Sunday, May 15, 2016

Bread Number 89: Whole Wheat, Farro, and Serious Procrastination

Here I am, no closer to actually starting the challah challenge than I was a year ago. All it takes to be ready is get out the ingredients and begin, but my wonderful family is actively opposed to the making of any but my traditional, tried and true challah. I can use that as an excuse, but I have plenty more, none of which amount to a hill of beans because I am perfectly capable of this. And now, on the cusp of a month on the road, I am devising a plan to involve people other than said family members, people who will be willing to act as taste testers.

As for the plan to make matzah, I have been reading and reading about it, discussing the derivation of the Hebrew word, and procrastinating. I might make it later today if I do not get sidetracked with packing.

Now for a nice combo: Whole wheat and farro is a fantastic combination.

50g farro flour
350g whole wheat flour
200g starter (all purpose flour and water at 100 percent hydration)
310g water
11g salt

All of the berries were ground into flour immediately prior to making the dough. The aroma is heavenly. 

Mix the water and flour. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes. 

Add starter to autolyse, mix part way, and then add the salt. Needed to use my hands to mix this dough thoroughly.

I did four stretch and folds, each 15 to 20 minutes apart. Then I let the dough sit, covered, in a warm - not hot - kitchen of about 74 degrees for seven hours.

Shaping and baking
Preheated the oven to 500 degrees with the oblong la cloche inside. I then shaped the dough into an oblong shape, but fatter and stubbier than a baguette. Covered and wrapped the dough in a facsimile of a couche with the beeswax covering instead of a real couche or plastic, though the beeswax material is hard to clean.

Did a one hour final rise. Put slashes across the top of the dough. Before plopping the dough into the dangerously hot la cloche, I sprinkled - liberally - rice flour on the bottom. I have had bad experience with dough sticking to the bottom and the sides of the oblong la cloche. The rice flour works like a charm. 

Plop dough into la cloche, cover, and close that oven door. Reduce temperature immediately to 480 degrees.

Next time, I will roll the dough in the rice flour as well because it stuck to the sides. I got out the dough with a knife, but, frankly, I almost burned myself, just missing touching the outside of the super hot la cloche. One should really heed the instructions one gives to one's children in these types of situations. I was lucky to have avoided a good burn.

Baking time: 30 minutes

Beautiful oven spring. Fantastic taste.

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