or romano cheese. If you want to use herbs, wait for about 12-14 minutes into the bake before adding to avoid burning the herbs. You can dimple the dough if you wish before dressing the dough.
6.Bake at 425F, adding herbs if you choose at the prescribed time, for at least 22 minutes and a golden brown  crust. Remove from pan with a sturdy, wide spatula to cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes
7. Dressing for pizza. Sprinkle a thin coat of grated cheese over the top of the raw dough. Par bake for 5-8 minutes. Proceed to dress with a thin coat of sauce, a thin sprinkling of either grated cheese, some pepperoni, and a sprinkling of mozzarella cheese.
8. Bake for 15 minutes and turn the pan around to bake for another 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes before slicing.

Ms Berenbaum's crust is the formula for the Hawaiian style pizza pictured at the top of the post. Her procedures are different but also produce a pretty good crust. I've substituted either rye or whole wheat flour for up 15% of the total flour in my crusts. She recommends as long a fermenting period as possible, up to eight hours, but it can be used after only one hour. The olive oil isn't added directly into the mixing bowl in this recipe. Instead, it 's placed in the fermentation container to oil the container and dough.Leftover oil is to be poured onto the sheet pan or pizza pan to coat the surface. I used my jelly roll pan when making a pie with this formula.

226 g KAF AP flour
158 g lukewarm water
7 g non iodized salt
4 g active dry yeast or 3 g instant dry yeast
4 g sugar (I used some brown sugar because it's on hand)
20-30 g olive oil for fermenting container

1. Hydrate active dry yeast if using. Mix ingredients in a bowl into a shaggy mass.
2. Pour the oil into the fermenting container and spread around. Oil a spatula to help lift the dough into the fermenting container, coat the dough and cover the container.
3. Leave your container at room temperature for 30-60 minutes, depending on your room temperature, until the dough looks puffy. Refrigerate for 6-24 hours and then take out of refrigerator at least one hour before shaping.
4.Gently place the dough on your pizza pan or jelly roll pan and use any leftover olive oil to grease the pan. Wait ten minutes with dough covered.
5. Stretch the dough out to cover the bottom of the pan, waiting five minutes or so if the dough resists, then stretching again.
6 Cover your pan and let the dough rise for 45-60 minutes. After thirty minutes, preheat your oven to 450F.
7. Sprinkle the top of the dough with grated parmesan or romano and par bake for five minutes. Dress the dough with your sauce, scatter some mozzarella over the top, thinly add some of your favorite toppings. Too much isn't a good thing here.
8. Bake for 10 minutes and turn pan around. Pizza is done when the cheese is melted and golden brown, about ten to twelve minutes more. Cool on rack for AT LEAST 5 minutes, 10 is better, before slicing.

If you try these formulas, I hope you'll leave a comment or your suggestions for a better pizza.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.


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Friday, December 20, 2013

A Sourdough Multigrain Loaf

While this particular loaf didn't break any new ground, I did find that I'm getting better at utilizing King Arthur Flour AP. There's a reasonable shape  and good oven spring to go along with a moist, tender crumb. The multi grain cereal flakes don't show up well in the pictures or even upon personal inspection. I have no explanation for that other than I need to add more cereal.

Soaker
60 g Montana Milling 9 grain cereal
45 g water at room temperature

Starter
150 g at 82% hydration, 75% KAF AP/ 25% white whole wheat   

Main Dough
240 g KAF AP
120 g Dakota Maid Prairie Gold white whole wheat flour
244 g water at 85F
All of starter
All of soaker
10 g kosher salt

While the number of birds feeding doesn't quite rate as as an irruption, the finches and cardinals showed up for some serious dining before the storm. The forecast calls for freezing drizzle, sleet, and anywhere between 3-8" of snow. If there really is that much snowfall, I'll finally get to use my snow blower to clear our driveway. We have a short driveway so it only warranted an electric snow blower but that's better than putting my back into clearing the surfaces in temperatures under 20F. I've already done the rain, sleet, and snow thing for the USPS for 27 years and tomorrow looks like a good day to be retired.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.
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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Cracked Wheat Country Loaf Prototype

After finding some cracked wheat in an organic bulk food bin, it was only a matter of time before I started to experiment with it. Some searching through the Fresh Loaf website and Hamelman's book "Bread" led me to believe that a hot soak would be a good choice for getting the cracked wheat in shape for inclusion in a loaf. I didn't find any great difference in the flavor and can't tell whether I need to simply use a higher percentage in comparison to the flour or if I should use all dry yeast rather than including a sourdough starter.

