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Sourdough & Baker's Kaffeeklatsch--la Troisi�me

plllog
8 years ago

This is a continuation of the discussion of sourdough, excess starter, breads made with commercial yeast, incidental other baking, kids, lives, homes and all things related. We're picking up from thread deux. This is not Conversations. It's primarily about baking with wild yeast, which also includes baking with regular yeast, which also includes baking with baking powder or eggs or no leaven at all, and since the whole reason for doing all that baking is for nourishing family, friends and selves, it's about them too.

Comments (104)

  • plllog
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Some time after midnight, after the kitchen was mostly cleaned up (floors and all tomorrow), I bethought myself of the fact that there's only a big heel left and I should bake. It is baking day tomorrow, after all. There was delicious focaccia at a lovely restaurant Saturday night. Totally delicious. Sweet and salty. See! I do eat white bread occasionally! But it spoiled me for the end of the last loaf.

    So, all be it was late, I thought I should throw together a levain. Ah, but there were only a few grams left in the canister! I just couldn't face the noise of the mill at that hour. My earplugs (shooting style) protect the ears, but only cancel the loud, not the experience of noise.

    The Tuscan bread calls for the rye starter, and I accidentally milled too much rye so had plenty of that. It was more fuss to measure out Ruby and clean her jar and measure her back and feed her, but it was a good thing because she went from sweet and sassy to hoochy mama in a blink! And it was a very quiet kind of thing to do. Just a rattle of the jar and bowl here and there.

    Rye is the big floppy puppy of bread grains. It's always happy to see you, and soaks up the water like a champ, but I put in the extra serving of water anyway. I don't think it was too much (7 tsp. for 175 g rye), but I don't think rye bran is as obstreperous as wheat. If it seems wet tomorrow, I'll use less water. The rest of the flour will be red wheat. I'm going to feed the other starters too, as they're also looking a little hoochy even though they've been fed recently, and finally make the pizza dough.

    I had a headache so never made the dough for the company. They were happy with meatballs. ;) It was chilly enough to use the comforter last night, so the pizza ban, which I've been dancing around for a month, is over. I even have some broccolini!

  • ediej1209 AL Zn 7
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    OK, y'all inspired me... I baked bread yesterday! But, it wasn't quite right. I used a recipe I'd found for olive oil bread and the flour it called for was 3-1/2 cups of unbleached AP to 1-1/4 cups whole wheat. I used WHITE whole wheat. The bread has a marvelous taste, but the texture, not so much. It's "gummy" if you know what I mean, with a very heavy crust. Could the substitution have caused it? Or could I have used a little too much liquid? The instructions just said to keep adding water until dough was "wet and sticky". What I ended up with was about like very thick wallpaper paste (and I only used about 1/2 of the amount of water that I had measured out per instructions.) What should I have been looking for in texture for "wet and sticky"?
    Thanks a million!
    Edie

  • lascatx
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    My first suspects would be not enough gluten development (what was the texture like inside -- the "crumb"? If that was dense this was most likely at least part of the issue) or slightly underbaked. Gluten development depends on one or more of the following -- kneading (old school method), stretch and folding (newer school artisan approach) or wet standing time -- the no-knead approach.

    Been a while, so thought I'd post my latest pizza entry -- used an artichoke tapenade from Trader Joe's instead of tomato sauce and added chicken, mushrooms and mozzerella on a sourdough crust. It was SOOO good.

    This post was edited by lascatx on Mon, Oct 27, 14 at 11:13

  • lascatx
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Did this one Friday. We baked two -- one tore on the stone. What a mess! but it still tasted great. I'm just glad the dough was saved. I had just mixed it when I got a call and had to make a trip downtown and was there all night (family member with compromised immune system has to go in for any fever and get checked -- his wife was out of town. This was the first time he wasn't admitted, so it was a good thing, just a long night). I pulled the dough out and did some folds after it warmed up. Probably would have benefited from one or two more -- the dough was wanting to tear when I shaped it, but the dough that sat another 2 days was better.

  • lascatx
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    And a picture is worth 1000 words -

  • plllog
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Edie, big question: Was it soft white wheat or hard white wheat, and was it Winter or Spring. There are different protein contents and will affect your bread differently.

    With a recipe like the one you were using, you really have to know in your hands how to bake. Rather than giving you a measured for success amount of hydration, the author is telling you to figure it out yourself. I'm guessing that the gummy interior is because it was wet, and that the very heavy crust maybe wasn't venting enough steam. But that might mean you needed more water, rather than less. Wet and sticky is usually wetter than wallpaper paste, and that might have been part of the problem.

