Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Whole Wheat with Pate Fermente

I can not tell you the last time that I made bread without a levain! Its been quite a while. But with my upcoming move towards home (Central Massachusetts) for my new job, I decided to forgo my starter and to start a-fresh in my new location. My current starter had been through so many permutations, from rye to wheat back to rye to white back to rye then to spelt. With re-setting my roots in New England I decided I would reset my mother, a new name, a new place and a new life! 

One of the other things I have not done in a very long time is make a bread with a hydration less that 70%, I have been making these high hydration breads for quite a while and it was a nice change to make a 68% hydrated whole wheat bread. This one is coming form Jeffrey Hamelman's book, Bread (first edition). This bread is made with pate fermente (or old dough) and does not require an autolyse although I did autolyse all of the flour in the final mix for about twenty minutes, while I discussed my move out plans with my landlords. When I got back I kneaded the dough for roughly five minutes and then went straight to the bowl for 2 hours of bulk fermentation. 

The only considerable change I made to this bread was I replaced the 3% honey with 3% of Barley Malt Syrup, to give this bread a different layer of sweetness. That, and I love baking with barley. That is another reason why I am excited to be moving back towards home, my good friend MIke is a home brewer and pasta maker extraordinaire and we have been known to carb it up in style. I am exciting to ferment grain in a new kind of way!!

I pre-shaped and shaped this bread and did my best to seal it, but theses less hydrated doughs are much less forgiving. So I had to reseal it half way through proofing. And I was glad I did, this bread came out of the oven like a love song, I removed the combo cooker lid after 15 minutes and the seams had opened beautifully, the smell was incredible and the crust was deep in color, partially from the malt syrup, the dutch oven certainly helped as well. 

I am excited to see the crumb and give this beautiful bread a flavor test and a toasting test! I have high hopes and high spirits! 

New England, The Rye King Returns


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