Overall, the loaf still tasted pretty good. On the "Yeast Spotting" blog site, another home baker submitted a recipe for a cracked wheat bread to be baked in a pan rather than free form on a stone. A comparison of ingredients and procedures may help the development of this particular recipe which is essentially a pan de campagne with cracked wheat added.


Starter

140 g at 82% hydration, fed with 80% KAF AP, 20% organic whole rye flour    

Soaker
40 g cracked wheat
40 g very hot water
Covered with plastic wrap and cooled to room temperature

Main Dough
260 g KAF AP
80 g white whole wheat flour
20 g organic whole rye flour
240 g water at 85F
9 g kosher salt
1 Tbs organic honey
1/4 tsp active dry yeast
All of starter
All of soaker

The cold weather has very much diminished any interest in working outside in the yard. The forecast calls for a few days this week where the afternoon temperatures may be in the 50s, giving me some time to do some minor clean up work of branches and leaves. There are quite a few geese flying over head lately but they may not be migratory flocks. Geese have adapted quite well to the misplaced generosity of people who feed them. I say misplaced because the geese leave quite a mess wherever they land. There have been some hawks perching on lamp posts on the nearby hill south of our property. I haven't seen very many goldfinches in the yard lately but the surplus of sparrows more than makes up in distraction and noise for any absent variety of bird.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.
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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Practice Loaves

The onset of cold weather is a convenient subject for blame for my less than enthusiastic baking these past couple of weeks. Its more realistic to say that I need to get more practice and perhaps a few new recipes to spark up some more curiosity. I borrowed C Field's "Italian Baker" from the local library which has been the source of a couple new future projects and I'm just about to delve into my new copy of RL Beranbaum's "Bread Bible". I've found a range of organic bulk food selections at a nearby Hy-Vee Supermarket at reasonable prices which means I can now add cracked wheat, pepita, and roasted sunflower seeds to my baker's toolbox of ingredients. Those breads should be developing after the new year.


The set of four soup bowl breads started out as a sourdough loaf and then became an experiment for making a break apart loaf. I had seen something in C Hitz's "Baking Artisan Breads" where he took pizza dough portions, proofed them, and then used a bench scraper to make some indentations in the top of the dough just before baking. The goal was to have a bread that could tear apart easily into four or six parts. I did the bench scraper thing but must have missed an instruction or two because the indents didn't stay. Instead, I got some very nice mini bowl sized loaves, I wouldn't call them Pugliese, that have been just fine for eating with pasta. The leftover loaves froze very well.


Starter
130 g at 75% hydration

Main Dough
360 g KAF AP
244 g water at 85F
8 g kosher salt
All of starter

Yield: 3 200 g and 1 140 g small boules.

The next two loaves were baked for a Christmas party on Saturday night for the local Democratic Party organization. The first is a pane cassericio, a homemade bread, or pagnotta. The name gives a lot of latitude to bakers and I stretched that latitude into a loaf with a recipe that kind of developed in the back of my head. If I chanced upon something that looks similar to a recognized style of bread, it was strictly accidental but do leave a comment at the end of the post to let me know.

Biga
100 g bread flour
70 g water at 85F
1/4 tsp active dry yeast

Main Dough
300 g bread flour
210 g water at 85F
20 g Non-fat dry milk powder
8 g kosher salt
1/2 Tbs olive oil
All of biga

The last loaf was another "Singing Rye" loaf that I've described in an earlier post (26 NOV 2013). It was gone long before the last crumbs of the Pane Cassericio bounced off the plate. I was the well pleased recipient of several compliments for the rye loaf so I think I can say that recipe is good to go now. I even bought four ounces of caraway seeds this morning to make sure that I'm ready for any future requests.

