Sunday, December 15, 2013

Cracked Wheat Country Loaf Prototype

After finding some cracked wheat in an organic bulk food bin, it was only a matter of time before I started to experiment with it. Some searching through the Fresh Loaf website and Hamelman's book "Bread" led me to believe that a hot soak would be a good choice for getting the cracked wheat in shape for inclusion in a loaf. I didn't find any great difference in the flavor and can't tell whether I need to simply use a higher percentage in comparison to the flour or if I should use all dry yeast rather than including a sourdough starter.

Overall, the loaf still tasted pretty good. On the "Yeast Spotting" blog site, another home baker submitted a recipe for a cracked wheat bread to be baked in a pan rather than free form on a stone. A comparison of ingredients and procedures may help the development of this particular recipe which is essentially a pan de campagne with cracked wheat added.


Starter

140 g at 82% hydration, fed with 80% KAF AP, 20% organic whole rye flour    

Soaker
40 g cracked wheat
40 g very hot water
Covered with plastic wrap and cooled to room temperature

Main Dough
260 g KAF AP
80 g white whole wheat flour
20 g organic whole rye flour
240 g water at 85F
9 g kosher salt
1 Tbs organic honey
1/4 tsp active dry yeast
All of starter
All of soaker

The cold weather has very much diminished any interest in working outside in the yard. The forecast calls for a few days this week where the afternoon temperatures may be in the 50s, giving me some time to do some minor clean up work of branches and leaves. There are quite a few geese flying over head lately but they may not be migratory flocks. Geese have adapted quite well to the misplaced generosity of people who feed them. I say misplaced because the geese leave quite a mess wherever they land. There have been some hawks perching on lamp posts on the nearby hill south of our property. I haven't seen very many goldfinches in the yard lately but the surplus of sparrows more than makes up in distraction and noise for any absent variety of bird.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.
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