This bread was a challenge for me in multiple ways. I had never used buckwheat before in bread making, nor had I deviated so much from a 'base' recipe when baking, which is why I was pleased with how tasty this was. The final product was a hearty bread with a moist and chewy crumb, a crispy crusty, and a tang that reminded me more of a Russian style light rye bread then a sourdough. Whatever it was it tasted great!!
I have been hoping to find a steady source of local grains for a while and was really excited to have an opportunity to pick up a variety of locally grown grains and flours this past weekend from the folks at Four Star Farms in Northfield, MA. The L'Etoile family clearly cares about their grains which even more evident after visiting the Sustainable Farming part of their website. I made this loaf with a mix of their bolted Warthog (15.4% protein), their Zorro (16.9% protein), and their Buckwheat flour. For more info on these and their other flours visit the Four Star Farms flour page.
The first step was to feed my sourdough starter with 3/4 cup of bolted Warthog and 3/4 a cup of water and let it do it's magic overnight. After a night out on the counter the fed starter had a nice tangy aroma and looked to be fairly active.
Fred's experimental Buckwheat x Sourdoughmakes 2 loaves
1 cup King Arthur Flour sourdough starter
3/4 cup bolted Warthog flour
1 1/2 cups water, room temperature
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1 1/2 cups 'whole wheat flour' (sifted Zorro), plus extra for baking
2 cups 'bread flour' (bolted Warthog)
12-16 oz fed sourdough starter
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
large handful of cornmeal for the baking sheet.
Using a stand mixer with the dough hook mix together the water and all 3 flours on low speed for a bout a minuted or until the the mix is stiff and a little shaggy. Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for 10-15 minutes.
With the mixer on medium speed add the fed sourdough starter (I tried using a cup an a half but it was so sticky I am sure I ended up using a full 2 cups), salt, and sugar and mix for 3-4 minutes or until starter is well incorporated. At this point the dough should be somewhere between sticky and smooth, slightly sticky but still smooth and stretchy. If it is too lose at a little more flour, if it is too stiff add a little more water.
Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning the dough in the bowl to coat with oil. Cover the bowl with a lightly oiled piece of plastic wrap and let it sit for 2-3 hours (I let it sit for the full 3 hours).
After the dough has sat, flour your hands and work area and turn the dough out of the bowl. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a ball by continuously tucking the edges of the dough underneath until the dough has shaped itself into a ball with a taut surface.
Sprinkle your baking sheet generously with cornmeal and place the loaves on the baking sheet, spacing them at least 3 inches apart. Cover them loosely with plastic wrap and let them sit at room temperature for another 2 - 3 hours (mine sat 2.5 hours) or until they have loosened up and relaxed a bit.
Preheat the oven to 500 F and position one rack in the center. Sprinkle the tops of the loaves with the extra flour. Slash the surface of the loaves with a knife and place the baking sheet in the oven on the center rack with a pan filled with 2 cups of water on the rack below. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the loaves are a golden brown or darker on top and sound hollow when you tap the bottom.
Transfer the loaves to a wire rack and let them cool for at least an hour before slicing.
(submitted to yeastspotting)