Sunday, April 10, 2016

50% Whole Wheat with Biga


This is another bread coming from Ken Forkish's book and this is the first bread that I have made in a very long time which contains a pre-ferment that does not contain sourdough or levain. This is also the first time I have created a biga in probably 2 years. I went ahead and skipped the other three breads in Forkish's prefermented chapter because, as is the usual for most of his formulas, they contain very little whole grains, and I have a hard time with that. 

My palate and my life's mission to eat wholesome food does not align well with most of his formulas. That being said, I still intend to bake through his book, but I will pick and choose those formulas that allow me to be true to myself and my health goals. There are several breads in his book that contains very little whole grain, but I will still bake them.  However, I will ignore the ones that I am not excited about. The good news is that after this bread, I will be moving on to some levain breads. In the future I will go back to the more white formulas but I will adapt the recipes so that they contain a bit more fiber. 

This biga is 80% hydrated, which is probably the highest hydrated biga I have ever worked with. This bread also contains a high preferment with 50% flour. It is almost like pain rustique in that way (though a biga is used rather than a poolish). The biga is allowed to ferment four roughly 13 hours. It has a slightly fruity alcohol-like aroma when it is ready. The dry ingredients are then mixed and the final dough water (100 degrees F) is added and it is made into a rough mass. I failed to stop here and kept pinching and folding because I forgot about the biga. To compensate for this,I spent a bit more time in the pinching and folding phase to make sure that the dough was uniformly mixed. The dough then received 3 folds in 15 minute intervals for the first hour and then was allowed to bulk ferment for 2.25 hours.

The dough was then divided and when I was about to shape this bread, I had an epiphany. I realized that this could be made in the style of a cabiatta, which gets folded on itself into whatever shape the baker would like. It is then placed in a well-floured linen and baked as is. It has the consistency of cabiatta dough, something I intend to come back to in the future. I did not want to deal with a possible failure, so I shaped this bread into boules and placed them seam side down in flour dusted and wheat bran dusted cane baskets. These breads are then allowed to proof for one hour at roughly 70 degrees and are then baked in the Forkish way in my 3 qt and 5qt combo cooker. 30 minutes covered and then15-25 minutes uncovered. I again used tons of flour to prevent the bottoms from scorching. 

I brought a loaf with me to my mom's house but decided to give in to my mother's new next door neighbors who are juts the kindest folks. They let us use their cooler for my sisters wedding shower to store our food, and even trudged over to our house in the snow that morning to drop stuff off. I was glad to have given them a change to enjoy some artisan bread form my melodic hearth!

This is what it looks like when I removed the lid

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