Michael Pollan’s Whole Wheat Country Loaf

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One quibble about the name of this bread: it’s not a whole wheat bread.  It has rye flour.  I dunno. Anyway, I thought I should try it since I did review Michael Pollan’s book, Cooked.img_6317

Since I was making two different doughs at once (Pollan’s and Sam Fromartz’s Turkey Red Miche) I labeled them so as not to get confused which bread I was taking a picture of.img_6430img_6431

I did an overnight starter for Pollan’s bread and Fromartz’s bread.  Look at the difference!  One is a loose, high hydration leaven and one is a stiff leaven.img_6432img_6318

Here is my dough the morning of the day I planned to bake.  I still had the starter separated, but I mixed up the whole wheat flour, AP flour and rye flours of the final dough and did a short autolyse before adding the salt and starter to it.img_6444img_6445Here is the final dough immediately after adding the salt and starter.  Each time I did a stretch and fold to Fromartz’s dough, I did one to Pollan’s dough.img_6452img_6319

After one stretch and fold:img_6453

After the second stretch and fold:img_6454

I did two more stretch and folds.  I could really feel the gluten developing.  Certainly more than my home-ground flour dough right next to this one!

This made me laugh.  I guess I’m not the best at dividing without weighing the doughs.img_6469

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This is the inside.  You can thank sourdough starter for the light, airy crumb of an otherwise dense bread.    The only improvement would be to give the flours a longer autolyse.  The book tells you to soak the flours overnight, but since I lack reading comprehension I didn’t realize this was a step until this morning.  I did a short, one-hour autolyse which was ok but didn’t provide enough time for the starches in the flour to convert to natural sugars.

Overall, though, this was a delicious bread.  Bravo, Michael Pollan.

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