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varda

Today I was planning to make Vermont Sourdough with Whole Wheat as part of a return to good healthy eating, but it was not to be.    I had added the starter to the dough and mixed it up, when my nose was assaulted by something NOT RIGHT.   In the past I've ignored these warnings figuring that whatever was not right would disappear in the baking.   But I've learned.   So out with the old dough, in with the new.   I mixed up another liquid starter, but I really wanted bread today, so after 3 hours, I decided to improvise.   Instead of nice, lean Vermont Sourdough,   I started the year with something sweet:   Cinnamon Swirl. 

The last time I made something like this, both my husband and son informed me that I'd skimped unduly on the cinnamon, sugar, and butter.    So this time I didn't.    To say the least.   I threw in the unfinished starter, and then some yeast for good measure.   It rose like gangbusters.   Here is what I came up with. 

STARTER

 

Feed

        Total

        Percent

Ripe Starter

100

 

 

 

KAAP

57

100

157

 

Rye

3

 

3

 

Water

40

150

190

119%

 

 

 

350

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FINAL

STARTER

TOTAL

PERCENT

KAAP

550

153

703

100%

Rye

 

3

3

0%

WW

 

 

0

0%

Milk

164

 

164

23%

Water

127

187

314

44%

Butter

15

 

15

 

Yeast

10

 

10

 

Salt

12

 

12

1.7%

Starter

343

 

 

22%

 

 

 

1221

 

 

Take firm starter and build as above.    Leave at warm room temperature.    Scald milk in microwave for 1.5 minutes.   Add butter to it and let cool.    After starter has ripened for three hours, mix all ingredients.   Let double (this took 45 minutes.)   Press out into a long flat rectangle with short side in front.   Brush with melted butter.   Sprinkle very thickly with cinnamon sugar.   I used two sticks of cinnamon that I ground in a coffee grinder mixed with around 3/4 cups of sugar.   Roll up without pressing in the sides while shaping.   Place in bread pan with seam down.   Brush top with remaining melted butter and cinnamon sugar.  Let rise to over top of pan (this took around 45 minutes.)   Bake at 370 with no steam for 45 minutes.    Then remove from pan and bake for 15 more minutes.  Then enjoy and follow through on resolutions tomorrow. 

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
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varda

The many nice bagel posts lately have spurred me on toward bagel making.    I was excited to see that In The Jewish Bakery has a recipe for Montreal bagels.   I grew up on New York Bagels which had made their way to St. Louis by the 1960s.    It was a revelation when I stopped for a snack in the Ottawa Airport one day to find a bagel that was completely different but quite delicious.   That was almost 20 years ago, and since I stopped working in Canada,  Montreal bagels have been few and far between.   That is set to change.

Ok.   My shaping needs work, but that doesn't interfere with breakfast for lunch. 

These are quick bagels - from mix to plate in around 2 hours, and so not as much flavor as their overnight retarded New York cousins.   But delicious all the same, a tasty treat. 

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varda

Not quite two years ago, when I joined TFL, I had a simple goal:   I wanted to figure out how to make Tzitzel bread which was a favorite when I was growing up in St. Louis Missouri.   I had recently started baking bread, and I figured how hard could it be.   When I searched the web, I found nothing for Tzitzel, but plenty of recipes for rye bread - many of which I tried.  Nothing was even remotely like what I remembered, and given my level of expertise, it was pretty poor eating.   I joined this site where I had been lurking for awhile and asked the question.   Again, no one seemed to have heard of it.   I did get a lot of great advice for baking Jewish Rye, and settled on "Jewish Corn Bread" which was a combo of some points in a comment by Norm (nbicomputers) on a David Snyder post, and one of Greenstein's recipes from Secrets of a Jewish Baker.   This kicked up the quality several notches, but still wasn't right.   When I started my quest, I had emailed the retiring owner of the St. Louis bakery, Pratzels,  where my father had bought Tzitzel.   Early on she told me that it was "just" a Jewish Rye wrapped in corn meal.   Later, when I knew more, I asked her again, and she told me that it was made with medium rye and bread flour.   It wasn't until a few weeks ago, when I got my latest shipment of King Arthur flours, that I had some medium rye to play with.   At the same time, admiring a gorgeous Challah posted by dawkins, I gave up my resistance  and bought a copy of Inside the Jewish Bakery.   And there was the answer - I was off base using the corn bread recipe.   I should have been baking Jewish Deli Rye.   On page 74 the authors include a paragraph saying that to make Tzitzel one should modify their Jewish Deli Rye thus and so, and voila - Tzitzel.   And so ---- Tzitzel.   Thank you Norm and Stan!  