    The biggest culprits are always the moisture and the protein.

    Lascatx, Great pizza!! I love the white one. I'm going to have to try something like that.

  • ediej1209 AL Zn 7
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    lascatx, I let my kitchenaid do the kneading (I'm kind of mobility impaired), at medium speed for a full 10 minutes, which is what the recipe called for. Do you think that maybe the mixer doesn't thoroughly knead properly?
    plllog, I used Gold Medal white whole wheat, and all the bag says is that it is made from an "albino variety of wheat, which is lighter in color and has a sweeter milder flavor." However, after reading your description, maybe it is that I didn't use enough water. I'm used to regular bread dough and when the mass went from stiff to paste in the blink of an eye I kind of freaked out. I actually almost threw it out but decided to see what I ended up with. The hardest part was trying to chafe such a dough. I probably added more flour than I should have, just trying to get it to stay in something resembling a ball.
    Thank you both for taking the time to answer. I do appreciate it. So maybe I will try again one of these days soon. Maybe a French or Italian style plain white bread, though ;-) I think I need to practice a bit more before trying some of these "fancier" breads.
    Edie

  • ann_t
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Lascatx, I would be happy even with a piece of the one that stuck.

    I mixed up a batch of dough last night, a 1500g batch at 68% hydration. Used 2/3rds of it today to bake small baguettes and small rounds and I think I'll make pizza tomorrow with some of the remaining dough.



    Nice shiny crumb.

  • plllog
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Edie, when I started down the Sourdough Trail (or "trial" to be more accurate) this year, I had to start learning to bake bread all over again.

    The description of the flour is arrant puffery. Not wrong. Just, um, flowery. :) It's just hard white (Spring) wheat. That's wheat that has had the three genes that color the bran bred out of it. In doing so, the white also lost the tannins and phenols associated with the bran, that can make red (brown, looking) wheat bitter. In other words, what the bag says is true, but it makes it sound mystical, which it isn't.

    It also means that the wheat has a good bread making level of protein, so that's not your problem. Even though it's white, there's still bran, and bran can cut the gluten strands if you work the dough too much, but I don't think that's your problem. I have some hard white wheat that has a higher protein content that I save for making pizza. You shouldn't need it for making bread. Something you could try, however, if you think your dough is weak, is using white bread flour rather than the AP, especially if Gold Medal wasn't specified. King Arthur AP, for instance, has more protein than Gold Medal.

    Kneading it in the KA should be fine since the recipe suggested it. If you think it's not getting the bottom, you should adjust the beater level. There's a good YouTube Video that shows how to adjust it.

    In what sense did you mean "chafe"? I know of at least three when applied to baking. (1) Fold the dough to add in the last of the flour, aerating it and developing the gluten. Similar to stretch and fold. (2) Overworking the dough in such a manner. (3) drawing the ends under to make a ball with a stretched surface of long gluten strands. Same as "gluten cloak".

    From context, it sounds like you were talking about definition #3. One thing to understand is that with the bran cutting the gluten, you may not be getting the same kind of glossy, tight ball that you're used to. If it's just that the whole thing is too sticky to manage, before you put your hands in it, rub just a little oil in them if they tend to be dry, so your skin isn't sucking in the water. Wet your hands thorough (dripping) before you touch. I mostly just oil my hands, but Ann wets hers. If you draw it through a few times while trying to make your ball, it will get more cooperative. This is after the rise, right? Another thing you can do is a stretch and fold about a quarter of the way into the rising time. That helps develop the gluten and desticky it--even when done in the air without adding any bench flour.

    The best thing you can do is try again! Make a few adjustments. See what works.

    Re my own loaves, I used the VWG and extra water so my dough was sticky too. It developed nicely though, and got good oven spring. It's quite a big cooler, and now I'm wondering if some of my problem loaves actually discharged somewhat before they could rise when it was six degrees hotter in my kitchen. Pictures in the a.m.

  • plllog
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Tuscan pane, whole wheat and whole rye, with VWG. Good bread. Nice, moist crumb. Chewy crust. Too many big holes, however. It needs less water. Even though this type of bread traditionally has no salt, I think it needs some in this blend. I've asked for hard white wheat at the local store. If they get it in, I'll try it with the white wheat and no salt. Good rise. Good oven spring. These are meant to be fairly flat loaves. They didn't sink. I think the VWG did its job there.

  • ann_t
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Nice looking loaves Plllog. Don't you love it when the bread turns out the way that you want it too?

    ~Ann

  • plllog
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Thanks, Ann!

    And, yes, of course.

