4 days ago
Second loaf this week. First one wasn't shaped very well but tasted nice. This one was a bit better. Wondering if my extended autolyse in past loaves has been too long. The dough was very workable, to the point that I wanted to make a free form loaf this time around. Still.. played it safe and went for the usual boule.
MIX // 100W 100SP 300WM 115ST 350WA // AUTOLYSE // (1745) // 3:00
MIX // 50W 10SA // (2045) // 00:30
BULK FERMENTATION // STRETCH & FOLD // (2115, 2145, 2215) // 01:30
SHAPING, BENCH REST // (2245) // 00:30
SHAPING, PROOF+RETARD // (2315 - 1145) // 12:30
BAKING // (1145) // 01:00
Some flour notes - used Central Milling's Bread flour for white, Arrowhead Spelt Flour, and Bob's Red Mill Wholemeal Flour. Total pre-proofing time was five and a half hours, a much lower figure than I'm used to seeing. Given the results so far, I wonder if that's been the reason my loaves have been hard to shape. Will work with similar numbers next time and see how it turns out. Also used my starter instead of using a young levain. .Have never noticed any huge differences between using starter and a levain - both work, and produce pretty mild, sweet loaves as long as the starter is robust.
Baked the loaf in a cast iron combo-cooker, leaving the top on for 30 minutes at 500'F, then baking an additional 30 minutes uncovered at 400'F (Don't trust these numbers, but those are the settings that I used on my oven.) Used a double-sided razor blade and a box cutter to slash for the first time, and it was incredibly easier than using a bread knife, or any sharp chef's knife that I've used to slash my loaves in the past. totally sold. will buy a lame if I'm feeling fancy, but box cutter + double sided razor blade works so much better than anything else I've tried in the past. not sure what took me so long to try it.
TASTE, TEXTURE NOTES
The loaf had some really large air pockets on the sides of the loaf, not really sure how or why that happened (maybe I plopped the dough into the combo cooker a bit violently?) The crust was well developed and relatively thin - a very shatter-y top layer which had a nice deep flavor, and a second 'under-crust' that was soft and chewy. The air pockets in the crumb were more or less evenly distributed other than the sides of the loaf, and the occasional weird pocket mid loaf.
I'm pretty surprised that this loaf wasn't enormously salty (or at all, really). I figured since it was a wholemeal loaf, I could use a bit more salt - I used more than I ever have in a single loaf (except when I added 7 ounces of salt instead of 7 grams on accident). Crumb was nice and soft with lots of spring (when compressed, returns to original shape). Crust had that really developed almost-burnt flavor that I like so much (Poilane bread really convinced me that this sort of crust is top notch). Overall, not a bad effort. Looking forward to the next few loaves which hopefully happen soon.
Shared this on yeastspotting - my first submission in a long while.
Labels: arrowhead, autolyse, bobsredmill, centralmilling, combo-cooker, sourdough, spelt, starter, white, wholemeal