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.




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