Saturday, August 12, 2017

Sourdough Pretzel Rolls

Well, I definitely "winged' this one as I had to make a number of changes to the original recipe:

It called for one cup of rye starter (no weights given).  After looking up the recipe for the starter, I found it had a lower hydration than the whole wheat starter I planned to use.  I was able to make the necessary corrections to this batch (with the help of a little math) in order to get the final dough to a 63% hydration.

While this recipe called for a bake on the same day, I just didn't have the time to do that so I opted to do an overnight cold bulk fermentation instead.

  • 238 grams active levain (100% hydration)
  • 2 tbs diastatic malt powder
  • 222 grams Warm Water (~90°F)
  • 180 g AP Flour
  • 240 g Bread Flour

Autolyse 30 minutes and then add the following (one at a time) until fully incorporated
  • 8 grams salt
  • 1 gram instant yeast
  • 15 g melted butter

Perform 4 stretch and folds at 20-minute intervals. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight until doubled in size (in my case, 12 hours).

Divide the dough into 18 pieces, roll them into tight balls, and proof at room temperature. Since the dough balls are deflated after rolling, and there's not much yeast in this recipe (by my own choice), I let them proof again for about an hour or so until they felt "puffy".

Preheat the oven to 425° F.

Dissolve 1/2 cup of baking soda in a pot of boiling water (my square "Copper Chef" was perfect for this :) )

Boil the dough balls for about 30 seconds each top and bottom (4 or so at a time) and transfer them to a baking pan lined with parchment paper.  When done, score each ball with an "X" and top with coarse salt or a finishing salt.

The recipe calls for baking these for 30 minutes; I would check these starting around the 20-minute mark so they don't get too dark.  Make sure you cool them on a rack for at least 30 minutes.  

These were absolutely delicious!  Crispy on the outside and nice and chewy on the inside.  A definite winner :)  Next time I'll make them a little bigger so they can be used as hamburger buns.
(click on pic to enlarge)

75% Whole Wheat from: "Flour Water Salt Yeast" (Forkish)

Since my Pain de Campagne was successful, I decided to try the next hybrid levain bread in the "Flour Water Salt Yeast" book.  The levain build is identical to the Pain de Campagne. The obvious differences are the amounts of whole wheat and water (hydration %).

75% Whole Wheat Bread

82% Hydration (higher hydration due to the amount of whole wheat in this dough)
75% Whole Wheat Flour
Hybrid leavening (20% levain / .175% instant yeast)
Overnight cold proof in bannetons after forming (12 hours)
Baked in dutch ovens

Building the Levain (8 AM)
  • 100 grams of mature starter
  • 400 grams of white flour
  • 100 grams of whole wheat flour
  • 400 grams of water @88.9°F (85°F-90°F)

COMMENT:  As you can see, this recipe produces 1,000 grams of levain; far more than the 360 grams needed for the dough (see below).  In his video, Forkish throws out the excess levain calling it "spent fuel".  I call it a waste (although it can be used for other things).  It is said that the greater volume helps fermentation as it's easier to control the levain's temperature.  However, the next time I make this, I'll scale it down and see what happens.  The temperature in the cabinet (where I keep the levain) is very consistent. 

The levain was covered and left to rest at room temperature (73.7°F) for 7 hours (target 6-8 hours.  After 7 hours, it looked very bubbly/active.

(click on pics to enlarge)

Mixing the Final Dough: (3 PM)
  • 90 grams of white flour (25%)
  • 710 grams of whole wheat flour (75%)
  • 660 grams of water (82%) @ 93.8°F (90°F-95°F)
  • 21 grams of salt (2.1%)
  • 1.75 grams of yeast (.175%)
  • 360 grams of levain (20%)
The dough was autolysed for 30 minutes.  The salt and yeast were then added (separately).  After it was fully mixed by hand, 360 grams of levain (made earlier) was added and incorporated into the dough. TDT (target dough temperature) 77° - 78°F.  Actual: 78.4°F.

Four stretch and folds were completed over the next 1.5 hours.  

After the 5-hour bulk fermentation (when it had more than doubled in size), the dough was divided and placed in bannetons dusted with a 50/50 mixture of rice flour and bread flour. Both were covered with plastic bags a put in the refrigerator overnight.

8 PM

8 AM

I thought these might be slightly under-proofed, but I'd rather err on the side of under-proofed than over-proofed...

The oven and dutch ovens (with lids) were preheated for 50 minutes @475°.  Both boules were turned onto a piece of parchment paper, scored, and placed in the DO's with the lids on for 30 minutes and around 20 minutes with the lids off.

After 30 minutes: Not a tremendous about of oven spring (maybe they were a little over-proofed?) but they looked nice.

While I would have preferred to see the crumb a little more open than this, the end result wasn't bad.  All in all, even though the crumb was a little dense, the texture was very nice (considering this is 75% whole wheat). Good chewy, crunchy crust and a very nice nutty whole wheat taste and aroma.  Great as a lightly toasted sandwich bread or simply toasted and buttered up :)