    Now that I have a handle on two recipes, I'm going to start aiming for "great". I know it's possible.

    One of the great things about the pain au levain is it's staying power. I have a habit from all these 30 hour baking cycles to cover my cooling loaves with a lightweight (fairly open weave) cotton tea towel for the night. After I've cut, I put them in Ziplocks. The last round (bread before current Tuscan), I thought we'd go through both loaves fairly quickly, so didn't bother freezing. After two weeks, the heel of the last loaf wasn't moldy (expected with such an acidic bread) nor particularly stale. A little harder than fresh, but really fine. I made a heated sandwich with it instead of waffles. Heating unwrapped the starches enough that it was like new. And really delicious. The multigrain option is a total winner. Maybe next time, I'll try your red and green in it. It looks yummy!

  • ediej1209 AL Zn 7
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Great looking loaves! I think you all should get together and do a weekly bread-baking "how to" show! The Cooking Channel doesn't seem to have much to do with cooking, but I bet a bunch of PBS stations would jump on it!!

    For my next foray into bread, I think I am going to try an oatmeal bread Saturday. It seems pretty straight-forward, one knead, one rising and one proofing, no chafing or fancy shaping, just a regular loaf pan.

    Thanks again for your kind encouragement. Looking forward to seeing more of your beautiful creations!

    Edie

  • ediej1209 AL Zn 7
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Great looking loaves! I think you all should get together and do a weekly bread-baking "how to" show! The Cooking Channel doesn't seem to have much to do with cooking, but I bet a bunch of PBS stations would jump on it!!

    For my next foray into bread, I think I am going to try an oatmeal bread Saturday. It seems pretty straight-forward, one knead, one rising and one proofing, no chafing or fancy shaping, just a regular loaf pan.

    Thanks again for your kind encouragement. Looking forward to seeing more of your beautiful creations!

    Edie

  • ediej1209 AL Zn 7
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Great looking loaves! I think you all should get together and do a weekly bread-baking "how to" show! The Cooking Channel doesn't seem to have much to do with cooking, but I bet a bunch of PBS stations would jump on it!!

    For my next foray into bread, I think I am going to try an oatmeal bread Saturday. It seems pretty straight-forward, one knead, one rising and one proofing, no chafing or fancy shaping, just a regular loaf pan.

    Thanks again for your kind encouragement. Looking forward to seeing more of your beautiful creations!

    Edie

  • ann_t
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I used the remaining dough from Sunday's 1500g batch to make pizza for dinner. And another large loaf of bread.

  • ann_t
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Fed both my starters on Thursday night, just before bed.
    Made a preferment using 60g of discarded starter, 225g of flour and 225g water. Left out on the counter overnight.


    This is what it looked like seven hours later.

    It went into a batch of dough Friday Morning - 1000g flour, 680g water, 27g of yeast. After two autolyze rests and a number of stretch and folds over the first hour, it went into the fridge for a 30 hour fermentation. Moe took the dough out of the fridge today just before 3:00 PM so that it would be almost ready for me to work with by the time I got in from work.

    The dough was ready to shape shortly after 6:00.

    Baked in Dutch Ovens. This is a pure wild yeast sourdough bread. Without the addition of commercial yeast.

  • plllog
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Nice loaves. Back to things to do with discarded sourdough starter. :)

    Nice pizza too. I haven't taken pictures of my recent pizza. It just looks like pizza. :) No time to be taking pictures when there's hot pizza!

    Edie, thanks for the encouragement. Ann's photography is stunning! You will post the results of your oatmeal bread, right?

  • ann_t
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Thanks Plllog.

    Pizza is one food that is easy to photograph, because it is too hot to cut when it comes out of the pizza oven. It needs a couple of minutes rest.

    Edie, looking forward to photos of your Oatmeal bread.

    ~Ann

  • ann_t
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Crumb Shot!!!

  • plllog
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I was hoping for that! Thanks, Ann! Is it my imagination, or does this crumb look more rustic than your standard loaves? It looks very appetizing. Literally. Like now I'm hungry!

    We're having breakfast pizza...in a bit. My optimum pizza baking temperature is 475° with my oven/stone/recipe. It barely rests long enough for plating and carry to the table. Then it's gone.

  • ann_t
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Plllog, I would agree with that. I think that the wild yeast sourdough bread crumb (no commercial yeast) does look at little more rustic.

    That makes sense about the pizza. When I bake in the oven, the temperature is at 550°F and I also finish the pizza under the broiler (Forkish's method for pizza baking) and now that I am using the Bakerstone pizza oven, the temperature is some where between 700 and 800°F. Needs time to cool before attempting to cut or eat.

