Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Bread Number 81: A Tasty Variation

The variation on Bread #81 is a stretch on the term variation because I changed quite a bit from the original recipe. This is a delicious whole wheat and requires no sponge phase. I did do an autolyse, partly because it's an easy way to build strength in a wet dough. This bread also fits with the whole wheat theme of my last couple of breads. Because this bread turned out so well, it is worth its own blog post.

The only reason I did not bother with a sponge was pure laziness. We enjoyed the winter storm festivities of gathering with neighbors for long dinners, watching two feet of snow accumulate, doing some artwork, and my solitary snowstorm accomplishment of binge watching a season of Girls. (Yes, the characters are spoiled and self-absorbed, but I love watching shows about New York, particularly Brooklyn, and it's well written. I thought the disrespect toward Iowa was a bit much.)

So there I was on a Sunday morning without any dough. 

553g whole wheat flour - freshly milled
528g water

Mix, cover, and let sit for 25 minutes. Incredible how quickly just the two ingredients combined and rested magically become so dough-like.

Add to autolyse:
100g starter 
12g salt

Hydration percentage: 96 percent

I did two stretch and folds, each 40 minutes apart. Be careful, the dough is slippery and extra stretchy due to its high hydration percentage. I let the dough rise in a 70-degree closet (my little warm spot in the house) and then put it in the fridge for seven hours. No bread on Sunday, but it was ready on Monday. Love DC because with two feet of snow over the weekend, no one was going anywhere on Monday and we had fresh bread.

Baking preparation
Preheat oven to 470 degrees for one hour with dutch oven inside. Sprinkle rice flour onto the bottom of the very hot dutch oven. Shape dough, though it will not hold a shape due to its wetness. Slash the top a few times. Not sure how well a pretty slash design would work, though it might if you get that dough very quickly into a hot oven.

Baking time: 52 minutes
Taste: Absolutely wonderful 

Next try: Shape the dough on a wet surface and with wet hands because - you got it - it's a wet dough.

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