Tag Archives: Sourdough

Orange Cranberry 50% Spelt Loaves

Today’s adventure in baking involved the rest of the spelt flour, some orange juice, buttermilk, cranberries and honey.   The 50% spelt loaf came out nicely so instead of leaving well enough alone and making another one, I decided to branch out.  I also wanted to use up the buttermilk and orange juice.

The recipe:

220 grams Spelt flour
220 grams KA Bread flour
200 grams levain
100 grams orange juice
100 grams buttermilk
100 grams dried cranberries
10 grams salt
6 grams SAF yeast

Soak the cranberries in the orange juice for 20 minutes and prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Measure the spelt and bread flours, add the slightly warmed buttermilk, honey and prepared levain and mix well.  Allow to autolyse for 30 minutes.

Add the cranberries and juice, salt and yeast.  Mix well using your preferred method.  I used 5 minutes of slaps and folds.

I allowed the dough to rise in my warm microwave for 30 minutes…it was almost double…and then gently pressed it down and stretched and folded one more time before putting it into another 30 minute rise.

I then split the dough and allowed it to rest for 10 minutes before I stretched it and sprinkled some brown sugar on it and folded and rolled it up before placing it in parchment lined baking tins. Proofed to about 85% and then baked for 40 minutes at 375 dF after sprinkling a little more brown sugar on the top.

I also neglected to take any pictures of the preparation but the final result and crumb are pictured below.

And while not as pretty as other loaves I’ve taken from the oven, these really are tasty.  A hint of sour from the levain and buttermilk, a little sweetness from the honey and brown sugar and tartness from the cranberries.

IMG_0953 IMG_0955

Spelt….Part Deux…New World Style

After the disastrous adventure into spelt baking, I went back to the drawing board and decided that we didn’t especially like a whole spelt loaf.  Nick liked it because it was crunchy.  It does have a nice flavor though, just not for us.

This time I decided to make a 50% spelt bread and turned to Hamelman’s Bread for inspiration.  He has a honey spelt recipe that I Wendy-ized.

250 grams Whole Spelt Flour
250 grams KA Bread Flour
100 grams Wheat Starter
300 grams water
40 grams honey
10 grams salt
7 grams SAF yeast

Hamelman mixes his in a mixer but I did mine by hand, again following my usual sourdough method.

Mixing the starter, flours, water and honey, I let the dough autolyse for 30 minutes.  After adding the yeast and salt, I did six minutes of slap and folds on the counter….and no jokes about the shape!

The dough was feeling pretty good and shaped into a nice dome.  It was elastic and supple although wet hands did help with the handling.

Into the proofing bucket for a two hour bulk fermentation.  At the one hour stage the dough had almost doubled in bulk so I took it out…per the recipe….and did a few stretch and folds.  After gently degassing and pressing down, it went back into the proofing container for only another 30 minutes this using the yeast really speeds up the fermentation.

Lots of bubbles on the dough when I dumped it on the counter for shaping.  After a 10 minute rest I pushed it around a bit till it formed a nice dome and taut skin. IMG_0872Then into the oat lined banneton that I was inspired by a post on the forum to do.  IMG_0875

The final proof in the banneton only took as long as heating the oven….and the resulting loaf was not beautiful but extremely delicious with a slight sweetness from the honey.  A much more successful bake!

IMG_0876

 

Erdinger Weissbier Bread

2015-05-05_12-26-22Having seen a few beer breads being bandied about on forum and web, I decided it was time to try my hand.  And, being that I’m married to a German, it seems appropriate that I stick with beer that adheres to the German purity law as well as being the household favorite.

The levain was built as follows:

100 grams Rodney rye sour
150 grams KA Pumpernickel
250 grams Erdinger Weissbier with hefe aka yeast

After fermenting for 18 hours or so the starter was bloated and floating…..it was time to put together the final dough.

Needed two good size loaves for dance practice tomorrow night….who else to enjoy this bread with….I added:

600 grams Erdinger
800 grams KA bread flour

I let it autolyze for 25 minutes and then added 20 grams of salt.  After slapping and folding it for five minutes and performing two stretch and folds 15 minutes apart, I left it to bulk ferment for about 8 hours.

