Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Irresistable Belly Bread


 I wasn't getting any worthwhile results when I tried my hand at some yeast loaves from the KAF files during the past couple of weeks. First, I tried the all whole wheat loaf which left me unimpressed because of the overbearing flavor from using a lot of vegetable oil, in my case, canola oil. The second was the hearth grains bread which once again had a dense texture and too much presence from the oil in the recipe. Maybe I'm just a person whose palate prefers lean breads. I know those two breads have their followers on the KAF recipe pages.

This first bread that really turned out well recently is a return to a sourdough Pane Campesino. I worked it with the 1-2-3 or 3-2-1 formula as a foundation and added a wheat bran soaker. Good times, good bread.

Soaker
30 g wheat bran
30 g water
Soak for at least four hours. Add a tiny bit of salt if soaking overnight.

Starter
120 g at 100% hydration. Fed with organic AP

Main Dough
288 g bread flour
72 g white whole wheat
240 g water at 85F
All of starter
All of soaker
9 g kosher salt
 Put this recipe under the classification of flavorful breads that can stand up to strong flavors such as chili or Polish sausage with garlic and a healthy dose of horseradish.













 This is the loaf that proved to be irresistible to Mrs PG. Usually, I get to play amateur photographer before slicing but this loaf must have been speaking to her because she put the knife to the loaf without bothering to ask me if I was going to photograph the work. It's not quite an Italian style bread nor is it a French style bread despite using a poolish. A slow proofing in our 60F cool cellar also helped in building flavor. This hybrid has its belly from what I suspect was either less than stellar slashing or shaping. But it does work well with lasagna and could work well with chicken soup too.

Poolish
65 g organic AP
65 g water at 85F
1/4 tsp IDY

Main Dough
178 g bread flour
27 g white whole flour
All of poolish
39 g water at 85F
80 g 1% milk at 85F
6 g kosher salt
This third loaf is rapidly disappearing from the counter at present. It's a sourdough with with a bulgur soaker added. I added a 1/4 tsp of IDY to the main dough to help it along due to the coolish room temperatures here.The smell of baking bread was very sweet, almost intoxicating when this loaf was in the oven.

Soaker
40 g bulgur
33 g water at room temperature

Starter
120 g at 100% hydration.

Main Dough
288 g bread flour
 72 g white whole wheat flour
240 g water at 85F
All of starter
All of soaker
9 g kosher salt
1/4 tsp Instant Dry Yeast

Some of our avian friends have returned lately to visit the buffet at the feeders in the yard. A female red shafted Northern Flicker has taken a liking to our offerings in the suet feeder. These birds are usually ground feeders, dining on ants and other insects but no one has informed this specimen. We're fine with her dining habits since once she roosts, she chows down for quite a while and is a lot of fun to observe. I've sighted a red winged blackbird at my feeder on a snow day this past week so I'll be looking for more this weekend when the frozen precipitation makes a return visit.

Denmark, Gabon, Portugal, Singapore, and South Africa are the origins of recent visitors to my obscure corner of the internet.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.





Friday, February 06, 2015

Borrowing Ideas From Della Fattoria


I recently finished reading "Della Fattoria Breads" by Kathleen Weber  but I haven't baked any of the recipes that I wrote down in my notebook. I did decide to try some of the techniques that I found in the book. The first bread is 25% WWW sourdough made in the 3-2-1 fashion.  Ms Weber's recipes usually require a mixer so I hauled mine upstairs for this one loaf.

The borrowed technique that I used here was to use the paddle attachment for the first mixing. I just added the starter to the mixing bowl, rinsed the starter container with the main dough water and broke up the starter with a spatula. You could also use the whip attachment but a spatula is easier to wash. After adding most of the flour, I turned the mixer on at low speed just long enough to get everything mixed, about 30 seconds. then I added the remainder of the flour and mixed for 20-30 seconds longer. After a covered 20 minute autolyse, I misted the dough, added the salt, and mixed at low speed for six minutes using the dough hook. The dough came out a little bit sticky but responded to a few stretch and folds.

The cooler room temperatures meant slower bulk fermentation so schedule times weren't normal. Cooler temperatures in the cellar, 60F, enabled me to really play with the time and get some chores done around the house. Proofing in the cellar isn't as exact as the commercial proofers that have computer controlled temperature but when you have the opportunity to use that kind of asset, it does pay off by increasing the complexity of the flavor. There is something good in the cold weather of winter.


This second loaf is 33% stone ground whole wheat sourdough, made by hand this time around. Not pretty in the least and best described as sturdy, the technique that I borrowed from Ms Weber was to use a 50/50 blend of flour and wheat bran to flour the interior of the brotform. That may not be news to some folks but I hadn't heard of doing that before. I was more than happy to use brown rice flour. The blend works well and if your dough is in the least bit sticky, the bran adds some surface texture but doesn't add any bran bitterness. It gives a good rustic appearance.

This last loaf is something that I made to go with Wednesday's ravioli supper. It used an overnight poolish and a little bit of bulgur to add some sweetness. I think it was little bit under proofed but as one of those first time tried freestyle recipes, it was a successful bread. Beside3s having the crust that Mrs PG and I like, the crumb was soft and sweet. I think it could do well with a couple more points of hydration.

Poolish
30 g fresh milled white whole wheat flour
40 g organic AP flour
70 g water at 80F
1/4 tsp IDY

Soaker
30 g bulgur
21 g water at room temp

Main Dough
210 g bread flour
110 g water at 80F
6 g kosher salt
1/2 tsp IDY

Bake for 15 minutes, in a preheated oven on baking stone, at 450F. Turn loaf around and bake for 15 minutes at 425F. Turn off heat, crack door open with a pad or wooden spoon, and rest for five minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

The temperatures outside have been quite up and down, varying between colder than seasonal to unseasonably warm. Today's high temperature is expected to be around 54F and tomorrow may reach into the low 60s.I haven't seen any signs of the daffodils starting to poke their first leaves up as of yet and I haven't uncovered the patch of garden where I planted the garlic back in November. Looking at the long range forecast, next weekend seems to be the time to start peeking under the straw mulch and the leafs, in search of the first signs of spring.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.