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

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