IMG_0790I divided and conquered and set the dough for its cold, overnight slumber.  Another thing I’m trying when the dough is very wet is to sprinkle a little flour around the edge of the dough to try and keep it from sticking.

The dough came out of the fridge, was scored and plopped into the hot dutch ovens.    What came out was pretty nice and pretty tasty.

IMG_0794

 

It also had a very nice crumb and was thoroughly enjoyed at dance practice that night slathered in lots of Kerry Gold butter.

IMG_0796

1.2.3 Sourdough….Easy as…well….1.2.3!

As I surfed the bread websites to further my knowledge of artisan bread baking, I stumbled across the 1.2.3 Sourdough method of Flo Makani, a french baker.  Her site is in French but Google will translate it.  I also read about it in a thread on the The Fresh Loaf in depth and on the Artisan Baker’s facebook page.

And of course, I just had to try it!  It is the easiest way to make an artisan loaf of sourdough bread ever!  I did apply many of the techniques I’ve been practicing for the past few months in my journey to master the art.  I have now made this recipe twice with perfect results each time.

IMG_0717
The first batch of 1.2.3 Sourdough baked into one large boule.

The method is simple:  one part levain or starter, two parts water and three parts flour.

 

Now that I’ve given a brief explanation of the process, let me tell you how I made the loaves.IMG_0719

I fermented 250 grams of mature levain:  This consisted of 25 grams of my mature rye starter that I keep in the fridge combined with 100 grams of rye flour and 125 grams of water.  This sat out at room temperature overnight.   It was ready when doubled and bubbled and a little bit of it dropped in a glass of water and floated.

I added the levain to 500 grams of 95 dF water to dissolve it and then added that to 750 grams of flour:

500 grams King Arthur Bread Flour
150 grams Hodsons Mill Rye Flour
100 grams King Arthur White Whole Wheat

Mixed it well with my hands and let it sit for 20-30 minutes in an autolyse phase.

I then added in my 12 grams of salt and mixed and pinched some more as well as stretching and folding the dough.  I performed this stretch and fold every 30 minutes for the first two hours of the bulk fermentation.  The longer you bulk ferment, the deeper the flavor of your bread.

And at this point you can take your dough and put it into your proofing basket/banneton and let it rise till about 70 percent double in bulk and then bake it, either in your dutch oven or on your baking stone in a steamed oven.  Since I started using dutch ovens, that is all I use now for these types of loaves.

I let my dough bulk ferment for about four hours.  It was about 1.5 times the original size.  I poured it out on to a lightly floured counter, stretched and folded it into a boule shape and let it rest for about 20 minutes.

After this bench rest period, I stretched and folded it gently some more and shaped it into its final boule shape, placing it into my well floured bannetons.

These loaves got an overnight cold proof.  I placed my bannetons inside plastic bags and put them into the fridge.

The next morning I tried the finger poke test and the hole did come back very very slowly, most likely because the dough was so cold retarded.  I let them sit at room temperature while the oven/dutch ovens heated to 475 dF.

The loaves were unloaded onto the floured counter, scored…which was easier on a cold loaf, and gently lifted into the extremely hot dutch ovens very carefully and covered.  IMG_0724

After 20 minutes the covers were removed to reveal nicely springing loaves.  Baked for an additional 20 minutes until the internal temperature was 200+ dF and two lovely loaves were done.

Hamelman’s Vermont Sourdough

It was time to try my hand at another loaf of sourdough bread.  The freezer was stuffed but we’ve had a chance to eat a little bit and I’ve found another place to lose loaves.

Today’s bread is Vermont Sourdough from Jeff Hamelman’s book Bread.  In his book, all the recipes are written in bakery sized formulas along with a home version which is written in pounds and ounces so I needed to convert them to grams.  I also upped the rye a slight bit and added a little whole wheat but kept the formula in the same balance as he.

Levain
75 gr mature starter
125 gr. warm water
125 gr. whole wheat flour

Allow to ferment at room temperature or above (I like to warm my microwave with a boiled glass of water) for 8 to 12 hours until bubbled and risen.

