Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Olive Sourdough

This is another formula taken from Misky's book and a good one but I have some trouble shooting to do with my oven, and it is really starting to frustrate me. I think the elements are off, I believe that the bottom element is blasting and the top element is working undertime. I am going to start experimenting with my dutch oven baking process. Maybe starting with a cold pan will work better, I typically pre-heat them, even though  I have seem relatively similar results with either approach. I am also going to try keeping a baking pan on the bottom shelf of the oven to see if it helps to distribute the heat a bit better. Because to spend nearly 24 hours on a bread and to see the bottoms become carbonized, is just hell on the bones. I think an over thermometer is probably in order as well. The bread can be salvaged, I can trim of the burnt bottom off of each slice, but I miss that chew on all sides.

This bread is based on miscovichs 68% hydrain pain au levain, which is such a nice base, I have been using the higher hydration 75% mostly, because its easier to mix by hand, but the 68 as just as nice. The only changes that are made to this bread is an exchange for whole rye flour in place of whole wheat flour and the addition of 400g of olives. I have to be honest, I only had 150g of olives so it is a bit sparse, but there is a delicate olive flavor that pervades through the inner crumb. It really nice to eat on its own. There is something about the crumb that is almost too soft. Too easy to chew. I think I am just used to much heavier breads. These lighter breads are not baked in my oven very often, they provide a different kind of challenge as opposed to the 75-100 percent whole grain breads that I bake on a more regular basis. Shaping is one thing that is more difficult. Which I will talk about in my next post on Rustic Bread with Rye. They are more supple and I find them to be stickier and much less forgiving.

I started the build for this bread in the morning and with my new 110% hydrated wheat starter (not whole wheat) bertha it was really ready for action at 5 pm, by the time I got home for work. I quickly started the autolyse stage as I knew I wanted to get some sleep eventually, and I typically do not retard my breads. I do not have a large enough cooler, and I have more success with mixing and baking on the same day, although my schedule would probably benefit from a two day breads as I commute into Boston 5 days a week.  The salt was added the dough was kneaded and then the olives were added and mixed in by hand. The bread goes into  bulk fermentation for 2.5 hours with two fold 45 minutes apart from each other. The bread is then divided and shaped into boules and allowed to proof for another two hours. The breads are then baked in a dutch oven for twenty minutes at 450 and then the lids are removed and then are finished on the oven rack for 15-20 minutes. By the time the lids were removed the bottom of my breads were carbonized, they were not pitch black but they were certainly scarred and scabbed. I was frustrated but I knew that most of the bread would be able to be salvaged and by the time they came out of the oven I was pleased with the crust I had achieved especially on the one baked in the non-linen-lined brotform. I did utilize rice flour in my baskets, which I feel was a very big helping in keep the dough from sticking to the basket, which is something I will continue to do moving forward. Over all this bread was Okay, we had some user error and some mechanical failure, so all in all I can not complain too much! To spend hours on something and to have it come out subpar is never a good feeling, especially when you hold your baking at a certain level.

Well here to my next bake being even better! And lucky for me its already in the oven right now!

-Bake On

Rustic Bread with Rye

Well this is a bread that I am baking with Kelly's step brother in mind, he is graduating high school and he is always complaining that my bread is too grainy and healthy, so I thought I would settle with 20% whole grain, coming from rye, 50% preferment flour in the form of pate fermente and a full bake. As the bread is in the oven I can not report on the finished product, but I always spend much more time on the process anyways.

Pate fermente means old dough, often times one would simply use yesterdays dough in todays bread but since I am not running on a commercial level, I prepared my own. It was 100% bread flour, 60% water, 1.8% salt and 0.5% yeast. I allowed it to sit on my counter for 8 hours and It lived in the fridge for the last few hours because it was moving very quickly. After scaling the ingredients for the final mix, I combine the flour salt and water and a few chunks of the pate fermente (about 1 inch cubes) and start to knead for 30 seconds, then add a few more chunks. I follow this process until all of the pate ferment is in the dough and I kneed until smooth and all incorporated. This bread has a large amount of prefermented flour and also has a pretty long bulk fermentation over two hours for a yeasted bread, its also has a short proofing time 1.25 hours. I like when my breads are front loaded, I find it easier to manage, I tend to spend more time paying attention to the baking of the loaves, which is a bit more difficult as my oven has no window and also I am using two dutch ovens one 3 Qt and one 5 Qt. I have made several changes since my last bake, moving the oven rack up and using a non-preheated dutch oven, and I am hoping these do not burn.

The final dough is 20% whole rye, and its a puffy one to work with, between a very high amount of pre-fermented flour and the yeast and a lot of white flour. I just opened my first DO, and this bread is huge, I need to work on my shaping quite a bit. It is really a good thing I prefer to bake whole grain breads. Practice, Practice, Practice! I will have to start making a bread like this at least one per month so that I can hone my skills on the bench, because they have gone slack with lack of use. Well it will taste good anyways!

Bake On