Bread Baking - May 7, 2020

I made the 100-percent whole wheat bread that I made on Apr 20, 2020, which I described here.

For the ingredients, I used the following with baker's percentages given.

I fed the starter three times this week, prior to making bread today. I fed overnight, which meant that I used a room temp starter.

For the stretch and folds, I did the first two at 15-minute intervals and the last two at 20-minute intervals. Since the dough seemed wet, I increased the interval to 20 minutes.

House temp today ranged from 61 to 64 degrees, depending upon whether Deb cranked up the heat in the house.

The outdoor temps in the afternoon reached into the low to mid 60s.

I set the dough up to ferment at 1:00 p.m.

I dumped dough onto the counter after fermentation at 8:20 p.m. I shaped the dough into a round and let it bench-rest for 15 minutes. Then I attempted to shape the dough with a small stretch and fold. Some day, I'll figure this out.

I DID proof seam side UP this time. As usual, I proofed in an oval-shaped banneton basket with the cloth liner. I scattered whole wheat flour on the cloth to prevent the dough from sticking to the cloth.

I preheated the oven at 525 degrees F for 35 min. I placed the stone on the fourth oven rack from the top. With 10 minutes left in the preheating, I placed the large metal bowl onto the stone.

I proofed for slightly more than three hours. I dumped the dough from the basket onto parchment paper that I placed on the counter.

Then I opened the oven door, removed the metal bowl and placed it on the stove top. Then I pulled out the metal rack that held the stone. I placed the parchment paper with the dough onto the stone, and then I slashed the dough and placed everything back into the oven.

This time for the slash, I slashed down the middle, length-wise, but I did not make the slash go all the way through both ends of the dough. I intentionally stopped short of slashing through the ends. I won't do this again. I did not like how the dough sprang with this slash. It would be better to slash lengthwise all the way through the ends or slash like last time with three slashes made across the dough. Or maybe three angled slashes across the width of the dough.

After closing the oven door, I lowed the oven temp from 525 to 500 degrees F. The rest of the baking process was like before.

I removed the bread from the oven at 12:42 a.m. on Fri, May 8, 2020. Bread dimensions:

From the moment that I decide to assemble this bread to the moment that I remove it from the oven, it's at least a 13-hour time span in a house with temps between 60 and 64 degrees.

In the summer time when our house temp might range between 75 and 80 degrees, the fermentation time might be 5 to 6 hours, instead of 7 to 8 hours, and proofing might be 2 hours instead of 3 hours.

I think that the temp inside Zingerman's baking area ranges between 70 to 74 degrees. Zingerman's ferments and proofs their breads at room temp.

If the house gets too warm in the summer, then I can ferment and/or proof in the refrigerator. That will extend the total making time across days, instead of starting and ending within the same day.

Bread dough can be fermented for up to four days in the frig. I would proof in the frig for under 24 hours.

Thursday evening, May 7 photos

After fermenting:

dough in the bowl after fermenting

another photo of the dough after fermenting

Bread removed from the oven and placed on the cooling rack:

Bread removed from the oven and cooling on the rack

Friday morning, May 8 photos

still on the cooling rack the next morning

another cooling rack photo

and yet another cooling rack photo

side view of the bread

bread slices on the bread on the cutting board

Mon, May 11, 2020 update

I cut into the bread on Friday morning, May 8, and I finished it off late Monday afternoon, May 11.

I loved the taste of this 100 percent whole wheat bread. The crust was thin and crispy. The crumb was moist and firm.

On Monday afternoon, even the final end piece was still tasted crispy and moist and not hard and dry.

I mostly ate the bread plain, untoasted as usual, but I also toasted some slices and used Deb's homemade blueberry jam, which made a fantastic combo.

After toasting thin slices of bread, the bread seemed to smell even better.