How I do Desem…

I had several emails asking me how I do my Desem bread, technique, recipe etc. So here goes…

I have been keeping an 80% hydration Desem in a bowl in the refrigerator. It has been easier to feed, and easier to use.

80% hydration dough

80% hydration just means approximately twice the amount of flour to water ratio. Like a cup of flour and 1/2 cup of water etc. Or for every five ounces of flour/ four ounces of water. Anyway, I take out one and one half cups of active 80% Desem which was fed the day before and make a preferment the night before I am going to bake. Preferment:

  • 1 – 1/2 cup 80% hydration active Desem starter – 13.5 oz
  • 1 – 1/2 cups water room temperature – 12 oz
  • 3 cups organic Whole Wheat flour aged at least one week 13.5 oz

Desem preferment after mixing:

preferment after mixing

Desem preferment the next morning:

preferment next morning

Mix together the preferment ingredients, cover and let ferment overnight at room temperature. Next morning add the preferment mixture to your dough mixer and add:

  • 2 cups water room temperature – 16 oz
  • Turn the mixer on low and add 6 cups whole wheat flour – 27 oz
  • After the dough is mixed turn off your mixer and let the dough autolyse for ten – 15 minutes.

Desem right after mixing:

desem after mixing

After autolyse, add:

  • 4 teaspoons Kosher salt – .8 oz

turn the mixer on low and let it knead the dough for about 7 minutes. If you notice the dough tearing as it kneads, turn off the mixer no matter how long it has been mixing.

Desem dough after autolyse and 7 minutes of mixing:

Desem dough after kneading

Let the dough proof 4 – 5 hours or when about doubled. Then stir down dough, pour it out and shape loaves.

dough

desem loaves shaped

I made two loaves a little over 2.5 lbs each. I then let the dough proof about 2 – 2.5 hours. When ready bake in a preheated oven at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes, slashing and steaming and turning loaf halfway, as usual.( I have been slashing, spraying my loaves once, and then covering the dough with a roasting lid for the first ten minutes, as it is easiest and seems to give great results).

First Desem loaf:

first loaf

Second Desem loaf:

second loaf

Both loaves

Here is the crumb from the first loaf:

crumb

So there you have it, recipe, technique and all !  Once you taste a loaf of Desem, you will go back to baking it over and over, it is that good, and addicting!

    northwestsourdough

    Teresa L Greenway - Sourdough bread baker, author, teacher, entrepreneur. Join my baking classes at: https://tinyurl.com/nbe3ejd

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