March 27, 2012

Beginner bread workshop at UBC Farm

After a successful first workshop back in January, and because we had a long waiting list of students eager to learn more about baking artisan bread, we scheduled our second baking workshop at UBC Farm.

Based on feedback from our first class, we decided to do two workshops rather than only one, to meet the needs of all our students. One was designed for aspiring bakers, who want to learn the basics of dough mixing and kneading techniques, while a second one was meant for people who are already quite accomplished home bakers, ready to talk science.

Yesterday, shortly after 6 pm, fifteen students got together at UBC Farm equipped with mixing bowls and wide-eyed curiosity. Since making great bread requires time (and the more time you allow, the better your results), one cannot fit all the steps involved in a three-hour bread workshop. Therefore, our students, after mixing and kneading, had to take their dough home, and bake it when it was ready. 

In an attempt to illustrate the difference between two of the most common ingredients (whole wheat flour and white flour), three basic bread formulas were offered. One was a 100 % white loaf with 65 % hydration, the next was a 50/50 whole wheat and white with 70 % hydration, and the third a 100 % whole wheat loaf with 73 % hydration.
Every student received about 100 grams of "old dough" prepared the day before, which they added to their dough for increased flavor.

Three Basic Bread Formulas

100% white (65% hydration) 

1100 gr all-purpose flour (100 %)
710 gr water (65 %)                                    
22 gr salt (2 %)
11 gr yeast (1 %)

50/50 (70 % hydration)
530 gr all-purpose flour (50 %)
530 gr whole wheat flour (50 %)
740 gr water (70 %)
21 gr salt (2 %)
11 gr yeast (1 %)

100 % whole wheat (73 % hydration)

1050 gr whole wheat flour (100 %)
767 gr water (73 %)
21 gr salt (2 %)
11 gr yeast (1 %)

Warning: Do try this in your own home. It's tons of fun!

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