Thursday, August 25, 2011

Another Whole Wheat with some changes...

I've actually had 2 whole wheat breads since my last bread baking post.  The "baguettes" were not particularly pretty, but they tasted fine (especially when used as pizza).

The bread after the "passable" baguettes was also 25% whole wheat but at a 75% hydration with a preferment (100% hydration poolish of whole wheat).  Unfortunately, my skill level is nil when it comes to forming any shape when the dough is that sticky.  I ended up with a nasty looking baguette and something more akin to a ciabatta than a batard.  Both took too many tries to form, were most definitely over-proofed and the results reflected it.  In my newbie attempts to date, these were my only two true failures.

Last night I put together a 62% hydration dough using the 25% / 75% whole wheat flour to white.  The fermentation took place in the fridge overnight (around 12 hours).  This was so much easier to form into a boule!  I let this proof after forming for about 40 minutes (while the oven pre-heated).  The finished bread looked wonderful.  This is the only one I've made so far that had a nice oven spring.  I used a combination of normal bake and convection bake at different oven temps  (to control the color of the crust).    Here's what it looked like:

 Now the crumb was, as I expected, somewhat denser than the higher hydration doughs I've made but it was not "heavy" if you know what I mean.  I'm guessing that the addition of the olive oil makes it that way.   While I did steam the oven for 15 minutes or so and sprayed the bread / oven 4 times during the bake, the crust was not as "crunchy" as I thought it would be (although it had a very gentle crispiness to it).  The flavor however was exceptional!
I guess I'll keep working on this particular hydration until I get the hang of handling it.  All in all, I think this one was was my best to date.  I'll stick with a winner for now. :)

Here's the formula (I didn't completely fill out the form, but you'll get the idea:

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