Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Pain Italien and Absolving Myself of Guilt

Pain Italien has been described as an interpretation of Italian bread by French bakers. I didn't carry out the translation as well as I had hoped to because I just couldn't resist playing with the recipe. My first readings of the recipe didn't include a preferment of any type so I had to include one of those.

Second, I was feeling guilty about not having used my bread bowl so I took it out and tried some of Ken Forkish's technique in mixing the dough. After the autolyse, I added the preferment and started the mix with wet hands. . My  suspicion is that the wet hand mixing on a relatively small amount of dough added too much water and resulted in a roughly 69% hydration dough heading towards ciabatta country. OOOPS, that was my bad.  I did get some strength from doing three turns in the first hour of bulk fermentation.Because I was skimping on the yeast to add flavor through the use of time, I managed to get an hour in at the gym during the remainder of the bulk fermentation and get back in time.

The two loaves were baked in my Italian bread pan, another piece of forgotten equipment at 425F. The wet towel on hot rocks trick might make a difference in the end product the next time I make this bread at a lower hydration. That's all speculation for now and it doesn't matter because the bread did work with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping.

Preferment
100 g bread flour
70 g water at 90F
1/8 tsp active dry yeast

Main Dough
300 g bread flour
200 g water at 90F
1/4 tsp active dry yeast
8 g kosher salt       
1/2 Tbs olive oil
8 g dry milk powder
All of preferment

The second bread pictured is another variation on my basic loaf. It's disappearing quickly so I'll be building another starter in the morning.

Starter
150 g at 78% hydration

Main Dough
280 g bread flour
80 g stone ground whole wheat
20 g whole rye flour
20 g spelt flour
280 g water at 85F
10 g kosher salt
1/2 Tbs honey
All of starter

While we are presently enjoying some cool weather that entices me to be outside, there are also quite a few insects that have gotten my name, number, and blood type. I am being bitten every day in some place different and not always some place that can be ignored.The bright side of things is that bees have started to show up in some numbers in the garden itself.

My resistance to the temptation of digging up my soft neck garlic finally wore down and I now have twenty bulbs drying out. Most are on the smallish side but about four or five of them are big enough to be set aside for next years crop. The hard neck garlic refuses to be hurried and hasn't displayed any readiness in the form of 60% yellowed leaves. Pictures to follow when the all the garlic is out.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.

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