Sunday, September 22, 2013

Mock Pane Rustica

I've been baking a lot lately. Besides my baking household loaves, I'm still intent on having five recipes to hand out to the class that the extension service has asked me to lead.

The first loaf pictured is another sourdough house loaf with 33% stone ground whole wheat. I did make an adjustment in the formula that I've used by simply adding 10 g less of water. This seems to compensate well for the 150 g of starter that I find more convenient to build up and use. Using a thirty minute autolyse also helped in getting a nice oven spring.         

150 g at 100% hydration, fed with KAF AP

Main Dough
240 g bread flour
120 g stone ground whole wheat
230 g water at 85F
All of starter
8 g kosher salt.

The second loaf, my mock pane rustica, is shown to the left of household loaf. it's going to be one of my handouts when I teach my class.  It's a mock loaf because I used a poolish rather than a biga. After shaping the loaf, I proofed it in my couche. It appears that using the couche, which I recently added to my "tool box", has an advantage over a brotform because it gives more opportunity for expansion in the loaf resulting in a more open crumb. This particular loaf had a total of 315 g of flour as compared to the 435 g in the house loaf. I'm not making any scientific or professional discovery here but I plan on further comparisons just of curiosity.

Mrs PG and I both enjoyed this second loaf. I started out with intentions of making some focaccia but ending up with a loaf. We had average room temperatures of 76-78F with low humidity on that day so the yeast had great conditions for application. The sticky dough was hand mixed and kneaded briefly, four minutes, but responded well to four stretch and folds in the first 90 minutes. Proofing took about 75 minutes before the dough was introduced to the oven.

100 g KAF AP
100 g water at 85F
1/8 tsp (.63 ml) active dry yeast
Mix and rest on counter at room temperature 12-14 hours

Main Dough
170 g bread flour
45 g white whole wheat flour
132 g water at 85F
7.5 g (1/2 Tbs) olive oil
6 g kosher salt
1/4 tsp active dry yeast
All of poolish

The third loaf was meant to be a gift to a friend who was in town for her 40th year high school class reunion. It's a variation on the mock loaf being slightly larger but Kay won't get a chance at trying it since she has to leave to return to San Diego before I could give it to her. Don't worry Kay, I'll send pictures and let you know how it turned out.

Its strangely quiet outside this morning. The crickets and cicadas that had been so obnoxiously loud for the past couple of weeks seem to have moved somewhere else. The usual suspect birds at my feeders just about disappeared when the crickets and cicadas showed up in force. Now that the sparrows are flocking to my feeders this morning, I'm wondering if the insect noise drove away the birds who couldn't communicate. Of course, there's also the possibility that the noise attracted more and more birds to eat the insects until their numbers reached critical mass, decimated the insects, and left feeders like mine as the best free lunch once again.

Visitors to my blog in the past week or so included views from Indonesia, Bahrain, Greece, and the UAE.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.
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