Added some dry vital gluten – maybe a bit too much. The doughs were extremely tight. I could’ve added a little more water or a bit less gluten.
Still – they turned out more than OK. The crumb is beautifully moist and soft from the waxy starch in the barley component of the formulation. The crusts are thin and crisp.
The other change from 3 days ago was to use a long & slow overnight poolish (@ 100% hydration) instead of my 100% hydration liquid levain. To me there is a taste clash between the barley flavor and the acidity of the sourdough that I really do not like. These poolish-based loaves have a sweeter note to the taste that to me blends better with the distinctive and attractive taste of the whole barley flour. NOTE: There is no added sugar in the formula: flour, wholegrain barley flour, water, salt, yeast, barley flakes, a vanishingly small amount of malted barley flour – that’s it). The sweetness may result from some residual maltose that accumulated from the amylAse action in the overnight poolish and that wasn’t used by the yeast for fermentation. Maltose is a little [subtely] sweet – reportedly** about a third to a half as sweet as sucrose at the same concentration and temperature. **Depending on who you read.
The tightness of the dough could also have resulted partly from the change from sourdough to poolish. It is highly likely there would be [much] less protease activity in the poolish with the result that the mellowness felt in handling the sourdough-based doughs [from limited hydrolysis of the gluten matrix] was missing.
The pictured loaves are off to Portland OR with our barley breeder as examples of what can be done in with barley in bread formulations, to help in the quest for funds for the organic food barley project