Well, this was fun!

Well, this was fun!

I’ve been making this bread every  weekend since mid-April with the goal of entering it in the county fair, which has a sourdough division this year. The theme of the fair this year is “Over the Moon”, hence the stencil. 

I made 3 batches of 2 loaves each so I’d have plenty to choose from, this one looked the nicest.

The bake was really darker than what the lead photo shows, and the crust was nicely blistered. I was surprised that the judges only cut a small triangle from each entry, it seems hard to judge the crumb from that.

I suspect the crumb of the loaf I submitted wasn’t nearly as open as I hoped, of course I don’t know because I couldn’t cut that one, but this loaf is from my first of the 3 batches:

I wish I was able to get that crumb regularly. Unfortunately I’m still quite uneven,  I don’t know whether it’s variables in my shaping or proofing. I’ll keep experimenting and hopefully next year try it again.

Here’s my recipe for Multigrain Sourdough with Cracked Rye and Barley:

Soaker (night before):

100 g. freshly cracked rye 

100 g. freshly cracked barley 

4 g. salt

400 g. boiling water. Leave on counter overnight.

for the dough:

700 g. Artisan Baker’s Plus (Central Milling)

149 g. freshly ground Red Fife wheat, #40 sifted

26 g. freshly ground rye, #40 sifted

465 g. Water

250 g. levain, 3-stage build from NMNF starter, partly bran fed, 100% hydration. Many thanks to dabrownman for the NMNF scheme!

20 g. salt

I’ve been finding it easiest to mix the soaker with the water first because the soaker is so firm and lumpy, then add the flours and mix until shaggy, then autolyse for 90 minutes before adding salt and levain and mixing for 6 minutes (Ankarsrum) , rest 15, mix 3 more , rest 15, another 3 minutes and then transfer to my bulk container where I did 5 sets of stretch-and-folds on 30 minute intervals. I judged the dough was ready to divide after about 3and a half hours total bulk ferment at 82df. Preshape, rest 30 minutes, and shape (stitching). The loaf that went to the fair got 20 minutes proofing at 82df, then 15 hours in the fridge and into a hot Dutch oven with only enough delay to score and stencil.

 The loaf with the nice crumb got 1 hour warm proof and 30 minutes in the fridge while the oven warmed up to 500.

I’m very happy with the texture and flavor of this recipe but after a couple of months with it I think I’ll make some white bread next. 😉