The Wood-Fired Blog

The Accidental Hockey Puck

Sometimes it just doesn’t go according to plan. These loaves are small, tough and dense. You can see that the dough just isn’t happy when I was shaping my boules. Blah.

Was it that I let the dough rest overnight and it never really had enough time to warm up and become elastic? Was it that I used 100 grams of molasses, instead of a mix of honey, olive oil and molasses? Did my 300 grams of muesli just not work? Was my dough too dry?  Was the oven too cool?

Who knows. But I had better not do this too many more times or my reputation will fall inside the family, and everyone will start avoiding my bread. Not good.

 

Peanut Butter on Whole Wheat Olive Bread

No, really.

Here is a nice while whole wheat boule with kalamata olives that tastes great with peanut butter. The olives seem to give the bread a nice moistness, without overwhelming it. It doesn’t cry out for olive oil and red wine; in fact it’s a really nice bread for lunch. Or in my case, right after running.

The Forumula

800 grams white whole wheat flour
200 grams of general purpose flour
10 grams yeast
20 grams salt
20 grams molasses
20 grams honey
40 grams olive oil
125 grams of olives
730 grams water

This is a wet dough, so much so that after 10 minutes of kneading on KitchenAid 2, it was still basically a batter that was just coming together. So I gave it another three minutes on KitchenAid 4 and it just formed a dough ball. Phew.

Fold, two hour bulk fermentation, fold, secondary fermentation, cut in half, shape boules (and push out the big air holes), and one hour in the banneton.

Score, load and steam.

I am struggling a little with steam. As I noted a while ago, I have been using a new garden sprayer (no Roundup in my bread), and I am starting to wonder if I am over-steam my oven. With these loaves, I used the sprayer for 20-30 seconds when I first loaded the bread, and a second time at roughly the five minute mark.

As you can see in the loaves above, the crust is almost shiny, and there was very little oven spring. That got me thinking about some of my other bread baking attempts since I started using the garden sprayer — and maybe I’m overdoing it. I’ve been sticking the spray wand just inside the oven and only opening the oven door just a crack to keep the seam inside the oven chamber, so far all I know I am making a puddle on top of my bread.

More experimenting to come on the steam front. But for now, I feel like I am still making process and still improving, and (just like competitive running) as long as you get getting better, the sky is the limit. Besides, you get to eat every attempt.