Recent drop ins to visit my obscure corner of the internet include page views from Finland and Oman.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.

       
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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Singing Rye for the Bake Sale

Thursday was the first day of the Bake Sale for the Cushing Hospital Volunteers and as in the past, I donated a couple of loaves. That meant I got to go further along in my experiment with KAF AP flour. Just for fun, I also aerated the poolish I used in both breads. It looks like I got good oven spring but I couldn't inspect the crumb. The light rye with caraway loaf, the obviously under proofed loaf, sang out loud after I took it out of the oven. I think I'll repeat that loaf after Thanksgiving to see if I've got something going on with that recipe.

Pain Italien

Poolish
90 g KAF AP
90 g water at 85F
1/8 tsp active dry yeast

Main Dough
310 g KAF AP
122 g 1% milk at 85F
60 g water at 85F
1/2 Tbs (7.5 ml) olive oil          
8 g kosher salt
1/2 tsp active dry yeast

Light Rye with Caraway

Poolish
72 g whole rye flour
18 g KAF AP
90 g water at 85F
pinch caraway seeds

Main Dough
310 KAF AP
182 g water at 85F
8 g kosher salt
7 g caraway seeds
1/2 tsp active dry yeast

The third loaf is one that I baked for home consumption. Its a 33% whole wheat sourdough that I aimed at a 70% or so hydration to see how the KAF AP based dough would handle. I found that the dough was a little bit sticky but not impossible. The crumb has been consistently open throughout the loaf after it was baked. Shaping wasn't my strong point on this particular day but that comes with the territory. I may have to try a smaller loaf or two and then work up in size after more practice with the KAF AP.

Starter
145 g at 80% hydration

Main Dough
240 g KAF AP
120 g stone ground whole wheat
232 g water at 85F
7.5 ml (1/2 tsp) organic honey
9 g kosher salt
All of starter

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.
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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Mona's Memorial Breads

These three pictures are loaves that I baked for a post memorial service cocktail party. Mona-AKA Polly and sometimes Penny- Long was my friend Rob's mother. Mona was one of the last of the traveling vaudeville performers before WW2. She played trumpet, always enjoyed a glass of good wine and the occasional taste of Canadian whisky, was a raconteur and a memorable woman.

Rob predicted that there might be as many as fifty people attending the party so I baked three loaves. The first was a 70% hydration Pain Italien with wheat germ. The second was supposed to be a large multigrain wheat baked in a pan but since I already had the couche out, I split the dough into two smaller loaves for proofing in the couche. The third loaf  was a sourdough pain de campagne or French country loaf. No crumb shots were taken.


Now, I've also been playing with KAF AP rather than my usual Dakota Maid bread flour. The results show that I'm still adjusting to the difference in the flours. Shaping is more critical with the AP so I've been using the bandwidth to get tutorials from Youtube on shaping. KAF AP is now available in ten pound bags locally at Walmart so it behooves me to learn quickly. The DM is bought up in Omaha, three hours drive away, when we visit Mrs PGs family there. There is a difference in the taste between the two but not a difference in quality. I may be splitting hairs here but for me, the two companies are marketing their products to different niches. There's plenty of room for both of them.

Some more of our feathered friends are starting to return to the bird seed buffets that we offer in our yard. The first that I noticed were goldfinches, then came the titmice, and as of yesterday morning, a northern flicker. They're all fun to watch.

This little obscure corner of the internet has had a guest page view from Austria.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome


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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sonnenblumenbrot

This sonnenblumenbrot or sunflower seed bread is my first effort at the recipe found in the first edition of J Hamelman's "Bread". I had to scale down the weights for a single pan loaf. I haven't found any information on the possibility that the formula had some errors in hydration during a brief search but I did end up adding an extra three Tbs (45 ml) of water to get what I thought was a workable dough. Some of the extra water may have been due to my using WWW for the preferment. It was supposed to be a pate fermentee but I forgot the salt. It turned out more like a thick biga. Overall, the hydration is supposed to be 80% but I must have missed something somewhere.

