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.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Everyday Breads - Bauernbrot, & 1/4 Rye

Everyday Breads

Here are a couple of everyday breads that I made to tide me over this week, as I toted sandwiches to work.  As usual, they are 100% whole grain, and made with sourdough.

This has become my staple.  No other bread comes close in terms of health, and taste.  But there are variations on the steps of making them, and this was a bit different than the usual Tartine method.

1. A Bauernbrot
The first was built from my sourdough starter.  I was refreshing it, and decided that a bread made from the old stuff would be better than discarding it.  The starter was just passed its peak, but it wasn't old yet.  I added the ingredients by feel, making up the recipe as I went.  Ingredient amounts were for one loaf.

  • ~400g starter
  • 500g ww flour
  • 150g water

I mixed flour and water with the starter to make a stiff dough, that I calculated (at this point) to be 50% (35000/700).  From this I used 1.8% salt, or 13g.  But with the salt I added another 50g of water to bring the hydration up to 57%.  And of course, I added wheat germ at the same time, at the usual 5% of the flour.  In this case, that was 35g.  

Dense wholegrain crumb, reminds me of some German loaves, so I call it a Bauernbrot

Adding the wheat germ with the water and salt made it quite slimy, and I don't recommend this method.  I kneaded the dough until it was all incorporated, but in hindsight I'd have to say that adding it prior to the addition of salt and water might make for a much nicer kneading experience.  But that might also substantially change the crumb, I don't know.  I'd have to try these amounts with the different methodology and see how things change.

I expected this loaf to be somewhat sour tasting, because of the amount of starter used, and the fact that it was slightly passed its peak leavening time.  But I also expected it to raise the dough faster than I am used to, so I watched the mixture closely.  I gave it about 5 hours, and then popped it onto a hot stone with steam.

Brushing off the rice flour later, I thought how this bread looks so very much like a German Bauernbrot.   Indeed, when my wife and I cracked into it that night, to have with a bit of kohlrabi soup, she said "my mom would like this bread".  It reminds me of a German loaf.

It was a dense crumb, with not all that well-developed a gluten structure, but it tasted fine.  Because it was not well hydrated, it stood up on the stone and didn't slouch.

Here is the full list of bakery ingredients and percentages:

  • 100% whole wheat flour (500g)
  • 57% water (150g + 50g)
  • 1.8% salt (13g)
  • 5% wheat germ (35g)
  • 57% sourdough starter (~400g)
Here are some pictures of the second loaf that I made using this recipe, only this time I added wheat germ to the flour before mixing.  This dough was kneaded twice before being placed in a ceramic bowl to proof in the fridge overnight.  This time there was no flour on the crust, because it wasn't proofed in a basket.  Without the floured surface, it looks less like a Bauernbrot from the outside, and more like a north American faux artisan bread.

It was baked the next morning after being out of the fridge only long enough to pre-heat the oven.  No crumb shot, because I gave this loaf away.

2. Everyday 1/4 Rye
The next bread was a simple 25% rye bread, at 70% hydration.  I am sticking with these slightly less hydrated loaves these days, and I'm happy with the results.  Perhaps my starter, always sitting out on the countertop, feels the change in the weather as do I.  The days are getting cooler, the atmosphere moister.  Everything is harvest and the dying back of autumn in preparation for winter.  Denser loaves are required.  I made 2 loaves of this recipe, one to give away.

  • 25% rye flour
  • 75% ww flour
  • 70% water
  • 2% salt
  • 20% starter
  • 5% wheat germ

These were typical, 1/4 rye everyday loaves, made in my dutch oven.

I stretched and folded this for about 3 1/2 hours, then divided it, shaped it, and put it in bannetons. The bannetons were refrigerated overnight and then the loaves baked in Dutch Ovens (about 8 hours later) in the morning (after being out of the fridge for 2 hours).

I didn't slice into this loaf the next day, because I was fasting.  So when I first tasted it, 2 days later, I felt it was already beginning to stale.  Still, it remained good enough all weekend.

I was not happy with the many holes that appeared in the lower part of the bread, probably a result of how I rolled and shaped the dough prior to placing it into a basket for proofing.  My fault entirely.

Notes to Myself
  • I did make the bauernbrot loaf again, in the middle of the weekend, but this time I incorporated the wheat germ with the flour prior to adding the water with the salt.  The dough was still a bit slimy, but I'm not sure how it affected the crumb, since I'll never get a crumb shot.  I also changed the steps for making it: I mixed it, kneaded it twice Q30min, then put it into the fridge overnight, baking it while it was still cold, merely 30 minutes out of the refrigerator.  The crust looked slightly blonder than the one here, but there was still some gringe with the scoring of the loaf, indicating that it achieved some oven spring.
  • You see, I gave this bread away to my mother-in-law, for her birthday, but of course, I wasn't there to see her use it.  It went into the cupboard.  There were just too many other things to eat.
  • I left my mother-in-law with strict instructions to cut off the crust.  The crust of these loaves are just a bit too hard and irregular for her poor teeth. Although she loves the taste of the crust, and longs to try it, she knows that her poor teeth can't take it.  She's learned the hard way, by breaking dental work. 
  •  My wife is another one. She also believes that she has destroyed some bridgework because of my bread. There are many reasons why someone might not like my bread, and I have come to accept that.  To each his or her own.
  • I've been thinking also about why some people have bad teeth.  I have reported elsewhere that bread is considered cariogenic.  If so, someday I may not be able to eat my own bread.  I'm like the fellow who was told that if he masturbates, he will go blind, who replied, "Can I do it until I need glasses?"

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