Friday, August 30, 2013

SFBI Bread Follow up-- Delicious

SFBI Type 70 Bread
I decided to make the bread recipe that I posted. It was a thousand times easier than the Poilâne miche and absolutely delicious. I highly recommend it.
Lovely Crust
One thing to note, first clear flour (at least the King Arthur version and the Great River version) smells funny. I always end up second guessing myself and tasting it to make sure it hasn't gone rancid. Usually, the strange smell goes away when it's baked into bread. This time, it lingered a little, in the bread (although it doesn't smell bad-- just a slight odd hint), but the bread tastes incredible.
Slightly Lopsided Blunt Batard
Here's my scaled down version of the recipe. My only modification was to feed my starter with first clear flour instead of feeding it with bread flour. This meant that my dough was a little drier than the SFBI version. It was delicious and had a nice crumb anyway, but I might add a little more water next time.

Makes 3 medium-large or 2 very large loaves
  • 1024g first clear / type 70 / high extraction flour (I used Great River organic unbleached bread flour)-- divided: 204 to feed the starter, 1000 for the bread mix
  • 1074g water (around 75 degrees F)-- divided: 204 to feed starter, 870 for bread mix. As a note, mine was a lot drier than the one in the video. You may add more water if you want a softer dough, or you may need to hold back water, depending upon the absorbancy of your flour.
  • 42 g whole wheat starter (or white-- whatever you have lying around)
  • 25 g salt
Day 1: *if you have 450g of young, ripe sourdough starter, you can skip this step*
  • Mix the starter with 204g flour and 204 g water until it is homogeneous
  • Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until fully mature (should smell kind of like overripe fruit and a spoonful should float in water). This should take somewhere between 8-16 hours at room temperature, depending upon how fast your starter rises and how hot your room is. Mine took about 12 hours.
Day 2:
  • When the starter is ready, mix the flour and the salt in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the water and the starter to the dry ingredients. One of the cool things in the SFBI video was that the baker poured water into the starter to lift it up and make it easier to remove from it's container. I tried this and it worked well. I suggest it. I don't specify how much water because it is going to depend upon the size of your container.
  • Mix the ingredients together by hand until it forms a homogeneous mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl or tub with a plastic pastry scraper and make sure the dough has picked up all excess flour and water.
  • Let the mixture rest for five minutes to fully hydrate.
  • Using your hand as a shovel, cut gently through the bread to increase gluten strength. I'm not sure how to describe this properly. See SFBI video.
  • The dough will now begin the bulk fermentation. I bulk fermented my bread for 2h45 at 77 degrees F. The video calls for 1.5h at 81-82 degrees, but I think the starter is a faster-working starter than mine is. Calculate your time based on this formula: for every 17 degrees below desired temperature, double the time. Then guess based on the rapidity of your starter.
    • For the first 45 minutes, you will stretch-and-fold the dough once every fifteen minutes (for a total of three times). By the end of this, your dough should be able to pass the windowpane test. If not, do a fourth stretch-and-fold.
  • Take the dough out onto a and divide it into 2-3 loaves. Round the loaves so that you develop some surface tension (See SFBI video).
  • Let the dough bench rest for 30 minutes.  Make sure you cover it with something so that it does not form a skin. I bench rest my dough under large overturned bowls, but other things work. If you use plastic wrap, you should probably oil it to keep from sticking. If you're in a particularly forgiving, fairly humid climate, you can probably just use a dishtowel.
  • Then do a final shaping. The video suggests blunt batards. Fold the dough almost in half. Stretch out the two sides and fold them  across one another. Then roll the dough three times to complete the batard. Pinch any extra seams. I need some more practice with this shaping method, and my dough wasn't as pliable because it was drier, so my loaves came out a bit lopsided.
  • Place the dough seam-side up in proofing baskets or in a couche and cover with plastic wrap or similar for 2 h (in his case 1 hour. Basically until an indent in the dough sticks.) If you can't bake your loaves simultaneously, remember to put your extra loaves in the refrigerator for the last half an hour of proofing and during the entirity of the baking process of the other loaf or loaves. This will ensure that your bread doesn't overproof while you're waiting to bake it.
  • Preheat your oven half an hour before baking to 450 degrees F.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes under steam (I used an iron combo cooker and an overturned broth pot on a stone to create steam for my loaves). Then cook the last 10-15 minutes until the internal temperature reads 212 degrees F and the crust is lovely and brown.
  • Let the bread cool for at least 30 minute before slicing, but the best flavor will develop around 1-3 hours out of the oven.
Two of my 3 loaves (the third one was in the oven baking)
I highly highly suggest this formula. You'll have to play around with the times a bit given your environment and your particular sourdough starter, but this bread is delicious.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

