Sunday, June 29, 2014

16% and 25% WWW Sourdough Loaves


 Thanks to Mrs PG, the Dakota Maid Bread Flour is back in stock. So on Thursday night, I began to build up a starter for some weekend baking. The first loaf went to Mr Barney for helping me out with a part of our kitchen remodeling project. I don't have the required tools but Mr Barney does so I baked a loaf that I knew his family would enjoy.

It was a 16% WWW sourdough at about 72% hydration. The DM flour made it a lot easier to do this time. The dough was a little bit sticky during shaping but an overnight retarded proofing in the fridge helped out quite a bit. The loaf didn't have an outflow in the oven after loading so I got to breath a sigh of relief and continue work on the next loaf for Mrs PG and I.

16% WWW Sourdough
Starter
150 g at 100% hydration

Main Dough
300 g Dakota Maid Bread Flour
60 g Wheat Montana Prairie Gold flour
240 g water at 85 F
All of starter
9 g kosher salt

25% WWW Sourdough
Starter
150 g at 100% hydration

Main Dough
270 g Dakota Maid Bread Flour
90 g stone ground Wheat Montana Prairie Gold flour
230 g water at 85 F
All of starter
9 g kosher salt

This second loaf differed from my usual routine in that I used the refrigerator during the bulk fermentation of the dough. I shaped the dough for my brotform as soon as it had dried out from the first loaf. It sat downstairs in the somewhat cooler basement while we applied a circular saws, sabre saw, hammer, and other implements of discipline on some manufactured wood products. By the time I was ready to sweep up the sawdust and wood scraps, the second loaf had proofed very well without any oversight. It turned out well though this time around I didn't follow the bake with a five minute cool down with the oven door cracked open. Its A/C weather in Kansas these days and cracking open an oven cooling down from 425 F just didn't seem very prudent. There is a difference in the flavor of the two different forms of the WM Prairie Gold in loaves like this that goes beyond the percentage. The stone ground flour has a bit of the tannin flavors that are in hard red whole wheat flour whereas the store bought Prairie Gold is smoother. To put the difference in perspective, a beer drinking baker will recognize the signature of the Cascade hops used in Sierra Nevada  Pale Ale. When drinking a similar ale, he or she will notice the difference if Chinook or Centennial hops are used. In the end, its all good, just different enough to notice.



The passing of the Summer solstice seems to be making a difference in my garden. The garlic crop is almost ready, I dug up a few, and should be ready to start the digging  by Thursday. I still don't have any ripe tomatoes which isn't good at all. July 4th is my usual latest day for the first red, ripe tomato and this year could be different. I suppose that as long as the local deer or squirrels ruin my expectations, I should get over it. A few of the wheat berries left in the straw I use for mulch actually grew up enough for me to actually recognize it before it got knocked over. Not many birds are at my feeder these days since there is so much other food available at this time of year.

Just twelve or so miles north of here in Atchison, KS, a tornado and torrential rains passed through tonight. We saw a very brief shower and heard some thunder but missed the excitement. I've lived here in the middle of tornado country for forty years and have yet to see a tornado. Maybe I will and maybe I won't before I die. As long as I have good shelter to run to when it starts to drop down, I'd still like to see one from a distance.

My obscure corner of the internet had a few unexpected views from Brazil this past week. With all the excitement of the World Cup going on down there, I was surprised to see that happen.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.


Monday, June 23, 2014

A Nice Pan Loaf

PhotoPhotoPhoto

I was trying to learn more about the Gold Medal B4B flour and have a new loaf around the house when I decided to do this little freestyle loaf. I started out with RLBs blanket sponge method and a 64% hydration in mind. An addition of a 1/2 Tbs of water during the mix did move the hydration up an insignificant amount.

The first step was to set up the initial mix of all the water, 28% of the total flour, and 1/8 tsp of ADY in my mixer bowl. I then spooned the remaining flour with another 1/4 tsp of ADY blended in over the initial sponge mix. After covering the bowl, I just let it set at room temperature for about four hours. I could have also stashed the bowl in the fridge for several hours after an hour counter time but that can wait until next time.

Initial Mix

72 g Wheat Montana Prairie Gold flour
28 g Gold Medal B4B flour
230 g water at 80F
1/8 tsp ADY

Cover with
260 g Gold Medal B4B flour
1/4 tsp ADY

Mix three minutes at first speed, add salt, and resume mix at second speed for four minutes.
7 g kosher salt

Place in an oiled container and perform 3-4 stretch and folds at 30 minute intervals. Leave dough to rise until doubled. Shape dough for placement into a small loaf pan. Cover with oiled plastic wrap, leave on counter until dough reaches top edge of pan and place in refrigerator overnight. Remove pan from fridge to warm up. Preheat oven to 425F. When dough crowns or rises to about 1" above the top of the pan, slash and place into oven. Bake at 425F for 15 minutes, turn pan around continue baking at 400F for 20 minutes. Turn oven off, knock loaf out of the pan, and place on the rack in the oven with the door cracked open for 5 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

While the snow peas in the garden are about to make their exit even faster than their arrival, I'm baffled but amused by my chilies AKA peppers. The plants are starting to produce  pods worth picking before the tomatoes have shown any signs of ripening. I picked a single "Big Chile" pepper last Friday and have been avoiding a couple of mature jalopenos in the hope that a little more vine time will spice them up. I may be deluded on that. There are a few chile d'arbol worth picking as well. The lettuce has almost run its course for the Spring. We're still encouraging the cucumber vines to produce and tomatoes to ripen but I haven't found the right language as of yet. I wonder if Google Translate can help.

