Monday, August 24, 2015

An Improvised Bulgur Loaf

I was just exercising my prerogative to improvise a formula the other day when I baked this loaf. I had a batch of 70% hydration starter reaching its peak in mid morning and I needed to bake something for the pasta supper that I had planned for Mrs PG and I. The dough lost much of its initial stickiness during the bulk fermentation. While I suspect that some of the moisture was soaked up by the bulgur, I don't have a firm evidence for that but as long as it worked, I wasn't complaining.

Not quite a ficelle and not quite a batard but it possessed the sweetness derived from the bulgur and some tenderness from the olive oil. The bread is better for dipping into olive oil or sopping up leftover sauce than as a sandwich bread, not that there's anything wrong with that. It's worth baking again.

Proofing the loaf was done in a couche. For baking this smaller than usual loaf, I used 425F for the initial 14 minutes and continued with it for another 18 minutes to finish.

40 g bulgur
40 g water

130 g at 70% hydration

Main Dough
200 g bread flour
24 g white whole wheat
147 g water at 80F
All of starter
                                                                    All of soaker
                                                                    1/2 Tbs olive oil
                                                                    6 g kosher salt
                                                                    1/8 tsp Active dry yeast

This second loaf will soon be finished , justifying the dough that's presently undergoing its bulk fermentation. I revisited an old recipe for this one, adding a little honey and some 9 grain cereal from Montana Milling.

The garden continues to be a disappointment in the production level this summer. I've gotten to the point where I'm planning on taking out what's left of the San Marzano tomato plant and the Park's Whopper beefsteak tomato plant is living on borrowed time right now. The grape tomato plant is long and scraggly looking, having spread over quite a bit of square footage but it is the reliable source of fresh tomatoes so it has a reprieve for now.  On the other hand, I have more basil than I need for cooking or pesto. Lets not discuss the chile peppers today.

Hummingbirds have started to return to my yard as the weather has cooled off in an unusual but very welcome manner.We have our windows open for the breeze which means we hear the birds and traffic noises. That's still much better than the repetitious hum of the A/C. I like having A/C but I prefer the open windows.

Visitors from Bangladesh and Ireland have recently found their way to my obscure corner of the internet.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.

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