Two new flours, a soaker and a new year’s resolution

It must have been a good year! T65, which passes for bread flour here, has usually maxed out at around 11% protein. A few months ago, I found a bag at 12% and felt as though I’d struck gold. Well, I must have hit the mother lode, because this new T65 organic flour clocks in at 13%! So I bought a 2.5-kilo bag of it and have been happy as a clam.

Another recent find was heritage/heirloom stone-ground T80. I believe that T80 would pass for “high extraction” flour in the States; at any rate, it’s got 11% protein. It has a lovely color and perfume.

So, those are the two new flours.

Over the holidays, I found toasted multigrain flakes, which I started to use for a soaker/scald, and it’s been making the most lovely, moist and keepable crumb. So I think that’s just going to be part of my mix from here on in.

There was the soaker.

Using Wendy’s (Lazy Loafer) basic white formula, I made up a dough of 50/50 T65 and T80, added about 80g of scald and a couple of handfuls of bag-end seeds.

The plan was to make up the dough in the evening, retard until after work the next day, then shape, proof and bake.

Does stone-ground flour move faster than roller-milled?

When I checked on the dough 12 hours later, it was already large and proofy, bordering on wobbly. (The advantage to being self-employed is that you can just decide you’ll go in to the office an hour later than planned.) So, rather than let the dough over-ferment, I preshaped, rested and shaped the loaves, then put them in the fridge until later that day.

After work, took the loaves out of the fridge; they’d grown a bit. I gave them a gentle poke, decided they were feeling too dense and let them hang out at room temperature for about an hour or so. After which time they definitely were taking their time springing back after a wee poke. They weren’t as jiggly as loaves I’ve baked before, but I thought maybe baking them slightly underproofed was better than the opposite.

Baked these together for about 22 minutes covered, 20 minutes topless and then another 10 minutes with the oven off and the door cracked open.

I think I wimped out; I wonder if the loaf wouldn’t have a bit more loft if I’d let the proof at room temperature go another half hour? The scores barely opened, but the taste is great and the crumb is good.

So that’s the new year’s resolution: try to figure out when to bake.

Happy new year to all of you, and keep on baking!

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Post Author: MNS Master