Tuesday, April 02, 2013

A Multigrain Loaf Lesson

Despite the less than stellar symmetry to the shape of this loaf, I'm feeling pleased, though not too smug, about the results today.  I did manage to confirm that I was too quick to accept the proofing level of my loaves in the past. Proofing for four to five hours has produced much better results when the room temperature is around 70F.  It's not rocket science but like a lot of other raggedy home bakers, I have to relearn these things on a regular basis.

It also appears that the way I shape the loaf should dictate the slashing pattern. For this loaf, I used two longitudinal slashes. I think I have to use a single slash to get the bloom I want. Because I didn't want the cane patterns from the brotform on the loaf, I lined the basket with a flour bag towel which brings about a shorter loaf. Next time, no towel to see if my rediscovered knowledge about proofing will produce the symmetrical loaf and dramatic bloom. As the pictures show, the crumb does have an open appearance. It is also a lighter crumb texture. I added 80 grams of presoaked 9 grain cereal and it's hard to see, as if I had tried to sneak it past Mrs PG's eyes. Since it tastes good, it is good and I still have a lot to learn.

Starter
145 g at 100% hydration

Soaker
80 g Montana Milling nine grain cereal 
56 g water

Main Dough
300 g bread flour
100 g hard red whole wheat flour
270 g water at 85F
11 g kosher salt
1 Tbs (15 ml) honey
All of soaker
All of starter

If it's April, I feel guilty when I don't take advantage of good weather to work outside. This week's chores will include relocating day lilies, trimming the butterfly bushes and Rose of Sharon plants, and getting after the dandelions in the flower beds before they get covered up by the other plants. The flower bed plants are still slow in growth which may mean a furious spurt as soon as the weather is consistently warm. I may plant some snow peas  by the weekend just because I can. The juncos are still around, cleaning up under the feeders. We'll miss their industrious endeavours when they leave.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome. 
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