The Fresh Loaf

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Valdus's blog

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I am so happy that people have posted that they had problems with Tartine. This is my third time making the country bread and it just doesn't feel right, literally. Here is what I got, or better, don't get...

  • The autolyse, including putting in 50ml of water with 20g, turns my dough into spaghetti and I don't think it ever recovers. 
  • No problems with the bulk fermentation though it doesn't seem to rise like they expected. 
  • I am sorry. I like dusting flour. I like throwing it, rubbing it on the counter, and dusting the lovely pillow loaf. I do not like stinging the flour to preserve a massive amount of hydration (what the hell is it in this recipe, 75%?????). It sticks it barely forms. Nope not my dough. 
  • Worst of all when it comes out of the banneton. Usually this loaf falls flat as a pancake. Very disturbing indeed. 

Luckily it comes out pretty good, no oven burst like I discovered with the 1-2-3 loaf but not bad. And good holes inside, but again, too much work for big holes. I don't like big holes, the spreading butter falls right through them. 

It is really a shame that my wife says that this is her favorite kind of bread. We had a wonderful breakfast of nothing but bread, which made us all quite late. 

I admit, with a rye NMNF starter, the rye seems to really come through. So I got three different kinds of flour in this loaf. 

Anyone else got problems with the infamous/ famous tartine? Next time no autolyse AND throwing the flour all over the place!

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Things are going monstrous on the bread front. I have recently gotten into yeast breads (not as much an art as a science, and you better hurry!) and even explored the fun-handling of rye flour and making rye breads. 

Being an old New Jersey native, I like a good lip smacking jaw-dropping sour rye and I think I found one here 

jewish-rye-bread-recipe at King Arthur Flour

The only thing I did differently was run the oven a little hotter (in the 450 range), cook it for 14 instead of 10 minutes initially and bulk fermented for 2 hours instead of 1. I noticed my instant yeast takes longer with rye flours than usual. 

I also did a three tier build of the NMNF and ran it hot, at 93 degrees. DAB was right about that, the sour near cut the mason jar!

But with yeast breads I found a certain urgency, a quickness of pace that I don't like as much as sourdoughs. 

I think Ill stick this one for a while. It is a serious lip-smacking/ vinegar tasting bread, just the way I like it. 

Additional pictures of recent breads, come to think of it, all my breads, are here...

Google Album: Sour Notes

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I think I have finally achieved what I wanted to do for about the three years that I have been sourdoughing. I think I have achieved the oven spring I wanted, and by all means yall be the judge. 

I took the very same recipe that I had for my third attempt with two notable differences. 

  1. I just HAD to use the proofer I bought at DanAyo's suggestion. I want to use it for everything. I want to cook, make yogurt and maybe even incubate some eggs in it. It is wondrous. So I used it for the starter and the first bulk fermentation which shortened it a bit 
  2. I cut the second fermentation to only 8 hours, that's it. Better to spring in my oven than in the fridge no?

So here it is...

and for what it was made for...

Ye Gods I love sandwiches!

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Decided on upping the starter to 150 so...

Starter 150g

Water 300

Flour 225 AP/225 BF

12g of salt 

Mixed it all up, let it rest for an hour

Looked at it and folded it every 2 hours for 6.5 hours 

Wonderful marshmallow texture when I put it in the bowl

Let it go in the fridge for 22 hours

Baked at the usual 450 for 500, I did forget to dunk the parchment paper in water. 

123 the III

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A Sourdough Crossroads 

Don't think for minute because of the title that I am going to give up this wonderful hobby (using the word hobby seems a bit limited to me but it is what it is- another expression I have never liked). If I gave up baking sourdough I would have to go back to brewing beer, and there is nothing more messy and demanding that that. I once ruined a perfectly good carpet with an exploding mead recipe. 

No, it seems that I am at a crossroads, meaning that I think I am done "playing" with sourdough and I would like to start baking. I want to pick one recipe, just one sourdough recipe and turn it to perfection. Turn it into a consistent assembly line press that I can do over and over again without much deviation. 

The small, trivial, if not amusing problem I have is which recipe to use? I have done Emilie Raffa's Everyday Sourdough over and over again but don't like the ignoring overnight bulk ferment. I think I would prefer something that needs action, something I could practice my slapping and folding with. 

