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proth5's picture
proth5

 (Apologies to Jimmy Buffett)

One of the many objectives of the formula development project is to gain understanding of the baking process.  I have found that nothing beats working with the same general dough over and over, with very minor variations to understand the impact of various elements of the baking process.

So when comments on my last entry wound around to "intensive mix" vs. "improved mix" and the somewhat weak crumb of my last loaf, I really wanted to give them full consideration.

I may have mentioned elsewhere on these pages that my so called "normal" life contains, as a major feature, participating in the "security theatre" that is enjoying a long run in airports near you. Leaving discussion of the politics aside, it does provide me with long spaces of time where thoughts can roam free and it is wisest and best that they stray far from my actual circumstances and focus on something more pleasant - like bread.

I was idly mulling over intensive mix, when in one of those spooky out of body experiences that the doctors at The Place worry about -  The Voice in My Head (known also as "my teacher")  came rushing in on me. (It has been too long since I actually worked with "my teacher" - a situation to be remedied this year when I may be pushing it to overkill - and believe me, if you don't think I am studying and practicing in preparation for this - then I have not expressed myself well on these pages.  This frenzied activity could explain a lot.)

"Pat, please tell me two ways to achieve dough development."

"One is through the action of the mixer and another is through time - that is the time spent in bulk fermentation - and folds, sensei."

"And beyond the ingredients what produces flavor in bread?"

"Time and folds, sensei."

"What have I said about intensive mix?"

"That it is fine for panned breads where all one wants is to achieve is volume and one doesn't care about flavor, sensei."

"And why would someone who uses intensive mix see no value in a bulk ferment?"

"Because the dough is fully developed coming off the mix and many of the carotenoid pigments have been destroyed by the oxidation of the mixing process, so the bulk ferment is essentially working with damaged goods, sensei."

"Is intensive mix ever appropriate?"

"Yes, yes it is, but it will be a different style of bread than those made with longer fermentation times, sensei."

"Speaking of volume - what does bread do best at high altitudes?"

"Rises and achieves volume often collapsing in the oven since it rises higher than the baked supporting structure can sustain - forcing us to deliberately reduce the rising,  sensei."

"What must be perfect?"

"Everything, sensei?"

"You sound like you are asking."

"Everything, sensei."

"You know what to do. Bake and evaluate."

Coming to with my hands above my head and a TSA officer telling me that I could go stand on the mat, I knew what I must do.

Later, at home, giving the evening pizza crust a good twirl (my teacher once told me that this was a skill that s/he lacked and so I became obsessed with learning to twirl pizza crust) and reflecting that I had brought it to full twirl worthy development with nothing but time and some strokes with a plastic scraper, I reflected that there are indeed many ways to achieve a well developed dough.

On the formula development front, I wanted to add an inclusion in the dough and had settled on flax seed.  I'm a big fan of flax - it being the thing that produces my favorite cloth - and this bread being a reflection of my favorite things; it seemed to be the logical choice.

I had some golden flax seed in the pantry and decided to use that.  I created a soaker that seemed for all the world to be "hydration neutral" - it released no water when I put it in a sieve and seemed to have no droplets in the container that held it.  Alas, as I added it to the mix, it did release some water and the dough hydration changed just a bit. Not enough ruin the dough, but definitely a change.  Truly, I will be asking questions on this concept in the near future.

I also decided to use bread flour (not high gluten flour) as a way to produce a somewhat tougher crumb - although I regret this decision because I will now have to go back and test the formula with all purpose flour, anyway.  It would be cheap and easy to just call for bread flour, but as I have told many clients - I'm easy, but I'm not cheap.

I mixed the dough for the six minutes that I had mixed it before - I feel that I might be able to mix it less, but I realize that My Precioussss is somewhat under loaded with this volume of dough and its efficiency is somewhat less at that load.  I also wanted to recheck my dough development at this timing for the mix to satisfy myself that last week's crumb was not a result of poor dough development.  It was a sufficiently developed at six minutes.  No, it did not create the glove like windowpane as required by the shredibly soft loaf, but this dough is full of oat flakes and steel cut oats and these are going to keep that type of windowpane from forming no matter how long I mixed.  The dough development was fine, and next time I will actually mix a bit less.

What I did do was degas the dough better and put a little more muscle into my shaping. I also watched the proof very carefully and didn't try to compensate for pan size by proofing longer.

The golden flax seed no doubt added some nutrition to the bread and did create a subtle and pleasant taste change, but it didn't create the hoped for "pretty bread."   The crumb, however, was firm enough to hold a rather overstuffed grilled cheese and salsa sandwich, so I think I'll (sort of) be declaring victory on getting the crumb right by getting the shaping and proofing right. 

As I said before, now the work begins.  I will be switching out the golden flaxseed for regular flaxseed next week and have high hopes that I will get me my pretty bread at last.  But now I have to understand if I can use all purpose flour, get exact mixing times, get a better read on the soakers -and get exact weights for each type of pan and each type of shape that I wish to make.  This is tedious in the extreme and I will probably suspend my posting on this until I can organize a tasting to compare the original- original and a couple of versions of my variations. I don't know if my version will "sell out at bake sales" yet, but as I taste it, it has that elusive quality of "balance." I can taste the molasses in the bread, but I can also taste the grain- it has little crunchies, but I don't fear breaking a tooth.  If anything, the crumb is a little too light (although it passed the spread butter and the gloppy sandwich test) but by no means unacceptable. I've got a niggling little voice telling me I need to mill a lot more triticale and get to that ill conceived experiment of a high percent of pre fermented flour,  some yeast and a pan and gardening/pond cleaning season is fast approaching - so plenty of other things to do while I make tedious small tweaks.

Pictures and formula follow.

Total Dough Wt

 

72.88

oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

 

 

Soaker

 

 

Percent of Flour in Levain

0.1

 

Final Dough

 

 

 

%

Wt

UOM

 

 

 

%

WT

UOM

Ingredients

Wt

UOM

Total Flour

1.00

27

oz

 

 

 

1

2.7

oz

Total Flour

24.30

oz

Whole Wheat Flour

0.30

8.1

oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whole Wheat Flour

8.10

oz

KA AP Flour

0.60

16.2

oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

KA AP Flour

16.20

oz

Triticale Flour

0.10

2.7

oz

 

 

 

1

2.7

oz

 

 

 

Additional Water

0.14

3.7

oz

 

 

 

0.6

1.62

oz

Additional Water

2.08

oz

Rolled Oats

0.17

4.59

oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rolled Oats

4.59

oz

Steel Cut Oats

0.11

2.97

oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steel Cut Oats

2.97

oz

Boiling water

0.74

19.98

oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boiling water

19.98

oz

Shortening(leaf lard)

0.03

0.81

oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shortening(leaf lard)

0.81

oz

Molasses

0.06

1.62

oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

Molasses

1.62

oz

Agave Nectar

0.05

1.35

oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agave Nectar

1.35

oz

Milk Powder

0.04

1.08

oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

Milk Powder

1.08

oz

Salt

0.03

0.756

oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salt

0.76

oz

Yeast

0.004

0.108

oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yeast

0.11

oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Golden Flax Seeds

0.1

2.7

oz

0.1

2.7

oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soaker Water

0.22

6

oz

0.22

6

oz

 

 

 

Soaker

8.7

oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seed

0.008

0.216

oz

 

 

 

0.08

0.216

oz

Levain

4.536

oz

Totals

2.399259259

72.88

oz

 

8.7

oz

1.68

4.536

oz

 

72.88

 

Prepare the soaker -  allow to soak 12 hours

Prepare the pre ferment - allow to mature 12 hours

Pour the boiling water over the two types of oats and allow to cool to lukewarm

Combine all ingredients except the soaker and mix 6 minutes in one speed spiral (or to moderate development by any means desired.)

