Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Forkish Overnight White

This is the first time that I have made a bread that is completely devoid of wholegrain in years, and I almost feel bad about it. My brain is trying not to accept the fact that there are two loaves from the devil cooling on my kitchen counter. It just does not have the same appeal to me as a rich whole grain bread does. Perhaps it is the inner dietitian in me. I mean fresh hearth bread, is fresh hearth bread! And it has taken great will power to resist these loaves all afternoon, but eventually my will power will fail and I will give in to the temptation. It always does. My career in weight management has certainly taught me that much. 

I am really enjoying this Forkish book. The main reason is that I am just happy to be baking again. I am also very pleased to have the motivation to fit this into my busy schedule and I am most happy that his method of bread production is very conducive to the working and commuting baker. I finally found a way to balance the time between the working week and the weekend to bake. This has been my struggle for the past 15 or so months. Since taking his book out of the public library, I have purchased a 12 qt Rubbermaid container with a lid, which is going to come in handy in the future. I have also purchased parchment paper, but so far, that experiment has not gone as well as I had hoped. Kelly will certainly get great use out of the sheets though. 

The overnight white starts out with a 30 minute autolyse of all of the flour. The yeast and salt are then added and the folding and pinching method is used to incorporate all of the ingredients. I made sure to keep my hands damp during this process because it helps to keep it from becoming overly gucky and overly frustrating. The dough is then given three folds within 90 minutes and is then allowed to ferment at room temperature for 12-14 hours. This long ferment can happen because the dough contains very little yeast. 

After a visit to my parents, and just before going to bed, I checked on the dough. The dough had not moved very much. I removed the middle rack from my oven, heated it to the warm function for two minutes, stuffed the vent with foil and turned the oven off. I then placed the 12 qt rubbermaid tub in the oven and let it sit overnight. When I woke up the dough was nearly four times the size. It is possible that the dough moved a little to far along. The dough was then turned out and divided. 

I have begun sprinkling flour in the places where I will divide the dough. I find that this makes the process much cleaner and easier. The dough was then shaped into two boules using the fold and pull method described in Forkish's books. This method works quite well for dough with hydrations over 70%. The dough was then proofed for 60 minutes while the oven with cast iron combo cookers was preheated to 475. The bread was baked for 30 minutes lidded. The lid was then removed and the bread baked for an additional 15 minutes. I was happy with the appearance, but later noticed that the bottoms were not quite right. The breads would probably have benefitted from another 2-3 minutes in the oven. The parchment paper was annoying to get off of the loaves and I know that I am going to need a lot of practice to perfect this technique. But not to worry, because I will have plenty of loaves to practice on in the near future. 

I will probably be giving both of these loaves away; one to my in-laws for Easter and the other to friends or neighbors. So a crumb shot is not an option and my will-power has won out over temptation for this day. 
Not a fan of this one, I did end up eating some, gave it away to someone with a less particular palate. More to come! Many more, many more!

Please take good care and of course, bake on.
-DW, The Rye King

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