There's a pain de Campagne in bulk fermentation presently and I'll be baking it tonight. The contractor for tile work for our kitchen's back splash is supposed to be here tomorrow so that loaf will just have to go to its appropriate reward tonight.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.

Monday, June 16, 2014

City Limits Sourdough Flour Variations

 My usual bread flour is Dakota Maid BF but I ran out a couple of weeks ago. Since I knew Mrs PG would be soon heading to Omaha where we can easily find Dakota Maid flour, I bought some Gold Medal Better for Bread to tide things over. This was a case where I should have followed my own suggestions and kept a record of how the B4B worked out the last I used it, at least two years ago and maybe more than that.

The DM BF differs quite a bit from the B4B in that I can mix up dough to at least 70% hydration without worrying about a slack or sticky dough. The B4B isn't the same kind of bread flour as the DM in that a 70% dough turns out to be right on the edge of my shaping skills and is more like a foccacia dough at that hydration. I'm not saying its bad flour, I just haven't acquired to the skills to adapt to using the B4B at the hydration level my vanity says I should be aiming for.

The last picture in today's batch is a pan loaf that I baked for a neighbor's family since he was generous enough to drive down to the local big orange box store so I could pick up a couple 4'x8' sheets of luaun to be used in our ongoing remodeling. They fit much better in his full size Chevy pick up than they ever would have in my Accord. That loaf felt like it was lower in hydration and handled reasonably well. Recipe to follow further on.

The formula for the first loaf is very familiar to me and I use it frequently. When it came time to shape and retard overnight, I was somewhat skeptical in that the shaped dough looked more like a dog bone than a piece of dough ready for the banneton. The dough was losing more shape the longer I dithered so I grabbed it by the ends and gently compressed it into the banneton. The overnight retarding must have done the trick since it didn't pancake out on me. Good times.

Starter
150 g at 100% hydration

Main Dough
270 g GM B4B bread flour
90 g Prairie Gold WWW flour
240 g water at 85F
All of starter
9 g kosher salt

The next loaf was started out as a true 3-2-1 sourdough but I had to add the wrinkle of a 16% addition of some soaked nine grain cereal. Same lessons but less oven spring, most likely due to the soaker cutting into the gluten development.

Starter
120 g at 100% hydration

Soaker
62 g nine grain cereal mix
62g  water
pinch of salt

Main Dough
300 g GM B4B flour
60 g Prairie Gold WWW flour
240 g water at 85F
All of starter
All of soaker
9 g kosher salt

As I mentioned earlier, the last loaf was baked to thank my neighbor for helping me get two sheets of 1/4" luaun from the local HD to my garage. It doesn't look too big because I used a 9.25"x 4.25"x 2.5" pan. I haven't heard back from them but judging from how the bake smelled, it should have been a very good loaf.

Poolish
38 g WWW flour
37 g AP flour
75 g water at 85F
1/8 tsp ADY

Soaker
40 g bulgur (cracked wheat)
40 g Very hot water
soaked for 1 hour

Main Dough
350 g GM B4B flour
100 g AP flour
230 g water at 85F
All of poolish
All of soaker
9 g kosher salt

There has been quite a bit of rain lately, about 6-8" in the area depending on your relative luck or misfortune. The weather has been on the cool side for the area so the plants haven't been under a lot of stress that would cause them to flower. I did find a "volunteer" tomato plant rising up through some basil and a rogue cucumber among the snow peas.The upside to the rainfall is that the ground is soft enough that I can pull out by hand some of the 1-2' saplings that have established themselves. The garlic scapes on my hardneck garlic plants have been trimmed. I've read in one source that I should trim them quickly and another said to leave them on for a while, long enough for them to form two loops. As long as I have enough for cooking and enough to give away, I'll be happy.

My obscure corner of the internet has recently had visits from Algeria, Jersey, and Luxembourg.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.




Wednesday, June 04, 2014

A newish Bulgur Sourdough loaf



Now that my kitchen is slowly be reorganized and remodeled, I'm back to rebuilding my starter and researching new breads to try.The first loaf pictured was my first loaf after the counter top was put in. Mrs PG couldn't resist slicing it while I was at the gym, waiting for it to cool off. It was a simple 75% BF/25% WWW hybrid loaf with 1/2 tsp ADY to make sure it fermented in a reasonable time. As little as 1/2 tsp ADY made a difference in the flavor.

The second loaf is a sourdough with bulgur, cracked wheat, mixed in. Like other bakers, I've come to appreciate the extra flavor it adds to a loaf of bread. The next thing to add to the loaf is a more open crumb.

Starter
150g at 100%, fed with 75% organic AP/ 25% stone ground rye

Soaker
64g bulgur
48g water

Main Dough
270g bread flour
90g white whole wheat
240g water at 85F
All of starter
All of soaker
9g kosher salt




With all the recent rains, the garden is humming along and getting bigger. My lettuce planting is really huge to the point where we can't eat it fast enough to keep it under control. The snow peas haven't yet gotten the message that they should be at work but I suspect that when they do, I'll complain about too much too late. The herbs are reaching jungle status with the oregano in the lead,. I'm not used to seeing it 14 inches tall and over two feet wide. I have jalapenos and a couple of tomatoes to reassure me that there will be pico de gallo in a month or so when the garlic will be ready to harvest.

My bird visitors are fewer in number so I'm taking the time to reseed the lawn in areas that the moles destroyed. I haven't seen any sign of the rodents lately but I suspect that as soon as the lawns start drying up, they'll be back to reprise their "Terminator" roles. There is a too large to ignore number of trash tree seedlings this year in the flower beds. Eternal vigilance and a willingness to pluck them out of the ground are the price of a less than chaotic border for the yard.

New visitors to my obscure corner of the internet include someone from Panama and Georgia.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.