Light Wheat Desem

I’ve  been working with the Desem in new recipes and having absolutely fabulous results. Here is a Desem bread I call Light Wheat Desem and another that I am in the process of working with called Desem Milk ‘N Honey. Here are pictures of the Light Wheat Desem:

This is the overnight preferment:

preferment

Light Wheat Desem

three loaves

Light Desem Crumb

crumb

This turned out to be a really great bread. The preferment had a malted cracked Rye berry in it. The taste was incredible. I am also working on a Medium Desem with a bit more of the whole grain flour in it. I will get back on that one. I might be putting the two recipes in the Special Recipe folder when I get them worked out.

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Sourdoughs I’ve Been Baking

I haven’t been posting as often, but I am still baking often. I usually bake at least two to three times a week. Here are some pictures of some of my baking which I haven’t had time to post about:

Here’s several Basic White pictures:

basic white

Basic WHite Sourdough

More Basic White

Basic White Loaf

Basic White

The recipe for Basic White Sourdough is on my website at:

http://www.northwestsourdough.com/recipes.html

The technique for the same recipe is on the technique page. If you keep working at it until you can bake up a great Basic White Sourdough… then you can bake up just about any sourdough recipe. The Basic White helps you to get the technique and handling down pat.

Rosemary Potato Sourdough

I whipped up a terrific batch of Rosemary Potato Sourdough…YUMMMY!

I started with a preferment the night before.

preferment

I then added the rest of the ingredients in the morning and when I had bulk proofed, I shaped up three loaves:

three loaves

I proofed a couple of hours and baked, this is the first loaf out of the oven:

first loaf

Here are the other two:

next two loaves

Here is a closeup:

closeup

This bread turned out incredible as you can see from the pictures. Here is another picture of the crumb:

crumb

I have the recipe for Rosemary Potato Sourdough in the Special Recipe folder for those of you who are subscribed to it. Try it, this is a wonderful sourdough bread.

How I do Desem…

I had several emails asking me how I do my Desem bread, technique, recipe etc. So here goes…

I have been keeping an 80% hydration Desem in a bowl in the refrigerator. It has been easier to feed, and easier to use.

80% hydration dough

80% hydration just means approximately twice the amount of flour to water ratio. Like a cup of flour and 1/2 cup of water etc. Or for every five ounces of flour/ four ounces of water. Anyway, I take out one and one half cups of active 80% Desem which was fed the day before and make a preferment the night before I am going to bake. Preferment:

  • 1 – 1/2 cup 80% hydration active Desem starter – 13.5 oz
  • 1 – 1/2 cups water room temperature – 12 oz
  • 3 cups organic Whole Wheat flour aged at least one week 13.5 oz

Desem preferment after mixing:

preferment after mixing

Desem preferment the next morning:

preferment next morning

Mix together the preferment ingredients, cover and let ferment overnight at room temperature. Next morning add the preferment mixture to your dough mixer and add:

  • 2 cups water room temperature – 16 oz
  • 4 teaspoons Kosher salt – .8 oz
  • Turn the mixer on low and add 6 cups whole wheat flour – 27 oz
  • After the dough is mixed turn off your mixer and let the dough rest (autolyse) for ten – 15 minutes.

Desem right after mixing:

desem after mixing

After autolyse, turn the mixer on low and let it knead the dough for about 7 minutes. If you notice the dough tearing as it kneads, turn off the mixer no matter how long it has been mixing.

Desem dough after autolyse and 7 minutes of mixing:

Desem dough after kneading

Let the dough proof 4 – 5 hours or when about doubled. Then stir down dough, pour it out and shape loaves.

dough

desem loaves shaped

I made two loaves a little over 2.5 lbs each. I then let the dough proof about 2 – 2.5 hours. When ready bake in a preheated oven at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes, slashing and steaming and turning loaf halfway, as usual.( I have been slashing, spraying my loaves once, and then covering the dough with a roasting lid for the first ten minutes, as it is easiest and seems to give great results).

First Desem loaf:

first loaf

Second Desem loaf:

second loaf

Both loaves

Here is the crumb from the first loaf:

crumb

So there you have it, recipe, technique and all !  Once you taste a loaf of Desem, you will go back to baking it over and over, it is that good, and addicting!

