Krustwerk http://krustwerk.com Bread & Food Sat, 07 Feb 2015 23:03:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.18 Pre-Ferment: Heavy on the Biga Boulehttp://krustwerk.com/bigaboule/ http://krustwerk.com/bigaboule/#comments Sat, 07 Feb 2015 14:41:04 +0000 http://krustwerk.com/?p=644 Biga Boule A pre-ferment is a piece of old dough (patê fermentée), a wet poolish or spongy biga that gets set in motion the day or so before baking, sometimes on the counter, or in the fridge, or some combination of both.  The use of pre-ferments is one of the...

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bouleBiga Boule

A pre-ferment is a piece of old dough (patê fermentée), a wet poolish or spongy biga that gets set in motion the day or so before baking, sometimes on the counter, or in the fridge, or some combination of both.  The use of pre-ferments is one of the keys to flavor, and also to loaves that last longer in storage than those which don’t contain pre-ferments.

The previous post, 24-Hour White Bread is such a flavorful concoction because it is itself in a sense a big bowl of preferment.  The difference here is that we’re going to make a biga that is 80% of the final dough volume, and just add a little more flour, water, salt and yeasts after 12-14 hours of counter fermentation.

The techniques for making it are the same, pincer method dough mixing and folding to develop structure, but the bread is left entirely on its own in the bulk fermentation which, combined with its relatively high hydration (~75%) make for an open airy crumb, and the hearth baking method, or using a dutch oven or cloche, develops a great rustic crumb.

This bread isn’t really conducive to a work schedule due to its rise time the second day, but as an example for a weekend, you might make the biga when you get home from work on Friday (or after dinner) and then leave it sitting on the counter until the next morning, 12-14 hours, at which time you would mix it and fold it.  The bulk fermentation, rise, will take 2.5 to 4 hours during which you don’t need to be hovering over it.  Once it is risen, it’s shaped and allowed to proof for an hour or so, then baked.  By afternoon (or dinner) you have bread better than anything you’re going to buy that day.

The Formula

 80%-recipe-20pt

Instructions

  1. Mix the biga the evening before you want to bake and leave it covered with plastic on the kitchen counter 12-14 hours (it’s about an 18 hour cycle to bake time so plan accordingly).
  2. The next morning, mix the dough (sans biga) by hand, then incorporate the biga using the pincer method.  You will be able to feel when the dough is “whole” as opposed to the new dough mixture plus biga…they will come together and the dough will suddenly feel more extensible rather than lumpy.  This may take a few minutes.  Take note of final mix temperature and cover with plastic.
  3. Over the next 75-90 minutes, make three folds, keeping the dough covered in between.
  4. The entire bulk ferment (post mixture) will depend on the final mix temp of the dough, and we’re seeking a tripling or near tripling of volume during the rise.  At 78°F it would take a total of 2.5-3 hours.  At 74F maybe 3.5 hours.  In winter time my kitchen is colder than that in the morning and I barely achieve 70°F, and thus I go for a full 4 hours, and maybe then some.  This is not a problem as slow fermentation is a good thing.
  5. Shape the dough into a boule and place it into a banneton or bowl lined with a flour dusted cloth (a linen type cloth, not a towel!) and allow to proof for ~1 hour.  At this point you might want to go ahead and preheat the oven to 475°F (with dutch oven or cloche already in, or with pan and wet towels if you’re making your steam this way) so you don’t forget….this dough proofs fast, and is sometimes ready to go before the hour is up.
  6. The bread is proofed when you can poke a floured finger 1/2″ or so into the dough and it springs back slowly over 5 or so seconds.  If it springs back fast it’s not ready, under-proofed.  If the indentation just stays there, it’s over-proofed (bake it immediately).
  7. Carefully invert the banneton or bowl and ease the dough onto a lighly floured surface then transfer immediately to the dutch oven or cloche, or pizza stone if you’re not using either.
  8. For dutch oven or cloche baking, bake for 30 minutes with the lid on, then an additional ~15 with it off.  Don’t be afraid to let the bread get really brown.  You might also observe whether your oven browns evenly when the top is off.  I have to rotate mine about halfway through the second part of the bake (and I let it go about 20 minutes with the lid off!).  If you’re on a stone, keep careful eye on the bread and remove when you achieve a nice dark brown, taking care to also rotate if needed.
  9. When finished baking, remove the boule and rest on a wire rack till completely cooled.

Some Notes

  1. This recipe assumes that you’re familiar with pincer method mixing and folding, and either cloche/dutch oven baking, or the use of wet towels on a baking pan to develop steam – hearth baking.  If not please take time to read the Secrets and Tools pages, and the 24 Hour White Bread recipe.
  2. For me this bread embodies the earthy flavors of bread I always wanted to be able to bake.  You might find that where the 24 Hour White Bread has a nearly familiar buttery flavor, this has something much darker, more bitter, ancient.  This is one of the finest I’ve learned.
  3. If you wish to scale the final loaf to a different weight, ie., a smaller or larger loaf, or multiple loaves, scale the Dough portion first and this will inform you of the weight of Biga that you will need. You will occasionally see recipe bakers percentages with the the pre-ferments and doughs listed together.  This is confusing.

