Bread bakers use some interesting terminology. For instance, we use percentage-based formulas instead of recipes. We express the amount of water in a dough as a percent of the total amount of flour. It turns out to be a pretty handy way of looking at things.
2%. That was the difference in the percentage of water in the dough mix at the start of the week compared to the end of the week. That 2% made a big difference. Last week we were working with a newly milled flour and a bread style (biga) that we haven’t used all that much. The results were pretty good at the start of the week. The crust was a beautiful chestnut brown. But we wanted a little more moisture in the interior, known as the crumb in bakers’ speak. So we bumped up the water 2%. It was just a couple of tablespoons of water per loaf, yet that little bit led to a softer, more open crumb. It led to a loaf that was just a little closer to our ideal loaf.
We are starting to understand how small changes can lead to desired results. That’s only because we’ve made so many changes that have led to unintended and undesirable results. Call it learning from the school of hard knocks—or flat, dense, and burned bread.
We hope you enjoyed last week’s loaf. We hope you enjoy this week’s loaf even more.
What's Inside the Box
Sourdough boule (Methow Red wheat, Montana hard white wheat)
This week’s bread features an organic heirloom hard red wheat grown by Bluebird Grain Farms in Winthrop, WA. About 55% of the flour in the loaf consists of this whole grain wheat flour. The rest is a lighter, sifted flour.
Amlond berry danishes (Methow hard red wheat, Montana hard white wheat)
Diamond-shaped danishes with almond filling and topped with organic berry jam (raspberry or blackberry) from last week’s farmers market purchases.
Assorted crackers (Sonora wheat)
It’s been a while since we’ve done crackers.