Feb 7-9 Bread
I have been traveling so I had to put the starter in the fridge and not think about having delicious bread for almost 2 weeks. As soon as I got home I took the starter out and let it get up to room temperature before I refreshed it. My starter is still quite young so the more I can keep it out of the fridge the better I feel it is performing.
While I am still working off of the Beginner recipe from my previous post, I also want to start experimenting a bit to see how the bread changes. I accidentally did a different levain recipe that ended up at only 150 g which was shy of the amount needed. So when I was ready to add the levain the my autolyse I added the balance needed from the mother starter.
To see how the starter rises overnight, I did a timelapse. I love seeing all the action that you don’t get to see because it happens so slowly in real time. The starter is on the left and the Levain which I use to make the bread is on the right.
Because I am a night person and tend to sleep in the Levain went past when it should have been used but the resulting bread still turned out excellent.
As for the bread itself, I altered the recipe and omitted the rye flour while increasing the whole wheat to 207g and the new bread flour weight of 700g. The dough was very sticky to begin with and I used a slap and fold technique for 10 minutes before starting the bulk fermentation. Then I folded every 30 minutes for 4 folds and let it rest after the last fold for 2 hours before shaping and cold proof. The dough had a good rise during bulk but again there was very little rise overnight in the fridge.
I don’t know if it was the slight addition of starter or that my levain was strong enough but these loaves were excellent.
Another issue that I think I solved with this bake is the bottom crust. It has always been a bit tough to cut through and I read that you can use cornmeal under the bread while baking, but I didn’t have any so I used aluminum foil folded over and crinkled. This acted as a slight barrier between the cast iron and the bread. The crust was much better and easier to cut.