    ~Ann

  • lascatx
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hmmm. When I bake pizza in the oven -- at 500 or 550 (even 450), I have never put it under the broiler. It bakes just fine, cheese melts and gets bubbly. The ones I posted most recently were done in the pizza oven on the grill, but the finished product doesn't look that different from the oven baked ones, especially those at 500-550. Why the broiler?

  • ediej1209 AL Zn 7
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    No photos, sorry, no camera! I did make the bread yesterday. We had some with dinner and had to slice the rest of it this morning and divvy it up into baggies and put it in the freezer; it will be my breakfasts this week. I had a lot of fun making it. DH however is not "into" any kind of bread except storebought sliced white -he only ate part of one slice last night. Sigh. I don't get it but ... whatcha gonna do?! Anyway I will probably make a loaf next weekend, too. Thank you for giving me the confidence to keep trying!
    Edie

  • ann_t
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Lascatx, I want to be able to bake pizzas similar to those baked in a wood fired oven. Like the pizza I get from a pizza place in Victoria. The closest I have come to that, prior to using the Bakerstone Pizza oven, was to follow Ken Forkish's method that combines both the oven and the broiler.

    Until I tried this method, I was never happy with homemade pizza.

    Forkish's instructions are to place the stone near the top of the oven, eight inches from the broiler. In my oven this is the rack position second from the top.

    Preheated to 550°F (the highest setting on my oven) for an hour, and then prior to sliding the pizza on to the stone, the surface is given a boost by turning on the broiler for five minutes.

    After five minutes the oven is switched back to "Bake - 550°F" and the pizza is slid on to the stone.
    Baked for five minutes and then broiled for two minutes.

    I was really happy with this method, but, I'm even more pleased with the pizzas baked in the Bakerstone oven. I find a major difference between pizzas baked at 550° and one baked at over 700°F. It is as close as I'm going to get to my favourite pizza.

    ~Ann

  • plllog
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Just for comparison's sake, I have the Gaggenau set-up, which also has a lot in common with a traditional pizza oven. The stone is about an inch thick and has a special element that plugs into the oven underneath, so the stone gets heated directly. There's also some convection on the pizza setting. It may be because my dough is 100% whole wheat, but I've tried all kinds of temperatures, and hotter doesn't give as good results. At 475° the crust has tooth and some crunch but isn't hard or overdone, and the top is melted and browned just right.

    I have to say, I was surprised. All instructions say higher temperatures are better. The stone surface is actually hotter than the set temperature, but by my laser thermocouple it's still under 500°. Even 500° is too much.

    I wish I could remember what worked best with yeasty, drier white dough. It's been at least a year. I think it took a higher temperature well.

    Edie, camera phone? I love all the pictures, not just Ann's print ready, beautifully lit, compositions. We just want to see the bread. :) It sounds like you had a success! Yea!

    When you're trying a new to you bread recipe, or new ingredients, you can expect a few doorstops. If you have something edible that's recognizably bread, you're ahead of the game. I hope you'll continue. Your husband might even learn to like what you bake. :)

  • ann_t
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I think it just depends on the style of pizza that one likes. I like a thin crust, but a puffy airy tender rim with a bit of a "chew". And I love the little charred spots on the rim from the high heat.

    Edie, Plllog is right, a camera phone works fine. That is what I use. For the last six months I've just been using my cell phone to take all my food photos.

    Your husband is the opposite of mine. Moe whines when he has to eat store bought bread, even if it is from one of the local artisan bakeries.

    It is just after 5:30AM here and now I have a craving for pizza.

    ~Ann

  • ann_t
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I baked two smaller 500g batches of dough this week. One regular and one 50% high protein white and 50% organic stoneground Spelt.

    The white was baked the same day, and the Spelt was given an overnight rise in the fridge.

    The White - two batons.

    The Spelt - A baguette and a Boule.

    We had a 12 hour power outage on Thursday. The power went out just before 11:00 AM, shortly after the Spelt bread came out of the oven.

    It was off until just after 10:30 PM. I had intended to make a pasta sauce using Italian sausage. Instead, I cooked the sausage in the dark, along with some onions on the grill, and made Sausage on baguette sandwiches for dinner.

    ~Ann

  • plllog
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    That spelt baguette looks particularly yummy, Ann!

    I need to bake which means finding the right timing. I'm thinking maybe tomorrow, since I have bushels of computer work to do before Monday.