 

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varda

 

Several months ago there were a slew of great posts on breads with rye starters - Khalid, Arlo, Syd, Lumos and I've probably missed some.   I didn't have a rye sourdough starter, so I bookmarked a bunch of these posts and forgot about it.  Then I made a rye sourdough starter so I could make Whitley's Russian Rye, but it was only when Joyfulbaker posted on Hamelman's mixed starter formula (p. 162 of Bread) that I realized I could make it with my new rye starter.   In doing so, I found I had extra high hydration wheat starter, which looked so nice I didn't want to throw it out.   So I adapted the Pugliese recently posted by Sylvia to use starter instead of poolish.  

Although it changes the character of the bread, I think the adapted version works pretty well. 

The Hamelman is a delicious, balanced formula.   I tweaked it by swapping out a little of the bread flour for whole wheat.   Other than that I followed instructions.  

Formula for Sourdough Pugliese:

 

Final

Starter

Total

Percent

KAAP

120

71

191

66%

Durum

100

 

100

34%

Water

145

89

234

80%

Salt

6

 

6

2.1%

Starter

160

 

 

 

 Method:

Mix all but salt and autolyse for 40 minutes.   Add salt.   Mix for several minutes in the bowl by scooping dough from the edges to the middle.  Stretch and fold on counter 3 times in half hour intervals.   Continue bulk ferment for 1 hour after last stretch and fold.    Shape into boule and proof upside down in bowl.   Bake at 450 for 15 minutes with steam, 30 minutes without. 

 

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varda

White sandwich bread may not be as exciting as many but it sure is delicious.   Especially following Syd's poolish formula.    I have made this several times but never felt I had the proper pan for it.   Fortunately my  husband came through for my birthday.    I completely stopped buying bread and bagels from the supermarket after I started baking two years ago, with the exception of sandwich bread - industrial varieties of which can be quite good.    That may have to stop.   This bread is bursting with flavor unknown even to Pepperidge Farm.   Syd's instructions are clear and simple.   Thank you Syd (wherever you are.)  

 

 

 

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varda

A few weeks ago, I gave up on the starter I'd been tending and using for over a year, and made a new one from scratch.  Instead of trying to nurse my old starter back to health, I reminded myself that despite the considerable mystique attached to it, it's really not that hard to get a starter going - particularly a wheat one - assuming a sufficient degree of attention and patience.   I finally got it going and I've been baking with it for around 2 weeks.   I have not been disappointed, as I think I had just got used to an underperforming starter and had forgotten how a healthy starter behaves.  

At the same time I've been trying to shed same old same old practices and develop a formula that everyone in the family liked, that was repeatable, and relatively easy, so I could use it as daily bread.    I borrowed from this and that and here and there, and thank gods (I've been watching Battlestar Galactica) I think I've got it.  

The formula has a bit of spelt, a bit of rye, and the rest wheat.   I used wheatgerm and malt powder (Thank you Lumos) which seem to have a good effect but I'm not sure which does which.    The resulting bread bridges the difficult gap between light and substantial, has a light crispy crust, keeps for a few days (assuming it doesn't get eaten first) has a mild balanced flavor and isn't too holey for sandwiches.   I've made it a couple times, and it seems to be repeatable. 

But now, my biggest problem - how to keep from fiddling this to death.   I think the best way to do it is to name it but Sourdough with Spelt and Rye just seems boring.    Ergo Lexington Sourdough which is pretty boring as well.   Any tips on how to name breads?  

And now it's time to switch focus to biscuits, cornbread and pie.   Thanksgiving is nigh!

