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Desem…Again!!

I really love the flavor of Desem sourdough bread. It is actually addicting! It is always sour, and when toasted, it tastes like malted wheat. I made up another batch of Desem, but this time I was more careful to use wheat berries that I had ground and let season (age) for two weeks. I had read that the mills did that because freshly ground wheat does not bake up as well as aged flour. Well, it seems to be true. I got a great development of gluten and the dough handled better. I am really getting a nice open crumb for a 100% Whole Wheat flour bread. Of course, as you know, the only other ingredients are water, salt (I have been using Kosher salt) and the wild Desem yeast. That makes for a nice loaf of bread devoid of chemicals or other ingredients that may have been processed. I have pure artesian water that has no chemicals in it, so I am really lucky there. Here is the preferment that is ready to use for making a Desem dough:

preferment

I mixed the dough for nine minutes as that is when it looked done:

dough

After bulk fermenting for four hours I shaped and benched (rested) the dough:

shaping

Then came final shaping and proofing:

proofing

This time I did not proof in a very warm, humid environment but just allowed the dough to proof at room temperature. It took around 2.5 hours. I then baked at 425 for 30 minutes. Here is the first loaf:

first loaf

Here is the second loaf:

second loaf

Here is the crumb, as you can see it is nice, open and nicely textured:

crumb

There is a lot more leeway for using and baking with Desem. If you have a Desem starter, I would encourage you to experiment.

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