Thursday, January 31, 2013

Further adventures in sourdough

I hadn't intended this to become a series! Oh well. I hope you are enjoying this; I sure am. So far everything has been edible, so even the ones I have decided not to repeat are not a loss. So far, I've got a 100% wheat, a 100% rye, and a cinnamon-raisin.

Today's experiment was with 50% oat flour. I used my standard wheat recipe:
1 cup starter
3 cups flour
1.5 teaspoons salt
1.5 cups water
But, I halved the flour, splitting it between oat and wheat. I was going to do a 2/3 loaf, but we grind our own flour and I guessed wrong on the oat groats; I ended up with 1.5 cups : ) Oh well; life is tough! Anyway, I let that proof overnight.

It rose fine. But, when I went to punch it down...well, let's just say it collapsed at the first touch. It only has 1/2 the gluten, so it is pretty fragile. I stirred it down and let it sit in the bowl; there was no way I would be able to form a loaf, so I poured it into the loaf pan and let it rise.

After 2 hours, it hadn't risen much, if at all. So, I waited...after 3 hours, it had risen slightly, so I put it in the oven. Normally, you get what is called "oven spring" when a loaf bakes. That's where the loaf rises in the heat of the oven before the yeast dies. This loaf just stayed flat until over halfway through the baking, then the spring started developing. It wasn't done after 60 minutes, so I gave it another five.

The bread was definitely moist; oatmeal is a secret ingredient in some breads to make them moister. It wasn't too heavy, either. But the flavor was a bit strange while it was still warm. Once it cooled down, it had a nice flavor. I think I'll make it again; at first I didn't think I would.

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