I made a mistake in using one of my larger pans for this loaf. It doesn't look too bad and if I had possessed more patience to proof the loaf longer, I might have gotten a better crumb. But it still tastes good, either in a ham and Swiss cheese sandwich or with a healthy smear of crunchy peanut butter.

Preferment
72 g WWW flour
48 g water
1/8 tsp active dry yeast

Soaker
72 g rye chops
90 g water

Main Dough
360 g bread flour
187 g water at 85F
10 g kosher salt
5 g honey
4 g active dry yeast
90 g toasted sunflower seeds, unsalted, plus extra for top of loaf
All of soaker
All of preferment

The second loaf is a variation of the Hearth Grain Loafs that I've been working on lately. This loaf used 28% WW flour rather than WWW and got 15 g of brown cane sugar.

The notable visitor over the past few days, whether deliberate or by accident, was from the Czech Republic.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.

           
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Monday, November 11, 2013

Multigrain Sourdough on a Couche

This is the loaf that confirmed my previous suspicions that using a couche could produce a larger loaf due to the expansion allowd for the dough. The finished loaf seemed to be too large for what I thought was a smaller amount of dough but I'll take the results.

As in previous years, November means a number of events where I'll either donate or supply loaves of bread. I really don't mind since it means that my starter will be getting some exercise to strengthen up for winter. The first flurries of the season are predicted for tomorrow so I don't think that I'm being premature.

Originally, I was planning on using the last of my malted wheat flakes. Somehow, the package that was at the front of the freezer must have worked its way back into the depths of the frozen food cavern so I opted for the multi grain cereal mix. One of these days, I plan and execute another loaf that ends the way I planned it in my mind but this wasn't that one day.  I guess we'll just have to eat this fine loaf and move the goal post date down the road.

Starter
150 g at 80% hydration, fed 50% WM Natural White AP,  25% stone ground whole wheat flour, 25% whole rye flour

Soaker
60 g Montana Milling 9 grain cereal mix
48 g water at 85F

Main Dough
260 g bread flour
70 g stone ground whole wheat flour
20 g whole rye flour
252 g water at 85F
15 g brown sugar
9 g kosher salt
All of soaker
All of starter

All of the garlic I wanted to plant is now in the ground and covered by wheat straw. Somehow, I seem to have ended up with just one variety, unidentified at that, of hard neck garlic. It has only four cloves per bulb but they are extra large. A single clove could be substituted for two or three cloves of smaller varieties.  There are 46 of those cloves planted and 24 cloves of soft neck garlic. The soft neck are small in comparison but I suspect that's just their nature. Still, I turned the soil over a few times to loosen it up and fertilized the soil as much as I thought would be wise. I'll report the results next July or so.

Two guest page views from unexpected places took place this past weekend. They were from Morocco and Pakistan.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.
     
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Thursday, November 07, 2013

A Lean Hearth Grains Bread

While waiting for an idea akin to divine inspiration for a future loaf, I decided to filling the looming void in bread supplies with this lean Hearth Grains loaf.

I admit that after paying the fee for a small supply of the commodity from King Arthur Flour, I think that I can assemble a comparable mixture with locally available supplies. If I were a real baker, I'd have to consider the costs and frequency of utilization before starting that adventure. However, since I'm just a raggedy home baker, as long as there's room in the cupboards, fridges, and freezers where I can stash my purchases, out of sight means of out of mind and I can bake without feelings of guilt or foolhardiness.

The flavor of the bread is quite good with the crosshatched slashing pattern adding to the taste through carmelization of the crust. The next time I use this deep pattern, I hope to have proofed in my couche rather than the brotform.  Without scientific or even methodical documentation, I think that the couche leads to a more open crumb that is also more tender. The only drawback to the couche is that its sized for a higher production number than just one loaf. I need a smaller  couche.

