On Dec. 12th , I posted that I had added some Vital Wheat Gluten (VWG) to my dough formula.
Well, as some of you know, the first attempt didnít go so well because I screwed up my calculations and the numbers I came up with for the VWG were high..wellÖvery high, to say the least. And if it werenít for member Torontonian (Josh) and Pete-zza (Peter), Iíd probably be still working with those numbers.
So, thanks guys!
Fortunately, I have since gotten a handle on things and with the addition of a new stand mixer, the Cuisinart SM-55BC, I decided to venture a bit more into the whole VWG thing in combination with the King Arthur and the Stone Buhr Bread flours. The reason Iím adding VWG is because Iím reluctant, and maybe a bit cheap, to order a 55 lb bag of high-gluten flour such as the KASL or the Imperial from Honeyville. The All Trumps is off limits to me personally, since itís bromated. I know that KASL also comes in 3 lb bags but shipping is a lot more than the flour itself. At least where Iím at. So adding VWG was the next logical thing to me. And Iím glad I did. The feedback to my latest crusts has been extremely good.
I continued to use Peterís advice, formula and protocol of using a 3-hour preferment, incorporated parts of Evelyne Slomonís mixing suggestions she posted on the PMQTT board, such as adding the oil last when incorporating a 20 min rest period, http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?p=825&highlight=totonnos#p842
and my own.
I made, and am currently still working on, several batches, for four pies each, at hydration levels of 61, 62 and 63 percent respectively. All received a 24-hr cold-rise (bulk) and some of them received a 36-hr cold-rise (individual dough balls due to scaling) because I didnít use them until the next day. The 61% batch turned out to be a bit too much on the ďrusticĒ side even though the crust tasted amazingly good. But it lacked somewhat in the oven spring department. That changed when I used the 62% hydration level. The crust featured nice oven spring, was chewy, airy and crunchy at the same time. I really liked that one, almost to a point where I was ready to say ďI got it!Ē. Others who have tasted the 62% crust said not to change a thing anymore. But I thought Iíd give it another shot and try a 63% hydration while keeping all other variables the same. Thatís what Iím working on now.
A word about the mixers. After using the KA Classic 4.5qt for the last two years I must say that it stands no chance against the Cuisinart 5.5qt mixer. The Cuisinart just mixes more thoroughly, the slow-start feature is great and the fold option is even better. Not to mention the timer and auto shut-off. No more looking at clocks or setting oven timers in order to prevent over-kneading the dough. The Cuisinart is simply a great machine and lots of fun to work with.
On to the current formula Iím using. This one starts with the 61% hydration. However, that is the only variable that has been changed. All the other ones have been consistent. The mixing regimen and poolish is as follows:3-hr Poolish
(in order of ingredients added)
Total amount of water
Total amount of yeast
50% of the sugar
50% of total amount of flour (sifted in)
Dissolve sugar & yeast in 95 į F water. Stir with a wire whisk. Sift in the flour and, using the paddle attachment, mix everything together. Let sit for 3 hours.
Add the rest of the sugar, all the salt and sift in remaining flour. Using the dough hook, mix and knead everything together until no raw flour is visible any longer. Rest for 20 mins. This step is crucial to get the flour properly hydrated. After 20 mins, start kneading again and let the oil run down the sides of the bowl and knead into the dough. Knead on Speed 2 for about 10-12 mins. The dough came off the hook at around 82įF. A 2-minute hand kneading on the bench followed before it went into a slightly oiled bowl, got covered with plastic wrap and then was put into the fridge.Formula 61%
Flour (100%): 902.53 g | 31.84 oz | 1.99 lbs
Water (61%): 550.54 g | 19.42 oz | 1.21 lbs
IDY (.7%): 6.32 g | 0.22 oz | 0.01 lbs | 2.1 tsp | 0.7 tbsp
Salt (2%): 18.05 g | 0.64 oz | 0.04 lbs | 3.23 tsp | 1.08 tbsp
Oil (1%): 9.03 g | 0.32 oz | 0.02 lbs | 2.01 tsp | 0.67 tbsp
Sugar (1.5%): 13.54 g | 0.48 oz | 0.03 lbs | 3.4 tsp | 1.13 tbsp
Total (166.2%): 1500 g | 52.91 oz | 3.31 lbs | TF = N/A
Single Ball: 375 g | 13.23 oz | 0.83 lbs
The amount of VWG added was 2.5% of the total weight of the flour, IF my calculations are correct. So for a total of 903 gr (rounded up) it would be 22 gr of VWG and 881 gr of KABF. I calculated this by using Red Novemberís Calculator at http://tools.foodsim.com/.
All pies were baked at 600į F for 8 mins, give or take a minute or two here and there.
Below are some pics of the latest sausage pie and a plain cheese pieÖ