    So sorry about your power outages! That made me think I should test out some campfire bread recipes, just in case. But then I remembered that I don't keep whole grain flour around, so unless I buy a hand crank mill and want to use it, that I first need to learn how to make soaked whole grain bread (you basically make mash, like for horse feed, and use that for baking). Which I suppose would be useful in a disaster situation, but I have crackers for an over night outage and I could just cook the wheat whole for sustenance if I had gas but no electric for weeks (i.e., following an earthquake or something).

    So, thank-you for the thought exercise. I occasionally consider getting a battery backup for the house (I have solar electric) but the technology just isn't mature enough and it's too expensive for what you can get. I wonder if having power to the coolers for 5+ hours per day, and only opening once a day, early, would keep things from spoiling...

    I hope you don't have any more outages.

  • plllog
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    So, sometime before midnight I decided I really don't need to go out tomorrow, and I could bake. But that doesn't mean I was awake! So I figured to start with the seed soaker so I wouldn't forget to reserve water. Last time I did the multigrain pain au levain it was tasty but mild, so I wanted to goose it a little. I did the suggested measures for the millet and flaxseeds but I spilled my cornmeal, threw another pinch of yellow dent corn into the mill, and forgot to measure the outcome. Too busy cleaning. :) I think my measure of oats overflowed, too, and I added a couple tablespoons of hemp hearts just because they're yummy.

    Then I was going to mill the wheat for the flour soaker and just wasn't in the mood for red wheat. I still haven't heard on the new crop and the stores around here don't have hard white wheat. I was putting away the corn and millet when I espied the einkorn! It was all bashed up (box) and forlorn, and its one pound was just about what I needed. Actually, exactly, but with spillage during milling, I needed a few extra grams of rye to make it up. No biggie. The einkorn is interesting. even with my hard white wheat I can see the bran, and always stir the flour to distribute it well, since it congregates at one side, like boys at a dance. I couldn't differentiate the bran in the einkorn. Weird, considering that einkorn has more bran than modern wheat.

    So I was thinking about the VWG and just couldn't feature adding modern gluten to ancient wheat. Since it doesn't have the dark, heavy bran that red wheat does, even though it supposedly has so much, I added half as much extra water as I would have otherwise. That counts the rye, too. Anyway, it's 446g einkorn, including the levain, and 156g rye. I don't want to even try figuring out the water since it's a combination of weight and volume. Should be yummy anyway. I did an einkorn and rye one before that was delicious.

    Oh, yeah. My whole wheat levain starter looks sad. I'll feed it tomorrow. I used the white.

    ---+---
    Sunday afternoon. Big change in the weather. First it got chilly last week. Then it was hot and dry. Now it's warm and humid and overcast. Ugh! Things aren't behaving the same way in my kitchen, even though it's actually pretty warm in there still. I put the levain on the cable box overnight--it's a very cool cable box, but a degree or two warmer than the counter. This morning there was obvious bubbling in the bottom but it hadn't grown, and still hadn't grown much by noon. It was feeding time at the zoo! So I decided to assemble, and, considering the flour, added a teaspoon of yeast, as well as the whole levain. That was probably twice as much yeast as I should have added, but similar to the proportion in my challah. I think. Probably.

    Anyway, the seed soaker was still swampy, so I put the yeast in that to make sure it all got wet. The levain and flour soaker were really dry! I couldn't face kneading them together, which I usually do by hand, right in the Anchor measuring bowl. Today, I decided to use the washwater and put it in the mixer. Good thing! It instantly turned battery. I think the surfaces must have dried out but it was still good and wet. Add the water that wasn't absorbed by the seeds and meals and oh boy!

    I've never seen the kneading look like that. No ball. No stretchy. The gluten in einkorn is very different from modern wheat, and I'm sure that was a big part of it. I just kept the machine kneading and kneading until I could see and feel the gluten forming. I got a good windowpane test lesson. I do it usually just to have comparisons in my head, but I was taught to look for "well stretched, glutinous ball" and by the time you have that, if you know what you're doing, the windowpane test is sort of, "Yeah, so?" After I could see and feel the gluten in today's dough, I tried it and it looked back at me and said, "What do you mean, "stretch"?" I've seen more stretch in cookie dough.

    More kneading. And, lightbulb, a rest, a la autolyse, to let it develop more while I took a break. And some further kneading. Somewhere along the line, I thought to test for flour. I had a few tablespoons of white bread flour in a container right there, and used some to try the pinch test. For all that my dough was soft and sticky, it passed the flour test. It's just weird flour. ;) So I kept kneading. It never formed a ball, but did eventually close up over the hook, and stretched, very gently, in a windowpane test.

