Whole Wheat Mash Bread

Whole Wheat Mash Bread
Recipe from Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads
Notes: About a year and a half ago, I answered a call on Peter Reinhart's blog to be a tester for an upcoming book about whole grains. The techniques were very new to me and I stuck it out for about a half a year of testing (you can see my results on Flickr). His book was finally published recently.

Last week, I began the process of capturing wild yeast to make the starter for this bread. I used a stoneground whole wheat flour and plain old tap water. It did not look like it was very active, so I tried to make the right environment for it to grow, leaving the bowl in the warmest parts of my apartment. By the time I had a seed culture and was turning it into the mother starter, I was rushing things a bit as I was making the breads for a potluck on Sunday.

One of the techniques employed in this book is a mash also known as a scald. I made it on a Sunday, using part of it to make the starter, and put the rest in the fridge. The starter and mash take the longest time to make, so putting the final dough together is easy. I wasn't able to develop much of a crisp crust, nor did it expand very much in the oven. The bread is quite tasty, with a creamy texture and fine crumb as described. Unfortunately, it's not something I'd make all the time as I won't go to the trouble of maintaining a starter in my fridge. However, while I have a batch, I'm going to make a few more breads with it this week.

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