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dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder


 


Horst Bandel's Black Pumpernickel


Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread – a Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes is highly esteemed by TFL members. Which of his formulas is most commonly baked is unknown, although the Vermont Sourdough would be my guess, especially if you include SusanFNP's “Norwich Sourdough” version of it. There is little question regarding which of his several stories from the bakery is the favorite. It has to be the story of Horst Bandel's Black Pumpernickel, found on page 221 of my printing. This tale has an almost mythic quality that truly touches the heart, as it says so much about the age in which we live, the culture of the artisan baker and the character of the pastor, Horst Bandel, and that of Mr. Hamelman himself.


Hamelman's “Home” formula for this bread makes 3 lb, 12 oz of dough. The bread is to be baked in a covered Pullman/Pain de Mie pan. Hamelman specifies 4.4 lbs of dough for the most common (13 x 4 x 4 inch) size Pullman pan, so the formula needs to be re-calculated accordingly. I decided to bake in a 9 x 4 x 4 inch Pullman Pan, which I figured would take 3 lbs of dough. The weights in the following tables are for a quantity of dough just under this.


 


Overall Formula

Wt (g)

Baker's %

Rye meal (pumpernickel flour)

206

30

Rye berries

137

20

Rye chops

172

25

High-gluten flour

172

25

Old bread (altus)

137

20

Water

481

70

Yeast (instant)

4.6

1.3

Salt

14

2

Molasses, blackstrap

27

4

Total

1350.6

197.3

 

Sourdough

Wt (g)

Baker's %

Rye meal

206

100

Water

206

100

Mature sourdough culture

10

5

Total

422

205

Note: I used KAF Pumpernickel flour.

 

Rye-Berry Soaker

Wt (g)

Rye berries

137

Water

Enough

Total

137

 

Old Bread Soaker

Wt (g)

Old bread (altus)

137

Water

Enough

Total

137

Note: I used Hamelman's “80 percent Rye with a Rye-Flour Soaker” as altus. I did the soaking the day before the bake, wrung out the altus, saving the water, and refrigerated them. I believe it was George Greenstein from whom I learned that altus will keep refrigerated for a few days.

 

Final dough

Wt (g)

Sourdough

412

Rye berry soaker

137

Rye chops

172

High-gluten flour

172

Old bread (altus) soaker

137

Water

275

Yeast (instant)

4.6

Salt

14

Molasses, blackstrap

27

Total

1350.6

Note: I made the rye chops by coarsely grinding rye berries with the grain mill attachment to a KitchenAid mixer.

Procedures

This bread has multiple components, and the sourdough and the two soakers require advance preparation. Counting the minimum rest time between baking and eating, the procedures can easily stretch over 4 days. They did for me. I weighed out the ingredients and fed my starter on Day 1, milled the grain, made the altus, fed the sourdough and soaked the soaker on Day 2, mixed and baked the bread on Day 3 and 4 (overnight) and let the bread rest on Day 4.

The procedures as listed below assume you have already gathered the ingredients and have a mature sourdough culture. Where my procedures deviated from those specified by Mr. Hamelman, I have added parenthetical comments or notes.

  1. Feed the sourdough and ripen it for 14-16 hours at 70ºF.

  2. Soak the whole rye berries overnight. The next day, boil them in about 3 times their volume of water until they are soft and pliable, about an hour.

  3. Cut the “old bread” into cubes, crust and all, cover in hot water and let soak for at least 4 hours. Squeeze out as much water as possible, and reserve the water for use, if needed, in the final dough. The bread can be sliced, dried and browned in the oven before soaking, which Hamelman says provides a “deeper flavor.”

  4. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl or the bowl of a mixer. Hamelman says to not add the reserved altus soaker water unless needed, but it is not clear whether the Final Dough water includes this or not. The dough description is “medium consistency but not wet, and it will be slightly sticky.” Mix at Speed 1 for 10 minutes. DDT is 82-84ºF. (I mixed the dough for about a minute with the paddle without adding any additional water. The ingredients mixed well and formed a ball on the paddle. I felt the dough was about the right consistency, but I did add 10 g of the altus water. I then attempted to mix with the dough hook. The dough just went to the side of the bowl, leaving the hook spinning without grabbing the dough. After about 5 minutes of this, with multiple scrape-downs of the dough, I gave up. I tried kneading on a floured board with little effect. This was the stickiest dough I've ever encountered. I finally formed it into a ball and placed it in an oiled batter pitcher.)

  5. Ferment in bulk for 30 minutes.

  6. Prepare your pullman pan by lightly oiling the inside, including the lid, and dusting with whole rye or pumpernickel flour. (I'm not sure this was necessary, since my pan is “non-stick.”)

  7. Form the dough into a cylindrical log and place in the pan. Slide the lid onto the pan.

  8. Proof for 50-60 minutes at 80ºF.

  9. Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF. If you have a baking stone, pre-heat it, too. You will be doing most of the bake with the oven turned off. The baking stone will act as a heat buffer, so the oven temperature falls more slowly.

  10. When the dough has risen to within about ¾ inches from the top of the pan, place it in the oven, covered.

  11. Bake at 350ºF for one hour. Then, turn the oven down to 275ºF, and bake for another 3-4 hours. Then, turn the oven off, and let the bread continue to bake for another 8-12 hours. The range of times given is due to the variability in ovens, specifically how well they retain heat, and how quickly their temperature falls once they are turned off. Hamelman says, “You will know when this bread is baked: The aroma will fill the entire room.” (The aroma of the baking bread was very present 2 hours into the bake. At about 4 hours into the bake, I turned the oven off. The next morning, the aroma in the room was not discernible. When I took the pan out of the oven, it was still warm, but not so hot I couldn't hold it in my bare hands. When I opened the pan, the bread was very aromatic, with the molasses smelling most strongly but the rye very much there as well.)

  12. When the bread is baked, remove it from the pan, and let it cool completely. It should then be wrapped in baker's linen and let rest for a minimum of 24 hours before slicing.

As you can see from the domed top of the loaf, it did not spring enough to fill the pan. I don't know if there was not enough dough, not enough water or whether it was inadequately mixed or proofed. Comments on this would be more than welcome.

Addendum: I sliced the pumpernickel about 36 hours after it was baked. It was very firm and sliced well into thin slices without any of the crumbling I feared. The crust is very chewy. The crumb was moist but extremely dense. The flavor was molasses and rye - very strong flavors.

Discussion and comments by more experienced pumpernickel bakers convinced me that I should have added much more water to the dough, but this bread is not bad as baked. Here are a couple crumb photos:

David

 

Ryan Sandler's picture
Ryan Sandler

Well, dear readers, despite my recent silence on the subject I have not given up on my baguette quest!  For the last few weeks, however, I'd gotten a little sick of blogging about it.  This week was fairly successful, however, and so I want to share, and request some feedback.


The main change from previous bakes is that a little over a week ago I got a shipment of baking toys, I mean, equipment from TMB/San Francisco Baking Institute.  I got 2 yards of 18-inch linen couche, a lame/blade holder with razor blades, a proofing board (which I've been using as an all-purpose bench board), and a flipping board.  With these, I was certain, many of my problems would be resolved (specifically, excess degassing when shaping and transfering, and ragged scoring).  The first bake with the new equipment (last week) was a little rough, but this week I had things sorted out.


Exterior



Crumb - First Half



Crumb - Second Half



I'm getting there!  The slashing wasn't perfect, but it went much smoother with the new blade, resulting in at least two ears per baguette big enough to lift the loaf with.  Crust was decent if not exceptional, flavor was good.  Profile was nice and round, a nice change from some recent flatter bakes.  Crumb varied within the baguette I sliced (the one in the middle, up top) from good to great.


Here's where I'm looking for feedback: I'm still having problems with the crust bursting between cuts -- is this the result of under-proofing?  Or something else?  I could swear this batch was fully proofed, but I'm not necessarily a good judget of these things.


Happy baking, everyone,


-Ryan

pmccool's picture
pmccool

We were invited to a Cajun-themed dinner party last evening at a friend's house here in Pretoria.  Not the easiest thing to pull off in South Africa but it turned out pretty well, considering the limitations.


Knowing that there would be gumbo and jambalaya and etouffe, I wanted to take some bread that would be good all by itself and as a sop for all those wonderful broths and gravies.  Preferably, it would resemble something one might find in Louisiana; maybe in a poboy sandwich.  I came across Eric's (ehanner) post about utilizing Bernard Clayton's Blue Ribbon French Bread and figured that might be a good starting point.  Since I have the book (The Complete Book of Breads), it was easy to reference the recipe.


Clayton's approach is a fairly quick, straight dough method.  Wanting to build more flavor, I chose to build a sponge from 4 cups of water, 6 cups of flour and about a tablespoon of my approximately 50% hydration starter that would have been discarded as part of a refresh.  (Note that I doubled the recipe.)  That was assembled around 11:00 p.m.  This is what it looked like around 10:00 a.m. the following day:


Sponge for Blue Ribbon French Bread


Overnight temperature in the house was around 72ºF.  I'd estimate that the sponge had expanded by at least 25%.  The butter, by the way, has absolutely nothing to do with the sponge.  It was just convenient to leave it in the same bowl while it came to room temperature.  (No, this is not a classic French bread; more of an Indiana interpretation of a French bread.)


The only other alterations that I made were to omit the powdered milk, simply because I didn't have any on hand, and to reduce the yeast to 1 teaspoon.  I elected to use some yeast just to ensure that the rest of the fermentation went at a steady pace even though the sponge was more aerated than I had anticipated, given the small inoculation.  The rest of the ingredients and process were by the book.


Even though I used AP flour, the gluten in the sponge was well-developed after nearly 12 hours of hydrating.  Because of the high percentage of pre-fermented flour (approximately 60%), the dough was quite extensible.  Having made a lot of whole-grain breads in recent months, including quite a few ryes, this white-flour dough was a big change.  It was much smoother, less sticky, and felt more "pillowy" while it was being kneaded.


I steamed the oven as much as I could, hoping for a thin, crisp crust.  The loaves expanded beautifully, producing big ears and grignes on  the loaves, as below:


Blue Ribbon French Bread 


The crust turned out to be thicker and harder than I had hoped, more crunchy than crisp, so I didn't quite hit my target for this bake.  The crumb, which won't be pictured since none came home with us, was much less open than a classic baguette but more open than one would expect for a dough that had been kneaded 10 minutes.  The flavor was rich and only mildly sour.  Our resident Cajun was overjoyed with it and wanted to know how I was able to produce this kind of bread with a home oven.  He loaded up most of what hadn't been eaten and went home with visions of pain perdu in his head.  We'll be scheduling a play date in the kitchen one of these weekends.


And for my Northern Hemisphere friends, one last picture as a reminder that winter isn't forever:


Blue Ribbon French Bread


Warm regards,


Paul

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello everyone,
Farine featured Luminita Cirstea in a 'Meet the Baker' post on her website.
Ms. Cirstea's courage, hard work, commitment and talent are so inspiring!
I so wanted to try making Ms. Cirstea's delicious-looking (and prize-winning!) Raisin-Rye bread.
With thanks to Farine for writing about Ms. Cirstea, and thanks to Ms. Cirstea for her efforts to develop this formula!

(Rye bread is new territory for me - I found lots of helpful information here on TFL posted by Andy, breadbakingbassplayer, dmsnyder, Elagins & Mini (thanks! to all)).

Here's a picture of the raisins (so pretty!):


After baking, my bread resembles a Mexican Chocolate Crackle cookie I recently baked: 

                               Raisin-rye bread                             ... or...                               Cookie?  :^)    
  

Crumb shot (I love the flavor, and the golden raisins that light up the crumb; a lovely reminder of Luminita and her beautiful first name!):



 


For one 1000g loaf (my interpretation of Ms. Cirstea's formula):

 

 

Liquid Levain

Levain

Dough

Total

Baker's
%

Bread flour

59

 

 

59

16%

Rye flour, whole

3

149

150

302

84%

Rye meal, coarse

 

 

50

50

14%

Water

62

100

179

341

83%

Salt

 

2

7.3

9.3

2.3%

Starter

25

 

 

25

 

Liquid Levain

 

149

 

 

 

Levain

 

 

400

 

 

Dark Raisins

 

 

107

107

 

Golden Raisins

 

 

107

107

 

Total

149

400

1000

1000

 


 

(1) Raise Liquid Levain, 12 hours at room temperature.