Starter
150 g at 72% hydration, fed with 50% Wheat Montana Natural white, 50% WM Prairie Gold

Main Dough

260 g Dakota Maid Bread Flour
100 g WM Prairie Gold
252 g water at 85F
All of starter
50 g KAF Harvest Grains Blend
9 g kosher salt

The harbingers of winter's arrival are evident in the yard outside my window. Another frost came along this morning but it didn't seem to be deep enough to kill all the pollen and allergens. I walked outside to get the morning paper in my hiking shorts and didn't go into cardiac seizure so it wasn't that terrible at all. All the trees are shedding their leafs now, making more work for me with raking and an eventual cleaning of the gutters. The rose bushes are still possessive of their leafs for now. The plan for this afternoon is to clear out enough of the garden to locate my garlic bed. I have the wheat straw for mulch now so there are no more excuses for delay. Currently, my plan is to plant about 60 hard neck cloves, possibly more if I can't find an adequate number of soft neck cloves. Small cloves mean small bulbs so there's no point in wasting time or aggravating my lower back in planting them.

A few more juncos are showing up to feed off the seed dropped on the ground by the sparrows at the feeders. There haven't been any goldfinches in quite a while but they'll probably show up after I post this entry. I haven't seen very many hawks overhead lately but I suspect that they're looking for prey in the recently harvested fields in the area. Farmers are gathering the last of the soybean and corn crops still left undone.

Someone from Saudi Arabia stopped by here in the last few days to visit my obscure corner of the internet.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.   
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Saturday, November 02, 2013

Rosemary Bread Progress

After making a batch of spaghetti sauce, I knew I wanted to revisit a formula I worked on during the summer.I also wanted to try building the dough without the use of my mixer or hand kneading, just using in bowl stretch and folds and a final stretch and fold on my counter top. Rather than falling back on my familiar bread flour for its higher gluten content, I was hoping that turning the dough in the bowl, when done correctly, would be adequate for gluten development in the AP flour I used.


I think these turned out well for my second effort. There is room for improvement in that the slashes show evidence that I could have proofed for a little while longer. While I still have much to learn about using a couche, I'm liking the way batards turn out. I dug out my Italian loaf pan for this batch and it didn't do any harm at all.

Preferment
40g Wheat Montana Prairie Gold WWW
19 g Wheat Montana AP
41 g water at 90F
1/8 tsp active dry yeast

Dough

300 g WM AP
200 g water at 90F
All of preferment
1 1/2 Tbs minced rosemary
1 Tbs olive oil
8 g kosher salt
1/2 tsp active dry yeast

While there was a frost earlier this week that killed many more of the tender plants, it wasn't quite strong enough to take out the remaining allergens from the air or the last of the flying insects. Since Tuesday is election day in some states, it must be time to plant garlic. The common wisdom for planting garlic is to put it in no more than six weeks before the ground freezes. There's still some cleanup work to be done in the garden and in the flower beds on the east and south sides of our property. That will be a close run deal if I get it done.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.


 
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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pan Campesino Prototype

I admit to having interest in reading any bread recipe that is supposed to be a peasant bread or a farmer's bread. Perhaps the usual simplicity of the recipes is appealing because the results leave little room to hide errors in creating the flavor during mixing and fermentation. Of course, it could also be that the aesthetics, how pretty the finished loaf looks, aren't as critical in these breads.


I've been through the bauernbrot and pan de campagne, pao de caseira, and now I'm in search of pan campesino. It's difficult for me to tell if Google has been my friend during recipe searches for this bread. While I can usually read a translation from German to English when done by Google Translate, the Spanish to English translations haven't been really coherent. But what can you expect when the translation doesn't cost money, just what they can data mine from my internet travels or these blog posts.