The formula:

Starter

Seed

Feeding

Total

Percent

Seed

168

 

 

 

Bread flour

92

95

187

95%

Whole wheat

2

 

2

1%

Whole rye

4

4

8

4%

Water

69

130

199

101%

 

 

 

397

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Final

Starter

Total

Percent

Bread flour

450

135

585

84%

Whole rye

 

6

6

1%

Whole wheat

 

2

2

0%

Medium rye

50

 

50

7%

Spelt

50

 

50

7%

Water

310

143

453

65%

Salt

13

 

13

1.9%

Starter

286

 

 

21%

Malt powder

10

 

 

 

Wheat germ

15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Method:

Take ripe sourdough - around 70% hydration - from refrigerator (should be domed and pitted) and feed as above to 100% hydration.   Ferment on counter (around 69degF) for around 7 hours until very active and bubbly.  

Mix flour and water by hand and autolyse for 30 minutes.   Add the rest of the ingredients and mix in stand mixer for 5 minutes starting at low speed and working up to highest speed.   Dough should adhere into a smooth mass during the mix.   Stretch and fold on counter twice during 2.5 hour bulk ferment.    Cut and preshape into two rounds.   Rest for 20  minutes.   Shape into batards and place in couche seam side up.   Refrigerate for 10-15 hours.   Place on counter and proof for 1.5 hours until dough starts to soften.   Bake at 450F for 20 minutes with steam, 20 minutes without.  

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varda

Detmolder stage 2, Russian Rye production sourdough, new wheat starter, 200% rye starter

Denial is more than a river in Egypt.   When I came back from vacation at the beginning of September, my starter of over a year was only clinging to life after having lived through a power failure of indeterminate length due to a hurricane.   I slowly nursed it back to life only to lose interest while exploring baking with 100% durum.  The breads I made from time to time with my trusty wheat starter were getting weaker and weaker until finally they stopped rising altogether.   I was forced to admit the sad truth: my starter died of neglect.   I decided to start over again with a new wheat starter.   Meanwhile I got Andrew Whitley's book - Bread Matters - and was onto a new project - getting a 200% hydration rye starter going and raising bread.    Fortunately Juergen stepped in with a tutorial on how it's done.  I had hope that with patience I could do it too.   Then a Noreaster paid an unexpected visit and there I was with two new starters sitting on the counter with no light, no heat, and a very bored and upset eleven year old with no school to go to since the power was out there too.   This would have been a good time to let the new starters die as well, but somehow I fit in a few feedings during the four day power outage, and lo and behold when the lights turned on yesterday afternoon they were both not only alive but doing well.   In fact the rye starter was frothing - the state I've been awaiting for a few weeks.    I decided to try again (#5?) with Whitley's Russian Rye.   At the same time, I decided to go back to a formula I had tried almost a year ago,  Detmolder's 3 Stage 90% Rye in Hamelman (p. 201) because I was interested in the contrast between the Russian and German ryes.   So I mixed up stage 2 of the Detmolder (I went straight to stage 2 because I was making only one loaf which would have called for just 2 g seed starter in stage 1)  and the production sourdough for the Russian Rye and was ready to go today.   The Russian Rye went exactly as directed.   The recipe calls for 200% hydration rye starter, and 103% total hydration so it isn't a dough in any sense but rather a paste as Andy terms it.   The German Rye has a bit of high gluten flour (10% of total) in the final dough, but is also high hydration  - 79% - so not much doughier and sorta kinda shapable but not really.   Since so much fermentation takes place during the starter stages bulk ferment is only 10  minutes and proof is an hour, whereas for the Russian Rye, there is no bulk ferment and proof is according to Whitley anywhere from 2 to 8 hours.   Mine took 3 hours.

German is round, Russian is rectangular

Formulas:

Russian Rye

 

 

 

 

Andrew Whitley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11/2/2011

 

8:00 PM

 

 

Production Sourdough

 

 

 

Seed

50

 

Total

 

Whole Rye

17

150

167

100%

Water

33

300

333

200%

 

 

 

500

 

11/3/2011

8:30 AM

 

 

 

 

Final

Starter

Total

Percent

Medium Rye

330

 

330

69%

Whole Rye

 

147

147

31%

Water

200

293

493

103%

Salt

5

 

5

1.0%

Prod SD

440

 

 

31%

 

 

 

975

 

Mix production sourdough at least 12 hours in advance.   Mix final dough and place in bread pan.   Proof until it softens (3 hours for me.)   No docking or scoring.  Bake at 480F for 10 minutes with steam, 50 minutes without at 410.