Add soaker and mix only until combined (I did this mostly by hand).

Bulk ferment 4 hours - one fold

Shape

Proof 1 hour

Place in oven at 375F - immediately decrease temp to 360F and bake 45-50 minutes (I actually bake about 45 minutes and then remove the bread from the pan, return it to the oven, and bake 5 minutes - more as this gives a nicer crust on the sides - but this will be one of those minor tedious tweaks.)

Remove from pans and cool.

Have Fun!

Added by edit:  I was just reflecting on the process and looked at a picture of the bread at the beginning.  I thought I would post it here so the contrast was evident.  Hardly the same loaf at all!

ananda's picture
ananda

It's been half term holiday week here; where has it all gone I'm asking, as I go back to work tomorrow.

I s to have spent much of the week working hard to tackle all the complex issues I have to deal with ready for next year.

A brief reflection on our trip to Bolton on Friday 18th February is quite calming and re-assuring that my job is a good one.   Unfortunately Faye was not in the "prize money" on this occasion, but we both had a great day out, and were very well treated by our hosts.

Some photographs are attached as Faye presented her Nettle Bread to a judging panel of VIPs, including Brett Warburton, the man in the open neck shirt, busily checking out her loaf, and asking very pertinent questions.   How cool is that?   Also on the panel was the head of Innovation for Warburtons, Darren Littler, who I met some years ago when still a student myself.   Many of Warburtons R&D team were taught by the same lecturer as me, on the Baking course at Leeds.

Faye's bread was one of only 2 loaves which were genuinely artisan and made with a pre-ferment.   The other 2 Baking colleges in the hunt both used bread improvers in their loaves.   The other 4 entrants' loaves were from catering students, and looked like fairly ordinary homebaked bread.   What matters, however, were all the students' wonderful ideas and the hardwork put in to develop their loaves.   And, it cannot be an easy task to stand in front of 3 esteemed bakers from the Warburtons Company, and present your own product, and talk about it so confidently.   I was really proud of Faye, especially when she stated simply that she used a leaven in her bread as she was only interested in "artisan" bread, then proceeded to explain to Darren how she had built her own leaven from scratch, and kept it going all this time.   Some photographs below:

DSCF1716DSCF1723DSCF1722DSCF1721DSCF1724

 

 Level 2 Baking Students have an entrance into the College "Equality and Diversity" Competition tomorrow, with a theme based on breads of the world.   These are to be made with our own local ingredients, primarily, and presented in a Cornucopia, made from bread dough.   My contribution is the Borodinsky bread shown below.   Given I had an active rye sourdough, a bag of good bread flour, and plenty of Bacheldre Dark Rye, I could not resist more baking today, with a Pain de Siegle.

Borodinsky using a "Scald"

Makes 1 "Pullman Pan"

Material

Formula [% of flour]

Recipe [grams]

1. Rye Sourdough

 

 

Dark Rye Flour

30

300

Water

50

500

TOTAL

80

800

 

 

 

2. "Scald"

 

 

Dark Rye Flour

20

200

Barley Malt Syrup

4.5

45

Blackstrap Molasses

6

60

Coriander Seeds-ground

1

10

Salt

1

10

Water

35

350

TOTAL

67.5

675

 

 

 

3. Final Paste

 

 

Rye Sourdough [from above]

80

800

Scald [from above]

67.5

675

Sifted Rye Flour

23.5

235

Strong White Flour

26.5

265

TOTAL

197.5

1975

Overall Hydration

85%

 

Pre-fermented Flour

30%

 

 

Method:

  • Build the rye sourdough over 2 to 3 refreshments from stock. Ferment fully after final refreshment through to sour
  • For the "Scald", dissolve the molasses and malt extract in hot water, and bring to a boil in a pan. Grind the Coriander seeds and combine these with the salt and rye flour. Pour on the boiling liquor and stir to mix. Cover tightly and cool to ambient.
  • Combine the sour and scald for the first stage of the final mix, then add in the remaining portions of flour to form a paste
  • Bulk proof for one hour
  • Shape into a Pullman Pan, pre-lined with silicone paper. Proof for 3 hours, approx. before baking
  • Place into the oven rising to 180°C, with a pan of water in the bottom of the oven. Leave for one hour. Turn the oven down to 130°C and bake a further 3 hours. Turn the oven off and leave in the cooling oven a further 3 hours
  • De-pan and cool on wires
  • DSCF1737DSCF1739DSCF1740DSCF1749DSCF1747DSCF1750

Pain de Siègle

2 Boules of classic naturally leavened bread proved in Bannetons.

Material

Formula [% of flour]

Recipe [grams]

1. Rye Sourdough

 

 

Bacheldre Dark Rye Flour

24

300

Water

40

500

TOTAL

64

800

 

 

 

2. Final Dough

 

 

Rye Sourdough [from above]

64

800

Carrs Strong White Flour

76

950

Salt

1.8

22.5

Water

28

350

TOTAL

169.8

2122.5

Overall Hydration

68%

 

Pre-fermented Flour

24%

 

 

Method:

  • Build the rye sourdough from stock with at least 2 refreshments
  • Weigh the required sourdough, and add the correct amount of water to this. Blend, then carefully add the white flour. Combine, and autolyse for 1 hour.
  • Start to develop the dough on the bench with 5 minutes work. Rest for 10 minutes. Add the salt, and develop the dough a further 5 - 10 minutes. Rest for 10 minutes, then develop a further 5 - 10 minutes.
  • DSCF1742
  • Line a bowl with a little oil as a container for the dough. Cover with cling film and bulk proof for 2 hours. Stretch and fold after 1 hour.
  • Scale and divide. Mould round and place upside down in prepared bannetons.
  • Final proof is approximately 3 hours.
  • Pre-heat the oven and masonry to 250°C. Tip out each loaf, score the top, use steam, and bake for 15 minutes. Drop the oven temperature to 220°C and bake a further 20 minutes. Drop the oven temperature to 200°C and bake each loaf out.
  • Cool on wires
  • DSCF1755DSCF1758DSCF1757DSCF1762DSCF1761DSCF1769DSCF1754

 

It's proving hard to spend so much time on TFL at the moment.   I wish I had more time to post, but it's a tough time in UK education right now, with lots of challenges needing full response.

Andy

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello,

Recalling Larry's wonderful cheese bread that we liked so much, I wanted to make cheddar cheese bagels (my husband's favorite bagel). We enjoyed these for breakfast today...so nice to have these warm treats on a cold, snowy day!

I followed Mr. Reinhart's Bagel formula in BBA, but added 172g of grated sharp cheddar to the flour mixture when mixing the dough.
I kneaded the dough by hand, and the some of the grated cheddar was still visible in the dough before baking.
Additional cheddar was sprinkled over the bagels after boiling, and before baking.

This was the best looking one of the bunch, and a close up of that yummy cheese:
 

The shaping could definitely use some improvement!, and a crumb shot:
  

 

I put some dill, shallot and black pepper cream cheese on my warm cheese bagel - heavenly!
(I'd mixed this up for some crostini, but it was really good on this bagel, too.)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons very finely chopped red onion (I used shallot)
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Happy Baking everyone!
from breadsong

jennyloh's picture
jennyloh

I finally tried this recipe and I certainly was happy with the result. Thanks to Eric for the recipe.  It one of those that are on my repeat list certainly.  

 

 

www.foodforthoughts.jlohcook.com

 

 

MadAboutB8's picture
MadAboutB8

I'm back to making my favorite green tea bread bun again. Having a mentality like a Japanese (trying to as I'm making something sort of Japanese) that food appearance is as important as its taste. I am thinking to make a nice looking bread roll instead of simple bread bun.

I also got lots of green tea powder I bought during my trip to Japan late last year that is asking to be used. And again, I'm on to my favorite food pair, green tea and red bean, a food pair that is made for each other. A match made in heaven!

