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Blue Oven Bakery Bread


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Greetings, bread experts! I recently visited a friend in Cincinnati, and was lucky enough to visit the Farmer's Market in Hyde Park, outside the city, on a Sunday, where I experienced the best bread I've ever eaten, baked by the talented folks at Blue Oven Bakery.

Here's their site: http://blueovenbakery.com/homePage.php

So I managed to hold up the substatial line that had formed, by peppering the people behind the counter with the question: how is the bread so moist? It was a sourdough whole wheat (I think all their breads are sourdough), that was so moist, it was almost as if it had butter on it. I'm an amateur baker myself, and bake for the Farmer's Market as well, but I had never been able to get a moist loaf of that caliber, as my hydration needed to be at 61% to rise well. They informed me that their breads are hydrated at not less than 75%, and up to 80%! How is this possible? I noticed that the breads were not terribly tall, and had lovely open work bubbles, characteristic of a well-hydrated loaf. I tried experimenting, adding more liquid to my formula, and . . . the bread exploded sideways, even though it was well slashed. Hmmmmm. Any thoughts?

Here's my recipe:

112 oz. mixed whole wheat, strong white and AP flours;

2.5 oz. ground flax;

1 oz. flax seed;

63 oz. water;

1 t. instant yeast;

24 oz. 100% hydration overnight biga;

1/4 t. ascorbic acid;

3T salt.

Would the sourdough batter hold more moisture? Your help gratefully acknowledged, thanks.



"you miss 100% of the shots you don't take"

-Wayne Gretzky

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