The Fresh Loaf

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second batch

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yamum360's picture
yamum360

second batch

so I've just baked by second batch, took some pictures and I'm hoping for some feedback.

the method i used involved a refrigerated starter, I removed it from the fridge, added half of my mother starter (as it was time for a feeding anyway) mixed it and left for a few hours to reach room temperature, scooped out 200g, and added 100g of feed and 100g of water, then left it to double, this i divided evenly into two bowls, in one bowl i threw 8 cups of wholemeal, the other, 8 cups of rye and hefty amount of seeds (flax, poppy, chia), to each I added a tablespoon of salt, then added water until I got a dough I was happy with, kneaded for 10/15 minutes, then divided each in half and shaped into loaves. I let these proof overnight, covered with a wet cloth (about 12 hours). First thing this morning I preheated my oven to 200C and baked one of the wholemeal, one of the rye (on a pizza stone) and didn't get nearly as much oven spring as I expected, in fact I barely got any. will post more pictures of these once they've cooled enough to cut into.

so I knocked back the other two, gave them a quick knead, reshaped and currently have them rising again, uncovered. is there something I should be doing differently? I'm quite an experienced baker with commercial bakers yeast, but am still very new to sourdough, I thought that maybe I should just go back to baking with white and work from there, but I'd rather not.

yamum360's picture
yamum360

The wholemeal loaf, tastes right, but doesn't look it

Ford's picture
Ford

Twelve hours is a long time to proof sourdough at room temperature.  I proof mine about 2 hours at room temperature..  The acid promotes the hydrolysis of the gluten and after 12 hours there is probably not enough gluten left to hold the gas.

Just looking at your picture of the crumb, the thought occurred to me that you under baked the loaf as well. The interior temperature should be  190° to 200°F (88° to 93° C).

Ford

yamum360's picture
yamum360

I thought it might also be the salt, I've tried another batch which I used a preferment for (about 12 hours fermentation) then I made the dough, the preferment makes up around 1/4-1/3 of the bulk of my dough, which I've let rest overnight (I should note that it's winter here, and room temperature overnight is about 10-13C, is overnight still too long a proof at this temp?) first thing this morning I added salt and kneaded it through and shaped my loaves, which are currently proofing at room temperature; about 20C. I know a second proof isn't really needed for sourdough but using the delayed salt method I see no other option, do you do a second proof? if so how long are your first and second proofs?

Davo's picture
Davo

A couple of observations.

Most people who delay salt will delay it (after mixing bread dough) for around 20 mins or so - not hours. So, take your starter/levain/whateveryou call it, mix up your bread dough with your 8 cups and as much water as feels right (many here will freak at this lack of weight measurement for hydration, but I'm fine with it!), let it sit for 20 mins maybe 30 mins, then add your salt and re-knead/mix. the thing is if you leave it for some hours and it starts getting puffy, and THEN you knead salt through it, you are knocking that air out of it. It won't have the oomph of commercial yeast, so you shouldn't do this as flattening that air out of it is just saying goodbye to some of the rise  (sorry but knocking back the other two loaves that you already made, after a long rise, didn't sound ideal to me, either).

12 hours is a long time, but maybe not too long if it's down to 10 or so deg C. But here's another thing, you knead and then leave (proof). Most mix, autolyse 20 mins with no salt, add salt and re-knead /mix it through, and then do a few stretch-and-folds at intervals through the first few hours (bulk ferment), then shape the loaves and then place in bowls/banettons to prove. Typical would be about 3 hrs bulk and then 5 hours proof. The stretch and folds usually help with gluten development and give a better loaf. If you have a cool room (likie laundry that really will be around 10-12 deg), then I reckon if you could shape the loaves latish at night and leave them retty cool but not 4 deg c fridge, they may well be good to bake in the morning. But whatever you do, do the poke test before you bake. And don't knock down and re-proof - SD is more like a souffle than a yeasted bread dough - it'll be reluctant to rise twice (well much, anyway)!

I think starting with white (or mostly white - how about try a 10 or 15% rye) is a good idea, until you get the feel for what is happening - gluten development/springiness will be easier to feel.

A lot of people seem to think sourdough is infinitely forgiving. (Like it's some magical herbal process where the bread fairies will make it come out just right no matter what you do time/temp wise). Now while thigs do happen slowly, so it is forgiving, and you can trade temp versus time to manage the process, it's not a matter of putting it in a bowl or basket until it suits you to bake it and it will be just right. There will be an optimum time to bake (which wil vary from starter to starter, kitchen to kitchen/roome tmep to room temp etc). Whatever that total time after mixing the bread dough is, half that time will be way underproved, and double that time will be a sloppy mess. The first will give you a quite vertical brick and the second a flat brick.

Your task is to figure out where that optimal point is.

Another thing, I reckon two feeds over 24 hours out of the fridge is better than one - it just makes the starter a bit more reliably active so you know how it's going to behave...

On hydration, personally I do measure but adjust to fine-tune. I knead by slap and fold (french fold). If the hydration is too low, the dough will bind up and not be able to be slap-and-folded. Anything below about 65% won't slap-fold successfully over a number of folds.

Are you in southern Australia (Winter, 10 deg C in a room overnight)?

yamum360's picture
yamum360

Wow, that answers so many of my questions, thanks so much! I'm not in southern Australia, I'm in the central east coast, but my apartment is built into a hill and the kitchen is for all intents and purposes underground.

One question, I know what a stretch and fold is, but how do I slap and fold?