The recipe I used is a typical sweet bread recipe but I use sourdough starter and reduce amount of yeast. I also included 20% wholewheat flour.

This type of decorative bread roll is quite common in Asia and Asian bakery in Australia. It is not difficult to make but provide a great looking bread roll. It was fun to make different bread shape and learn about new pastry techniques.

Recipe and more photos are here.

 

Sue

http://youcandoitathome.blogspot.com

oceanicthai's picture
oceanicthai

My son has been begging for banana bread.  I have been obsessed with sourdough boules.  So I found the recipe for Cranberry Chocolate Sourdough on SourdoughHome.  As you can already guess, I decided to make it, adding the bananas.  It was a mixing nightmare, super elastic dough, smushy bananas & boiled cranberries refusing to be mixed in.  So I just kind of squished it together and over 3 hours attempted some S&F's.  After 3 hours it finally relaxed & I was able to shape it into a kind of boule and bake it.  Pictured are the results.  I thought for sure I'd made another flop, but we all like it, weird as it is. 

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

 

IMG_2199

I generally follow trends slavishly, but I can’t get into the nine-pound-miche thing that seems to have taken TFL by storm.  In fact my one and only complaint about miches is they are too large for my small (albeit voracious) family of only two carbovores.  I know they can be divided and a piece frozen, but they’re never as good thawed as fresh.

So what does one do if one loves the flavor and texture of a miche but wants smaller loaves???  I pondered this for several long minutes, and then I settled on the idea of trying a radical experiment.  What if one made a miche dough, and then (gasp!) divided it into two boules!!??   Though I risk the disapproval of the Mega-Miche adherents, I took the risk in the spirit of bread science and the quest for the perfect loaf. 

I am among the seeming thousands of TFLers who have tried and admired the SFBI Miche my Big Brother David posted about five weeks ago (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/21644/miche-hit).   It has a magnificent caramel flavor and an admirably chewy crumb.  My favorite variation on that formula is to use 50% Central Milling Organic Type 85 high extraction flour and 50% Central Milling Organic Artisan Baker’s Craft (Malted) white flour, as described in my 1/30/11 blog post (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/21900/bay-area-miche-sfbi-formulacentral-milling-flours).

So this week, I used the SFBI formula but with that flour combination (and no wheat germ), and then after primary fermentation I divided the 1250 gram dough ball into two boules and plunked them into small brotforms.  After a night in the fridge and 150 minutes on the counter, they were baked with Sylvia’s magic steam towels for 20 minutes at 450F, and then dry for 35 minutes more at 430F.

IMG_2192

Besides having loaves of a size we can eat, the shorter bake time produced a rich dark crust with no burned spots.  And who can complain about the higher crust ratio of a mini-miche?

The flavor is more-or-less the same as the full-sized version, wheaty and moderately sour.  And the crust is similarly crunchy.  The crumb may be a bit more airy. 

IMG_2203

A successful experiment. 

And here’s my day’s baking output, the mini-miches with the Vienna Bread Dutch Crunch rolls.

IMG_2194

A good baking day.

Glenn

 

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

            

IMG_2189

Since the start of my baking adventure (only six months ago), I have been searching for the perfect sandwich roll, one with a thin, crispy crust, a tender crumb so it’s squishable, but dense enough so it holds together with a burger or saucy filling, and airy but not too holey.  I had good success with SylviaH’s excellent bun formula (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/17329/buns-sandwiches).  

Then, Dvuong posted about Reinhart’s Vienna Bread rolls with Dutch Crunch topping (from BBA) a few days ago (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/22380/latest-bake-dutch-crunch#comment-159189).   And I baked them today.  The formula made enough dough for eight potato-shaped rolls of 4.5 oz each.

IMG_2184

IMG_2188

I can’t believe I hadn’t discovered this formula before!  It’s even in a book I’ve been enjoying baking with.  It’s a tasty white bread with a little egg , a little sugar and a little butter, using a good proportion of pate´ fermenteé.  The texture is just what I’ve been looking for.   The Dutch Crunch topping adds a nice …ummm…crunchiness.

