The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

No Work Sourdough

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varda's picture
varda

No Work Sourdough

The other day I was baking a lot of bread, and had excess white starter on my hands.   I knew that I had (or would have) too much bread on hand to make more, but what about later in the week?   Maybe I would run out and wouldn't have time to bake.    So I took my excess starter, added flour, water and salt, mixed it up, put it in a lidded tub and stuck it in the refrigerator.   Two days later, sure enough the bread had run out.   So I removed the tub from the refrigerator.   The dough was totally aerated, but did not have a sour odor.   I took that as a good sign.   I scraped out the dough, cut it and shaped it.    Talk about enzymatic autolyse - oh forget the autolyse part.   The dough was extremely sticky and would not unstick.   I figured less handling would be better than more, so I just got it shaped without trying for much form, and floured it very well, so it wouldn't stick to the couche,  Then let it proof while I preheated the oven and stone.  Then in it went.    The resulting bread was certainly not the best I've ever made, but really not bad.    And no surprise here, very tartly sour.   I don't generally strive for sour bread, but this was a nice change of pace. 

Here's the insides:

From these pictures you can spot two issues:   separation in the crumb.   I'm not sure what that's from.   And a somewhat pale crust undoubtedly due to the long refrigeration.   However, despite the paleness, the crust was quite crisp and good. 

Since I just threw this together, computing in my head at the counter, I'm not 100% sure what this is.   Here is my best guess:   100% KAAP, 67% hydration, 20% prefermented flour, 2.5% salt.   I was going for 2% salt, but as I recall, accidentally put in more, and then thought, that was just fine given that I didn't know when this was coming out of the refrigerator.  

For a bread that took less than 15 minutes of work altogether, I will declare this a success.

Comments

Mebake's picture
Mebake

I'll declare it success too, Varda! Nice, bread at will :)

Fyi, i had a similar crumb separation with 2 day refrigerated yeasted bread. Anyone? I guess that crumbliness in bread indicates excessive acid in dough.

Khalid

varda's picture
varda

Hi Khalid,   I am pretty amazed by how well this turned out relative to work put in.   Tastewise it is up there with just about any white sourdough I've made previously.   If the issue for the crumb cracking is acid, that seems pretty intrinsic to this procedure.   And I'm not sure I understand the washed out crust either.   I have heard that this is caused by the sugars in the flour over-metabolized by the yeast, but is that really true?   And that is generally associated with over-proofed bread.   This was not overproofed - fine oven spring - open crumb indicate not.   So do you think these problems could be corrected using a variation on this very stripped down approach?  

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Varda,

You are baking a lot of bread just now.   It's fine to accept this for what it is, and declare it a success.

However, I agree, you have indeed made much better bread [that is a compliment].   You have noted the proteolytic activity; the lack of colour in the crust is because the dough is bordering on spent [ie. all the sugars have been used up by the yeast].   Still, high acidity plus high salt has probably saved the day for your bread.

All good wishes

Andy

varda's picture
varda

Hi Andy,  My question to Khalid  crossed your post.   I would just write this off except for two things - one, it has a nice sour flavor and pleasant texture - quite different from the more complex flavors I'm usually going for - in other words a sort of crowd-pleasing white sourdough bread.   And two it was really, really easy.   So I can't help thinking that with a nip here and a tuck there, I might have something.   I was just going over a post by Josh (golgi70) who makes a white sourdough with a 36 hour cold bulk ferment followed by a twelve hour retarded proof.   From this he gets a very sour flavor.   Total time in cold state was the same as mine - 48 hours, although he had additional steps, whereas mine went straight from refrigerator to oven with only a brief stop for shaping and proofing.   Anyhow, just thinking in dough.  -Varda

ananda's picture
ananda

That's alright if you like sour white bread Varda.   I don't!

I know a professional baker who uses a 72 hour process to make Pain Normande [he is from Normandy, France originally].   Beautiful bread; not sour!

All good wishes

Andy

varda's picture
varda

you don't pour vinegar in, like they do for supermarket sourdough bread around here, I like the occasional sour white loaf.   But really, would love to know more about that Pain Normande!   Thanks Andy.  -Varda

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Varda,

M. Dumouchel makes a white dough at 72% hydration with just a smidgen of fresh yeast, and 2% salt.   After a short bulk proof at ambient he retards in the fridge for 72 hours before processing.

This is his website:http://www.dumouchel.co.uk/

By the looks of it he is no longer making this bread.   However, his work is superb!

He works near Leeds in West Yorkshire, where I was based before I got married asnd moved further north.

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Hi Varda,

Having fun in the kitchen I see :- ).  If you do this again you might toss in a bit of diastatic malt to help with the crust color.  I have read that helps in one of PR's books....I think.  But it can't hurt if you have any on hand.  I like the color of the crust.  Looks nice a 'warm' like a cibatta crust.

Only thought on separation in the crumb is that you somehow got some 'new' flour on the dough as you were handling it but that isn't mentioned above so I guess it is a mystery that someday you might figure out.

As Karin always says - taste rules and this sounds like it was a loaf that you did enjoy so that makes it a success in my book!

Take Care,

Janet

varda's picture
varda

I think you've got it Janet.   Great idea to try the diastatic malt.   And now that I think about it, this dough was so sticky it undoubtedly picked up a fair amount of flour on the counter while shaping.  Thanks so much.   I can feel round 2 coming on.  -Varda

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

:- )

I learned it all here.  I remember when I first became a member a couple of years ago and someone had the same separation in a loaf and the culprit was flour.  I was amazed that anyone could figure that out from just a photo....I have remembered that tidbit ever since....Many others have slipped my mind but that one stuck for some reason and now I pass it on to you for the next questioner...

Janet

isand66's picture
isand66

That's not a bad looking no fuss bread.  I've made many breads using a similar approach but I do some S&F  for about 2 hours before I put it in the fridge.  It's a few extra steps but does seem to help in my opinion.  I don't normally have any issues with tale crusts using this technique.

Regards

Ian

varda's picture
varda

Ian, Do you refrigerate for a couple days after doing your counter bulk ferment?   Just curious.  Thanks for commenting.  -Varda

isand66's picture
isand66

Lately I bake them the next afternoon, but I have refrigerated up to 3 days in the past without any issues.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

bread over non sour every time - as a personal preference.   When i am doing a long retard I like to have some white diastalic malt in the mix for fear the yeast will run out of food and the enzymes in white malt will make more food available.  I red somewhere that a tsp of diastatic malt is like a 1.4 C of sugar but don't know it that is true or not.  Normally yeast and edible sugars for them are fairly balanced but for long periods a little extra help makes the bread brown better,  Also some non diastatic, red malt helps with the browning too - and the taste of white breads which are on the bland side for our palate.

If they taste good - success was achieved.   That crumb separation is a little weird though - do these boules glow in the dark? :-)

Happy Baking Varda 

varda's picture
varda

Yes, I will try the diastatic malt, as both you and Janet suggested.  (Two great minds...)   I think Janet is probably right about the crumb separation too - too much flour got into the middle during shaping.   More careful next time.   I did enjoy these loaves (they are gone already - my husband and son enjoyed them too.)    And found it interesting that the dough developed just fine with no mixing whatsoever - just time in the refrigerator.   I suppose Mr. No Knead would say duh.   Thanks for commenting.  -Varda