Friday, May 29, 2009

recent breads: sourdough, olive rosemary

I made the basic no-knead sourdough in the oval casserole. Turned out fine, and pretty much what I've come to expect from the recipe. A single deep slash opened pretty dramatically.

I wanted to see what a no-knead sourdough does when given quite a bit of kneading. I made a dough of 3 cups all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons wheat gluten, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 cup starter, and 1 cup water. I kneaded this in a mixing bowl for 10 minutes or so, rendering it quite stretchy, still pretty sticky, and fairly smooth though not silken. Left to rise overnight atop the fridge.

Kneaded for a few minutes on a cutting board in the morning. Stretchy and stickier, it seems. Did not get a great rise. I decided to bake it in a loaf pan just to see what it would do. Nothing unexpected, I suppose. It was decent, though fairly dense, and this is too much salt. Kneading was sufficiently difficult due to the stickiness that I probably didn't perform it adequately. The crust was pallid and uninteresting. Didn't take a photo.

Another olive rosemary bread seemed in order. I kind of winged this one, varying from that recipe by using 10 ounces of water and two tablespoons of vinegar as the liquid, probably close to a cup of chopped kalamatas, a tablespoon of salt, and three tablespoons of wheat gluten. I was curious to see what would happen if I used two packets of yeast, too. I proofed them with a bit of sugar, as they were a couple of years old, but it was plenty active. The dough was not extremely wet and I kneaded it for something less than 10 minutes. It must have quadrupled in size while rising in the oven overnight. Most of that volume was lost as I gently poured it into the casserole. I let it rise for a couple more hours.

I've been pretty happy with the results from the casserole. The lid was preheated in this case, but not the dish itself. Baked at 450 for 20 minutes with the lid on and 25 with it off.

The crust was good but not great. Overall it was fine, but not as good as the last no-knead attempt using beer, either in flavor or texture. Too salty, too; I'm not sure why I thought a tablespoon was appropriate, especially since the olives are somewhat salty.

The three shallow slashes seemed to perform well.

I'm curious to see what happens if I double the yeast and let it rise in a way that lets me transfer it into a preheated dutch oven without losing so much volume. Would the loaf really turn out that large and light? The easy way to try that would be to not worry about the preheating and just let it rise in the dutch oven itself.

I didn't find much online about using extra yeast. I think there was one article that mentioned that a yeastier flavor could be achieved, and that was about it.

No comments: