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

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