Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Potato Bran Bread and a Project for Class

Lately, I've been digesting the information I've been gleaning from K Forkish's "Flour, Water, Salt,  Yeast". I've long been interested in the many different methods of preparing a loaf without a mixer or extensive kneading so his book appears to be worth a careful read. I haven't yet followed his method from beginning to end  but it's out there and the curiosity may get exercised or is that exorcised?

I wasn't satisfied with the first loaf pictured here. The slashing  was incorrect in that it hindered oven spring.


The next loaf, the boule, is one that I just free styled and hoped for the best. I used some mashed potatoes in the main dough and built up the fiber with some pre soaked wheat bran. I also proofed with the seam side down,  an approach that I first read about in the Forkish book but since seen it from unrelated sources so the approach can't be new. It looks fine but probably needs a steam injected oven for better effect.

Starter:
160 g at 70% hydration

Soaker:
60 g wheat bran
60 g water at room temperature

Main Dough:
300 g bread flour
60 g white whole wheat flour
110 g mashed potatoes
240 g water at 90F
10 g kosher salt
All of soaker
All of starter

My initial expectation was that I would find a very slack dough at the end of mixing the main dough. It was a little sticky but not as bad as expected. After some stretch and folds, the dough came around quite well and shaped easily Now I'm wondering what it would've looked like if I had used the "magic bowl" method during the initial bake. The bread tastes fine with a tender moist crumb, good for sandwiches, soups, and stews. A healthy smear of peanut butter on a slice is a fine way to get a few carbs and some protein.

While building up a starter for my class project, I had some starter that I just didn't want to discard from the first stage of the build. So I started thawing out some of my industrial red sauce for a pasta supper and plotted out an appropriate bread. There were two goals to achieve, first, to use some Western Family bread flour I had stored downstairs, and then to use a minimal mixing / minimal kneading procedure for bread that I found on the "Fresh Loaf" website. The WF flour isn't very much stronger than some AP flours I've used so I figured I had nothing to lose by using it in an experiment.

After a 20 minute autolyse, I added the starter and salt and mixed the dough with my dough whisk for about thirty strokes or so around the bowl. The bowl was then covered and I turned the dough at thirty minute intervals for the next two hours. Surprisingly to me, some gluten had been built up so I oiled a bowl, shaped the dough into a ball, flipped the dough around in the bowl to coat the outside, and then left the covered bowl downstairs in our 60F basement for an overnight stay.

After 12 hours downstairs, the dough had doubled, maybe tripled, and was ready to shape. It wasn't that easy considering the hydration was at least 70% and a little on the slack side. However, I did soldier on and tried to form two crude baguette type loaves. They didn't look pretty before being loaded into the oven and didn't look pretty when they came out BUT with practice, I may get better at these. For a basic white flour sourdough bread, I got a good result that works for Mrs PG and I. For better results, it will take practice, practice, and more practice.

My project loaf for my class in the Master Food Volunteer program, the last two pictures, turned out very well. It looked good, tasted better, and I got several compliments from people in the class and an instructor. The compliments gave me a nice ego boost and when some other breads were passed around later in the day, I knew that I had brought the better bread to class. Not bad for a show and tell and knosh.

Starter
133 g at 100% hydration

Main Dough:
300 g bread flour
75 g white whole wheat flour
25 g whole rye flour
265 g water at 90F
9 g kosher salt
All of starter

I'd like to thank the people behind the page views that dropped into my obscure corner of the internet from Switzerland, Denmark, South Africa, and the People's Republic of China.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.
           
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