Friday, October 4, 2013

70+% Easy Sourdough

I could have also titled this post PhD bread, since it was the first bread that I made since I started my PhD program. It was somewhat difficult adjusting to my new stone (an 18x18" piece of slate) and my new oven). I think my oven runs quite hot, which means it will be good for pizza, but I burnt the bottom of the bread. Other than that, the bread was delicious. I also made a set of English muffins. On the first day, I divided the dough into two parts after the initial set of stretch-and-folds to make one part English muffins and the other part a loaf of bread.

70+% Whole Wheat Easy Sourdough 

  • 556 g whole wheat
  • 240 g Unbleached King Arthur All Purpose Flour
  • 400 g whole wheat starter
  • 495 g water
  • 23g salt
For Bread
    Day 1
  • Mix the sourdough starter, flours, and water in a bowl. Mix until it forms a homogenous dough.
  • Let the bowl sit for a 30 minute autolyse period under plastic wrap or similar.
  • Then mix in the amarnath, salt, and water. Mix a little and then let it sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the bread to soak up the water. 
  • Knead the bread for 2-3 minutes. Then do a stretch-and-fold.
  • Wait 10 minutes and do another stretch-and-fold.
  • Wait 10 minutes and do another stretch-and-fold.
  • Wait 10 minutes and do another stretch-and-fold. (so 4 times total)
  • Cover the bowl for 45 minutes (at around 75 degrees F) and  do another stretch-and-fold.
  • Cover the bowl for 45 minutes (at around 75 degrees F) and  do a final stretch-and-fold (2 times total)
  • Cover the bowl for 20 minutes  (at around 75 degrees F) to finish the bulk fermentation.
  • Preshape the ball lightly into round.
  • Bench rest for 20 minutes. Cover them with something. If you live in a dry climate, make sure to cover them in an airtight fashion-- I usually turn large bowls over them. While they are resting, flour bannetons or similar shaping devices for the final proofing.
  • Then shape the loaves into your desired shape and place them into bannetons.
  • They need to proof for 1 hour and 45 minutes before they are placed in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Make sure they go into the refrigerator for 16 hours or less.
    Day 2
  • Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F about 30 minutes before you take the dough out of the refrigerator.
  • Take them out of the refrigerator, score them, and immediately place them into the oven under steam.
  • After 20-35 minutes under steam (depending upon how tightly the steam container closes. I would suggest trying about 25 minutes. It is done when it begins to be golden and the tips of the score marks are beginning to be brown.
  • Cook for another 10-15 minutes or until the crust is a rich brown and the internal temperature reaches 210 degrees F.
  • Cool for 45 minutes before eating.
The crumb on the bread was tighter than I might have wished
but the crumb on the English muffins was perfect

For English Muffins
    Day 1
  • Mix the sourdough starter into the water and then add the flour.
  • Mix until the dough forms a homogenous ball. You can do this either with a stand mixer or by hand.
  • Cover the dough with plastic ad let it autolyse for half an hour
  • Then add in the salt and the last 25 of water
  • Knead until medium development (passes the windowpane test). Should take about 10 minutes by hand or about 3-4 minutes by machine.
  • I found this wasn't sufficient, so I turned it a couple of times by hand and then put it in the refrigerator overnight to let the gluten develop the rest of the way on its own. 
  • It sat in the refrigerator for 12 hours. I turned it 2-3 times in the refrigerator before I went to bed with an 45-60minutes in between each term.
    Day 2
  • Take the dough out of the refrigerator and turn onto a lightly floured surface.
  • Spread it out a little, then cover it and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  • Then roll the dough out to about 1" thick.
  • Sprinkle the dough with flour and spread the four over it gently with your hands
  • Transfer the dough onto a floured cookie sheet, lightly flour the surface of the dough, and cover it with plastic
  • Let it sit for about 2.5 hours at room temperature (around 76 degrees) under plastic wrap, bowls, or something else that will prevent a skin from forming.
  • Heat up a griddle or a cast iron frying pan, lightly oiled with spray oil to about medium-low heat
  • Cut muffins of the desired size. Squares, rectangles, or circles all work. If you don't mind ugly muffins, you can take the excess and push it lightly together. If you let it sit for about 5 minutes, this will make a delicious and perfectly adequate (although not aesthetically pleasing) muffin. Make sure that you dust a little flour on both sides of each muffin. Semolina is traditional, but you can use any flour.
  • When the griddle is hot, place the muffins on it and cover with a metal lid. You do not need to oil the griddle, but you may if you wish.
  • In about 3-9 minutes the muffins should be ready to flip over. They will puff up nicely and they will have a surface on top that is not crusty, but has a skin from the heat. Unfortunately, you have to judge this by your
  • Let them brown on the other side before cooling and eating. You can eat them hot, but they will have more flavor if you let them cool. You may also toast them or let them cool and freeze them.