 

3-Stage 90% Rye

 

 

 

 

Hamelman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11/2/2011

11/3/2011

 

 

 

 

8:00 PM

9:30 AM

 

 

Starter

 

 

 

 

 

Seed

12

 

 

Total

Percent

Whole Rye

6

50

 

56

29%

Medium Rye

 

135

135

71%

Water

6

39

135

180

94%

 

 

 

 

371

 

11/3/2011

1:00 PM

 

 

 

 

 

Final

Starter

Total

Percent

 

Medium Rye

261

135

396

79%

 

Whole Rye

 

56

56

11%

 

High Gluten

50

 

50

10%

 

Water

215

180

395

79%

 

Salt

9

 

9

1.8%

 

Starter

371

 

 

38%

 

 

 

 

906

 

 

Please read Hamelman for starter directions - they're complicated.   Mix final dough and bulk ferment for 10 minutes.   Transfer to oiled bowl for proof.   Proof until dough softens.   Flip (and coax out of bowl) to parchment paper on peel.   Bake at 480F for 10 minutes with steam, 40 minutes at 410F without. 

Frustratingly, I have to wait to cut for a day.   Crumb shots to follow.

And here they are:

Russian Rye

German Rye

As for taste, the Russian Rye is very moist.   It has a slightly tart flavor and in general is packed with flavor.   I just had a slice without anything on it, and it was so flavorful it didn't need anything.   The German Rye is more what I'm used to as far as rye goes.   I grew up on Jewish Rye, and it tastes very similar to that, even though Jewish Rye has much lower percentage of Rye than this.    It is a very tasty bread, but I would not eat a slice without a topping of some sort.    If someone stuck a gun to my head and I had to choose (who would do such a thing - a crazed baker?)  I would pick the Russian hands down.   It is so good that I am very reluctant to fiddle with it.   It tastes like a rye pudding only in bread form.   Really incredibly delicious.  

And finally the storm:

It's January in October

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varda

Ok.   The truth is that I don't have much to say about the bread I baked today.   I just want to post this picture:

All right - it is a Pain au Levain with around 30% whole durum.   Tastes good.  

That's all I have to say. 

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varda

 

I have of late, been baking a lot with durum flour.   I started with a whole durum which gives absolutely delicious flavor as an addition to wheat flour, but becomes just ridiculously hard to work with at very high percentages.   After seeing Franko's fabulous success with his Attamura using a more refined durum  I decided to put my efforts on hold until I could find a less than whole durum version of Atta.   Then I saw Lynnebiz's recent post and realized that the answer for my Atta needs was only a few miles away at an Indian grocer in Waltham, Ma.  Sure enough when I got there, I found a wall full of flours including the 20 pound bag of Golden Temple Atta that I ended up buying.   The ingredients are listed as durum and wheat bran with a fiber content of 2g per 35g serving.   This contrasts with Golden Temple 100% whole durum whose fiber content is 4g per 30g serving. 

So I set off with great optimism to make 100% Atta bread with my new flour, and quickly realized it wasn't so simple.  While it was instantly clear that dough made with the new Atta was much more well behaved than dough with whole durum, my first few tries were the sort that the less said the better.   Then I started to get marvelously breadlike results from the outside, but when I cut into the loaves: huge tunnels from one end of the bread to the other.   This was discouraging.  

I concluded that I was having dough strength problems and decided to work systematically on that problem.   After seeing the SFBI article that I posted about earlier I realized that my thinking had been too simple.   Yes, it's true that a weak flour like durum needs more mixing to develop the dough, but I also had to be more careful about other things.   For instance, I had been mixing flour, water, and starter in the first mix and then adding salt in the second.   While I might be able to get away with that for regular wheat doughs, it wasn't a good idea for baking with 100% durum since the point of autolyse is not only to hydrate the flour, but also to strengthen gluten bonds.   I had been using autolyse as a jump start to fermentation so wasn't getting its benefit for dough strengthening.   This time I mixed flour and water first, and added starter and salt later.   I had been doing a 30 minute slow mix in my Kitchen Aid to develop the dough.   This time, I mixed by hand.    A spiral mixer might be just the thing for durum based dough but  given the importance of mixing for durum dough I thought I could do a more thorough job by hand than with a home mixer.   The third change was  serendipity.   Since I had been making so many attempts at a durum loaf, my durum starter had matured and by now was quite active.   While I had known that this was important from a fermentation perspective, I had not realized until reading Didier Rosada's article that it was also important for dough strength since the acids in a mature starter contribute to dough strength.   Finally, I decided not to take any chances on having a huge tunnel develop due to explosive ovenspring.   This meant that I had to make sure that my dough was not underproofed when it went into the oven, and second I couldn't risk the high temperatures of my WFO.   I baked in my gas oven at 420 (instead of the usual 450degF) to slow down oven expansion.    With all that, I took another shot at it.   For the first time, I got a uniform crumb with absolutely no tunnels.   And so concludes lesson 44 in breadmaking - Introduction to Dough Strength.  

