Monday, February 22, 2016

More Big Levain loaves

It's been about four years since I worked on loaves with a larger starter. This time around may have been a simple improvisation on my familiar 25% WWW flour sourdough when I found myself with more starter than needed and with plenty already stashed in the refrigerator. Since the average room temperature is still around 70F here at Casa de PG, I figured that manipulating the numbers away from the standard 3-2-1 formula would be the most difficult aspect. I was wrong, it was restraining myself from eating too much of my own work. These breads have turned out very well.

My idea was that if I used more than my standard quantity of 100% hydration starter, then all I needed to do would be to subtract the extra flour and water quantities from the ingredients in the main dough. While the bulk fermentation time was about the same length, there was an improved handling quality to the dough. which made shaping easier. Proofing time decreased by about 25% for the first loaf, from 4 1/2 hours down to 3 1/2 hours. I used retarded proofing for the second loaf so I can't say that I've discovered anything yet. I need to do more work using this variation in method before I pat myself on the back.

Starter, first loaf
160 g at 100% hydration, fed with KAF AP

Main Dough
250 g bread flour
90 g home milled white whole wheat flour
220 g water at 85F
8 g kosher salt

Starter, second loaf
160 g at 100% hydration, fed with KAF AP

Main Dough
250 g bread four
90 g home milled white whole wheat flour
220 g water at 85F
15 g wheat germ
8 g kosher salt


The first signs of the daffodils from the oldest plantings are now emerging. The bulbs that I planted late last fall haven't shown up yet. Usually the peonies arrive for work at about the same time as the daffodils but this winter's weather may be throwing them off their schedule. The garlic is still under its blanket of straw but I may go out there later in the week when the temperatures go back up and lift the straw to see what's going on.

Recent visitors to my obscure corner of the internet have come from Algeria, Oman, and Singapore.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.

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