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After the Storm Bread

Last Thursday Dec 14 we went through a very strong storm with wind gusts approaching 100 mph. I live on the Washington Coast with the Willapa Bay in my back yard, so we were hit pretty hard. We lost power Thursday night and it didn’t come back on until the following Monday in the late afternoon! Our Artesian well kept pouring out fresh water, so that was nice, as you don’t need a pump to get water from the overflow. Anyway, it would have been a good time to try out camp sourdough, but I didn’t 🙁   We didn’t have any fresh sourdough all that time. However, the last batch I baked up, (a Basic White batch) even though it was stale by then, tasted great thrown on the top of the woodstove and crisped by the hot stovetop and then buttered. As soon as the power came on Monday afternoon, I decided to mix up a batch of sourdough as a preferment so I could bake the next day. I didn’t have time for the long overnight ferment of ripened dough but I sure wanted some fresh sourdough! I decided to mix up a new recipe that had a quick overnight preferment and baked up the next day, and so I made this:

After the Storm Bread:

In the evening I mixed up a preferment in a large bowl containing:

1 cup Northwest Starter

1 cup water

1/2 cup Whole Wheat flour

1/2 cup Rye flour

2 cups Bread flour

I covered this and let it set overnight at room temperature.

This is how it looked next morning:

preferment

Next morning at 6:00 am I poured this preferment into my dough mixer and added:

1 cup scalded 1/2 and 1/2 milk to which 1 cup of cold water was added to cool it off quickly.

2 Tablespoons Oil

7 – 8 cups of Bread flour (adjust for consistancy)

I mixed up the dough and let it rest (autolyse) for 15 minutes and then I added:

5 teaspoons salt

Then I mixed the dough for about three minutes and let it bulk ferment for five hours.

It was an active bubbly dough at five hours ferment:

bulk ferment

After the five hour bulk ferment I had 5 lb 7 oz of dough, enough for two large loaves and one smaller loaf. So just to have some fun, I shaped the smaller loaf into a Baguette shape and the two larger loaves into the Batard style shapes. I proofed them in a couche at room temperature. However disaster struck once again! The power company decided to turn off the power to fix the lines again! This was just at the time when I was about to start preheating my oven for an hour. So, I moved all of the shaped dough onto my covered porch which was registering a 45 degree temperature, lucky me, as I didn’t have any room in the refrigerator to put the dough. The power was off for an hour. So as soon as it came back on, I preheated the oven. When it was hot enough, I baked the Baguette loaf and it came out pretty nice. Then I tried baking one of the Batard loaves but it stuck to the pan as I was trying to pop it onto the stone and then I forgot to turn the oven down after the first five minutes of high heat and spraying. Ill fated loaf! It didn’t come out too good in looks, but it was still a good edible loaf. Then I baked the last loaf with slashes down it’s side intead of on top. Two out of three loaves, not too bad!

Here they are with the ill fated loaf at the top (obviously):

three stormy loaves

Here is an attempt to hide the ill fated loaf:

ill fated loaf hidden

Storm loaf

Here is the crumb of the Ill fated loaf, just to show you that it is still edible! Actually it is delicous!

crumb

With the mix of Whole Wheat and some Rye, it is not a real white crumb but an earthy, rustic loaf, just right for after the storm, and so very satisfying.

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1 Comment

  1. December 23, 2006    

    This looks fabulous! You have inspired me to refresh my neglected starter! We had 8 days without power and then 4 with no phone after the storm of Dec. 11th hit us hard here on Denman Is. in BC. (The storm of the 14th was not so bad for us.) So your title attracted me!

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