Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Ten Hour Mock Italian Loaf Variation

Rather than posting about breads that I've baked and posted at least once or
twice, I've been on a kind bloggers vacation waiting for some kind innovation or inspiration. Our recent trip to New England to visit my parents, the OPG and my Sainted Mother, revived the curiosity, especially after tasting a couple of breads from the Crust Bakery in Worcester, MA. They have a different kind of baguette, produced with an incredible, envy inducing, tangy flavor and using flour that might be European in style since it's not a snow white crumb. Whether I'm right or wrong about the details for that baguette, it's worth stopping by to try their breads.

My ten hour mock Italian loaf is something that I improvised to serve with a pasta dinner for Mrs PG and I.

I started with a sponge using all the water, one third of the flour, and 1/2 tsp of instant dry yeast. The sponge took about four hours in a 70F room temperature environment.

Sponge:800 AM
210 g water at 85F
70 g bread flour
30 g white whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp instant dry yeast

Once the sponge was bubbling, I mixed in the remaining bread flour, salt, and olive oil. I kneaded the dough for about three or four minutes and started the bulk fermentation. Three stretch and folds at 1/2 half hour intervals worked out so I just let the dough rest for another hour as it doubled up in size.

230 PM
I preshaped the dough and let it rest for 10 minutes, seam side down while I located my couche and dusted it with wheat bran. Then I shaped the dough into a kind of ficelle, misted it water and rolled the clean side in some bran. The dough was placed seam side up in the couche for its proof while I went about preparing my industrial red sauce for the evening meal's pasta.

330 PM
Preheated the oven and baking stone at 425F for 30 minutes.

I placed the dough on parchment paper before loading, slashed, and misted the slashes. Into the oven for 15 minutes, then removing the parchment paper and turning the loaf around. Eighteen minutes more in the oven before turning off the heat, cracking the door open for a few minutes, then cooling the finished loaf on a wire rack at or about 440 PM.

The loaf was cooled and ready for its glamour shots. It had a moist, soft crumb, thanks to the olive oil, and a sweet, almost nutty flavor.

The next picture is a crumb shot of one my 20% WWW sourdough loaves. The oatmeal coated exterior isn't much to brag about but what is interesting, for myself only, is the open crumb. I used a one step build  for the starter with the seed coming from my stored over the vacation stock. Don't expect this at home kids, it probably won't happen for me again until the next blue moon.

The leaves on our trees are started to fall but they're nowhere near as colorful as what we saw in New England. Many of them have been mulched by the mower and more will join them over the next few weeks. I still have some tomatoes on the rather scraggly looking grape tomato plant so our salads aren't quite void of homegrown goodies. The sage and rosemary plantings are still around and capable of contributions. The rest of the plants are being cleaned up to make way for another year of garlic festivities in a couple weeks. Only an occasional chickadee finds the bird feeders outside my window and very few birds are heard in the neighborhood right now.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.