 

On a different note, I have been thinking about self-scored breads since seeing several beautiful examples on this site.   I proofed this one with seam up, and noticed it opening in interesting ways.   So I managed to get it seam side up onto the peel (not that easy) and didn't score.   It came out a bit funky to say the least, but I'm sure I'll be posting more on this later.  

 

Formula and method:

10/9/2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starter

 

9:30 AM

2:30 PM

 

 

Durum Seed

113

Feeding

Total

%

 

Whole Durum

1

 

1

 

 

Fine Durum

70

150

220

100%

 

Water

43

90

133

60%

 

 

 

 

353

 

 

 

Final

Starter

Total

%

 

Fine Durum

500

156

656

 

 

Water

300

94

394

60%

 

Salt

12

 

12

1.8%

 

Starter

250

 

 

24%

 

 

Mix flour and water by hand.   Autolyse for 30  minutes.   Add salt and starter.   Mix by hand for 20 minutes. For first 5 minutes or so, press dough between fingers to get starter and salt thoroughly incorporated.   After that, place on counter and roll into log first in one direction, then 90deg off to develop the dough thoroughly.   Dough is not sticky, and no flour on the counter is necessary.   Mix until dough is soft and silky.  Bulk ferment for 2 hours with 1 stretch and fold on counter.   Cannot pull out dough like wheat dough since it is too fragile.   Instead press out gently, fold up, and roll into a ball.  Shape by pressing out gently and then folding in the sides in a circle.   Roll into a boule.  Place upside down in basket. Proof for 2 hours.   Place seam side up on peel covered with semolina.   Slide into 420 degF oven for 20 minutes with steam, 20 minutes without.  This bread is self-scored.  

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varda

I have been thinking a lot about dough strength lately because of the difficulty I've had baking with durum flour.    I saw a great article on dough strength referenced in an old TFL post.   It is in the SFBI Fall 2004 newsletter - link can be found here:  http://www.sfbi.com/newsletter.html It was quite an eye opener since so many different factors impact dough strength.    In trying to wrap my brain around this, I put together a handy one-page table.   Maybe others will find it useful as well.   I tried to summarize a lot of material, and may not have it all right, so have at it, but even more important read the original article! 

Factors that affect dough strength – Sourced from SFBI Newsletter Fall 2004

Factor

Strength / Elasticity

Weakness / Extensibility

Comments/Examples

Protein Quantity

High Protein

Low Protein

 

Protein Quality

High Quality

Low Quality

Durum has high protein but poor quality

Ash Content

Low

High

Whole wheat flour is more extendable, less elastic than white flour

Additives

Ascorbic Acid, Potassium Bromate, Malt

 

 

Maturation

Matured flour

Fresh flour

 

Water Quality

Hard water

Soft water

 

Hydration

Low hydration

High hydration

 

Added Ingredients

 

Added ingredients

Butter, nuts, berries, etc.

Autolyse

Autolyse

Autolyse

Autolyse strengthens gluten bonds, but also increases enzymatic activity which makes dough weaker

Mix Time

More mixing

Less mixing

 

Dough Temperature

Higher

Lower

This is an indirect effect – higher temp gives faster fermentation leads to stronger dough

Fermentation Time

More

Less

Acids from fermentation strengthen gluten bonds

Dough Mass

Higher

Lower

The more dough mass, the faster fermentation

Starter

Starter

 

Starter strengthens dough due to fermentation acids

Hydration of Preferment

Less 

More

Wet environment of preferment increases enzyme activity which makes dough more extensible

Preferment Quantity

More

Less

More preferment means more acid which strengthens dough

Preferment Maturity

More

Less

Mature preferments have higher acid content

Shaping

Tight

Loose

Baker can adjust based on dough strength

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