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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Reinhard's Transitional Country Hearth Bread (with found Morels)

Reinhard's Transitional Country Hearth Bread

Day 1:
Worked nights, Mon & Tues.  Tues Afternoon when I awoke BEFORE work, I measured ingred for Soaker & Biga

The Biga is white flour, making this a 'transitional' loaf.  It is mixed & kneaded 2 min.

After a 5 min rest, it is kneaded 1 more minute before being refrigerated at least 8 hrs.
This biga will be in fridge 12 hours. 

The Next Day:
I wake up Wednesday afternoon, my day off: time for "Mis en Place"

The Biga needs 2 hours to come to room temp.

But even before that 2 hrs is up, I can cut the pieces and roll them in flour.
While I'm waiting, I can cut the grass, which is getting shaggy from all the spring rain.

After 2 hours, the yeasty pieces of the biga are waking up.

The soaker, biga and final dough ingredients are squished together and kneaded 2 min in the bowl.

Then 3 min of kneading on the counter: by then, ingredients are mixed well (no more 2-tone dough)

The dough rests 5 minutes, and then is kneaded one more minute.
Oh, did I mention I found some morels when I was cutting the grass? 
Not enough for a meal, but perhaps I can add them to bread.

The dough is placed in an oiled bowl to bulk ferment 60 min, room temp.

Supposed to be 1 1/2 x the original size before you form it.

Plop it on the counter gently.  The dough is a little saggy.

cut up the morels

Flatten out the dough prior to rolling it up into a sort of batard shape.
Morels get tossed on, they will be interior to the loaf when complete.

Some day I'll get a real banneton.  For now, the cheap basket must suffice.
ERROR: seam side should be up.

After proofing 45 minutes, just before tossing in the oven @500 degrees F.

The loaf sagged open along the seam. 

Outside on the picnic table for a picture, before the rain begins again.
See all the maple keys that came down in the last few days of rain?
Lucky I got the lawn cut!

Day 3: Results

Not many morels show up in the crumb.  Maybe there will be more as I cut into it further.

The morels add very little morel scent to the loaf.

And they look more like gooey raisins or boogers than something appetizing.

Notes to Myself
  • This loaf was poorly formed, not nearly tight enough.  It probably would have seen a much better oven spring if you had made a tighter batard shape, and really pinched the dough around the surface better.  Squishing it into an improper basket size didn't help much either.  But by far the biggest problem with this loaf was that you proofed it seam-side down, which meant that as soon as it was free of the basket, on the peel, it already started to unwind.
  • The morels were just a spur-of-the-moment idea.  Unsure if it was a good idea or not.  They might have been better on a pizza.
  • You aren't careful enough when you make bread.  Get some more sleep and pay attention to what you are doing!
  • You don't care at all about the Transitional Loaves, merely want to get past them to the real Whole Grain breads.  Although I suspect that for most people, the reverse is true.  This bread is a mere 53% Whole Wheat (and 47% All Purpose Wheat flour).
  • Use more morels, or leave them out entirely.  They are lost when used this way.


  1. The notes to self are priceless.

  2. I've known from the beginning that this blog, like most blogs, is mostly self-indulgent.

    I might as well make notes for the only one who reads it consistently.