Sunday, November 20, 2011

Whole Wheat Levain with Rye Sourdough

Since I am almost done with Hamelman's book, and I still do not own a Pullman pan and I can not yet make the Horst Bundel Black Pumpernickel, I settled for making another bread I made earlier in the year with a subtle twist. This formula calls for a wheat sourdough, but instead I used my rye sourdough starter. I thought it might provide just a slightly different taste and perhaps a complexity.

This is another one of the breads in Hamelman's Sourdough chapter that does not call for yeast, so it is not a short process. In total the dough is in bulk fermentation for two and a half to three hours (depending on the ambient temperature of your kitchen). This bread is another bread which is 50% whole wheat and 50% bread flour, but the really unique attribute of this bread is the style of the sourdough build. This bread used wheat flour in the build, this is very uncommon. I have only seen this in Miche breads. I will be making a miche soon, and post it. Just briefly Miche's are very high in whole wheat flour, and they are a typical French Canadian Bread. Very typical of Bakers in Montreal. This bread is raised on the bench seam side up, which gives this bread a unique low profile. It is remarkable with creamy soups or just sweet butter. I am going to my friends for Thanksgiving this year and I almost brought a Miche. She spent a year in Montreal with her family, when her parents were on sabbatical....there is still time to make it, I just dont want to bring too much bread (is that possible...?)

Back to the whole wheat levain. This sourdough build is also unique in that it uses the Poolish style, which means that it uses equal weight of flour and water. I am a personal fan of the Poolish. I have found that throughout Hamelman's book he uses mostly pate fermente (or old dough). I am assuming this is because the baker always has dough on hand, and it is simpler for them to just use what is already made. I have recently purchased two books by Daniel Leader and he seems to rely on poolish's and I am excited to try his breads out. I have found that breads prepared with Poolish have a nuttier taste, that I am drawn to. Especially when using ingredients such as toasted nuts or dried fruit. 

I would like to show you this picture, this is what I love about Poolish, look at the gas that it produces. 

So I know I have spoken a lot about folding dough during the bulk fermentation stage, but until now I have not chronicled the process in picture form. Since this bread gets two fold: the first at 50 minutes and the second 50 minutes later I was able to document it. 
Place the dough on the bench and begin to stretch it out, work gently and work small amounts of dough at a time. Avoid ripping the dough
Fold the Left third of the dough over

Now fold the right side of the dough over the previously folded section

Fold the top third down

And the bottom third up

Place the folded dough back in the bowl folded side down and recover with plastic wrap to finish fermentation
After the bulk fermentation. Preshape the dough into a boule and then place it on a floured peel and proof for two to two and a half hours. 

Load into a oven with a baking stone heated to 450 degrees. Apply steam and close the oven door immediately. This bread bakes for approximately 45 minuets, but every oven is different so watch it closely.

Finished Loaf

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