Peach State Peasant Loaf | The Fresh Loaf

Peach State Peasant Loaf | The Fresh Loaf

I recently read a book on 19th century yeoman farmers in the Georgia upcountry.  As porridge loaves sound rather peasant-like, I decided to make one with a Georgia palate- oats, rye, and whole wheat flower (all typical crops of 19th century subsistence farmers in Georgia), peanut flour (because it sounds very Georgian even if no one was making peanut flour in the 19th cen.), barley (just because I enjoyed the sweet rich flavor in the loaf I made a couple weeks ago).

Bread specs. 2 loaves

Total flour 1000g

Central Milling bread flour- 635g (65%)

Dayspring Farm whole wheat flour- 200g (20%)

Hawthorne Valley Farm rye (home milled)- 100g (10%)

Oliver Farm peanut flour- 50g (5%)

Wheat germ- ~70g (7%)

Water- 750g (75%)


Salt ~5-6tsp


Oat/Barley/Whey porridge- 400g (40%)


This really ended up being a trial in pushing the limits of adapting the bread making to my social and environmental conditions rather than vice versa.  I wanted to have a loaf to bring to a gathering on Saturday, and I wanted to bake it’s close as possible so the humidity wouldn’t destroy the crust. The schedule that ended up making most sense was thus:

Wednesday night: Take out starter and ferment oat/barley/whey porridge 

Thursday morning: feed starter (~70°)

Thursday midday (during afternoon siesta): mix dough, autolyse 1hr., add salt, stretch and fold series over next 3 hrs. Add in porridge after 1.5 hrs. (~80-85°)

Thursday afternoon to Friday morning: bulk ferment, first in refrigerator (40°) for a couple hours to slow down the development then in root storage walk in (60°) overnight.

Friday morning: shape, refrigerate 

Friday morning to Saturday morning: refrigerate/retard (40°) though the power went out for a few hours Friday afternoon so it may have warmed up a bit. 

Saturday morning: bake (500° covered 20min, 500° uncovered 10min, 400° uncovered 30min.+)

Upon taking loaves out of refrigerator Saturday morning, I was pretty sure that I had over proofed them, either too much fermentation before shaping or too long proofing after shaping OR maybe refrigerator warmes up too much while power was out.  Feeling them as I turned them out and scored them, they didn’t feel awful, but the lack of oven spring clearly shows some manner of issue in the fermentation timing department, though the crumb is fairly consistent at least. Flavor is fine but nothing like the barley porridge loaf. More bitter flavor.

Read More at: The Fresh Loaf

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