600 gr bread flour
80 gr whole wheat flour
100 gr rye flour
419 gr water
17 gr salt
325 gr levain

Mix all of the ingredients together except the salt and leave to autolyse for at least 30 minutes.  You can leave it for up to an hour according to his book.

Mix in the salt well and allow to bulk ferment for 1.5 to 2.5 hours.  Again in the microwave with boiled water.  After 30 minutes I stretched and folded the dough, reheated the boiled water and put it back in the microwave.  It now being 11:00 at night….why do I get these urges so late? …I decided to perform one more stretch and fold and put it in the refrigerator for a cold overnight bulk ferment.

IMG_0672This morning it had nicely risen in its container.  IMG_0673This dough is slightly dryer than some of the breads I’ve been making recently and contributes to making it easier to split and prepare for the bannetons.

IMG_0674

Another recommen-dation I decided to try today is taking a small bit of the dough and placing in in a shot glass to monitor its rising.   It is just about an inch deep in the glass coming to the top of the word Berlin so by my calculations it IMG_0676should be ready for the oven when it reach the yellow part of the coat of arms design.  This took about three hours.  I plan to use this technique going forward.

I’m still working on my slashing technique and am thinking my homemade lame is not upto par.

IMG_0677I took the little proofing ball of dough and threw that on foil and tossed it in the oven.  It was ready after 30 minutes and was a nice little preview of what  hopefully was contained in side those full sized loaves.

Forty minutes later out come these beauties!IMG_0679

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0682

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0686And the crumb shot….nice slightly sour tang, crispy/chewy crust….definitely a winner!

And this is a shot of the wheat loaf I made yesterday.

IMG_0675I knew I was rushing to starter and the rising but I needed to do it anyway.  It takes good and everyone liked it but it was not up to the standard that I am aspiring.

 

Trying to get a Rise..in search of elusive oven spring

This recipe is based on the Field Blend #2 recipes in Ken Forkish’s Flour Water Salt Yeast. I have been concentrating on this particular recipe for consistency while I determine the best method for me to achieve the elusive oven spring. Forkish adds a tiny bit of yeast that the purists in artisan bread baking eschew.  Once consistent results are achieved, the next step is to eliminate the yeast from the formula. Meanwhile, my goal is to find the right blend of technique, I.e., levain prep, percent of water, combination of grains, length of bulk ferment and length of proofing of the final loaves without overdoing it in my quest for better height in my loaves as well as better scoring before baking.  And let’s not forget the baker’s percentage formula….gotta figure that out too because I don’t think I’ve been deducting the levain flour from the total dough flour….that’s for next time…which means this formula is a little higher percentage flour than 100%.

Starter

75 gr. Rye Sour
25 gr. Wheat Sour
100 gr. 90 dF Water
100 gr. WW Flour

Ferment for 12 hours.

650 gr Bread Flour
100 gr. rye flour
150 gr. WW flour
650 gr. 90 dF Water

Autolyse for 30 mins.  Add 21 gr. salt, 2 gr. yeast and 200 gr. prepared levain.

Pinch and squeeze it all together.  Mixed dough temp is 75 dF.  Place in proofing box.  This is my microwave with a measuring glass of water immediately boiled inside.

Stretch & fold dough every 30 minutes for the first two hours.  Bulk fermentation to almost double only took 3 hours at which time I transferred it to the lightly floured counter for dividing and preshaping.

After bench resting the dough for 30 minutes, it was final shaped and put into two bannetons and left for 1 hour at room temperature.

After scoring the loaves, always a challenge, they were baked in covered dutch ovens heated to 475 dF for 30 minutes, then 20 minutes uncovered.

IMG_0645
Two lovely Field Grains #2 loaves compared to yesterday tasty, but less than spectacular loaf.
IMG_0647
Ain’t that gorgeous!

And a successful bake it was!

By the Numbers

My life is now ruled by numbers.  Since sourdough takes time, I have to calculate when I want to bake my bread, count backwards by the approximate time it takes to do each step:  prepare the levain, autolyse the dough, bulk ferment with stretching & folding, shaping and into the bannetons and then how long to proof the loaves…do I have time to proof it warm or do I need to put it in the fridge and bake in the morning….will I have time to do in the morning or do I need to stretch that time till later…..oyyyyy….my brain hurts!  This isn’t supposed to be work!  It isn’t really…its something I’m loving doing so it really is fun and challenging to figure it all out.

