Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Sunflower Seed Sourdough

I didn't stop baking over the past four months. Some of the time was spent experimenting with dry yeast, shaping techniques, washing my starter, different brands of flour, and even bringing out the stand mixer. The rest of my time spilling and throwing flour involved revisiting old recipes. Nothing bad happened but I didn't produce anything new or different enough to get excited about hitting the keyboard.


I did find that I had been overlooking the importance of not over extending the bulk fermentation time. It appears that most of my dough will produce good results with a simple doubling in volume during the bulk fermentation instead of a tripling. I haven't kept copious notes or made comparison studies but it appears to me that the difference shows up during baking with better oven spring and a more open crumb. I'm curious as to whether it would be that there is more active yeast or just the same phenomenon that occurred during these bakes. In any case, this calls for new equipment. My next Amazon.com order will include a 4 L Cambro container which should make it easier to observe 

dough reaching a doubled volume than
in my present 6 L container.

The first loaf is the Sunflower Seeded Sourdough. It isn't a direct copy of J Hamelman's "Sonnenblumenbrot" though I admit to having perused the recipe several times this year. I used a simple 3-2-1 foundation and added 10% by weight-33 grams, of roasted sunflower seeds. It probably could have supported another 16 grams of seeds.

Starter
110 grams at 100% hydration

Main Dough
280 g bread flour
50 g WWW flour
220 water at 85F
33 g roasted sunflower seeds
7 g kosher salt

The second loaf is another 3-2-1 sourdough using 20% WWW flour in the main dough. It's the other loaf that started me on this doubled bulk fermentation dough thread.  It's one of my "standard" house recipes.

The availability of ground flax, chia, and hemp seeds at the local Walmart means that as soon as I exhaust the present seed mixes in the freezer, I should be able to just supply my own mixes

The garden wasn't as productive as usual this past summer. The hot weather at the end of June and beginning of July diminished the setting of just about all the vegetables. The local county extension service offices tried to comfort local gardeners but no one was really happy. Today was the day for planting garlic. After working the 3'x5' plot, adding compost and fertilizer, I set out 48 cloves for next year's crop.

We haven't been seeing very many birds at the feeders over the past month or so. I did see a couple of blue birds recently and some early juncos. Back in August, I saw the only turkey vulture of the year feasting on some roadkill a few blocks north, something I may not see again for quite a while.

The first serious, killing frost is expected for Saturday morning. While the frost will kill the oak leaf mites that have been particularly bothersome this year, it will also mean a bumper crop of falling leafs as well. Then there's the necessity of cleaning out the garage to make room for my electric snow blower. A local TV weather personality said that the old timers who predict winter weather according to the seeds inside persimmons are calling for a cold winter with lots of wet snow. That's not something I look forward to at all but somewhere way back in our dining area hutch is a bottle of Gran Marnier that only sees daylight after I've finished shoveling snow. I'd rather that it continue to accumulate dust.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.