Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Two for Two Blues Loaves, lots of pix too!

 I must have had a yeast friendly atmosphere in my kitchen over the past few days when prepping my entries for this year's bread competition at the Leavenworth County Fair. I also baked a third loaf for the house which I really couldn't justify entering even though it still looks good to me. This year's grand prize went to a young woman who entered a braided egg loaf that, as soon as I checked out the competition,  recognized as having the look of the winner. As in baseball, there's always next year.

This first loaf, whose formula originated in a post by Floyd M. over at TFL, looked like a baurnbrot to me so I decided it could be an Austrian baurnbrot and that was how I entered it. I tweaked the recipe down in size and can't remember what else I might have changed over the past couple of years but it's still a good loaf It uses a huge pate fermentee, 50% of the flour, and only 3/8 tsp of ADY in all.

220 g bread flour
118 g water at 85F
4 g kosher salt
1/8 tsp active dry yeast

126 g bread flour
32 g rye flour
43 g whole wheat flour
All of preferment
156 g water at 85F
4 g kosher salt
1/4 tsp ADY

This was loaf that I expected to take the big prize. It's a 90% bread flour/ 10% whole rye flour sourdough. Besides the ribbon, it was bought by one of the judges to take home. Entrants can chose to donate the unsampled portions of their loaves for  sale to support the Fair or take the loaves home.

120 g at 82% hydration,

75% AP/25% whole rye flour

Main Dough
324 g bread flour
36 g whole rye flour
235 g water at 85F
All of starter
8 g kosher salt

This third loaf is the one I chose to stay home. It's close to a French Country loaf in design, using fresh milled white whole wheat in the recipe. The chevron slashing shows that I'm adapting to the use of a small boning knife I found after cleaning out the old cabinets to get ready for the remodel project. I had to do something, the grapefruit knife with a curved blade tip is missing in action due to the same project. This is a successful bake with good oven spring and a moist, sweet tasting, open crumb.

120 g at 82% hydration
75% AP/25% whole rye flour

Main Dough
270 g bread flour
72 g white whole wheat flour
18 g whole rye flour
240 g water at 85F
All of starter
8 g kosher salt

It appears that the area is destined for another period of drought. The Midwest rainfall passes to the North, around Omaha and Des Moines, or to the South towards Wichita, Springfield, MO and Tulsa. While we have experienced some stifling heat, we've also had some very pleasant, no A/C required days. None of my acquaintances who garden have had better results than I have with their gardens. The insects are thriving as usual but vegetable production remains spotty. My experiment with letting some loose leaf lettuce go to seed hasn't brought in more birds but has resulted in some awkward and surreal looking plants. They're on their way out to make room for me to access some basil plants. Basil pesto pizza will soon be on the menu.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Couple of 3-2-1 Sourdoughs and a Rosemary Flat Bread

A 3-2-1 Sourdough is usually one of the easiest paths to a good, usually show off quality loaf. It can't get much easier than one part 100% hydration starter, 2 parts waters, and three parts flour, all by weight. There are some wrinkles that happen time to time and both of these seemed to be sticky when placed in the brotform. It might have been the weather and it might have been that the starter was only a single stage build rather than a two stage. As I've blathered before, if it tastes good, it is still good bread.

The difference between the two loaves is that the first used 20% hard red whole wheat and the second  used 20% white whole wheat flour

Far be it from me to mislead you today by calling the flat bread a true focaccia. I didn't use a biga in the build, I used a sponge of sorts.It does look like a focaccia so I'll give a rambling explanation of what happened and if you decide to follow along, you can name your flat bread a focaccia and I won't call the bread police.

190 g water at 85F
90 g Central Milling AP flour
1/2 tsp active dry yeast
Mix the sponge, cover with plastic wrap, and leave at a warm room temperature for about three or four hours. The surface should have lots of active bubbles.