Cover raisins with cold water, soak 10 minutes, drain, keep overnight in covered container.

(2) Mix Levain, speed 1 for 4 minutes. Bulk Ferment 90 minutes.

(3) Add all dough ingredients. Mix 5 minutes medium speed.

Add soaked raisins, mix low speed just until incorporated.

Bulk ferment 90 minutes.

Dust baskets heavily with rye flour.

Scale by dipping your hands in warm water. This dough is very wet.

Allow to proof, room temperature, 30-40 minutes.

No scoring.

Steam heavily; vent after 5 minutes.

Bake 480F for 45 minutes.




I'm including some pictures taken during fermentation (not sure if I did a proper job or not!).

The second Levain was to bulk ferment for 90 minutes.
Here is what it looked like at that point (I was unsure if it showed evidence of enough fermentation):
 

I proceeded with mixing by hand after the 90-minute bulk ferment, substituting an equal weight of whole-rye flour for the rye meal.
After the mix, the dough temperature was 73F:
 


I thought the dough was on the cool side heading into bulk fermentation (Mr. Hamelman recommends in the low 80's for a dough of this type).
The dough was to bulk ferment for 90 minutes but I let it go two hours, and tried to warm the dough by raising the temperature in the proof box.
After 1 hour of bulk fermentation, the dough's temperature had increased to 78F; after the second hour of bulk fermentation, the dough's temperature had increased to 88F).
Through the plastic container, I could see little air bubbles forming. The appearance of the dough after bulk fermentation:
 

The dough was quite sticky, so I didn't take a picture of the shaped loaf (my hands at that point were absolutely covered in rye paste!).
The dough after 40 minutes of proofing (some cracks starting to appear):
  


I baked at 480F for the full 45 minutes and left the loaf in for 10 more minutes with the oven off and door ajar. 

The loaf sat for 16 hours before slicing. It's a really crusty loaf but the crumb is moist and tender.
We enjoyed a beautiful breakfast this morning, thanks to this bread - the flavor is wonderful!

Happy Baking everyone! from breadsong







        

 

louie brown's picture
louie brown

Thanks are due at the top to Farine-MC for her charming blog and its marvelous, useful content, and also to breadsong, scoring master and exemplary baker.


In brief, I neglected to take account of the very low humidity in New York City right now. My maple oatmeal was both too stiff and underproofed. Yes, I made the same mistake two weeks ago with another loaf. Now I have two striked against me, so I hope that atleast it will be something different that I overlook next time. The effects of the underproofing are clear on the batard.


I didn't dare try to duplicate breadsong's perfect scoring on her loaf, so I opted to try chevron scoring for the first time. Not bad, although I think there should be a clearer "spine" down the center of the loaf, the scores beginning closer to the center line, in other words.


The bread itself is rich, fairly light in texture, all things considered, and, as breadsong has said, with a sweet background that isn't specifically identifiable as maple. It went very well with blue cheeses and goat cheeses.


I'm glad I made this bread for the lessons it provided.


Following that, baguettes based on Pat's 65% formula. This time, I did adjust for the humidity with some extra water. However, it seems that at some point in the bake, I brushed the touch panel of the oven and turned it off without hearing the little beep because the opera was on. So when I returned to the oven, it showed 227F, and a couple of very pale baguettes. With no choice but to carry on, I cranked up the oven and finished the bake. Again, no beauty contest winners, but quite serviceable and tasty.


I include another side by side shot of the two loaves sliced, as well as a repeat of last week's side by side, so you can see the very wet baguette from txfarmer again. These baguettes are more than 15 points apart in hydration.







and last week again:



Apologies for the ongoing green cast photos. My little cybershot can't decide if it wants to white balance for fluorescent or incandescent light.


