The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts
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dyarza's picture

A whole lot of starter!

July 16, 2008 - 10:22pm -- dyarza

Hi everyone,

I am reading Nancy Silverton's Breads From The La Brea Bakery.  I am very intrigued by using a natural starter as opposed to yeast, and really believe when she writes about the benefits to the flavor and texture of the bread, but I can't get past the sheer amount of material that gets used, and specially wasted.

Zigs's picture

Weak dough or Over-proofing?

July 16, 2008 - 5:17pm -- Zigs
Forums: 

I've been having consistent problems with my loaves deflating during scoring and little to no oven spring. From what I've been reading, this usually indicates over-proofed dough, but I really don't let the dough proof very long (30 minutes - 1 hour) and when I poke it before scoring, the dough still slowly rebounds.

I'm wondering if this could be an indication of dough strength instead of over-proofed dough. I really don't know what "strength" means, but I've read it could be a problem when scoring.

R.C. Hiersch's picture
R.C. Hiersch

Dear Floyd,

Thanks for the marvelous website!  Thanks for the recipes, too!   

 There is a detail missing from the Struan bread Recipe, that Peter insisted upon - Egg wash:

We used one egg to about eight ounces of water, in a 12 ounce glass, stirred with a fork, then poured into the plastic reservoir of the paint sprayer we used for that.  Sometimes, for a small batch of a bread, we'd just brush it on, but usually it was sprayed.

A home baker could brush it on.  We used to spray it on with a "buzzer" plug in paint sprayer, at the low table by the bench, before loading the loaves in the shelves on the 175 loaf rolling "train" rack, to go into the proof box.

We didn't use undiluted egg, because it was too thick, and congealed at the edges, giving "scrambled eggs in the pan", as Karen D. would say.

 The reason for Egg, instead of water, was first for retaining more of the seeds, that would otherwise just fall off, next for flavor, and lastly, for the browning of the top.

Many did not agree with it, because of the inevitable mess from overspray, but Peter insisted, and that's how we baked it - from 1990 to 1993, when I was there, from apprentice, bagging, through Slicing, to  Mixer, to Plant Manager, after eight months with that Struan, Cajun Three Pepper, Wild Rice and Onion, Buttermilk Bread, and so on, including the Pullman Loaves.

I remember "MO", the huge ex-Navy slicing machine we used to use, until we shipped it back to PA, and the adjustment period with the new slicer, and the two small belt driven slicers that we often used when everything else failed, and who could forget Brother Juniper's Breadbox!

I remember you were a dependable island of sanity, and  appreciated for your stability and drive, which calmed the atmosphere a great deal. 

 

 

holds99's picture
holds99

Here are some pictures of a batch of Hamelman's light rye that I made using a couple of dutch ovens simultaneously.  I did the entire mixing/kneading process by hand just to be able to get a good feel for the dough.  I doubled Hamelman's recipe and made 2 three pound loaves using 2 dutch ovens. We're talking "serious workout" by hand :-)  I also did a a couple of stretch and folds during bulk fermentation (20 minute intervals).  He calls for dividing the dough for a single batch into two 1 1/2 pound loaves but I decided, since I had doubled his recipe, I would bake 2 large 3 pound boules using 2 dutch ovens.  I used 2 large parchment lined skillets to proof the loaves under 2 large clear plastic bins (Walmart), then holding each end of the parchment I lifted each loaf into a preheated 500 deg. F. dutch oven (oven mittens highly recommended for this procedure), put on the lids on placed them into the oven and immediately lowered the oven temp. to 450 deg. F.  Baked them for 25 minutes, took off the lid and let them top brown for about 10-12 minutes.  Then shut off the oven and cracked the door for another five minutes before removing them from the oven.  At the end of the baking cycle the intermal temp. of the loaves was 205 deg. F.

I did not use carraway seeds in this interatation.  I wanted to compare Hamelman's light rye with Leader's Pierre Nury light rye to see the difference.  Hamelman's loaves turned out to be a very good without the carraway seeds.  But without the carraway seeds it didn't have the pronounced taste that you get with good Jewish rye, which the carraway seeds impart.  This recipe is slightly different from Leader's recipe, but very good.  I think Leader's Nury rye has a bit more flavor as a result of the process and the ovenight retardation in the fridge for 12-18 hours.  But overall they're both great recipes, only slightly different in taste and texture.  The Hamelman recipe is somewhat easier and quicker (uses a bit of yeast in the dough) but I still think it's near impossible to top the Nury rye.

Anyway, that's my experiment for the week. I recently bought a couple of bags of King Arthur whole grain with my last flour order, which have been sitting in the refrigerator waiting for some "action".  So, later this week I'm going to make some whole grain.  Haven't done the soaker thing yet but after seeing Eric Hanner's beautiful whole grain loaves he recently posted I'm anxious to try Mark Sinclair's recipe.

P.S. The memory stick on my camera filled up and I couldn't get a photo of the crumb (yeah, likely story) but it was nice and open. Not as nice and open, with large holes, as Leader's Nury rye but still a very nice crumb.

 Hamelman's light rye no. 1

Hamelman's light rye baked in a dutch oven: Hamelman's light rye no. 1

 

 Hamelman's light rye no. 2

Hamelman's light rye baked in a dutch oven: Hamelman's light rye no. 2

 Hamelman's light rye no. 3

Hamelman's light rye baked in a dutch oven: Hamelman's light rye no. 3

 Hamelman's light rye no. 4

Hamelman's light rye baked in a dutch oven: Hamelman's light rye no. 4

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