Sesame Semolina (aka Pane Siciliano by Reinhart)

Been playing around with old dough methods of sourdough baking. This one is called a Pate Fermentee (I don't have the correct French characters) and is basically a straight dough (flour, water, yeast and salt) mixed and aged 1-3 days in the fridge. This is warmed to room temp (rt) and incorporated into a dough approximately twice it's weight. In Reinhart's book, it's the method he chooses to prepare a sesame semolina and a pain de compagne; the latter of which, I have lusted for, unsuccessfully, for sometime. Here's my first attempt at the former.

Pate Fermentee, 500g (aged 2 days in fridge)
semolina flour, 200 g
all purpose flour, 200 g
water, 300 g
salt, 1t
honey, 1T
olive oil, 1T
active dry yeast, 1t

1. Dechilled pate fermentee, 2 h @ rt
2. Mixed remaining ingredients first by "dissolving" pate fermentee in water (machine mix), then adding remaining ingredients (used bread machine for mixing), not a slack dough.
3. First rise 2 hours at rt (ca. doubled).
4. Rest 15 minutes and shape (an "S" and a batard, ca. 600 g each).
5. Final proof, 1 hour.
6. Moistened loaves and sprinkled with natural sesame seeds.
7. Scored top of batard.
8. Baked on tiles @ 450F with steam shot (baking time 35 minutes).

Both loaves sucked!
I don't know what happened but the final loaf, while good in appearance was a tad dense, tight hole structure inside and it didn't taste that great. Another one in the heap for bread crumbs. I'm generally a little cautious when it comes to the final rise. I'm always afraid of overproofing. This time, I think I cooked too soon. This was my second miserable failure with a pate fermentee. I think I'll be returning to a poolish when it comes to the lean breads.

I fear I may just be destined for straight-enriched doughs. The lean breads are challenging. I posted this for my own documentation rather than to show off my talents (or lack thereof in this case). It's great to celebrate the good breads but crucial to study the failures.

Imagine if the scientific literature had such integrity.

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