 

mdunham21's picture
mdunham21

I have undertaken the BBA challenge for 2011 but I am not one to follow directions.  I am making the recipes in the order that they appeal to me or what I have a desire to bake.  This does however mean that I will be on my own during the challenge without a number of supporters.  My family decided they wanted some cinnamon rolls, so i pulled out the bba and went to work 


The recipe called for whole milk, powdered milk, or buttermilk, so I made my own buttermilk by adding about a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice to 1 and 1/4 cup 2% milk.  I creamed the sugar, salt and butter together, mixed the egg, lemon extract and added the flour, yeast, and warmed buttermilk.  I didn't have any almond extract so I just left it out.  The dough was a little wet so i worked in some extra flour and the dough became pliable and tacky. The dough was allowed to rise for a couple hours and then rolled out.  I coated dough with brown sugar and cinnamon then cut up a stick of butter and distributed it evenly throughout.  I rolled the dough and cut them about 1 and 3/4 inches apart.  The dough went for a final proof and then baked, I roughly time my baked goods and use color and temperature as my cues.  While the rolls baked I made a frosting out of powdered sugar, vanilla extract and warm milk.  


 




The rolls tasted even better than they look and I'm officially off my eating plan.


 


-M

Mebake's picture
Mebake

This is a Whole Wheat Barley Bread I baked yesterday. The recipe was made to include my barley flour.



Procedure:


Day 1:


Mix the Soaker contents in a Bowl until you form a ball. Put the dough in a an oiled container and leave at room temp. for 24 hours.


Mix the Biga contents in a Bowl until you form a ball. Put the dough in a a large oiled container and into a fridge for 24 hours.


Day 2:


Take the BIGA out to warm 2 hours prior to final mixing. Chop the Biga and Soaker into pieces and combine them. Distribute salt and yeast on top, and start mixing, resting 5 minutes after every knead. The Dough is wet, so you'll have to knead with wet hands. Form a Tight ball, and put the dough in a large bowl for 45 minutes fermentation.


Scrape the dough out, and divide it into two, three or four pieces. Preshape, rest for 5 minutes and then shape. Lay loaves in a floured basket for 45 minutes. Preheat Oven with two racks, and a steaming device to 470 F.


Cover the Oven glass, Load the doughs into the oven, and pour a cup of boiling water into a steaming device. seal the vent. 15 minutes later, remove the steaming devise and unseal the vent, and bake for 20 more minutes at 390F.


Cool on Rack for 2 hours befor slicing.




The flavor of this Bread is Nutty Wholesome, with a hint of barly sweetness in it. I think some honey would have enhanced the flavor more. i'll tweak this recipe in the future, God willing.


 

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde


I wanted to make a sandwich roll that had some substance both for chew and to hold up under moist sandwich ingredients, but something tender enough to be compressible.  I’d been meaning to try a bread with some potatoes in it, as I’d heard that potatoes add some tenderness to the crumb (and every crumb needs a little tenderness).


I looked in several baking books and all over TFL.  I settled on the Sourdough Potato Bread that Prairie19 posted about back in 2007 (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/3886/sourdough-potato-bread), which was described as a sourdough version of Hamelman’s Roasted Potato Bread.


I mostly followed Prairie19’s formula, except I didn’t have the extra night to retard the dough. And instead of bread flour, I used Central Milling’s Organic Artisan Baker’s Craft flour, along with some fine ground organic whole wheat flour from my market’s bulk bins.


I found the formula very straightforward.  The dough was easy to work with.  Somewhat loose, but trainable with appropriate discipline.  Since these rolls were made to surround Salmon Teriyaki, I sprinkled them with sesame seeds when they were shaped, since every one knows that sesames are Salmon Teriyaki’s favorite seeds.  


The rolls came out very nicely.  The crumb and crust are tenderer than lean sourdough bread, but by no means wonderbread soft.  I was hoping for a slightly softer roll. Maybe I’ll try this formula but with a bit of milk in place of some of the water.  The potato flavor is scarcely noticeable.  The flavor is nice, a bit sour, but unremarkable (ok, I’ve been eating great miche, so what can you expect?).


 


IMG_2090


IMG_2093


Though the rolls were not perfect, the Salmon Teriyaki was pretty close.  And the sandwiches (with garlic-lemon sauce and cukes) went down good with a nice pale ale.


IMG_2094


This is a very nice sourdough roll.  I’d enjoy a full sized loaf, too.


The formula is on the page linked above.  I used the same quantities for 6 rolls.


Enjoy!


Glenn

 

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

This does not quite match the discussions I have read, and I am hoping someone might recognize what is going on here and point me in the right direction.