Proofing

I mixed up a batch of Basic White sourdough using Northwest Sourdough Starter.

dough

The batch mixed up nicely and I poured out the dough and shaped it into four loaves. Two loaves in the smaller bannetons were one pound loaves and the other two were two pound loaves.

shaped loaves

dough proofing

This batch was done up as a preferment and not an overnight in the refrigerator with the loaves already shaped. Meaning, that I mixed up the final dough on the day of baking, bulk fermented and shaped the loaves, letting them proof all together before baking. When you do this sometimes you have to push the first loaves into the oven a little earlier than you would like, to avoid having the last loaves very overproofed. This is when you can really notice that proofing correctly makes a big difference. The first two smaller loaves were not completely proofed and the color of the crust is not fully developed.

first two loaves

 I even left the second small loaf in longer and at a higher temperature, but it did not color up as nicely as the two last loaves. I will say that the first loaves were close to being proofed, there are no blowouts and the crumb was a nice even, open crumb, but you can tell that the bloom was just not there.

 In the last two loaves, the crumb is wonderfully crisp and the color is fully developed.

third loaf

fourth loaf

The bread tastes better because of it. I just thought it would be interesting to show what even a small amount of proofing difference can do for a loaf of sourdough.

all four

Sour Saga…

What would you do if you had a batch of sourdough ready for the oven, the oven is heated and ready to go, you pop in the first batch and suddenly….the power goes out? I was faced with that scenario yesterday. The night before I started a preferment using:

Sour Saga Loaf:

  • 2 cups Desem or Whole Wheat Starter
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 cups Bread flour

I mixed together the preferment, covered it and let it set at room temperature overnight.

preferment

Next morning I added:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 5 teaspoons salt
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 5 cups (adjust for the right consistancy) of Bread flour

Makes about 5.4 lbs of dough.

I mixed this altogether in my mixer and let it autolyse (rest) for ten minutes. I then mixed it for 3 minutes. In only four hours it was already bulk fermented:

bulk fermented

We had decided to have hamburgers for dinner and didn’t have any hamburger buns on hand. So I took 3.4 lbs of the dough and made it into sourdough hamburger buns (this was not my intention!) I made two pans worth of buns. Then I took the other approximately 2 lbs of dough and made it into a batard shaped loaf and put it into a banneton to proof. I proofed the buns for 2 hours and then popped the pans into a preheated oven (425 degrees). About a minute later, the power went out! Where we live power goes out fairly frequently. We have high wind storms and live right next to the Pacific Ocean and Willapa Bay on the Washington Coast. I knew someday the dough would be ready… and the power would go out! We had just had a power outage two nights ago when a drunk from the local bar met with a power pole…grrrr… luckily I wasn’t baking bread then.

Anyway, I told the guys to fire up the barbeque and thought we would try to finish off the buns on the barbeque. I left the buns in the oven which was still pretty hot until they got the barbque hot enough and then they were barbequed! They turned out okay, somewhat too crunchy for hamburger buns, but we survived. Now to figure out what to do with a 2 lb loaf ready to bake and no oven! I was going to try to wrap it in a layer of aluminum foil and barbeque it like in one of my other recipes, but the loaf was just too fat. I remembered that I had a small roasting pan for roasting just a chicken. I went and found it…in the dark with a flashlight… and turned over the dough into the pan. I was glad I had made the dough a lower hydration dough because when I turned it over and it plopped into the roaster, I thought it would deflate, but it did fine.

dough in roaster

Well, we had the hamburgers done and off the grill, and I put the roaster with the loaf onto the barbeque, and shut the lid. About 20 minutes later, the power came back on 🙂

So I turned on the oven which still had heat from the stones, let it heat up for a bit and soon went out to get the roaster. The bread looked far from done, but it was doing okay!

dough partially barbequed

I went ahead and popped the roaster into the oven with the lid off and let it bake until it looked brown enough, and then I turned out the loaf onto the stone and let it continue to bake until it looked finished. It took about 20 more minutes. Here is what came out:

bread done

sour saga bread

The dark spot on the top was from where the dough was touching the roaster lid. The dough  got some great oven (roaster?) rise and it made a nice lofty loaf. Here is the crumb:

crumb

I never got any pictures of the hamburger buns, as they were eaten up fast in the light of kerosene lamps.

 So, what would you have done, if the power went out, right when your dough was proofed and ready to pop into the oven??

San Francisco Sour

I tried the long proofing San Francisco Sourdough with the basic white again. I added some Desem as a flavoring and some evaporated milk for a softer crumb. After bulk fermentation and shaping, I proofed the dough overnight for 10 hours. Then I warmed up the dough and baked the bread. Here are the loaves:

three loaves baked

First loaf:

first loaf

Second loaf:

second loaf

Third loaf:

third loaf

Crumb:

crumb

crumb

It was a great bake. The loaves still were a bit flattish from the long fermentation. The crumb was soft and the taste sour. The crust was wonderfully crisp. I am working on the measurements and testing of the recipe for Pane Pearl today. I am hoping to wrap that recipe up and post it soon in the Special Recipes folder.

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