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 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:
Desem preferment the 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:
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:
Let the dough proof 4 – 5 hours or when about doubled. Then stir down dough, pour it out and shape loaves.
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:
Second Desem loaf:
Here is the crumb from the first loaf:
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!
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