I recently spun off an all white flour sibling of my 18 month old whole wheat 100% hydration starter. The original starter has been fed 95% home ground hard white whole wheat flour, and 5% BRM Dark Rye flour at 100% hydration (50gm:50gm:50gm s:w:f) with excellent results since this forum rescued me and my starter back when I first joined. The sibling is about 6 weeks old and is fed on Pendleton Mills Mor-Bread (AP flour) at the same 100% hydration (50gm:50gm:50gm s:w:f) as it's older sibling. I have baked with it successfully twice before, both as the foundation for pate fermente, as well as for a poolish, in variants of Peter Reinhart's Pain Ordinaire and French Bread with Pate Fermente (old dough) from “Crust and Crumb”.


This all-white flour starter is a new experience for me, so I do not have reasonable expectations by which to measure it. It seems to me, though, to be a bit “odd”. At feeding time it has a consistency that is very fluffy, rather like well whipped egg white, and yet thick, much like pudding but with lots of gas bubbles in it. It reminds me of mareshmallow crème, and it is, of course, tenaciously sticky, clinging to anything and everything it touches, but it has a very pleasant fruity, healthy aroma. My whole wheat starter is pretty easy to break up and mix into the water at feeding, but this white starter is quite resistant to this action. It takes considerable effort to blend the water and starter at feeding, before adding the flour. It triples in volume easily in 4-5 hours, so the overnight delay befor morning feeding is a stretch at 8-9 hours.


This past Thursday morning I began the elaborations for a sourdough using 5% BRM Dark Rye, 5% Pendleton Mills Power (bread flour) flour and 90% Pendleton Mills Mor-Bread (AP flour), to provide a 30% prefermented flour inoculation to a final dough targeted for 72% hydration. The starter had been in the refrigerator for four days so I pulled it out the night before (Wednesday night), and fed it just before bed. The elaborations began first thing in the morning and I built the final dough that night (late), all from the same composition, ending up with 1500 grams of dough for two 750 gram boules.


For clarity, although it is not my point in all this, here are the essentials:


Total Preferment:


259 gm water


259 gm Flour    composed of the following:


            15 gm BRM Dark Rye flour
            15 gm Pendleton Mills Power flour
          229 gm Pendleton MorBread flour


 


Final Dough:


363 gm water


604 gm flour  composed of the following


            30 gm BRM Dark Rye
            30 gm Pendleton Mills Power flour
          544 gm Pendleton MorBread flour


15 gm Kosher Sea Salt (Coarse)


 


For the main build I combined the preferment, flour and water, but withheld the salt, and let it rest (autolyse) for 40 minutes. I added the salt and did two sets of 30 stretch and folds in the bowl at 30 minute intervals. After this second set of s&f's the gluten was beginning to shape up and the dough had come together nicely.


At this point things started to get interesting, but not in any good way.


After another 30 minute rest I came back to do another set of stretch and folds. To my surprise I felt the dough break down right under my hands as I worked on it. It literally fell apart, and the more I tried to stretch and fold it the looser it got. I finished the 30 strokes, gathered it in the bowl to rest, and tried to figure out what to do next.


I sensed that this was not a hydration issue, as the hydration seemed to be about right, but the dough was very stretchy and more sticky than any I have ever worked with. After 30 minutes I pulled the dough out onto my marble work board that I had wet down with cool water. I decided not to try to work in more flour, but this dough was so stretchy and sticky I could not be so stingy with water. Using wet hands and a wet bench scraper and the wet marble I tried to bring the dough together using Bertinet's wet dough technique. It did a little bit of good, but the dough remained essentially like highly congealed cottage cheese, and as sticky as any dough I have ever come up against. It was ugly sticky. I did probably 30 to 40 strokes of slap/stretch/fold/gather/repeat. It was after midnight and Friday was a work day so I had to put it to bed, and me too. I oiled up a dough bucket and managed to get the dough in. It puddled into the bottom of the bucket, and self-leveled. There was little evidence of gas in the dough. I thought it was dead. I put it into the fridge for the night, on the bottom, coldest shelf, cleaned up and went to bed.