High Extraction Bread from SFBI

I am a big fan of high extraction flour (also known as first clear). This flour is hard to come by in the United States (at least where I am). To turn whole wheat flour into white flour it is sifted twice to remove the bran and germ from the endosperm. White flour is 72-75%, meaning that only the starchy endosperm (the largest part of the wheat kernel) is retained. Extraction above that (retaining more than 75% of the grain) retains some of the germ and bran up to 100% extraction which is whole wheat flour. High extraction flour (at least the type I have) retains the germ but is sifted of most of the bran and it's about 82% extraction.

While I have used high extraction flour (which I could only find it to order) in many different breads, I've only made one entirely high extraction bread. It was not sufficiently proofed and it took an incredible amount of work. I've been looking for a slightly easier version of a similar bread.

Fortunately, SFBI posted a video and formula for just such a bread. I will be trying it out soon (although I'll be scaling down the recipe).

Thursday, August 8, 2013


Gimli and Gorgo
Servius and I gave Servia a camera for Christmas (which I may have mentioned before). She's been playing around with it a lot of different things, and, fortunately she's been taking most of the pictures of my bread. I just thought the above double portrait was very cute (especially since it's absolutely impossible to purposefully pose cats)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

85% Durum Bread

Durum Bread-- mmm...delicious

I've been away from the blog for a little while. In fact, I was a way from my computer for quite a while because my migraines were so bad that I couldn't look at the screen. I'm heading out to the neurologist in a few weeks, but things have subsided for the moment so I'm back.

Today, I baked a loaf of durum bread. I've been salivating over it ever since I saw Cordruta's recipe. I had to make sure that I had both semolina and fancy durum flour in order to make it. I usually don't have much of the fancy durum, as I can only seem to find it at King Arthur and it's fairly expensive.
Delicious-- although the crumb is much more golden in person
Cordruta said that it was it was one of the best breads she ever made. I decided only to make one in order that I should not use up too much of the precious flour. This was a mistake-- the bread is unbelievably delicious. Maybe not my favorite ever, but one of the top few. I expected it to have a warm nutty flavor, but I was wrong. While the crust has a bit of durum's usual nuttiness, the flavor has sort of a slightly sweet, creamy flavor-- smooth and delicate. It is absolutely delicious. I highly recommend this bread to all bread bakers.

The bread came out a little flat and didn't show much oven spring. However, the crumb was gorgeous (see above and below). It wasn't nearly as yellow as Cordruta's, sadly (although it was noticeably more yellow than it turned out in the pictures).
Bread is a little flat, but has beautiful exterior color.

85% Durum Bread
  • 140g whole wheat sourdough starter
  • 225g fancy grind durum flour
  • 170g semolina flour
  • 280g water (separated into 260g + 20g water)
  • 9g salt
Day 1:
  • Mix the starter, flours, and 260g water until they form some sort of homogenous mixture
  • Autolyse the dough for 30 minutes at room temperature (around 76 degrees)
  • Mix the salt into the remaining 20g of water and gently incorporate this into the dough. Be very careful not to disrupt the gluten. Also, don't over-knead the dough-- it should develop nicely on its own over time. 
  • Fold the edges of the dough into the center around 2-3 times. Be gentle with the dough.
  • Let the dough rest for 3 hours, Make a set of turns (going once around the dough, folding the edges in) every half an hour for the first 2 hours.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, shape it, and put it int a banneton. Put it into the refrigerator overnight.
Day 2:
  • Bring the bread out. I found that my loaf needed about 2 hours out after 12 hours in the refrigerator.
  • Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
  • Put the bread in and lower the heat to 490 degrees F for 30 minutes
  • Remove the steam and reduce the temperature to 460 degrees F for the final 13 minutes.
  • Let cool for at least 1 hour before slicing.
Seriously, this bread is amazing.
Absolutely wonderful open crumb structure
I highly recommend it.

This is just a cool picture of the scoring on the bread.
Cool picture
All photos by Servia.