And preparing the dough….numbers rule there too.  By following the rules of the baker’s percentage, the amount of different flours to use to achieve the right flavor as well as the correct amount of water to achieve the appropriate amount of dough hydration.  I feel like I’ve gone back to school…and in fact, I think I have….the baking school of Wendy!

IMG_0635And how many books have I borrowed from the library….I currently have 6 sitting in the kitchen right now….and have returned about an equal amount.  I’m still trying to decide which if any I want to buy to keep on hand as reference books.

Training Wheels – Off!

IMG_0625
Almost double in bulk…starting point marked with a piece of tape.

Hopefully the training wheels are off. Another total sourdough dough has been put into its chilled resting place for the night. Started yesterday with a small preferment begun with Rodney and assembled into a sloppy, doughy mess to bulk ferment in the proofing box around 5 p.m. today.

IMG_0626
The resting phase…still having a problem getting them to firm up….perhaps they’re not ready????

Four hours later and the dough had almost doubled in bulk and was ready for the baskets.

This style dough is very wet and can be a little difficult to handle but its getting a little easier each time.  There are videos out there showing how to handle it.

IMG_0627
Tucked into bed for the evening
IMG_0628
Plastic bagged and cold proofing

After shaping and placing in the bannetons, it was into the fridge for an overnight retardation.

IMG_0762Baking was early the next day as I had to leave the house for my monthly breakfast meeting with my former co-workers. Ron finished the final baking and the loaves came out to quote “baked to a golden perfection.”

IMG_0631
Obligatory Crumb Shot

The loaf on the left went in a little crooked but recovered quite well.  On the right is the signature t-rex slash that when turned upside is a “W.”  Below is the recipe I developed for these loaves.

 Artisan Sourdough Rye (Makes two loaves)

 Build #1:

10 gr. Rye
10 gr. Bread Flour
5 gr. Whole Wheat Flour
20 gr. Water

Mix together and leave in a warm spot to ferment for 12 hours. It should almost double in bulk.  I already have a well developed rye sour, Rodney, so instead of creating the builds, I take 100 grams of Rodney and mix it with 100 grams each of whole wheat flour and water and let it sit till almost double.

Build #2

All of Build #1
50 gr. Bread Flour
50 gr. Whole Wheat Flour
50 gr. Warm Water

Mix together and leave in a warm spot to ferment for 12 hours. It should double in bulk.

Final Dough

All of Build #2 (or a fed levain of 200 grams)
650 gr. Bread Flour
150 gr. Rye Flour
50 gr. Whole Wheat
600 gr. Warm Water
21 gr. Kosher or Sea Salt

Mix all the flours with 600 gr. of very (about 90 dF) warm water. I use either a spatula or my new Danish Dough Whisk.

Autolyse 20-30 minutes.  Sprinkle the salt and add 50 gr. of water. Mix well with your hand like a pincer and stretch and fold also.

Put in a warm place (I used my microwave with a measuring cup of water full of boiled water to get it toasty) and perform stretch and folds every 30 minutes for the first two hours. Bulk rise 6-12 hours or at least until double in volume.  This time it only took about 4-5 hours…Rodney was very frisky.

Pour dough onto a lightly floured surface and using a dough scraper or knife, work some flour around the edges of the dough gently lifting and folding the dough,  being careful not to degas it too much.

Divide the dough and using the dough scraper or knife, pre-shape each piece into a round by gently lifting and folding the edges like an envelope and then pulling the dough toward you to form a taut skin….easier said than done but I keep practicing.

Lightly dust the top of the dough, cover with a towel and let rest for 20  to 30 minutes.

Final shape the dough and put into well floured bannetons or towel lined bowls. Place in plastic bags after lightly flouring the tops of the loaves and refrigerate for 6 – 12 hours.  You can also dust the loaves with semolina or cornmeal.

Pre-heat your oven to 500 dF with the dutch oven inside. Remove the bannetons from the refrigerator, turn over the bannetons over the pre-heated dutch oven and let gravity do its thing.   I’m still trying to get them perfectly centered over the dutch ovens.  Slash the loaves, cover and reduce the heat to 475 dF.

