Tartine Bakery Sprouted Buckwheat Bread

This recipe, generously shared with us by our friends at Tartine Bakery, produces marvelous, rustic, open-crumb bread with earthy, nutty flavors contributed by sprouted buckwheat groats and our Trailblazer bread flour. The recipe is multi-step and may appear quite involved. But once you have your starter going, it will be a breeze to bake, and the final result is so worth it!

Reprinted from Tartine Book № 3 by Chad Robertson with permission by Chronicle Books, 2013

Prep Time

45 minutes

Bake Time

55 minutes

Total Time

13-18 hours

Yield

2 loaves

Ingredients:

7 cups (1000g) Trailblazer flour

3½ cups (850g) water

1 cup (200g) leaven

4¼ cups (25g) teaspoons sea salt

2 cups (300g) sprouted buckwheat groats (1¼ cups (180g) dry roasted buckwheat groats)

Coarsely ground buckwheat groats for coating, optional

Baker's Notes:

* To test the readiness of the leaven:

Drop a spoonful of leaven into a bowl of room-temperature water. If it sinks, it is not ready and needs more time to ripen. When it floats on the surface or close to it, it's ready to use to make the dough.

To maintain the leaven for regular use, continue feeding daily as described above. To save leaven for long periods without use, add enough flour to make a dry paste and keep covered in the refrigerator. When you want to use it again, keep at warm room temperature for at least 2 days and do three to four feedings to refresh and reduce the acid load that builds up while it is stored in the refrigerator.

** One can't use much more than 5% buckwheat flour in a conventional bread dough before the loaf starts trending flat during the bake. Buckwheat has plenty of flavor, but no gluten. The taste is intense and distinct, lending its earthy savor to everything it goes into. For this bread, we first sprout the groats as they soften and the seeds begin their transformation into plants.

*** To do a fold, dip one hand in water, grab the underside of the dough, stretch it out, and fold it back over itself. Rotate the container one-quarter turn and repeat three to four times. When you are folding the dough, note its temperature to the touch and how the dough is becoming aerated and elastic.

**** At Tartine, we don't "punch" the dough down to de-gas. We strengthen the dough by using gentle folds and turns. As flavor develops during the first rising, it is key to preserve that flavorful gas built up within the dough until the bread is baked.

***** Again, take care to work the dough gently to preserve the flavorful gasses that have formed during fermentation. When well-shaped, the dough should have a taut, smooth surface.

****** Starchy rice flour (whether white or brown) is more absorbent than wheat flour and keeps the dough from sticking to the cloth-lined rising basket. Tapioca flour can also be used.

Instructions:

To make the starter:

  1. Start with making a starter by first mixing the 50/50 Flour Blend: 4½ cups (625g) Trailblazer flour + 4½ cups (625g) whole wheat flour (such as Whole Grain Expresso). You will use this 50/50 Flour Blend to feed your culture and develop your starter.
  2. In a medium bowl, place 1½ cups (300g) of slightly warm (80-85°F) water. Add 2¼ (315g) of the Flour Blend (reserve the remaining flour blend), and mix with your hand or a wooden spoon to combine until the mixture is free of any dry bits.
  3. Cover the mixture with a clean, dry kitchen towel or cheesecloth and let stand at warm room temperature until bubbles start to form around the sides and on the surface, about 2 days. (It's important to maintain warm temperature.)
  4. Let stand another day to allow fermentation to progress a bit. More bubbles should form. This is your starter. It will smell acidic and slightly funky. At this stage, it's time to train your starter into a leaven by feeding it fresh flour and water at regular intervals.
  5. Start feeding the starter: Transfer 1/3 cup (75g) of the starter to a clean bowl and discard the remainder of the starter.
  6. To the 1/3 cup of starter, add 1 cup (150g) of the 50/50 Flour Blend and 2/3 cup (150g) warm (80-85°F) water. Mix to combine; it should have the texture of pancake batter. Cover the bowl with a clean, dry kitchen towel and let stand at room temperature for 24hours.
  7. Repeat this feeding process once every day, at the same time of day, always transferring 1/3 cup (75g) of the starter to a clean bowl and discarding the remainder, then adding the flour and water and letting ferment on the counter until next feeding.
  8. After a few days, the batter should start to rise and fall regularly throughout the day. As the starter matures, the smell will change from ripe and sour to sweet and pleasantly fermented, like yogurt. Once this happens, it's time to make the leaven.

To make the leaven:

  1. Two days before you want to make the bread, feed the matured starter twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening (the process described above), to increase fermentation activity.
  2. When you are ready to make the dough, discard all but 1 tablespoon of the matured starter.
  3. To the remaining 1 tablespoon, add 1 cup (200g) of the 50/50 Flour Blend and 1 cup (200g) warm (80-85°F) water. This is your leaven. Cover and let rest at moderate room temperature for 4 to 6 hours* (see Baker's Notes).

To sprout buckwheat:

  1. Rinse buckwheat groats 2-3 times before soaking, then soak for 20 minutes. Moistening the grain activates the germination process.
  2. After soaking, thoroughly drain and aerate the grain by lifting and stirring with your hands – because oxygen is required for healthy sprouting to occur.
  3. Place the drained sprouts in a clean glass jar or plastic container, cover with cheesecloth and keep at room temperature until ready to use in your dough** (see Baker's Notes).

