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March 18, 2005

Sourdough #6

DSCN9200_Shawna_j.jpgShawna is here. Yesterday she shadowed Eric at Bellevue and today she shadows Jay at Columbia Presbyterian. She is totally excited about medical school. Last night we finished off my Moroccan chickpea stew and the celery root, fennel, and fava beans, as well as the salad that I never got round to serving the night before. Then we dashed off to my office, got my mail, returned a library book, and made it just in time to see Born into Brothels, which we liked a lot.

She loves the bread. We finished that off too and yesterday morning I got another batch going. First I bring the starter from the fridge to room temperature or a bit warmer, in the proofing box. Then, I whip it up with water and rye flour to make the starter I will use for baking, let it sit in the proofing box all day until it is nice and bubbly, and then reserving half for next time. To the half for baking I add more water and rye flour, salt, a cup of whole flax soaked, 1/2 cup caraway seeds (what an aroma!) and more than a cup of altus (crumbs from the last loaf, soaked in water), as well as 2 cups of sprouted rye berries. This made for a really sticky dough, so I am hoping that I did not add too much whole wheat flour. The result was a rather tight dough, not as loose as on other occasions.

In any case, I formed a round loaf--7 plus pounds (heavy rye doughs are best baked as a big round loaf because they form a very thick crust and this shape and size reduces the ratio of crust to crumb)--and let it sit overnight. This morning I punched it down, formed a big round loaf, and let it proof in a floured linen towel for about 5 hours. Heated the oven and cast iron pot to the max, sprinkled oat bran on the bottom of the pot (corn grits are better as they do not brown as quickly), and tipped the loaf into the hot pot. No scoring or docking this time. We'll see how it does. Covered the pot with the hot lid and placed back in the oven. Baked covered at 470 for ten minutes, removed the lid, and turned the oven down to 420 for the next hour.

So far looks like nice oven spring, some random and deep cracking of the crust, but not too bad, and the crust is not browning too quickly. This being such a big loaf, will bake it for a second hour at around 380. Need to be sure that the internal temperature of the loaf gets to at least 190F, but do not want the bread to dry out or the crust to get too thick--and I do mean thick.

Posted by BKG at March 18, 2005 02:20 PM

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