    I was feeling that more would be overworking it, so I set it in the Anchor bowl for the rest required in the recipe, totally forgetting that there was commercial yeast. I went to put away the clean dishwasher dishes and saw that it had nearly doubled! So I grabbed a pizza pan, thinking it would be easiest to wash, floured it, and did my stretch and fold. Mooshy, sticky, yuck, but it worked. It's now doing its main rise. I decided that even if it holds shape, it's going to be an issue, so I got out a couple of round pans. It'll be small boules or pan shaped yurts. :)

    Messy, sticky, all over the kitchen, ugh, goo, but the part that sticks to the fingers tastes delicious raw, so I'm sure it'll be good bread. I'm much encouraged by that first rise. If the gluten were weak, it wouldn't have popped up so fast and strong. I only worry that it overrose and the no-see bran will be cutting the strands. I'm keeping a good thought for it. I think it might turn out to be good bread. I really didn't set out to make improvisational bread, but following rules is harder when one is so tired. Sigh.

    ---+---
    Sunday Night

    Definitely overrisen. I wish I could have baked it as it was in the bowl. It degassed a lot getting it out and it was pretty played out by then. In half an hour's rise. So I'll see what it's like in the morning. Very flat. Shrank in the oven through loss of steam. Interesting experiment. I hope it tastes good!

    This post was edited by plllog on Sun, Nov 9, 14 at 22:03

  • plllog
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    See post above for details. This is now officially called "WTF Bread". It may have been exhausted, but the crumb is open and light. It's not unrisen. It's just not more risen. It may look funny but it's delicious!



  • ann_t
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Love the "WTF Bread" name.

    Each loaf looks about as thick as a single cake layer. Did you bake them in a cake pan?

    ~Ann

  • plllog
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Yeah, but tall pans. They only came halfway up. I thought I was baking two small loaves in the center of round pans but because the yeast was exhausted--or maybe it was the gluten that was exhausted--I'm guessing the wild yeast was still burping away because of the open texture--it just spread instead of rising. The pans were just to keep it contained. If they'd risen up, they wouldn't have spread all the way to the sides. The flatness is just because I didn't have more dough in the pans. I'm happy with it. If I'd used smaller pans with such sloppy dough, it would have dripped over. At least I have nice, pretty disks. ;) Only the top is crusty, over course, because of the pans.

    If I try to replicate this, I'll let it rise in something it can bake in, so I don't have to degas it. But I'm having a feeding party this week. I'm going to let all the starters hang out on the counter for a few days and have lots of feedings to keep 'em happy.

  • ediej1209 AL Zn 7
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Looks yummy! Like a sandwich for a crowd; cut in 1/2 across, fill, cut into wedges and voila', instant dinner! I'll have to remember your trick next time I try a recipe that doesn't rise correctly (that would be weekend-before-last's adventure, sigh.) So where do you find einkorn?
    Edie

  • plllog
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Thanks, Edie. That's the way I've been using it. After that first slice across, I've been cutting slabs and splitting them. It's really excellent bread, and half the thickness is a nice size for sandwiches.

    You can get Jovial (French) Einkorn wheat berries at Whole Foods, as well as on Amazon. It's sold in one pound boxes, however, which is, um, cute, and stupendously ridiculously expensive. When I just checked, I saw that Ancient Grains (American) has 7.5 lb. bags on Amazon which are only slightly ridiculously expensive when you buy three and full on ridiculously expensive when you buy just one. (Mine came from Whole Foods awhile back.)

    Jovial also sells einkorn flour, which is a white flour.

  • ediej1209 AL Zn 7
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Thanks for the info... We don't have a Whole Foods anywhere near us, but I will check into the Amazon listings. That just looks so good I know I am going to have to try it at least once!
    You wouldn't perchance have a good recipe for oatmeal bread, would you? The one I tried a couple of weeks ago was OK but rather dry.
    Edie

  • plllog
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Thanks, Edie! I'm not sure that what you're seeing is the einkorn, though.

    The WTF Bread has:

    Wheat flour (in this case, freshly milled einkorn)
    Rye flour (also freshly milled)
    Unbleached white (KAF) levain starter (stiff sourdough starter that has 5% whole wheat)
    Dry yeast (Fleishmann's)
    Millet
    Rolled Oats
    Corn (mine is freshly milled yellow dent corn, but yellow cornmeal from a box wouldn't be much different)
    Flaxseeds
    Hemphearts
    Water
    Salt

    It was Daniel Leader's Pain au Levain, from Local Breads gone wrong in oh, so many ways. That is a fabulous recipe, however. The real way is done with much unbleached white flour, some whole wheat flour, and a bit of rye flour. The millet, cornmeal, rolled oats and flaxseeds are a variation he gives with the recipe. I made it once with some einkorn flour as part of the total and it was also delicious. That might be a better place to start than with WTF bread.

