The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Soaker uses

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fafive's picture
fafive

Soaker uses

Hello everybody,

First, sorry my english, please.

After I read almost every book about baking, and reading this site since for about 2 years, there is a question without answer to me:

If I understand correctly, the by products of yeast fermentation are CO2 and alcohol solely.

If we use starters mainly to give flavors and aromas to our bread, and those are produced by bacteria, could a soaker of about 2 or 3 days generate the same benefits of a livelong mantained sourdough starter?

I mean, arent the bacteria replicating in the same way and giving the same benefits in a flour-water mix, without all the problems involving generating and maintaining a sourdough culture?

A long time ago I saw a recipe with a 2 or 3 days soaker without much explanation, but cant find it right now.

Thanks!

 

 

isand66's picture
isand66

As far as I know soaking either grains or flour in water for 2-3 days is not going create a starter that will have any levening power.  You need to build your starter over several more days to create the wild yeast necessary for flavor and levening power.

fafive's picture
fafive

I agree with you in that.

But is not what I am trying to say.

I am not talking about the bubbling effect but aabout bacteria and its acids.

Resuming the idea: what if I use a 2 day soaker and commercial yeast.  will that be discernible from a sourdough bread. I suspect that yes, but dont know why.

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Hi, fafive.  Yes, there will be a noticeable difference between a sourdough bread and a non-sourdough bread made with a soaker.  A two-day soak will not be long enough to establish the bacteria and yeast populations which contribute the sourdough flavors.

If you soak the whole kernels, or seeds, of the grains for a couple if days, you might see some tiny roots start to emerge from the grains.  There are a number of people who like sprouted grain breads; perhaps you will, too.  You can use the Search tool at the upper left corner of the page to search for posts that have the word "sprouted" in them.  That will give you additional information to consider.

If you soak the flour, you will probably need to add some of the salt from the formula to the soaker.  That will reduce enzyme activity in the soaker.  Some enzymes convert starch to sugar, others metabolize proteins.  A small amount of enzyme activity can be beneficial.  Too much enzyme activity can lead to heavy, gummy bread.

Paul

isand66's picture
isand66

Thanks Paul for picking up where I left off!  Couldn't have said it better myself.

Ian

proth5's picture
proth5

I saw a BBGA formula that used a bit of sourdough seed in a soaker of whole grains - a "fermented soaker" as it were.  I did not have the chance to taste the bread, but that is an interesting concept that is on my list of "things to try in the future".

Pat

isand66's picture
isand66

That sounds very interesting and would love if you can share the formula when you try it.

proth5's picture
proth5

gladly - but "future" can mean years for me as I have many demands on my time.  But my word is my bond.  Sometimes it takes time to get results, but that's how bonds are. :>)

isand66's picture
isand66

I hear you....I have a binder with recipes I have printed out to try along with an ever growing library of books....I may have to wait until I'm retired before catching up :)

proth5's picture
proth5

There are never enough hours...

Of course I have recently had to come to terms with the fact that some people find that slicing a loaf of bread is way too inconvenient and difficult and will pass by home baked bread and buy from the store rather than slice.  Takes all kinds to make a world.

plevee's picture
plevee

Could you give details before you try it?

I asked a question about combining the soaker & levain some time ago & was told it was a bad idea.

 

Patsy

proth5's picture
proth5

I don't think it's fair to give you the whole formula as membership in the BBGA would give you access and I don't want to anger The Board (again).

But here's the percents on the soaker: Cracked wheat - 100% - soaker water 75% - whole wheat seed - 10% (12hours)

Looks like a nice bread.

That's the trouble of becoming a little too reliant on postings here - you have no way of knowing how knowledgeable the opinions are.

Have fun and Happy Baking!

plevee's picture
plevee

But thank you. I can't afford $85 to get the recipe.

Actually, I ignored the advice about combining the levain and the soaker. When I make my multigrain I feed the starter twice then add a soaker of fresh coarsely ground rye plus ~10% wheat and barley and water and leave it overnight before adding the remaining flour and water. My mill produces a mix of meal and varied sized chops of the grains which need to be soaked.

It has been working well with none of the off flavours I was warned about.

Patsy

proth5's picture
proth5

is per the formula.  BBGA soakers are supposed to be "hydration neutral" so the water % may be somewhat on the low side. 

The membership fee is non-trivial, and I'd love to just give out formulas, but my fear of "The Board" is great because they do get updates on posts on this site (I have been contacted more than once based on what I post here). (Shameless plug coming.)  I will say, in the BBGA's defense (because I think they are a great organization) that you get a LOT more than formulas for your membership fee.  The education series and the ability to meet and mingle with like minded people is fantastic.  And they do outreach (such as the formula writing guidelines - available to all) to support the artisan baking community. I know that not everyone has $85 to spare, but for folks who do it is a great investment - and I do mean investment because you get serious returns.

Anyway, I'm glad you ignored the old advice.  It doesn't seem like you should get off flavors from fermenting grains briefly and I'm glad to hear you don't.

Happy Baking!

plevee's picture
plevee

I didn't so much ignore the advice from a respected TFL member as decide to try things for myself and reduce the washing up. I have had wonderful help from people on this site. Thanks to the members and discussions my breads are enormously improved and I am very grateful to everyone.

Thanks again.

Patsy

fafive's picture
fafive

Thank you all very much for the thorough answers !

 

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

I have managed to go from SD start to baking bread is 4 days.  It was Joe Ortiz's Pane de Champagne that we put some 4 day old sprouts in as well here :

Joe Ortiz Pain de Champagne with Rye and WW Sprouts

Joe Ortiz SD method uses whole wheat, some cumin, milk and water that can be ready to make bread in 3-4 days if all things go well.  I have never tried to make a sour using sprouts or soakers that wouldn't be responsible for making the bread rise.  I think they go hand in hand since research shows Labs also create half the CO2 in SD starters.   But I certainly will try to do so.  What a great idea!  I think soaking seeds for 2 days would possibly kill them off.  Sprouting after soaking them for 4 hour might make for better success in getting a SD process to take hold to get sour but I'm guessing the yeast will be coming with it no matter what you do.

Once the wheat has chitted (just starting to sprout), about 24-48 hours, you could grind them up and do  Joe Ortiz on them with cumin, milk and water and some WW and see what you get.

One thing to remember is that young starters are generally weak when it comes to producing sour and dough rising capability.  My 4 day process produced a bread with a slight tang and nothing to write home about from a sour point of view - even though ti rose the bread just fine.

I'll give it a shot too and see what happens.  I'm a sucker for starters :-) 

Happy Souring!

pepperhead212's picture
pepperhead212

was a recipe from Beard on Bread - Finnish Sour Rye - which was made by letting 1 cup each of rye flour and water. This sat for 4 days, not being fed, just stirred daily, and got so unbelievably sour (acidic) that the commercial yeast would not help it rise after added, along with the remaining flour and water. This was before I had even heard of a "starter", and before bread books had much about sourdough (usually started with yeast back then!). The only way this excessively sour bread could be eaten was with liverwurst (I was too cheap to toss it). Now that was 4 days, not 2 or 3 as you suggested (which may have made it more edible, as far as sour), but along those same lines, with no starter. I didn't try it again, as I figured I couldn't control the sour, which now I know is time and temp. Plus, a dependable starter.

Dave