Camp Bread #4:
A Spent Sourdough Rye and All Purpose Bread Baked in a Dutch Oven
"Why doesn't your bread rise much?" my sister-in-law Kathy wanted to know.
I told her it was because of the flour I was using: the rye and multigrain bread flour wouldn't form as much gluten as an all-purpose or plain bread flour. It is difficult to tell people who like fluffy air bread that the more denser whole grain loaf is actually what I am after.
This bread was an attempt to prove that I could bake an airy loaf using all purpose flour. I took few pictures of this loaf, though: this blog is about whole grain breads, and this is not a whole grain bread. It is also not a no-knead bread: this bread is kneaded 5-7 minutes, during which time the gluten gets really cohesive and springy.
But the most interesting thing about this loaf (to me) was, I used 1 c of sourdough starter. This was a very liquid starter, built from my older spent sourdough with my nephew's other son, Andrew the day before. This refreshed wild starter was made with rye.
I followed the sourdough discard bread recipe from Bread and Whine, that I have used previously. The only difference being, I was using recently refreshed sourdough.
This dough had a long rise, overnight in the cold car.
In the morning I formed it into a single loaf after a single fold.
I made a fire, but I didn't wait 2 hours before putting the dough in the preheated pot.
I admit that my coals were poor, the rotten birch logs that I used were burning up too quickly.
In spite of the uneven heat of the pot and the fire's coals, the bread rose in the Dutch Oven. After 25 minutes, I snuck a peak at the loaf. It had blown apart on top. But to me, it didn't quite look done.
I set it back on the coals for 10 minutes, lid off, but the problem I was having was, it was burning on the bottom and unfinished on the top.
The bread was mostly baked, but one section of it in the middle remained a bit clinchy.
This is a mild tasting sourdough, good when toasted, edible with cheese.
Notes to Myself
- Keep the pot on the coals for the hottest part of the bake: the beginning. Try putting the Dutch Oven, covered, on the coals for 10 minutes, then remove it from direct contact with the coals for 10-15 minutes.
- The lid off, check the loaf, turn it over as needed and bake for 10-15 minutes more (lid on or off as required).
- Why are all-purpose breads more of a crowd pleaser than any whole grain breads? Why don't people like denser loaves that don't rise as much? It must be taste. Many people prefer the taste of simpler, refined-flour breads. To me, they taste flat and less interesting.