Thursday, June 26, 2014

80% Hydarted 75% Whole Wheat Levain

I was just talking to a new friend of mine today, and we were discussing how we each became the people we are today, and my honest answer was BREAD! Bread has taught me so much about how to live life and how to be a better person, more patient, more understand, more strong, more stead fast etc.....anyways, just a thought I wanted to share.

Update on my studies: This week I have covered chronic and acute liver failure, chronic and acute pancreatitis and most recently kidney failure. Now onto more interesting and important things; BREAD!

(Pictures to come in my next post as I loved this bread so much that I am baking it once again.)

I have been slowly increasing the amount of whole grain flour in my sourdough breads over the past weeks, and now I have taken the plunge, 75% whole grain. I have made 100% whole grain breads in the past, but they have never been light and open. This one is, a happy invention, no doubt!

Once again I have used the 75% hydrated levain as a base but made a couple of significant changes. I increased the hydration percentage to 80% but rather than adding the water to the autolyse I decided to put it into the sourdough build. I recently have been working with a levain seed which is 150% hydrated rather than my usual 100% hydrated. Since I feed my seed with whole grain flour, I thought it would be advantageous to increase the hydration, to allow for the seed to be more open. The truth is the levain is not more airy, but rather smoother in texture and more full flavored. I am really liking this change. 

I have to be honest with you this bread was perfect till just about the last moment. After the autolyse stage, the salt was added, and to be honest barely any kneading was necessary. Maybe 90 seconds by hand. the dough was soft and smooth, highly extensible and so easy to work with. I was able to complete four picture perfect folds. The dough was pre-shaped and shaped into a tight boule and then proofed beautifully in a lined brotform. I was even able to transfer the dough in to my screaming hot 5Qt combo cooker without any problems. Thirty minutes later I took it out of the pan and placed it directly on the hearth to finish for five minutes. I set the timer and it went off....but I was in the middle of helping Kelly with something. And I said to myself, Ill grab the bread in thirty seconds. Five minutes later I realized the error in my ways. And I went running and screaming into the kitchen "OH CRAP". The bread was a bit dar, but my main concern was that the crust felt very crisp and over baked, but after a 30 minute rest I revisited the loaf and to my surprise it felt great. It gave the right amount of give. 

This is a loaf that packs a wonderful sour punch, great whole wheat flavor but that still offers a tender moist crumb along with a nicely developed crust. There really is something very satisfying about creating your own formulas. To be honest this bread might replace my 50% whole grain, 75% hydrated loaf as my staple base formula. I think I am going to continue to push the hydration limits to see how far I can go. I really do like the effect of making a higher hydration build. But be careful the more water that is in it, the faster it will grow, more surface area for the yeast to jive in!!

Another successful weekend bake! 

Keep posted for more Hearthbakedtunes Creations!

-DW, The Rye King

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

75% Whole Wheat Levain with Pecans and Walnuts

I know I have not included a Dead show in a long time, but here is the concert I listened to while creating this wonderful sourdough bread. In fact I was in the kitchen for about five hours, lots to do, much fun was had.

A note about my studies: Over the past months I have been studying hard for my critical care nutrition certification exam. Over the past week I have moved on from the general nutrition support subjects to the more specific disease states. This past week I covered Trauma and Burns, Heart Failure and Pulmonary Disease and Chylothoax and Chylous Ascites. More updates to come. 

This bread is yet another adjustment to Richard Miscovich's Pain au Levain 75% hydrated. I have been slowly pushing the whole grain limits for this bread. I have brought this bread from its original 25% whole grain to 50%, with excellent results. Still open crumb. Last week I brought this bread up to 66% whole wheat flour and today 75%. I can not yet see the crumb but the crust looks great! As a registered dietitian and chef I am always looking to increase the health of my recipes and formulas with out sacrificing their flavor/textural integrity. Playing with Miscovich's classic loaf has been good fun over the past months. This bread contains 15% pecans and 5% walnuts by weight, which were both pan toasted till aromatic. The the bread was autolysed with the sourdough included for 30 minutes. hand kneaded for five minutes and includes a 2 hour ferment with four folds . 

This is the second time that I used by new Lodge 5qt Combo and the first time that I used it without branding my forearm. 

I wanted to also let everyone know that I am working on revising a e-cook book with my dear friend and talented chef Yair Zuk. The book should be available for sale soon. I strongly recommend that everyone gets there hands/eyes on it! Great recipes and he has truly written the hitchhikers guide to Umami, I have learned quite a bit from the book, and am using what I have learned in my own cooking with great results!

Bake On

-DW, The Rye King