While I haven't given up on sourdough breads, I just haven't done anything different enough to post here. I have been playing with dry yeast breads lately with the intent of refining reliable formulas from past efforts. I started with a small loaf that included 15% fine durum wheat flour usually used in making pasta. The loaf was also the recipient of some 40 g of discard from the initial build stage of a starter.
85 g KAF AP
15 g fine durum wheat flour
100 g water at 88F
1/4 tsp IDY
175 g bread flour
85 g water at 88F
50 g discarded 100% starter
6 g kosher salt
olive oil for greasing fermentation container and for my hands during initial kneading.
I usually let the initial shaggy mass of dough rest for 20 minutes or so before adding the salt. I then put some olive oil on my hands and "air knead" by picking up the mass, roughly folding it to make it easier to pinch the dough with my thumbs, going up or down, while letting the dough hang. The dough takes on a kind of strip form after that, making it easy to fold and place back in the bulk fermentation bowl.
This bread did taste good for only my second time reworking the formula. I suspect I could use more starter if I wanted to but I probably should reduce final hydration from around 70% to 68%.
When I use whole wheat flour and mix by hand, I get some streaks or swirls of a darker color in the crumb. This problem, if one chooses to see it as such, can be resolved by using a mixer if you have one. It's an appearance thing with no bearing on the flavor. I just baked a loaf with white whole wheat in the same quantities and procedures and it worked out fine, with no visible swirls in the appearance..
60 g stone ground whole wheat flour
40 g KAF AP flour
100 g water at 88 F
1/4 tsp instant dry yeast
200 g bread flour
108 g water at 88 F
6 g kosher salt
1/2 tsp IDY
The Spring 2016 season has been as unpredictable as those of past years. While peonies were weren't as plentiful and impressive as last year, the day lily plants are already quite bushy and getting ready to bloom. The garlic scapes have already been cut and the bottom leaves on the stalks are beginning to dry up. I may be digging garlic in a few weeks. The first tomatoes have shown up and today I saw the first baby sweet Italian pepper. I've tried three different lettuce plantings but they've all been failures, perhaps due to being washed away by the abundant rainfall over the last six weeks or so. I was fortunate enough to find a bale of straw to use as mulch in the garden. Wheat straw has become a limited commodity in this area since farmers have switched to planting corn to take advantage of the subsidies available.
Along with the usual suspects, I've been seeing some rose breasted grosbeaks and orioles, summertime birds for this area, at the bird feeders just outside my window.
Here is a list of countries of the visitors that have lately found their way to my obscure corner of the internet: Argentina, Colombia,Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, Indonesia, Macedonia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, South Africa, and the UAE.
Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.