Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Pain au Parmesan with Spelt

Since Kelly and I are in the process of relocating, I bake bread when I can, and in it goes the many things that are edible, yet need to be used up before we travel. One of these items is home milled spelt flour and another is Parmesan cheese, from my adopted grandmother Betty! My initial plan was to make Pan Marino with 25% rye flour but I realized a few things, one I did not have rosemary, two I could not find my milled rye berries, three I had parmesan that I needed to use up, so I ended up making a sourdough bread fed with spelt, with in total is 50% whole grain (all from spelt), about 83 percent hydrated with a very long cold fermentation (not by choice, my digs is really cold right now) and a healthy amount of umami rich cheese. I you want to learn more about umami click here and make a quick ten dollar purchase, you will not be let down and I wrote the intro!

From this quest I learned several things, number one spelt is yummy and can produce a very light loaf and two it pairs amazingly well with parmesan cheese. Thirdly, I need rice flour once I relocate. I say the bread is about 83% hydration because that is my best, it was initially based on a 75% hydrated formula, but then I added a bit more water to the build and a touch more to the autolyse, so no one really knows.

I did autolyse this bread for only twenty minutes, because I had to run out to return a pair of shoes and to pick up a 7 qt Dutch Oven for my good friend Mike Pagano, who has been looking for one. He is becoming quite the home brewer and I see artisan bread baking in his future. A Local Department store had nice ones for 30-40 bucks! As I baker, I could not pass on that opportunity. I have been wanting a really large one to make huge batards and miches. The first hour of bulk fermentation did not have any folds and the last 95 minutes had at least four. The dough was wet and probably could have used a little more time in the kneading phase, but it did not seem to be coming together as I kept on kneading and I knew the bread would require a very long fermentation due to the ambient temperature of my kitchen and my lack of a desire to turn on the heat any higher. 

I did give this dough a round pre-shape but that made no difference, it was lacking in structure. So I roughly shaped it into a round with the help of a metal bench scraper and turned it into a very heavily floured linen lined brotform and gave in 120 minutes to proof. I chose to preheat the oven to 500 degrees for an hour, after hearing this is what Nancy Winkelmann does, her bread are beautiful!! So I placed the bread in the dutch oven, covered in and let it cook at 450 degrees for twenty minutes, I removed the lid and noticed that the bread had spread out quite a bit but did not get an awesome un-scored appearance, or vertical growth, but I was okay with it. The dough was really soggy and I knew the cheese would rescue it. When I came back thirty minutes late the kitchen smelled incredible like toasting parmesan cheese. At this point it was 11 o'clock at night and placed the loaf in a huge lunch bag and left it to sit out over night.

The next morning this bread was great. A wonderful crumb, not hugely open but with a light structure and gobs of melted cheese (the trick is to leave the cheese in chunks, when you mix.) The flavor and the crust are awesome. I think I am going to work on perfecting this bread, I will drop the hydration to about 78% and maybe increase the cheese to 15% (from ten), but all in all I am happy with this bread! Another successful hearthbakedtunes original. 

Bake on!

-DW, The Rye King

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