Ever since I received my new toy I’ve become obsessed with using freshly milled flour in my bread baking. Since I was traveling last week for a job interview I didn’t have any time to bake until this weekend so I refreshed my mother starter, created a levain using some of the refreshed starter and just to see what would happen, I added some sour cream in place of some of the water to make the levain.
I also used some additional sour cream in the main dough along with freshly ground Kamut, Rye, and Hard White Whole Wheat. I have not been sifting any of the flour, just grinding it at the finest setting and using as is.
After suffering from bakers withdrawal I felt the creative juices ready to burst out so I threw in some grated white cheddar that I had bought at Whole Foods and some Tahitian Vanilla Balsamic Vinegar just because I bought it along with a bunch of other flavored vinegar and oils right before mixing this one up.
The final bread came out great with a nice open crumb for a high percentage whole grain bread. The sour cream is about 73% water so it really bumped up the hydration of the final dough but it wasn’t too hard to handle at all. It actually made a nice silky smooth dough.
I had a nice meatloaf sandwich for lunch on this bread today and it was wonderful.
Mix all the Levain ingredients together for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap. Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled. I usually do this the night before.
Either use in the main dough immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day before using.
Main Dough Procedure
Mix the flours, sour cream and water together in your mixer or by hand until it just starts to come together, maybe about 1 minute. Let it rest in your work bowl covered for 20-30 minutes. Next add the salt, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), and balsamic vinegar and mix on low for 5 minutes. Add the cheese and mix for another 1 minute and then remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds. Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold. Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold. After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.
When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours. Remove the dough and shape as desired. I made 1 large boule shape. Place your dough into your proofing basket(s) and cover with a moist tea towel or plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray. The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature. Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.
Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 550 degrees F. and prepare it for steam. I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf. I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.
Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, score as desired and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.
After 1 minute lower the temperature to 500 degrees and after another 3 minutes lower it to 450 degrees. Bake for 35-50 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 210 degrees.
Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.
This post has been submitted to the Yeast Spotting Site here: http://www.wildyeastblog.com/category/yeastspotting/.