I haven't found one common style through all the different recipes I've read so far. Some have been sourdough but most use fresh yeast, a commodity that I can't find in any retail store in the greater KC area.  A couple recipes included the use of rye flour, three mention wheat bran, and others use some form of fat. Many are just an enriched dough with sugar and butter added. This means that my recipe, while not from a Spanish speaking country and originating from my own head, has about the same validity as any of the others. If I get enough hits on this post, it could be the definitive recipe some day on Google's search engine. maybe they'll buy me a cup of coffee when that happens.

This was my first, an encouraging result if I say so myself, attempt. The hydration level is higher than the Spanish speakers' recipes which called for around 60% in some cases. Instead of a boule form as some pictures displayed, I proofed this loaf in a couche which resulted in what I thought to be a large loaf considering the amount of flour used. It worked well enough that I'll use that couche again.

Starter
170 g at 75% hydration, fed with 50% KAF AP, 50% home milled organic rye, in a two stage build over 20 hours

Soaker
20 g wheat bran
40 g water
Soak for approximately three hours.

Main Dough
270 g bread flour
90 g white whole wheat
240 g water
All of starter
All of soaker
9 g kosher salt

The only thing I varied in my methodology for this loaf was to add the bran soaker in two stages, at three and five minutes into the final mix. The final mix was only six minutes by my decision since I was using WWW and the bran. My guess was that gluten development wouldn't be that high.

The bread does taste good without any trace of the bitterness or gritty texture that is common with bran additions.


The garden is almost cleaned up. We've had a killing frost on Friday morning so many of the annual flowers are done for the season as well. The herbs in the garden are still alive and useful except for the basil that its demise due to frost. Once the garden and yard are cleaned up, I'll plant my garlic as soon as I can get some straw for a mulch.

More and more birds are showing up at the feeders as the local harvests leftovers are cleaned up. The usual suspects are around but one unexpected early visitor has arrived. A male junco has been around my feeders this past week which is a disturbing sign. He's either particularly early or I've ignored their arrival in years past.The early arrival may be a sign of an earlier and perhaps colder winter to come, perhaps not.

A visitor from Ireland has joined the ranks of guests on my blog this past week.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.


   
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Thursday, October 17, 2013

My New Hearth Bread

Hearth Bread? Artisan Bread? Both terms are much abused and overused these days but this loaf turned out to be so good for a first effort that I can forgive my self indulgence. By no means perfect but on first taste, a light went on in my head and I thought "I can do this".


The idea started rolling last week while Mrs PG and I were visiting Vermont. First, we stayed overnight in Burlington where we had an excellent pizza and tasty beers at "American Flat Bread". The next day we motored across the state to Norwich, home of King Arthur Flour and their dangerous to the credit card retail store where I added a bag of their Hearth Bread Grains to my other purchases.


Not long after we returned to Kansas, I went about reviving my sleeping starter and staring at the recipe included on the back of the bag, looking for inspiration or something to steal.The following is what I managed to formulate.

Starter
165 g at 80% hydration

Main Dough
260 g bread flour
100 g stone ground whole wheat
230 g water at 85F
All of starter
70 g Hearth Bread Grains
1 Tbs Olive oil
1 Tbs honey
8 g kosher salt

A couple of minor details about this loaf. First, the shaped dough took a really long time to finish proofing after a night in the fridge. That may have been due to a lethargic starter or perhaps something as simple as a cooler house. It has been a regular observation that my starters slow down after summer has passed. The answer in the past was to build the starter in two stages over 18 hours or so. Second, I baked at 425F for the entire bake because I added honey and expected over browning of the exterior crust. It appears a slightly longer bake didn't do any harm.

The yard is getting a much needed clean up effort while the temperature is cool and the garden will be left for as long as I can get some production from what is left. The overnight lows haven't brought any frost yet but the average first frost date here is 15 October so I can't complain when it does hit. While I did purchase a particularly cold hardy rosemary plant, I'll dig it up in another effort to see if I can help it overwinter here next to the keyboard.

Unexpected visitors to my obscure corner of the Internet in recent days were page views from Brazil, Jordan, and Malawi.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.    
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