    Rather than starting with a new recipe for your oatmeal bread, unless you have reason to think it's a bad recipe altogether, it would be better to adjust the one you've tried until it comes out the way you want it. Maybe it was baked at too high a temperature, or for too long. Maybe the oats were drier than the ones the author used and you needed a teaspoon or two more water. It's these little adjustments that make the difference in breads.

    Keep posting about it and maybe we can come up with a plan of attack.

  • ediej1209 AL Zn 7
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    OK, so here's the recipe I used - and I followed it as closely as I could-changes are in parentheses

    2 tsp dry yeast
    1+1/2 cups water
    1+3/4 cups whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat)
    3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp unbleached flour
    3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp medium oatmeal (not sure what "medium" means - I used quick oats)
    1+1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp honey

    Normal bread-mixing then kneading method, one rising, then shaping then proofing then bake for one hour at 400°

    It didn't rise real high and was pretty dry, albeit tasty. Tweaking suggestions?

    Thanks!
    Edie

  • ediej1209 AL Zn 7
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Can't figure out why my posts duplicate. Sorry!

    This post was edited by ediej1209 on Fri, Nov 14, 14 at 10:30

  • plllog
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    'Morning Edie! I'm not by any means an expert, but this is what I think.

    There are so many different kinds of oat preparations with so many different names that it's hard to know exactly what was meant, but it probably just meant good old Quaker Oats. Quick oats probably fit more into a measure, so there may have been too much in it, but I can't imagine that it was a huge difference, though it could be part of the issue. "Medium oatmeal" is more of a British way of speaking.

    White whole wheat has a milder flavor than red, and might need just a tad less hydration as red, but not enough to make a big difference. The humidity in the air, and absorbed/released by the flour, is a bigger deal.

    Given the large percentages of whole wheat and oats, this isn't a bread that would rise to a fluffiness. The white flour is there to strengthen the gluten. You could substitute bread flour to improve that without changing the proportions.

    You can help along the gluten development by soaking the flour in the water for an hour before you mix everything else. I'm concerned about the oats, though, because there's a lot of them and they also need hydration. I might put a quarter cup of the water with the oats, just to dampen them and get them thinking about being wet, and soak the flour in the rest of the water.

    If the final dough feels particularly dry during kneading, you can sprinkle a little water on it, and knead it in.

    I would think that the dryness came from the baking. An hour at 400° seems long or high, especially since it isn't a wet dough. I'd do 45 minutes at 400° and then check the temperature (stick a thermometer in the bottom). It should be 190° - 200°. Crusty breads, which hang onto their moisture more, might need to go higher, especially if they're in steamy ovens. That's not for doneness, but dryness! Alternately, try 375° for the full hour.

  • ediej1209 AL Zn 7
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    plllog, thank you ever so much for taking the time to help! One thing I was wondering as I was making it is if only 1 tsp of honey was enough to feed the yeast, but I see now what you are saying about the oat and whole wheat percentages. I will try changing to bread flour and soaking and see if that doesn't help along with a reduction in baking time. Planning on doing this Saturday so will let you know what the results are!
    Thanks again,
    Edie

  • plllog
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Edie,

    I know what you mean. I grew up with feeding sugar to the yeast, too. That's old fashioned cake yeast. If you're using modern commercial dry yeast, and you haven't left it in the sun for days, it should be good and lively, rather than half dead like fresh cake yeast could be, and it doesn't need sugar. It'll chow down on the starch in the flour and do just fine. The honey is there to counteract the mild rancidity that's probably in the whole wheat flour. Whole wheat can go rancid within hours of being milled. If it doesn't smell bad, I don't think it's harmful, especially if it isn't your main source of nutrients, but honey improves the flavor. One of the things milling has done for me is being able to skip the honey, which I don't like in bread. :) I think a little sweetness would be nice with the oats, and you liked the flavor of the first round, so using it as writen sounds like a good plan.

    BTW, the WTF bread just keeps getting better. It's just on the counter in a Ziploc, and it seems even better today than the morning after it was baked! So now, I'm trying to reconstruct it on paper in a reproducible form. :) Let me make it once on purpose and see if it works before I share. :)

    JC

  • ann_t
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Today's bread. Went back to my favourite.

    1000g flour at 72% hydration.