Bake 20 minutes at 475 dF. Uncover and bake for an additional 20 minutes until golden brown. The loaves are done when they reach an internal temperature of 200 dF plus/minus.

If you watch any of the Ken Forkish videos, he takes the bannetons and dumps them on a floured counter and then gently picks them up and puts them in the dutch ovens.  Some folks also put the loaves into cold dutch ovens…I may try that at some point.  I could not have reached this point so quickly without the help of great folks on The Fresh Loaf forum!

Enjoy!

True Sourdough and a Cheater Harvest Grain

IMG_0608

Applying what I learned when I went back to basics, I mixed up a total levain based sourdough.  Of course during the rising period I had my doubts and although I have a multitude of patience being married to Mr. A.D.D., I get impatient watching the dough rise!

I had started with a very small build in the morning of 10 gr each rye and bread flour, 4 gr whole wheat and 20 gr. water.  That night I mixed with 100 gr each of my wheat sour, rye sour, WW flour and water and let it ferment and boy did it do well overnight.  Of course this made twice what I needed for the final dough but about that later.

Next morning I mixed up 200 gr of the levain with 800 gr bread flour, 150 gr rye, 50 gr whole wheat and 700 gr water folds every 30 minutes for the first two hours and then left it all day in the microwave reheating my glass of water every few hours to keep the inside nice and warm.  I’m still learning the % method and this of course contains more than the 100% with the levain but that’s ok….I’m getting it.

That night (actually last night), it had slowly doubled in volume and I dumped it out and started gently shaping.  The dough was really wet and I wasn’t sure I was doing it right but I let it bench rest and then shaped it again…still really wobbly and jello like…I really had my doubts this was going to work.  Put the shaped pieces into floured bannetons…and I mean really heavily floured.   I got rice flour and mixed it with bread flour…I don’t know about you…but my kitchen has a permanent light dusting of flour over everything these days!

Put the baskets in the fridge in plastic bags last night and hoped for the best.  They really didn’t look that much bigger this morning but reacted nicely to a poke.  Dumped them in my preheated dutch ovens and lo and behoild, I have some nice looking loaves…..signature t-Rex slash included.

Last night, affter I had stashed these loaves in the fridge, I still had the other half of the levain left over and trying to be frugal…besides hubby wouldn’t let me toss it….I decided to try another “formula.”
This time I pulled out my bag of KA Harvest Grains mixed in 100 gr of that with my levain and water mixture let it sit for a few minutes and then along with the various flours ( I won’t bore you with the details but I did calculate all of the ingredients this time…hopefully correctly….and to assure I would have success, added 3gr. of yeast.  And success it was…I had to stay up to midnight last night baking it and hubby just had to have a piece before going to bed but I ended up with 2 nice loaves…one I forgot to slash but it didn’t burst and is nicely rounded.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So the point of this post is the say…yup…I think I’m getting it….oh and….anyone need a loaf of bread!!! LOL!

And if you’ve read this far, I just want to say a few more things….equipment….its a slippery slope and I keep adding to my arsenal.  We joined Restaurant Depot and I have to say….wow….what a difference in price!  Luckily I have an upright freezer to store my extra flour.  I got bowl scrapers and these cute little 1 liter plastic containers for holding my sours.  Rodney Rye on the left is extremely vigorous…he was at the half line yesterday.

 

I’ve been complaining to the hubby about my minor burns and the need for a pair of oven gloves.  What sweetheart…he went to Home Depot yesterday and found me a pair of welding gloves!!!

Back to Basics: Tartine Sourdough Practice

After my less than spectacular Forkish Country Brown….good flavor, not as good oven spring as I would like, I decided to go back to basics.

I made the basic recipe out of the Tartine book but to assure success I added 3 gr of yeast to the dough.  Left on the counter for an overnight fermentation, shaped and refrigerated in the morning for an afternoon bake.  Pretty happy with the way they came out.  One boule stuck to the banneton and looked like a disaster when I covered it in the DO and one my husband missed the mark and went in crooked.  To my surprise they both recovered to make pretty nice loaves although I definitely need to practice my slashing technique.