Friday, March 8, 2013

Whole Lotta Baking Going On!

The past two days, I have been baking bread like a maniac, getting ready for next week. 

Wednesday, I baked our usual weekly loaf of Peter Reinhart's 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread.  This has become our go-to bread for breakfast toast. We like the wheaty flavor and the hearty texture of this bread.  It holds up well against the peanut butter and homemade orange marmalade.

Yesterday, I prepared a sourdough starter for San Joaquin Sourdough Bread (recipe on  I also set up a starter for some Sourdough Oat Bread, a recipe a friend gave to me that I recently converted to weight measures in grams.  Here's the recipe for the Sourdough Oat Bread, makes two nice loaves of bread.  You will see I made several changes after baking this bread.  I didn't like the pronounced flavor of baking soda in the bread and am going to eliminate it from the mix in my next batch.  It made the bread taste like biscuits.  That's not a bad flavor but not one I like for an oat bread - I'd rather taste the oats than biscuit.

Sourdough Orange Oat Bread(weights)

300 g sourdough starter at 100% hydration (4-6 hours before making bread, mix 50g starter with 125g water and 125g bread flour, leave at room temp 4-6 hours)

478g warm milk

336g warm water

8g active dry yeast

21g salt

8g diastatic malt powder  85g  (1/4 cup) honey

68g vegetable oil

18g baking soda butter, melted

176g whole wheat flour

160g 260g rolled oats (not instant)

900g   800g bread flour

zest of one large orange

1 egg + 1 TBSP water (eggwash)

extra rolled oats for the top of the bread

Prep: Mix all but white flour in a large bowl. Will foam up - allow to sit in covered bowl for 1 hr.
Stir down, and begin adding white flour, 1c at a time, and beat in well.
When stiff enough to handle, knead 6-10 min until smooth & elastic. Place in oiled bowl, cover with cotton towel. Allow to rise until doubled(about 1 hour at 74F).
{punch down, rise to double again}--I skipped this step
Grease 8” loaf pans - shape and make 2 loaves, allow to rise final time (about 1 hour) until nearly doubled. Top w/beaten egg + 1tbsp water, brush on loaf, sprinkle with oats
Bake in preheated 350F oven 50-60 minutes, turn after 20 if hot spot/oven warrants.
Turn out of pan, cool 30-40 min on rack.

Here are the loaves -

The crumb of the bread was light and fluffy -

I'll make this again, but I'm going to eliminate the baking soda, add more oats, and add honey and some orange zest to jazz up the flavor.

Today, I finally got to bake the San Joaquin Sourdough Bread that had been hibernating in the fridge overnight.  I shaped the loaf and allowed it to rise about 1 hour before baking.  The loaf is half Sonora White Wheat flour from Eatwell Farm in Dixon, California and half home-milled hard red winter wheat flour (wheatberries from Walton Mills).  The bread had great oven spring.  I can't wait to cut into it and see what the crumb is like.

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