Friday, October 17, 2014

Anita's Bread with Walnuts and Cranberries

This is a bread requested by my favorite pharmacist in Atlantic City, Anita! She laughs at my jokes, understand my frustration with the american healthcare paradigm and most importantly loves my bread. I have made a handful of breads for Anita but hands down her favorite is 

This is another one of my 75% whole wheat and 25% white flour breads. Leveaned with my 100% whole grain starer. My starter lately has been rye, but I converted a small portion of it back to a wheat starter over the past two days in preparation for this bread. With all the whole grain flour, the rye starter would have provided to much acidity, so I did not want a rye flour base. Plus, Anita was quite clear "she wanted nothing funny in this bread". She has been waiting for me to take my test and has been very patient, I can't blame her, she knows what she likes.

This bread came together beutifully, I came home from work and the starter was perfectly ready. Here is a photograph of the ripe starter. 

The next step was to add the final dough water to the starter to loosen it up and combine it with the whole grain and bread flour. This bread was then autolysed for 25 minutes. 

Once you add the water to the starter, you see some real action
While the autoloyse took place I toasted both the walnuts and hydrated the cranberries in water, to help keep them from burning during the full bake....I then added the yeast and proceeded to knead by hand. This bread came together very quickly. the dough really softened during the autolyse stage and very little kneading was necessary. I kneaded by hand for about 2-3 minutes. This dough develops quite a bit of structure during its four fold in 30 minute intervals, so I knew the structure would be fine by the time the bread was ready for the shaping stage. 

Here is another picture, this is of the stretch prior to the first fold. Although this dough has a lot of whole grains its gets wonderful extensibility. I attribute this to the autolyse. I have been working with this formula for quite some times, and have it down to an art, but it was not easy to get there. After this fold I knew this bread was going to be great. 

I did let these doughs relax prior to shaping, and I feel it gave me better control. I usually skip this step with this bread, but now that I know it helps it quite a bit, I will add it to the method of preparation. 

These breads were then baked at 450 degrees in preheated combo cookers. 15 minutes with the lids on and then the lids were removed and then baked fully until the right color was achieved. Watch them closely , with the cranberries they will brown up fast towards the end. 

I was very pleased with this bread, it got quite a lot of oven spring, which will yield a nice moist crumb! They will taste fantastic!

I just need to find a way to get a small amount of rye flour into this bread
-DW, The Rye King

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