I have done the infamous Tartine Bread, of baking and internet fame, with good results and positive family tasting reviews ("As in, if I am on a diet never make this bread!) and it gives me two loaves to experiment. Yet I sense that Tartine Bread has just too many variables. Since I am still obsessed with more and more bloom I want to reduce the amount of variables to a minimum. 

After a good talk with DanAyo, actually a great talk, I have decided to go with one of the most basic sourdough recipes out there- the 1-2-3 method using 50/50 AP/Bread Flour starting at 150g starter for a loaf of 900g. I plan on sticking to this recipe until it bursts the sides of my oven. I'm probably going to bake other things, but this one will be how I solve the great oven bloom goal. 

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  • I tried the 1-2-3 loaf starting with 100g of starter.
  • I mixed it up but the dough would not come to together. 
  • After about 4 hours I did 2 sets of 50 slap and folds. That seems to have improved it. 
  • Did a preshaping and a shaping. I was not very impressed with the dough, very watery. 
  • I put it in the basket and put it in the fridge for over 24 hours. 
  • When it came out of the fridge it had hardly risen, didn't rise as the oven heated. 
  • Baked at the usual 450 after heating at 500 for 20 covered, then 30 minutes uncovered. 

Considering what I saw before it went into the oven (nearly a pancake) I am pretty happy with the results. Next time I think I will start with some slapping and folding. Also I feel that 1-2-3 needs more water, is it 71% hydration?

Here is a visual journal of the steps...

1-2-3 Second Attempt

Special thanks to DanAyo for his help on this attempt. 



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Small Batch equals Small Bread

I thought that the dough was at the 1.75-ish cup point, thus I heated the forge, put it in wet parchment. Took out the heated cast iron, placed it in, poured in a half a cup of water under the parchment and started the usual 450 after 500 for 20 then for 30. Herein is the result, small, unimpressive, with no 'boom' really. 

Not sure if something went wrong, I feel like I way over-proofed. I am moving more toward the second proofing for no more than 45 minutes- ever. But the whole waiting for 85% just doesn't work for me. 

I wonder, I wonder a lot, about the differences between all of us in space, geography, and thus temperature. I read about Dabrownman's adventures in AZ baking, basically like baking in adobe and wonder how much different it is to baking here in Louisiana- like baking under water. 

Then I had another thought, my dough seemed to have expanded out more than up. So maybe the batch of dough should be wider? No, because many people bake on a flat stone and that allows for serious wide-age. 

So if I had to ask for a conclusion, I would say, too small, too proofed (despite it only rose 50%) and ye gods Valdus- you need to work on shaping!

Further, for slap and fold, it better be a pretty big piece of dough. 

Comments are welcome and encouraged. 

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"You succeed you learn something, you fail you learn something."

I followed Dabrownman's advice to the letter. 

  • I mixed 60g starter, 120 ml water, 180g AP/Bread Flour, let it autolyse for 30
  • I added salt, mixed and slapped and folded 150 times. 
    • I would have enjoyed if there would have been more dough.
    • I was surprised at how much the dough stuck to my fingers. 
  • Stretch and folded exactly four times at 30 minute intervals. 
  • Let it rest for 30, preshaped this tiny bun. 
    • So small I could put it in a 2 cup pyrex glass. 
      • Went up to only cup. 
  • Waited for it to rise 90 minutes. 
    • Only went up to 1.5 cups (50% proof?)
  • My schedule demanded I put it in the fridge for a retard. 
  • This is where I am the next day. I think I will start the oven and bake it. 
    • I would dare to say it has gone down!

A very small batch

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The above is typical of my sour note experiments. Nice crumb, medium tightness. Golden color. Above is a typical example of my oven spring. I want more, a lot more. 

I want a bursting loaf, something that will rise so high that it scrapes the top of the oven. I have accomplished pretty much everything in a basic sour loaf except exceptional oven spring. Some things I have learned that have improved it are:

  • a tight bread forming, particularly the crust. 
  • A half of cup of water underneath the parchment paper +
  • the parchment paper soaked in water even. 

I have used Raffa's Everyday Sourdough recipe consistently without much deviation. I also moved toward the The NMNF Starter.

I wonder if a low hydration loaf has more or less of a chance to make the sacred spring. You guys don't understand I want an oven bloom!

I am feeding my stiff starter tonight to make Teresa Greenway's introductory loaf tomorrow during the day. If anyone has any questions, feel free. Suggestions on Oven bloom are also welcome. 

 Greenway's recipe is (roughly) 140g starter, 400g flour, 240ml water and 9 salt no autolyse.

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