They were perfect for turkey sandwiches.  I also think this formula would be good for dinner rolls or a pan loaf, maybe topped with sesame seeds.

My Number One Taster says I’ll be baking these rolls again.  And  so I know I will.  Pretty soon she’ll have so many favorites I’ll need to stop experimenting with new things.

Thanks--again!!--Professor Reinhart.  And thanks for lead, dvuong!  This is a winner!

Glenn

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The “Miche, Pointe-à-Callière” from Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread has been one of my favorite breads and was my favorite miche for a long time. It's been quite a while since I last baked it. Since then, I've been doing more hand mixing of doughs I formerly machine mixed. I've found a new and wonderful high-extraction flour, Central Milling's “Organic Type 85.” And last, but my no means least, I've baked miches according to the formula we used in the SFBI Artisan II workshop last December. Many TFL members have baked this marvelous miche since I posted the formula, and they know what a wonderful bread this can be.

After these months of enjoying the SFBI miche, as well as Chad Robertson's somewhat similar “Basic Country Bread” from Tartine Bread, it seemed time to revisit the “Miche, Pointe-à-Callière.” I made it using Central Milling's “Organic Type 85” flour. I followed Hamelman's formula. I altered his procedures only by mixing the dough entirely by hand.

 

Overall Formula

Wt.

Baker's %

High-extraction whole-wheat flour

2 lbs

100.00%

Water

1 lb, 10.2 oz

82.00%

Salt

0.6 oz

1.80%

Total

3 lb, 10.8 oz

183.80%

 

Levain Build

Wt.

Baker's %

High-extraction whole-wheat flour

6.4 oz

100.00%

Water

3.8 oz

60.00%

Mature culture (stiff)

1.3 oz (3 T)

20.00%

Total

11.5 oz

 

 

Final Dough

Wt.

 

High-extraction whole-wheat flour

1 lb, 9.6 oz

 

Water

1 lb, 6.4 oz

 

Salt

0.6 oz

 

Levain

10.2 oz (all less 3 T)

Total

3 lb, 10.8 oz

Procedure

  1. Make the levain about 12 hours before you want to mix the dough. Dissolve the mature culture in the water, then mix in the flour.

  2. On the day of the bake, mix the Final Dough flour and water to a shaggy mass and autolyse in a large covered bowl for 20-60 minutes.

  3. Sprinkle the salt over the dough and add the Levain in several chunks. Mix thoroughly.

  4. Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly.

  5. Ferment the dough for 150 minutes, with stretch and folds on a floured board at 50 and 100 minutes.

  6. Form the dough into a tight boule and transfer it, seam side up, to a floured banneton. Place the banneton in a large plastic bag or cover with a towel or plasti-crap. (Note: Hamelman recommends the usual pre-shaping and resting before the final shaping. I did not do this, since the dough was rather slack, and the gluten did not require “relaxing,” in my judgement.)

  7. Proof for 2-2 ½ hours.

  8. One hour before baking, pre-heat the oven to 500ºF with a baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  9. Transfer the miche to a peel. Score it with a single square, “tic-tac-toe” pattern or diamond pattern. Load the miche onto the baking stone.

  10. Steam the oven and turn it down to 440ºF. After 15 minutes, turn the oven down to 420ºF, and bake for about another 45 minutes.

  11. When the miche is fully baked (internal temperature is 205ºF), turn off the oven. Leave the miche on the baking stone with the oven door ajar for another 10-20 minutes to dry the crust.

  12. Transfer the miche to a cooling rack and cool thoroughly. Then wrap it in baker's linen and let it rest for at least 12 hours before slicing.

Note: All times are approximate. Watch the dough, not the clock.

