Thursday, November 06, 2014

City Limits Sourdough with Experimental Starter

Nothing of interest has been coming out of the oven in the last ten days or so until I finished this loaf. After reading a TFL post by Dabrownman about the use of wheat bran from his home mill in his starters, I figured I could do something similar. I found some organic bran in the bulk food bins at the Hy-Vee supermarket across the river and the project started in motion.

I've used bran in my breads before and the stuff is notoriously thirsty. It's also where the wild yeast spores are at, as well as some valuable food for the yeast. The starter began at an estimated 150% and then I added 5 g of bran on the premise that it absorbs from 3 to 4 times its weight in water. The main dough water weight was just something I took a guess at since this was going to be another one of my "freestyle" loaves done out of curiosity.

The starter did seem to build a little bit faster considering the seed stock had been sleeping in the beer/flour fridge. I took it as either a good beginning or simply good luck that it was ready in ten hours.The dough was mixed by hand following the procedures I mentioned in the previous post, A New Semi Semolina Loaf. This time I had the opportunity to do an overnight retarded fermentation and it was a good thing.

The finished loaf is a nice bit of work with a good crumb that is moist, tender, and definitely tasty.

Starter
75 g water at 85F
50 g organic AP flour
30 g starter seed
5 g organic wheat bran

Main Dough
270 g bread flour
90 g home milled hard red wheat flour
225 g water at 90F
All of starter
7 g kosher salt

The killing frost arrived last Saturday and eliminated most of the insects outside. That's no loss to me. I've yet to really clean up the yard but did follow through on planting all my garlic for next year. I found bulbs that had four large cloves and some with five large cloves for planting so I've foolishly presumed that they are two different varieties. Maybe they are and maybe they aren't, either way, nobody is going to get hurt here. Approximately 68 cloves were planted and are now blanketed with a topcoat of wheat straw. As usual, I plan to try to give away at least half of what I harvest.

Despite the feeders being kept stocked with bird food, there haven't been a lot of birds around for the past few weeks. I'm presuming that its because the local farms have harvested the corn, milo, and soybeans recently so there may not be enough food pressure on the birds to seek out feeders. Particularly absent are the cardinals that have been so ubiquitous until lately that we expected to enjoy their company every day. An extended cold spell is predicted for next week so things may change.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.