Thursday, June 23, 2011

Excavation - the act of creating by removing somethingCleaning rocks

Cleaning rocks for the rock drain behind the house
Clean rocks
Picking up rocks
Cleaning scrap styrofoam for recycling as "rock"
Styrofoam recycled as "rock" between the back basement wall and the false wall keeping out the dirt [soil, clay]
Yet more rock, goes onto the styrofoam, a layer cake
The cut for the concrete water tank going under the porch
Stabilizing another cut using the wild strawberries
The wild strawberries are sending out runners right now.
Moving rock to the hole in the front porch to pour it into place
Like a duck swimming -  all the real work going on underneath spreading the rock
Cheating - using the digger to fill my wheelbarrow
Not cheating, at the other end filling buckets manually for placement above the styrofoam and the ventilation pipes
More rock - for the road and underneath the water tank slab
Precarious - getting the rock down there now the cut has been made.
Backfilling soil under the front porch
End of the day

Friday, February 13, 2009

High fiber - part wholewheat with barley flakes

Basic "accelerated" sourdough (liquid levain plus yeast)
72% water,
Harvest King flour 80%,
stone ground wholewheat 20% (milled immediately before make-up),
10% sustagrain high betaglucan barley flakes soaked in 120% water for an hour.

Improved mix (3 min slow 4 min fast) Hobart 20 qt mixer. Bulk 120 minutes with 2 folds. shaped into big batards (750 g), tried a new (for me) shaping method from Ciril Hitz, more like the pre-shaping technique for the cylinder for baguettes,
90 min final (it was warmer and the dough was fast),
Bake 22 min 232 C (450 F).

Very nice, crumb was moderately open but very moist and tender.

Monday, September 15, 2008

more pain au levain

Pain au levain from Jeff Hamelman's book. 75% harvest King 25% Bob's Red Mill dark rye. 100 % sourdough risen; a mix of my leftover liquid and stiff levains. Nice ears

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Training day

Time to train my staff in some handcrafting techniques: Not bad at all -- Pain au levain, semolina bread and sesame semolina, sourdough rye with carraway, and miches.

The breadbasket we shared afterwards

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Baguettes a la levain

Baguettes made with liquid [100% hydration] levain instead of the poolish. Same formulation, flour, and process as below, except for the noted change. This one included the 45 min fold during bulk fermentation.

Nailed the crust
; of course understanding the oven's limitations from yesterday helped there.
20 sec steam prior to loading, then 10 sec, then 2 more sec 1 min later. Opened oven vent with 10 min to go, vented 1 min with oven open door at the end.

Beautiful creamy crumb if still a little tight. Can't wait to get my new lame blades as the razor blades I am using do not seem sharp enough to give a good even cut in the dough.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A little better...

A little better today - Same formulation, flour, and process as yesterday except with the baguettes I folded the dough once in bulk and then worked the pre-shapes a little harder. More opening of the cuts today, good ! Could've been better if the oven did not literally "run out of steam". Tried saturating the oven with steam before the loaves went in, 30 sec, then when I went to hit them with about 10 sec worth after they hit the oven, the steam generators were not hot enough. All the water went down the drain and not into the oven as steam. I suppose it is good to find the limitations of the equipment, but why today?

I am still having trouble getting an open crumb structure, maybe I am working the dough too much, mixing a little too much, although at 4 min on speed 2 I could hardly pull any sort of gluten window... Maybe it is a flour issue, maybe it's a technique issue. I will get some of my "control" General Mills' Harvest King flour today and repeat the exercise on Friday using that flour to see if I can reproduce the open texture I got at SFBI in July.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Poolish baguette dough / Shepherd's Grain low-gluten

Batards got good ears but not the baguettes, same proofing same dough, same oven, same time etc etc. Were the baguettes not shaped tight enough at the final shaping, skins too dry [then so were the batard skins], not enough steam. But the result had great flavor, aroma, and texture. Crust was crunchy but not so hard it would cut your gums.

Beautiful batard - tasted as good as it looked.
Venting the oven
Today will try my proof box with the humidifier on but without the temperature control to run as close as possible to room temperature. Same formulation and process; stay tuned to see if the baguettes get better.

My assistant did some regular test baking as well. The "better" flours for hand-shaped breads [front 2 loaves] got lower volumes than the hi-gluten types [2 rearward loaves].
Rear Left; Grainprocessor's Titan --- Right; Shepherd's Grain High-gluten
Front Left; Shepherd's Grain Low-gluten --- Right ---General Mills' Harvest King [supermarket version]