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Friday, October 14, 2011

Three Starter 20% Rye bread

20% Rye bread with cracked wheat and rye flakes

A wet morning.  I baked this bread before anyone else in the house was awake except me and the nocturnal cat, who came in out of the rain for some breakfast.  Even the dog chose to sleep in on such a dark, damp morning.

This was an experimental bread.  It was probably too wet for me to work with.

 I've been looking for malt to toss in a bread for some time, and finally found this product.
I can make my own malt by sprouting grains, but I don't get anything like this syrup.

  • 200g Rye Flour
  • 800g WW Flour
  • 750g+50g Water
  • 200g 100% WW Starter @ 100% hydration
  • 200g Rye Flakes Starter @ 100% hydration
  • 200g Cracked Wheat Starter @ 100% hydration
  • 50g liquid Barley Malt
  • 20g salt
If you add up all the water (and include the malt in the total), this has 1000g of hydration.  But if you add all the flour and all the rye flakes and cracked wheat, this has 1100g of grains.  So the hydration is about 91%.  No wonder it felt so sloppy!

The bread was built as an ordinary Tartine bread.  But there were differences: I used 20% Rye Flour; I used 3 starters, each of 200g; so I had less time to turn the dough.  And I was adding ingredients you won't see in a Tartine loaf.  Like liquid malt.  This was something I found recently and decided to try.  It is rather like molasses in consistency, perhaps not so thick, and similarly sweet but without such a bitter kick to it.

The three starters were built on Wednesday night before bed.  They each had 24 hours to mature.  That was more time than any of them required, so each was a bit old and sour.  One was made with whole wheat and water, another with rye flakes and water, and the last with cracked wheat and water.  WIth 3 different starters, I didn't expect the dough to sit as long as an ordinary Tartine style bread.  The cracked wheat and rye flake starters were quite mushy, and if I made this again I would try somewhat less than a 100% hydration for them.

Rye Flakes and Cracked Wheat Starters

The malt is like molasses or chocolate syrup in consistency

adding the salt and ... more water??!

so far, so good

Adding the rye flakes ... and more hydration

Adding the cracked wheat... and even more hydration.

Amorphous blob prior to dividing and forming

After retarding in fridge 6 hours

I autolysed the flours, water, and ww starter prior to adding the salt.  The salt was added at the 30 minute mark with the malt and 50g of water, the Rye Flakes Starter was added 30 minutes later (at the first turn), and the Cracked Wheat Starter was added 30 minutes later (at the second turn).  After 30 more minutes, I divided the dough, gave a short bench rest,  did the best job I could, forming boules with sloppy glop, and then I placed the dough into baskets to retard overnight (six hours).

The dough had gotten a bit puffier in the fridge.  I was amazed I got these sloppy doughs into the hot Dutch Ovens without mishap.  The knife dragged a bit when I scored them.  The tall one was baked for 40 minutes, the short one was baked for 45.

They came out singing.

La la!

I'm happy enough with this bread, which turned out better than I'd hoped.  In terms of looks, the bread is acceptable.  But the taste is somewhat lacklustre.  The reason, I think, is that it just hasn't had enough time to ferment at room temperature.  Yes, I am using three starters, and yes, that makes it somewhat more sour than my usual wild yeast breads.  That in itself doesn't bother me.  I like a more sour loaf once in a while.

a bit of soft cheese for brunch

My wife likes the texture of this bread.  It is somewhat soft, and very moist.  But I feel the taste lacks dimension.  It is not a full bodied taste.  It is missing grace-notes, or overtones.  I don't think that the taste you come to expect can be achieved by increasing the amount of starter you add.  That special taste occurs only if you add more time for the flours to be fully transformed by the yeast in the starter. 

There are no short-cuts.

Notes to Myself
  • Despite the gooeyness of the dough, these breads turned out pretty nice, I think.
  • If you want a more traditional-feeling dough, try backing the original hydration off to 70%, and still add 5% of water with the salt. Try backing off the hydration of the various starters to 50-60%. Try a dryish soaker instead of fermenting the cracked wheat, to keep it from becoming too mushy.
  • I wonder if this would have tasted better with not as much hydration?

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