To make the dough:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, measure out Trailblazer flour.
  2. In a second, large mixing bowl, add all but 50 grams of the water (4 cups (800g)).
  3. Measure out and add 1 cup (200g) leaven to the water bowl and stir to disperse.
  4. Add the flour to the liquid-leaven mixture and stir to combine until no dry bits remain.
  5. Cover the bowl and let the premix rest for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours (or overnight) to hydrate (autolyse) during this rest period, taking care to keep the mixture where it is at warm room temperature.
  6. Once autolyse is complete, add the salt and the remaining 50 grams of slightly warm water, folding the dough on top of itself to incorporate.
  7. Transfer the dough to a medium bowl and keep covered to maintain a warm dough temperature of 80-85°F to accomplish the first rising time, 3 to 4 hours.
  8. During the bulk rise, the dough is developed by folding and turning it in the container. Fold the dough every 30 minutes for the first 2½ hours of bulk rising*** (see Baker's Notes). 
  9. After the first two series of turns, about 1 hour into the bulk rise, when the dough has already developed good structure, gently fold in by hand the sprouted buckwheat groats until incorporated into the dough.
  10. After 3 hours and six foldings, the dough should feel aerated, billowy, and softer. You will see a 20 to 30 percent increase in volume. If not, continue bulk-rising for 30 minutes to 1 hour longer.

To divide, shape, and do the final rise:

  1. When the dough is increased in volume by 20 to 30 percent and is billowy and elastic, remove it from the container with a dough scraper**** (see Baker's Notes).
  2. Lightly flour the top surface of the dough and cut into two pieces using the dough scraper.
  3. Work each piece gently into a round by drawing the scraper around the side of the dough ln a circular motion. Surface tension builds as the dough anchors to the surface while you rotate and work it***** (see Baker's Notes).
  4. Lightly flour the tops of the rounds, cover with a kitchen towel, and let rest on the work surface for 20-30 minutes.
  5. Line two medium baskets or bowls with clean, dry kitchen towels and dust generously with a 50/50 mixture of any wheat and rice flours****** (see Baker's Notes).
  6. Slip the dough scraper under each piece of dough and flip it, floured side down.
  7. Pull the bottom of the dough up to fold into one-third of the round. Pull each side and fold over the center to elongate the dough vertically.
  8. Fold the top down to the center and then fold the bottom up over the top fold-down, leaving the seam underneath.
  9. Let the dough rest for a few minutes, seam-side down, so that the loaf can relax a little.
  10. Roll the smooth side of the shaped dough in ground buckwheat groats to coat.
  11. Transfer the dough, coated-side down, to the floured baskets so that the seam side is facing up and centered.
  12. Cover with a clean, dry kitchen towel and let rise at warm room temperature for 3 to 5 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

To bake:

  1. Twenty minutes before you are ready to bake the bread, preheat the oven to 500°F.
  2. Adjust the oven rack to its lowest position and place a 9½" round cast-iron Dutch oven, 11" oval cast-iron Dutch oven, or any other heavy ovenproof pot with a tight-fitting lid into the oven to preheat (with its lid on).
  3. Carefully transfer one dough round into the preheated Dutch oven, tipping it out of the basket into the pot, so it is now seam-side down.
  4. Score the top of the dough with a razor blade or cut with scissors.
  5. Cover the pot and return to the oven.
  6. After 20 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 450°F.
  7. Bake another 10 minutes, then carefully remove the lid (a cloud of steam will be released).
  8. Continue to bake for another 20-25 minutes, until the crust is a deep golden brown.
  9. When it's done, turn the baked loaf out onto a wire rack to cool.
  10. To bake the second loaf, raise the oven temperature to 500°F/260°C, wipe out the Dutch oven with a dry kitchen towel, and reheat with the lid on for 15 minutes.
  11. Repeat the baking procedure as with the first loaf (steps 3-9 above).

 

Baker's Notes:

* To test the readiness of the leaven:

Drop a spoonful of leaven into a bowl of room-temperature water. If it sinks, it is not ready and needs more time to ripen. When it floats on the surface or close to it, it's ready to use to make the dough.

To maintain the leaven for regular use, continue feeding daily as described above. To save leaven for long periods without use, add enough flour to make a dry paste and keep covered in the refrigerator. When you want to use it again, keep at warm room temperature for at least 2 days and do three to four feedings to refresh and reduce the acid load that builds up while it is stored in the refrigerator.

** One can't use much more than 5% buckwheat flour in a conventional bread dough before the loaf starts trending flat during the bake. Buckwheat has plenty of flavor, but no gluten. The taste is intense and distinct, lending its earthy savor to everything it goes into. For this bread, we first sprout the groats as they soften and the seeds begin their transformation into plants.

*** To do a fold, dip one hand in water, grab the underside of the dough, stretch it out, and fold it back over itself. Rotate the container one-quarter turn and repeat three to four times. When you are folding the dough, note its temperature to the touch and how the dough is becoming aerated and elastic.

**** At Tartine, we don't "punch" the dough down to de-gas. We strengthen the dough by using gentle folds and turns. As flavor develops during the first rising, it is key to preserve that flavorful gas built up within the dough until the bread is baked.

***** Again, take care to work the dough gently to preserve the flavorful gasses that have formed during fermentation. When well-shaped, the dough should have a taut, smooth surface.

****** Starchy rice flour (whether white or brown) is more absorbent than wheat flour and keeps the dough from sticking to the cloth-lined rising basket. Tapioca flour can also be used.


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