Miche, Pointe-à-Callière: Profile

Miche, Pointe-à-Callière: crumb

I rested the loaf for about 18 hours before slicing. The crumb structure was similar to that pictured in “Bread,” but I think I slightly under-fermented the dough and over-proofed the loaf.The crust was chewy. The crumb was rather dense and chewy. The flavor was not really sour but was very wheaty – more intense than I recall from other bakes with this flour.

Next time I make this miche, if I hand mix it, I'll add some S&F's in the bowl during the first part of the bulk fermentation and lengthen the fermentation, hoping to increase flavor complexity.

David

 

davidg618's picture
davidg618

After two years following the directions and/or advice of Dan DiMuzio, J. Hamelman, a bit of Reinhart, and a lot of TFLers, e.g., dmsnyder, SylviaH, Susan, Debra Wink, proth5, hansjoakim, ehanner, ananda, and a host of others, I'm comfortable that I can consistently bake satisfactory sourdough loaves, reminiscent of Vermont, Norwich, San Jouquin, etc., while at the same time, feel they are subtly my own.

Of late, flavor-wise, I've been leaning more and more into sourdoughs with modest, but noticeable, percentages (15% -- 50%) of Whole Wheat flour. I've been concentrating on developing flavors we like: intensely wheaty, and for me, a sour presence, not overpowering but distinct. My wife prefers those with the in-your-face wheatiness, but much milder tang.

From an enlightening discussion between proth5 and dmsynder, and proth5's replies to a question about holeyness, i.e., open crumb, my own and TFLer Syd's observation about sour development in preferments vis-a-vis bulk fermentation, and just baking and tasting I'm satisfied I'm getting the flavors we want manipulating the levain's building (precentage flour prefermented, build schedule, time, and temperature) and bulk fermentation (time and temperature).

I've also encountered subtle, and not so subtle, changes in the final dough's gluten development seemingly dependent primarily on time and temperature during bulk fermentation. Although the 100% hydrated levain has been 1/3 of the final dough in all cases--30% of the flour (so far, all Whole Wheat) prefermented in the levain builds--bulk fermentation appears to have the dominant influence on two factors: wheaty flavor, and the dough's extensibility. On the other hand, how I develop the levain, especially time between feedings  clearly controls the degree of sourness in the final loaves, irrespective of the time and/or temperature of the bulk fermentation. However, I've not found a noticeable difference in the dough's gluten development whereing three batches were bulk fermented for 3.5 to 4 hours, but the levains were built differently: 1) a single feeding, fermented twelve hours; 2) Three progressive 1:1:1 feedings over twenty four hours; and 3) three progressive 1:1:1 feedings at 8, 8, and 12 hours respectively. All were fermented at 76°F. Flavorwise, the 12 and 28 hour levains had distinct sourness, more in the 28 hour levain; the 24 hour levain was quite mild.

In one case, made with the 24 hour levain,  I retarded half the dough overnight at 55*F (~12 hrs.). The other half I fermented at 76°F for 3.5 hours, and final proofed for 3 hours. That dough was well behaved. yielded good flavor, and modestly open crumb. The retarded dough was extremely slack, and I had considereable difficulty shaping the loaf--shaping is not my strong suit. Final proof took four hours, and I may have still underproofed slightly. Slashed and in the oven, it's oven spring expended itself horizontally. The flavor was excellent with no noticable acidity; the crumb was closed but not dense.

Today I'm building a levain (28 hour schedule) timed to start mixing tomorrow morning at 8 AM. I've changed the levain build flour to a 50/50 KA AP/ KA whole wheat. This halves the whole wheat content in the final dough. Once again, I'm going to retard half of the dough. I'm specifically looking for, if not answers, at least guidance for answering two questions:

Does reducing the amount of Whole Wheat effect the acidity in the levain?

Does halving the amount of Whole Wheat seriously reduce the wheat flavor in the final loaves?

I'm expecting the retarded loaf to have less extensibility' i.e., stronger gluten, because the Whole Wheat content is reduced.

I'm also expecting that the loaves will be edible, even enjoyable, even if all I come away with is more questons.

David G

 

   

 

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