Bake-n-Blog Triathlon January 16 2009, 1

My buzzer sounded on my alarm at 5:05 am, I know I was supposed to be up at 5 but I decided I need to get 5 extra minutes in bed, what a relieve, as I was getting up I could hear the rain dropping on the roof and that is just a bad thing to hear on any bake days especially when you know you have to get you WFO fired up. Luckily for me I had prepared my coffee machine from last night so the first thing I did as I stumbled into the kitchen was to press the magic button and that's when the day begun.

My plan for today is to bake four different kind of breads, but probably about 22 loafs altogether. The breads would be.

100% Whole Spelt casalinga bread from "Wild Sourdough".
Pain au levain from the same book but with a little different starter.
Russian Ruy 1939 from the blog called "Old Sparrow".
Whole Spelt rolls with raisins and walnuts.

I started with the spelt since I already baked a version of that bread before, so I was more comfortable with that dough, mixing ingredients was fun and exiting, feeling that dough in your hands in the earlier morning is just something about it that only a person who has experience that can relate to.

First went in the flour then the leaven, water and salt, it always amazes me that there are only 4 ingredients, or you can say 3 because the leaven is flour and water, but the taste is so wonderful and complex when it is baked. I combined my ingredients and mixed till it became a solid mass, set aside and began on my second.

Again combined all the ingredients together, although I started with a water this time, no particular reason. Mix all together and let it rest for 15 to 30 minutes. But by the time I was done with this I was ready to go and knead the first batch so back to that.

First kneading was done for about 10 minutes, I was told by my father that back in the days one of the main things of baking bread was to kneaded really well, so I put an extra effort in to this process. After kneading I covered the dough with a tea towel and set aside.

Time to wash my raisins, I place the raisins in the water so they would absorb it that way they are more flavorful when in the bread.

Like any sport the sport of baking doesn't let you rest at this point, by the time I was finished with the raisins I had to go and knead my second mix, again mix for 10 minutes and cover. Although both of the dough are made with flour water and salt but they are so different the feel and smell, not mentioning the color.

Finally a 15 minute rest. My final kneading is done after about 30 minutes of rest time for the dough, I dump the dough onto our granite counter and mix it for about 15 minutes just to make sure that it is nice and elastic, if you are baking one or two loaves you will not need to do it for that long 5 minutes should be plenty.

Almost forgot about the raisin rolls, I separated 1500 grams of the spelt dough and set it aside before the final mix. Kneading it for 3 or so minutes then spreading it and adding about 2 hand fulls of raisins and 2 handful of walnuts. This is my first time trying this so I hope this works, I had to add a little flour because the raisins were wet thus diluting my dough, after adding the raisins I mixed the dough for another 3 minutes and placed it for the first rise.

After that I started working on my final Kneading of the early mornin the pain an leaven, same process dump on the counter knead it for about 15 minutes.

I did not forget about my Russian rye, according to her recipe it needs 2 hours for the first rise and since these breads take about 4-6 hours I will mix this bread in 2 hours.

My dough are rising as the sun is rising here in Portland OR, looks like the rain stopped, that's a sign of relief.

Now I think I can take an hour nap before I get to fire up the oven.