  • plllog
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    And mighty fine, they look, too. :)

    I'm struck by the difference between Ann's favorite and mine. Ann is all about the holes and the glistening white crumb, whereas I'm all about the dark, even crumb and the millet! I love the little specks of millet.

  • ann_t
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Pllog, yes we definitely do have different preferences when it comes to the type of bread we prefer.
    I do like the more artisan style breads, But for me it still comes down to flavour.

    ~Ann

  • ediej1209 AL Zn 7
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I will look forward to the final results of the WTF bread! Ann, your's looks really yummy too. I like bread. All kinds of bread. No, I LOVE bread! Putting me on bread and water would not be a punishment LOL!!!
    Edie

  • ediej1209 AL Zn 7
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Abject, epic fail. A nice oatmeal-colored brick. It didn't even taste good. So on to the next experiment next weekend. I found a recipe from King Arthur flour that uses only bread flour and oats, no whole wheat, and a touch more honey. It also calls for lukewarm milk. Do I recall correctly that milk should be scalded and then cooled?
    Thanks,
    Edie

  • plllog
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Oh, dear! Some bricks while learning a recipe are to be expected. OTOH, it might be the recipe.

    Rats! I thought I'd posted a link to the thread with Rusty's Oatmeal Bread in it. I haven't made it but it sounds like people are having great success. Did you see this one?

    Yes to the scalded then cooled, but the only thing that recommends a recipe for a heavy bread with milk in it is that it's from King Arthur. That is, if it's from them, and not a reader contribution.

    There are uses for doorstops and bricks. At the worst, they can be bread crumbs. Either grate them, or put them through the food processor. But if it can be cut with less than a saw, it might make great croutons, especially for something hearty like onion soup, or as a platform for anything wet. Or bread pudding. Even French toast. I'm not sure about the flavor for thickening things like soup, but that's also something to use hard, dry bread for. Gazpacho, for instance, has bread in it because that way the flour is cooked.

    If you looked back at the first thread in this series, you'd see that I had several epic fails and even more of the if you squint it looks like bread things when I started learning to use wild yeast. You're in the club. :)

    Best of luck on the next loaf.

  • ediej1209 AL Zn 7
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Thanks - you always make me feel better!! We are in the midst of an awful - and awfully early - winter storm. So when it quits snowing, the birds will be the "lucky" recipients of the brick. I cut it up into cubes so DH could toss it out to them while I'm at work. I do believe that the latest recipe I have found is directly from KAF; the title is "Back of the Bag Bread". If this one doesn't work, I will try the recipe from the other thread. Isn't this just strange how life works; who'd have thought I waited until I'm almost 60 to try to learn how to bake something other than the plain white bread from my old BHG cookbook!!
    Thanks again for your support!
    Edie

  • plllog
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Feeding the birds is a good use of bricks, too, especially when they're surprised by early Winter weather. :) Here (SoCal), we've had a couple of brief entries into Autumn weather, but always quick rebounds into general Summer. It's very confusing since it still gets dark when it feels like it should be light until a couple of hours later.

    If KAF actually put the recipe on the back of the bag, it's probably foolproof. That is, it's probably meant to be successful even with variations in temperature, humidity and oven climate.

    Edie, I just tell the truth as I see it--I'm happy to be supportive, but won't mislead you to do so. Baking bread is a normal kind of thing. Everyone with ordinary physical and mental acuity can bake bread, can dance, can sing. Perhaps there will be differing levels of natural giftedness, but all can learn to a level of competency, no matter the age. The homely arts belong to all of us. Not everyone can engineer a skyscraper that won't topple in an earthquake. Even among those well trained to do so, there's a level of magic, that is, intuitive synthesis of massive knowledge, that is necessary as well.

    I read once that a German master baker, who grew up in the trade, said that there was no way to learn what he knew without dedicating decades starting from puberty. I'm sure that's true. But if you're not in the business of making loaves by the dozens daily, and requiring a level of perfection that comes from professionalism, you can still bake bread. Same as someone who only has middling control over productive pitch can still learn to sing a song that won't make listeners put their fingers in their ears. Practice and familiarity with one bread, or one song, and from there to a repertoire, substitute for the lifetime of study of all breads or all vocalizations.

    Going wrong sometimes helps. I would never have landed on WTF Bread if I hadn't been out of it on baking day. :) And WTF is the closest I've come yet to what I've been aiming for. :)

    I'm not far behind you in age, or far in front in experience out of my comfortable recipes. I've learned scads in the last six months, and have learned far more from my "failures" than my roaring successes. At a certain age we have the time and head space for contemplation and a more interesting kind of learning.

    And we can have, oh, so much fun!