Many questions about bread chemistry and technique
first, I am very grateful to all here on TFL, for your comments and help. Thanks to you I could prepare my first sourdough starter and bake some successfull sourdough (and also yeasted) breads. However, as the information are rather scattered and sometimes seem contradictory, I am still a little confused and unsure regarding my bread making.
I will try to formulate some questions I still do not understand, if anybody could help. Well, they are not modest - I apologize. They have just accumulated over time - please do not be angry with me...
1) Why should only bulk fermentation affect the final flavour of the bread?
- What is the difference between the flavour from sourdough vs. from simple pre-ferments (poolish / biga or long fermentation of a stright dough (either by retarding in the fridge or by using less yeast)?
2) Should the amount of yeast be ajusted when I planned to retard the bulk ferment overnight?
- should the amount of sourdough in pure sourdough breads be different with and without overnight (or even 24hours) retardation?
3) isn´t the long room-temperature fermentation of no-knead recipe too favorable to protease acitivity? How it happens that it is not detrimental to the final loaf? And in ABin5/HBin5 it says that it is not important whether the dough doubles, or triples or fall beyond its peak, whether it rises 2 hours or 5 hours... - is that "lege artis" bakery?
4) Should the starter be refrigerated immediately after the feeding, 1-2hours later or let to double, then deflate and refrigerate? How does one know that a refrigerated starter is ready for use (building the final starter)?
- Should a low protein white flour (10.5%) or a higher protein flour (11.7%) be used to feed the starter?
- I know some people who "successfully" use a 4-day old starter (they always start a new one when the need) and their bread rises well. How is it possible?
- Is a firm or wet starter more suitable for fridge storing? (I bake app. 3x a week)
5) what is the rule of thumb for choosing the suitable oven temperature? Some recipes call for 350 or 375°F (even for lean breads) other for 420 or 450°F (even when a small amount of fat an sugar is used).
- Are the pan breads always baked at a lower temperature?
- Why is it OK to bake even a high hydration bread in the oven in a covered dish but in a bread machine, when the dough contains just a little bit of water than cca 60%, the loaf falls in the middle?
6) are the special steps to be taken when using whole wheat? I have heard about more kneading needed or, on the contrary, more gentle and shorter kneading? Or are S&F better?
- can any dough with 60% hydration and more be worked by French Folding instead of kneading (in a mixer or by hand - I do not have a mixer a have pain when kneading)
I will appreciate any comment!