Using Whole Grains

Written by Warwick Quinton. Posted in Doughmaking Methods


Brown Rice Sourdough Slices

Using whole grains as either a porridge (cooked), blanched or soaked to soften them is common in many countries. Not only does the use of cooked whole grain improve the nutritional value of the bread, but cooked or partially cooked grain helps the bread to stay moist for much longer. The grains also give the bread a sensational flavour.

I'll be going into detail in future articles, but grains like rice, oats, millet, wheat, barley, rye, spelt and quinoa all make great additions to bread, using the 'cooked' method that follows.

You can also use the 'blanched' method for all of the above grains, and use it also for linseed, sunflower kernels, pumpkin seed meal, nut meals, semolina, rye or wheat grits, kibbled wheat or rye, and even wholemeal flours.

Simpler still, you can make a 'soak' for things like pearled barley, rolled oats, or some of the above grains and seeds - depending on the texture you wish to achieve in the final bread.

Delayed Salt Method

Written by Warwick Quinton. Posted in Doughmaking Methods

- commonly known as the 'hardly any kneading' method.

This method is known to bread geeks and bakers alike as the 'delayed salt' method, and is also referred to as the 'autolyse' method. It saves a lot of elbow grease, and allows you to recreate that sensational uneven sourdough texture you'll find in all the great sourdough breads.



Basic Hand Kneading

Written by Warwick Quinton. Posted in Kneading Methods

Here's a good basic hand kneading technique:

Dough on bench



This technique can be used at any stage of the development of your dough. It will cause the gluten to progressively layer evenly, thereby getting better development each 'turn'.

Place the dough with the seam facing you (in other words upside down) on the bench.

Pre Ferments for Sourdough

Written by Warwick Quinton. Posted in Prefermentation

Pre ferments make better sourdough bread!

A sponge begins!

What is a pre ferment?

A pre ferment is essentially anything used on the way to building a sourdough or other type of bread, which assists the leavening process. For example, a 'baker's sponge' is made of flour, yeast and water, and is a type of pre ferment. So too is a 'poolish', which is a very wet, lightly yeasted sponge. Another type of preferment is known as a 'biga', which is made like a dough, also with a small amount of yeast.

In this article, I'm going to walk through the basic sourdough sponge method. This doesn't include any yeast, except of course sourdough starter. It is especially useful if you are working with a dough starter, though it also enhances dough being made with a liquid starter too.