Main Dough
All of sponge
210 g CM AP flour
Tbs olive oil
6 g kosher salt
2-2.5 g finely chopped rosemary
1-2 tsp coarse sea salt
grated parmesan cheese (optional)
Italian or pizza seasonings

In a small bowl, mix salt into the flour. Whisk olive oil into the sponge, add some flour into the sponge, mix, and add remaining flour. Add the chopped rosemary leaves. Mix with a dough whisk or wooden spoon to a shaggy mass. Cover and rest the dough for about twenty minutes and then turn the dough with a bowl tool for about thirty strokes. Cover and rest for another twenty minutes then turn again. Cover and rest for twenty minutes then turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Quickly wash and dry the bowl then oil it with a little olive oil. Knead the dough for about a minute and place back into the bowl and cover. If the dough is still slack a stretch and fold or two should bring it to reasonable strength, for a flat bread, and then rest, covered, until it doubles in size.

Oil a jelly roll pan and place the dough into the center of the pan. Slowly stretch the dough, striving for a rough evenness, out to the corners of the pan. If the dough resists, cover it with a towel, wait ten minutes, and stretch again. Cover and let the dough rest at room temperature until it gains some height, 45-90 minutes depending on temperature.

Preheat the oven to 450F. A baking stone can be used when baking with the pan. I've done with and without, its the baker's choice. When the dough has risen and the oven warmed up, dimple the dough with your fingertips. Drizzle some olive oil on the dough and make sure that all the dimples have some oil in them, Sprinkle with the cheese if your so inclined and then the sea salt.

Load the pan into the oven on a middle rack. Turn the pan after ten minutes. Check the pan for color at the twenty minute mark. If its nice and golden, you're good, take the pan out. If not, your flat bread should be done at the twenty five minute mark. Remove the flat bread and cool on a wire rack. Serve as soon as possible after baking. Freeze leftovers, if there are any.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Cracked Wheat Pan Loaf

 Even though I was in need of a loaf for use around the house, I indulged my sense of whimsy to a minuscule degree with this loaf.I did a little bit of playing around with the ingredients and the oven temperature but still lived to bake another loaf.

As with my previous yeast loaves, I started out with RLB's blanket sponge and then added a cracked wheat (bulgur) soaker because I could. There was some Central Milling AP  mixed in with Graham flour in the sponge portion and the blanket. The dough really proofed out high above the lip of the pan and held its ground during the bake.

While the crumb isn't a magnificent example of being open, it was soft, sweet, and moist.

65 g cracked wheat
42 g water
A few grains of kosher salt.
Mixed and covered at the same time as the sponge. It was added in two portions to the dough after the initial mix at first speed.

The blanket sponge was set up as follows:

72 g hard red whole wheat
28 g AP
                                                                    240 g water at 85F
                                                                    1/8 tsp ADY
The ADY was hydrated for 10 minutes in the mixer bowl and then stirred to disperse the ADY. The flour was added and mixed in, making a thin slurry.

                                                                     188 g bread flour
                                                                      72 g AP flour
                                                                      1/2 tsp ADY

The remaining flour and ADY was mixed in another bowl before being spooned on top of the slurry. The bowl was covered and left at room temperature for about six hours before mixing began. The initial mix was three minutes at first speed, after which I determined the dough needed another Tbs of water.
                                                                        8 g kosher salt
 The salt was added and the mixer went to second speed for two minutes. At this time, I added half the soaker, resumed second speed for a minute, added the rest of the soaker, and resumed mixing at second speed for one more minute.

Bulk fermentation required only three stretch and folds at twenty minute intervals and then an hour rest covered. After shaping, the dough was proofed in the pan for about 75 minutes. The loaf was baked in an oven preheated to 425F for 15 minutes, turned around, and then baked at 400 for twenty two minutes.

While my garden is growing vigorously, the only plant in full production is the chile de arbol plant which appears to be unable to control itself. It's large and prolific. The tomato plants are also huge, at least 6 1/2 ft-2 meters tall with lots of green fruit. Those are signs of an impending tomato bonanza for my neighbor and the volunteers at Cushing Hospital. The volunteers will have to make tough choices between tomatoes and cucumbers in about ten days or so. All that garlic that I harvested last week is still drying. Since there are 45 heads of hard neck garlic of very good size from this year's harvest, I should be in good shape garlic wise for quite a while. I found the rogue garlic underneath the spreading day lily leaves in one of my flowerbeds. Two were miserable examples but two were worth setting aside for replanting in the Autumn. The tunnels indicative of moles burrowing through the yard have reappeared. They obviously have nothing but contempt for my efforts to discourage them.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.