On Friday morning I looked at the dough and it was still just a puddle in the bottom of the bucket. I left it in the fridge till afternoon when I could leave my desk to work on it. I pulled it out early and let it sit on the kitchen counter (between 66F and 68F all day) to warm up, and to see if it would come alive. After 90 minutes or so of letting the chill warm up, I could see at least a few nice gas pockets in the dough, but it still appeared very slack and loose. I heavily floured my bench and poured the dough from the bucket. I had to scrape it out to get it to let go of the oiled bucket, and remnants clung tenaciously to the bucket even then.


Even on a heavily floured board this dough stuck to everything, and by the time I finished my hands, bench scraper, board, apron, everything had dough stuck to it. I divided the dough in half, and succeeded in herding each portion into somewhat of a roundish blob, but it wanted nothing to do with holding any shape at all. I used both well floured hands cup-like to gather the blobs and drop them into heavily floured linens in some small plastic colanders I bought at the Dollar Store for just this purpose. I set them to rise, stuck my La Cloche in the oven and set it to preheat to 525F, to let the oven warm the kitchen up and hopefully prod the “loaves” to rise some.


One loaf actually passed the poke test after 90 minutes or so without clinging permanently to my finger, so I started my baking. The first loaf held some shape, although it did flatten noticeably when I turned it onto parchment on the peel. I should not have slashed it so deeply, and that spoiled what shape it had. It behaved as if over-proofed, but I don't believe that to be true. The second loaf I scored only very lightly and with short cuts that did not go all the way across the top of the loaf. This loaf held shape somewhat better, and exhibited somewhat better spring in the oven, but neither loaf performed even marginally well.


I baked both loaves in succession, with the preheated dome on for 12 minutes, turning the oven down to 475F after 7 minutes and removing the dome at 12 minutes. I baked each for an additional 18-20 minutes after removing the La Cloche dome. Neither crust shows a very markedly bold bake, although both loaves finished with internal temperatures up in the 208F-209F range.


Here is a picture that will help visualizing the results.


The light coloration is, I believe, due to all the flour on the surface.  The crumb has good appearance, and shows some variation of hole size, but if you look closely you will see some darker areas of the crumb.  Those are quite gummy/chewey, and the whole loaf is quite heavy, even after cooling over night.  The loaves, under "normal" circumstances should be nearly twice as tall as this had they taken/held any shape, but they lacked any structural integrity.  Hence the very flattened profile.  The whole loaf on the bottom of the stack is the second loaf, which "sprung" about 1/2 inch higher than the other.


I have read Debra Wink's excellent and informative posts on Thiol degradation here. I have read the thread originated by foolispoolish with contributions by Debra Wink and Eric Hanner and others regarding transition of firm starters to white flour here, and the trials of many with super elastic dough.  My evidence does not seem to fit these cases very well, but I don't have the experience or expertise to judge it myself. It is a transitioned starter (whole wheat and rye to white flour), but not a brand new one. It is performing well between feedings, and appears to have made the adjustment to white flour satisfactorily, in the storage jar at least. It seemed to be okay in the first couple of bakes as mentioned above, and not until now, some 6 weeks or so later, has a dough from it just disintegrated.  I really don't know what is going on here.


So, I'm left trying to determine a course of action without any real knowledge of what I am fighting. Until I get better advice I am going to try Debra's recommendation to “feed through it”, in the hope that it is some kind of contamination or invasion and that in time it will be worked out as hers was.  I've started that regimen by reducing quantites to 10 gm:20 gm:20 gm (s:w:f) and will stay as close to three evenly spaced feedings a day, and see how it goes for 10-12 days.


Has anyone else been through this recently, or have any other thoughts, observations, suggestions, reccomended reading?


Thanks for stopping by
OldWoodenSpoon


 


Note: a follow up thread can be found here:  Follow Up to "Never saw a dough break down like this before"


 

cubfan4ever's picture
cubfan4ever

Hi - Long time lurker, first time poster!  I love everything that you do here.  It has been such an inspiration!


I am giving the 36 Hour SD Baguette recipe a shot.  The only difference in our recipes is that I have Bob's Red Mill AP flour on hand and used it.  Yesterday went well, I made it through step 3 (all the S&F and putting up for the 24 hours). 


TXFarmer - this dough is WET!  I mean WET!  I took her out of the fridge about an hour ago and it is resting in my oven with the oven light on.  There is no way I can see beginning to shape this without it falling flat.  Any suggestions?  Do I do a quick knead with a touch more flour?

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