Flax Seed and Plum Bread-Download Formula
Flaxseed and plum bread is a ciabatta-style bread made with a soft dough that has a hydration of over 90%. The formula contains small amounts of whole wheat and dark rye flours, which contribute to the flavor and the rustic appearance. The preferment used in this formula is a poolish, which is mixed the day before and fermented overnight. A matured poolish almost triples in size and is slightly concave at the surface. Over the long fermentation time, poolish slowly builds up lactic acid which gives the bread more depth of flavor.
In this video clip, we demonstrate how to mix the dough by hand. In a small batch, soft dough like this can be quickly put together by hand and is also very easy to make at home. Of course, a mixer can be used for a much larger batch size. If using a mixer, only mix the dough on first speed until the ingredients are incorporated. Processing the dough after mixing is the same. A total of three folds are given over the first fermentation time to develop the dough strength. After that, the dough is simply divided and laid onto a floured couche. Because there is no shaping and each dough piece has very little tension, proofing time is kept short, about 20-30 minutes. At home, if you do not have a large enough capacity to bake all of the loaves at once, refrigerate the dough on couche after dividing in order to slow down the fermentation.
The cross section of this loaf is very appealing with an irregular open crumb studded with flaxseeds and plump dried plum. This bread pairs very well with soft cheeses, and is also great for making sandwiches. Depending on how the dough is divided, finished loaves can be enjoyed differently. Cut the dough into a long, baguette-like forms or into individual rolls to enjoy a nutty, crispy crust, or cut it into larger loaves to savor the soft, moist interior.