All grains contain peptides that mimic morphine or endogenous opioid substances. This is where I deal with my latest loaf craving. Get your bread-based exorphin fix here.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Jelly Sieve Bread

75% White Spelt Loaf

Not Keeping up with the Reinhart Group
The Reinhart Whole Grain Breads Bakers (organized by Jenni) are happily working their way through that book, just at the time when I was introduced to Tartine Bread and the ease of sourdough that that method provides.  While I always found Reinhart's "Whole Grain Breads" methods difficult to fit into my schedule -- despite the fact that he's cleverly streamlined the amount of actual time you have to spend with the dough -- the Tartine methods seem endlessly flexible and invite experimentation.  While I seldom crack the actual Tartine Bread book anymore, I am continuously playing with ingredients and making lots of wild yeast breads fairly effortlessly.

New Container for my Wild Yeast
With the renovations continuing in our cellar, I am no longer officially the "cellarguy" or "cellardweller".  I have been wondering where I would get moved to next, as my wife will eventually take over the basement for her expanding office space.  Would I get moved to the crawl space next?  Would I have to build myself a sub-basement, or a bomb-shelter?  A backyard bread oven is a project I've definitely got in mind, but alas, that is still in the idea-stage.

Currently I'm mostly moved into the garage, but as the weather cools, this is not going to be the best solution.  My sourdough is currently thriving out there, under its cloth, but I've recently noticed the fruit flies are liking it a little too much.  And the containers do overflow a bit, when I'm refreshing before a bake.  400g of material is just a bit too much for these tiny plastic containers.

I knew that already when I was on my vacation, and when visiting Stone Throw Pottery, in a weak moment I asked them if they had a container I could use for my wild yeast.  They didn't -- but they were quite happy to make one for me, to my specifications.  It would have to fit my hand for mixing; it would have to easily fit the expansion of at least 400g of starter; and it would have to have a tiny hole in the top so the yeast could breathe.  I wasn't sure how this last item would work, in practice, with fruit flies around, but I wanted to try to get rid of the cloth which continuously becomes soiled with the sourdough.
My new "Water's Edge Glaze" ceramic sourdough pot with a tiny hole in the lid

Move into your new home, my wild yeasties: mulitply, multipy.

I can even keep this lovely jar in the kitchen, on the top shelf of the quilt-hanger, near the coo-coo clock

The old method: yucky, attracts fruit-flies

frothiness after a night in the jar

First day in the new ceramic container: my wild yeast likes its new home!

The old containers spill out onto the cloths every time I refresh them for baking

The pretty little ceramic came the other day by courier, and I moved my "whole wheat" wild yeast in.  The first day there, it seemed to like it just fine.

I probably will just discontinue my official Tartine Starter now, and work solely from my wild yeast starter.  If I need a Tartine Starter, I can build it again in a single day or two.

The Flexible Tartine Method fits my Nursing Schedule
This week, I was working nights on Monday and Tuesday.  On Tuesday morning when I got home, I thought I'd refresh my sourdough before crawling between the sheets.  As I did so, I realized it wouldn't take much more effort to actually start a dough for a bread, even though I wouldn't be able to bake it today.

I mixed up a 75% White Spelt dough (25% whole wheat), at 75% hydration.  Once again, this is not a Tartine Recipe, but it is a Tartine method, and I have a lot of fun experimenting with different flours and tastes, using my wild yeast starter.  Why would I turn to a Reinhart recipe when I can get my bread fix so easily this way?

Before falling asleep, I mixed the salt in, and then covered it and immediately retarded it in the fridge.

I slept about 4 hours (there was a lot of noise coming from the basement, due to the renovations going on down there, and that's all I would get, unfortunately).  When I awoke, I took the dough from the fridge and turned it every 30 minutes for about 3 hours.  Then I divided the dough, benched-rested it for about 20 minutes, and shaped it.  The dough would return to the fridge for an overnight proof, and next morning, when I returned from work, I would bake it.

Sloppy Spelt
I vowed not to buy any more non-whole-grain spelt flour, but Arva Mills had some new spelt in a smaller package, and I decided to try it despite my vow.

The spelt is sloppy to work with, at this hydration, and I probably should have backed off 5% or so on the water.  But when the dough came from the fridge, it was only 30 minutes at room temperature before baking (the length of time it took to pre-heat the oven).  I was hoping that the coolness of the dough would give it some sort of stronger exoskeleton.  But the dough collapsed, upon hitting the pan.  Some of it sprang back, though.

I have been finding that the deeper dutch ovens work a bit better than the combo cooker with the frying pan attachment down, for these higher-hydration, sloppy doughs.  Probably the container provides some support.  I also suspect that my shaping abilities still leave a lot to be desired.

My sweetie cracked into this bread while I was still asleep today.  I've peeled off a couple of pieces to try it, too, but this bread is going to be hers.  I'll bake my own whole grain bread tomorrow.

This bread is a jelly sieve.

Won't hold jelly
This bread is tasty toasted, but these irregular-holed crumbs just will not hold jelly.  It's more a jelly sieve than a jelly net.

It is fun trying though.  Home-made currant jelly is finger-licking good.

Notes to Myself
  • Back the hydration of this loaf (a 75% white spelt, 25% whole wheat) to a hydration of 70%, so it is not so sloppy to work with.
  • These ceramic containers are so beautiful.  I wonder, though, if they are truly food safe?  I suppose for my sourdough, they will be just perfect.  But I've also been toying with the idea of getting them to make me a ceramic dutch oven for a batard-size, or even a bagette-size loaf.  I would no doubt pay dearly for such a treasure, but I have no doubt that they could make it.  And as they told me in the store, when fired, these ceramic pieces withstand extremely hot temperatures to seal the glaze.  They would easily stand up to home-oven temperatures (500 degrees F) for baking purposes.  At that temperature, though, would the elements in the glaze leach into my bread?  I don't know.

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