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Career baker and baking instructor Michael Jubinsky loves to use local wheat in his recipes. Grains that are outsourced just don't have the same flavor as those that are homegrown. Jubinksy and business partner Amber Lambke both work at the Maine Grain Alliance, a nonprofit organization whose goal is to promote the use of grain. The MGA also hosts the Kneading Conference, which aims to bringing high quality grain production to Maine. This year's conference is from July 24th to July 25th in Skowhegan.

For registration and more information: 2014 Kneading Conference

More Information: Stone Turtle Baking & Cooking School

More information: Maine Grains

Maine Grain Alliance's Whole Wheat Pain Rustique Recipe

Poolish:

2-3/8 cups cool water (562 g)

2-1/4 cups whole-wheat flour (280 g)

2-1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (280 g)

Pinch of instant dissolving yeast (1 g)

Mix water, whole wheat and AP flours and yeast in a quart-cup bowl until well blended. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 12 to 16 hours.

Dough:

1 cup cool water (240 g)

Starter - All

4-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (562 g)

1 teaspoon instant dissolving yeast (5 g)

2 Tablespoons kosher salt (20 g)

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Semolina or corn meal

Pour the water around the edge of the starter to free it from the sides of the container. Pour starter into a large mixing bowl and mix to break up the starter. Add all-purpose flour and and mix to roughly combine. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes

Sprinkle yeast over dough and mix well. Add salt and mix to well. Mix vigorously about 4 - 6 minutes, until you can see the gluten strands being developed. Dough should be supple and moderately loose

Let rise for 75 minutes, doing two sets of stretches and turns as described below.

Turns: Let dough rise about 25 minutes. Lightly flour around the edge and the top of the dough and, using your scraper, turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface. DO NOT PUNCH DOWN!

Pat the dough gently - try not to deflate the dough any more than necessary. Stretch the dough and fold in thirds. Turn 90°, stretch and fold again. Return to the bowl, smooth side up, cover with plastic wrap and let rise another 25 minutes. Turn out and fold and stretch again. Return the dough to the bowl and let rise about 25 minutes.

Note: If you mixed the dough by hand you should do 3 sets of turns, at 20, 40 and 60 minutes, before shaping. If you mixed by machine you may only need to do 2 turns. Check the strength of the dough to decide.

Liberally flour the work surface. Sprinkle flour over the surface of the dough, especially the edge of the dough. Scrape down the sides to free the dough from the bowl. Turn the bowl over onto the floured work surface and let gravity do its job. Scrape any dough remaining in the bowl and gently add to the dough on the board.

Gently handle the dough – do not deflate or degas the dough. Shape the slack dough into a rough rectangle, about 8 x 14-inches. Lightly dust the top of the dough with flour and cut into two or three equal pieces – do not stretch the dough. Using the scraper or well-floured spatula lift the dough and place top side up on a well-floured, smooth cloth. Make a fold next to dough and place the second (and third) dough piece next to it. Cover with a lightly floured cloth and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, place a pizza stone or unglazed quarry tile in the center of the oven. Pre-heat oven to 500° F for at least 45 minutes.

Sprinkle a peel (or the back of a baking sheet) with semolina.

When dough has risen, roll the pieces over and transfer to the semolina coated peel. Slash down the center of the dough. Slide onto the pre-heated stone/tiles. Quickly do the same with the remaining pieces. Slide into oven and add steam (see note below on steaming) and reduce the heat to 460 degrees F.

Bake for about 25 to 35 minutes or until the breads are a deep golden brown and the internal temperature is about 210° F. The breads should feel light and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. The crust should hard and crusty and will soften slightly as it cools.

Notes:

Steam can be added a couple of ways.

* Use a pressurized garden type sprayer (new – not plastic) and adjust the nozzle to the finest setting. Spray the oven about 2 minutes before loading for 10 seconds and then after loading for 15 seconds with the oven door partially closed. Lower the temperature to 450° F in 10 minutes. (Note: I use a stainless steel sprayer because the plastic in garden type sprayers is not food grade.)

* Place a small (8-inch) cast iron pan on the floor or lowest shelf of the oven when you begin preheating (I've added some lava rocks to the cast iron pan to increase surface area for more steam generation). A few minutes before putting breads into oven bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Spray interior of oven 2-3 minutes before adding breads. Immediately upon adding breads pour 1 cup of boiling water into the cast iron pan and close the door and lower oven temperature to 450° F. Be careful: Adding the boiling water to the hot pan will cause splatter and burns. Use long sleeves and oven mitts!

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