Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A New Lean Sourdough

   That wasn't a bad pie at all. I used an idea from an Academie Barilla booklet on breads to dress the pizza with sauce and the add ons before the final proof. I was also working with my "sponge" crust  which still needs some more tweaking, particularly in the hydration and amount of yeast used.
I was fortunate enough to be able to use some fresh basil and oregano from the garden

The New Lean Sourdough is my second effort in changing my procedures to get a bigger oven spring, a more open and moist crumb, and something a little bit more dramatic in appearance. As usual, I'm not being very scientific in my approach, just having some fun, exercising my curiosity, and getting a good loaf in the process. Rather than the Turkey Red I used before, I figured that I had to open up my bag of Green River Organic, stone ground, Whole Wheat Flour for this one.

Briefly, my process hasn't changed too much. I use an 87% hydration starter, 74% water for the main dough, and doing my three stretch and folds in the first hour of a 3.5 hour bulk fermentation. While the dough is at a foccacia level of hydration, it easily shapes because the whole wheat flour is very thirsty.

After four hours of proofing at a room temperature around 70F, I thought it was ready for the oven. It probably could have used another 30 minutes on the counter. The resulting finished loaf was baked at 450F for the first fifteen minutes and after turning around, at 425F for a final 20 minutes.

165 g at 87% hydration

Main Dough
267 g bread flour
133 g Green River Organic Whole Wheat flour
280 g water at 90F for 30 minute autolyse
15 g water adjustment during final mix
10 g kosher salt

Mrs PG and I both like this particular loaf. I've started to rethink my procedures and quantities for a bread like this. Adding to my conundrums, I picked up three pounds of fresh milled organic rye at the local farmers market on Saturday. I have the makings for what I think may be an excellent French Country Bread/ Bauernbrot in the near future.

Spring time has resumed out here on the Middle Coast. After a morning low of 37F on Sunday, the daytime temperatures are slightly above normal and forecast to stay that way. The difference in the quality of the sunlight is really obvious and very much laden with the characteristics that induce sunburn on the fair of skin or heat stroke for those who don't know how to play or work in this weather. The flower bed plants are growing fast enough that they now obscure most of the weeds. That isn't comforting in the least because the weeds will only be more difficult to remove in the near future. Pollen and mold counts are really high and benefit only the allergy specialist doctors and the pharmaceutical manufacturers. In most years, my peony plants have already bloomed by this date. As of today, nothing has bloomed and the buds look no where near ready to bloom. Local plant mythology has it that peonies are supposed to bloom for 31 May known as either Memorial Day or Decoration Day if your family has links to the Confederate side in the US Civil War. It could happen but most plants are about a month behind in growth compared to an average year.

The past few days brought in a page view from Viet Nam.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.

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