Davo's picture
Davo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvdtUR-XTG0

Personally, I knead by doing a smallish number of these - say around 10-15, then rest for 10 mins, then do another few slap/folds, (like 5 or so), then 10 mins rest, then another 5. This would take you to around 50-60 mins after initial mix (including the 20 mins autolyse period). In the 10 min rest period, you can chase kids into bed, or whatever. If you forget the dough for a bit, it doesn't really matter much. The rest allows gluten development to continue almost magically. With a 10-15% rye mix, the dough starts out a bit sticky, and you have to scrape some off your hands. But after the second rest period, it's much cleaner/springier. Also, I do the slap/folds on a wetted bench with wetted hands, and rest the dough in a slightly (olive) oiled, covered bowl, to stop it drying out. After that 50 or so mins, I move to stretch and folds at longer intervals (30 or so mins), and use a lightly floured bench.

I scale and shape at around 3 hours from mixing (give or take - less time when warm and maybe more if the kitchen is cold), and when it has risen maybe 30-50%. A lot of people like it to double before shaping, but for me that is too far fermented, and loaves I shape at that point usually end up overproved. I like there to be little bubbles just visible when I cut dough into 4 loaves, not puffy with big holes and large bubbles showing under the skin.

There is no exact right or wrong with how you do this stuff, it's just the way I do it...

Davo's picture
Davo

I don't know why the top youtube link came up - and when I go to edit it out, it's not in the message! Oh well...

yamum360's picture
yamum360

one thing with this batch though, I didn't use any preferment, just my starter at the peak of it's rise, I mixed my 800g of flour with 70% hydration, autolysed 30min then added my salt (1%), and about 200g starter, combined and added a little flour until the consistency was right, then slap and folded vigorously for 10 minutes or so (I still can't believe how well the dough came together using this method, amazing!) adding my starter after autolysing shouldn't be a problem as I hadn't kneaded or 'french kneaded' it yet, right?

i guess i'll find out soon enough anyway :)

yamum360's picture
yamum360

that's certainly an interesting alternative to kneading, almost seems like magic, the french really know their food don't they? I've got another batch on the go at the moment, just did my first stretch and fold, will post the results when I'm done but it's looking good, the dough is certainly more pliable than my last few batches :)

Davo's picture
Davo

Couple things - I see you do a "true" autolyse with no starter in it. Some do this, I've nver bothered - my "autolyse" is full ingredients (incl starter/levain/preferment) but w/out salt. I have often not even bothered to leave out the salt, as I'm not absolutely convenced there's much difference, but lately I have been delaying salt.

I don't bother 10 mins of slap and fold, just a few and rest 10 mins, then a few more and rest - try that - it's almost like someone has sneakily been kneading it while you weren't watching in that 10 min rest period, and easier...

If your salt is 1% of total weight it might be OK, but if it's 1% of flour, I reckon it will be a bit bland. Any time i've been that under on salt (usually 2% of flour for me), I think it's inordinately dull bread.

You say you used starter not pre-ferment. I reckon it's all the same thing! It's just culture of a certain size. FWIW I call it starter as it comes out of the fridge and when I refresh it a couple of times. I expand it up pretty large (1kg for 3.7 kg of final dough), and I call t hat kilo "levain". Some still call it "starter" and some call it "pre-ferment". The bugs don't know what people are calling them, they just eat.

 

(I do find the perm"pre-ferment" a bit strange, though - whats the stuff doing in the "pre-ferment" if it's not fermenting!)

yamum360's picture
yamum360

everything's still looking good, i'm about ready to shape, but with my last batch (not the ones pictured, but the third) the outside of the loaf dried out quite a bit during proofing, how do you avoid this? i normally proof on a sheet of baking paper on the bench, with the whole loaf dusted with a decent amount of flour, but with long proofing times i can't imagine this would be too helpful...

Davo's picture
Davo

Personally I use banettons, but if I didn't have them I'd do this: put a tea towel or other tight cloth in a bowl, dust it liberally with a mix of say half rice flour and half rye, then stick the loaf in seam side up. At baking, invert onto a peel or any substitute - onto baking paper makes this easier, the slide off peel onto stone (assuming u bake on stone). To stop it drying out, put the bowl during proofing in a plastic bag, and tie loosely.

yamum360's picture
yamum360

i had to leave the house just after my last post so left them on baking paper under freezer bags, they've been proofing 3 hours and haven't risen much, but have flattened out a fair bit, should i transfer them to bowls now (gently of course) or just leave them? also i use shower caps for covering bowls as i don't have plastic bags in the house and am hesitant to use glad wrap

Davo's picture
Davo

If they're pretty puffy, and getting a bit loose I'd just leave. But if they still feel resilient maybe give it a go. That's the problem with proofing on a flat surface - if the dough is not really stiff (and stiff dough would give ordinary bread) you "rise" will end up being "spread". Less so for a skinny baguette, but even these are generally supported on their sides while proving... Shower caps would be fine !

yamum360's picture
yamum360

so I've finally finished with these next two loaves (batch #4) and they've turned out great! still not getting as much oven spring as I would like but this time I've turned out two edible loaves (I think, haven't cut into them yet but I'm quite sure) I can't tell you how much help you've been Davo, I'm sure that without you I would've made many more failures before turning these out.

the floured one is wholemeal (i did the thing with the bowl and teatowel you described) the other is 50/50 white and rye, can't wait to have some for breakfast tomorrow!

Davo's picture
Davo

Cool...