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Simplicity – 24 Hour White Breadhttp://krustwerk.com/24hourwhitebread/ http://krustwerk.com/24hourwhitebread/#comments Sat, 31 Jan 2015 18:25:30 +0000 http://krustwerk.com/?p=573 24 Hour White Bread This is a really great bread to start with.  First, its incredibly good.  It’s also simple to make and will force you to not fear high hydration dough.  While the formula hydration is about 76%, the act of folding this bread with a wet hand (to...

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24 Hour White Bread

whitebreadThis is a really great bread to start with.  First, its incredibly good.  It’s also simple to make and will force you to not fear high hydration dough.  While the formula hydration is about 76%, the act of folding this bread with a wet hand (to keep the dough from sticking) is going to raise that number up a couple of points as well as help develop the gluten.  It’s also going to be beautiful when it’s done, with an excellent earthy crust and an open crumb.  Yep, it’s white bread, but not like anything you ever found in a store, and it requires very little hands on time to accomplish!

The Formula:

100%           All Purpose Flour

78%         90-95°F Water

2.2%      Salt

0.08%   Instant Yeast

When I make this bread, I make a boule, or ball, and bake it in a cloche, and so it’s about 900 grams total that I’m shooting for.  Using what I know about bakers percentages, this gives me this:

500g      All Purpose Flour

390g      90-95°F Water

11g      Salt

0.4g     Instant Yeast (a scant 1/8th teaspoon!)

Instructions

  1. In the evening after work, Autolyse the flour and water.  Sounds fancy, but just mix them together well and let them sit there for a half hour.
  2. After the autolyse, sprinkle the instant yeast over the top, then the salt, and proceed to use the pincer method to mix the ingredients.  This will take you a few minutes maybe, keeping your hand wet to keep it from sticking to the dough.
  3. Over the next hour to hour and a half, you’re going to fold the dough three times, probably at 30 minutes intervals, keeping it covered in between folds.  This will give this wet dough structure.
  4. After the last fold, leave it covered on the kitchen counter overnight for the bulk fermentation.
  5. In the morning when you get up, loosen the dough from the bowl and shape it into a boule, then transfer it into a round banneton (or a bowl lined with a flour dusted cloth) and put it in the fridge until after work.
  6. When you get home, put the dutch oven or cloche into the oven and then preheat the oven to 475°F.  At this point, please remember that the dutch oven or cloche are going to become incredibly hot, so be careful.
  7. When the oven is preheated, remove the bowl or banneton from the fridge and transfer the dough to the dutch oven or cloche with the lid on and then return it to the oven.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes and then remove the lid and continue baking for another 10-20 minutes, depending on how brave you are.  You don’t want to burn the bread exactly, but getting pretty close to burned is kind of awesome.
  9. Finally, remove the dutch oven or cloche from the oven and set the bread to cool on a wire rack.  Resist the urge to taste it until it is completely cooled.  Refer to the video again if you need regarding removing the dough from the dutch oven or cloche to cool.

A Couple Of Notes:

  1.  Until I figure out how to change the link colors, bolded words in the instructions are links to YouTube videos which are better than me talking about how to do this stuff.
  2. For this recipe, you can set a schedule such as a 6pm autolyse, 6:30pm mixing the dough followed by subsequent folds, 6am shaping and refrigerating, and 6pm preheating followed by baking.
  3. I’m assuming that you’ve read the Tools and Secrets  and Ingredients pages, and you know as much as you can about the various tools and methods.
  4. This recipe uses very little yeast and a very long bulk fermentation followed by a refrigerated proofing.  In short, this is what makes it taste so very good.
  5. When the dough goes into the banneton it goes in gnarly side down which will in turn place this side up when you bake.  The bread should break open during the bake….this is good.
  6. When you take it out to cool, listen to it.  It’s crackling as it cools.
  7. If you’re not using a dutch oven, or cloche, then you need to prepare the oven during the preheat for hearth baking.  Steam is a key ingredient.  What I do is take a shallow baking pan and fold a couple of kitchen towels into it and soak them with water.  When I preheat I pour off most of the excess water and put the pan in the bottom of the oven.  The towels will heat up and make steam during the bake.  No, they won’t start on fire but do remember to remove them when you’re done baking!  Also, if you’re baking hearth style like this, put your bread on a baking stone that has preheated with the oven. You can dust it with a little semolina or even corn meal, or place the bread on parchment paper and the parchment paper on the stone.
  8. Finally, if you’re hearth baking with wet towels, work fast in and out of the oven.  You don’t want to lose all your steam.

 

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