The Fresh Loaf

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Sourdough bread rising verrrrrrrry slowly - Leader's Pain Poilane

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Pizza Fool's picture
Pizza Fool

Sourdough bread rising verrrrrrrry slowly - Leader's Pain Poilane

Howdy!  I'm attempting Daniel Leader's Pain Poilane from "Local Breads."  I used my WW starter (fed 8 hrs previous - doubled and domed) to make his stiffer whole wheat levain (I used less water to compensate for my higher hydration starter).  I used the full amount of levain - 225g, kneaded in the Kitchenaid on 4 for 13 or so minutes (how do you do windowpane with such sticky dough?), put it into an oiled 2 qt plastic bin to ferment, took it out after an hour and kneaded it for a minute, then stuck it back in to double.  After 4.5 hours (2.5 at 67 degrees, 2 in microwave with a cup of warm water, reheated every 30 minutes), it's only 25% bigger.  At this point I won't be baking tonight, as even when it's finished doubling it needs a 2+ hour proofing plus an hour or so baking.  I need to be awake tomorrow.  

So my two questions are:

1) I figure I can retard the dough and bake tomorrow or even Tuesday.  But at what point should I stick it in the fridge?  Do I have to wait until it doubles to refrigerate?  Will it keep rising, slowly, the way that instant yeasted doughs continue rising in the cold?  And when I take it out, assuming it still hasn't doubled, should I let it finish doubling before putting it in the banneton?

2) I'm looking for something to blame here, and I can think of three possibilities: starter not active enough, kitchen too cold, or not enough gluten development so the starter can't rise the dough properly.  My starter was active enough to leaven a pain au levain last week, and it doubled nicely last night, so I'm guessing it's not that.  My kitchen isn't that cold, and anyway the microwave trick is barely working, so I can't imagine it's that either.  Which leaves the gluten development.  I tried flouring my fingers before doing windowpane test, but dough still stuck to me and I figured the dough was ripping because it was sticking, not because the gluten wasn't well developed.  Should I be flouring the test lump heavily before windowpaning?

Pizza Fool's picture
Pizza Fool

It rose a bit more in the time it took me to type my wordy post.  Still a problem.

Pizza Fool's picture
Pizza Fool

So it finished its bulk fermentation, doubling from 1 qt to 2 qts in 6 hours.  I put it in the fridge where it continued rising to 2.5 qts.  I'll shape this evening and bake tonight.  I know that with Reinhart's recipes from ABED when using straight sourdough he has you begin the bulk fermentation at room temp for a few hours and then complete it  in the refrigerator.  But I don't get at what point I should be refrigerating - halfway? Three-quarters leavened?  And is there a danger to the gluten structure if it rises too high?

MonkeyDaddy's picture
MonkeyDaddy

When I saw your post I wanted to get an idea of the hydration level of your recipe, since I don't yet have Leader's book (and hence, no recipe)  I found a post here at TFL http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/4548/leaders-pain-au-levain-complete-la-poilane   posted by dmsnyder in October of 2007, and the pics posted on that thread all look relatively the same.  They seem to come out as a flattened disc rather than a ball-shaped boule.  

Also, I noticed that when I try shaping really wet doughs they always seem to flatten out a bit, but the oven-spring can be quite remarkable, so maybe your bread might be viable as is.

To the techies:  I gave it a shot above, but it obviously didn't work the way I expected.  How do you insert hyperlinks to other threads within your posts??

MonkeyDaddy's picture
MonkeyDaddy

The URL turned into a hyperlink automatically when I submitted the post.  Didn't know it would do that.  So is that the most efficient way to insert a hyperlink?

Pizza Fool's picture
Pizza Fool

Bakers percentage is 75, which I guess is the hydration level. 

375 g water

100 g AP

400 g WW

225 g WW levain, which is pretty stiff

10 g salt

Heath's picture
Heath

You can put your dough straight in the fridge after kneading or leave it out a few hours - it's completely up to you.  Find out what works best for your schedule.  Sourdough will rise very slowly in the fridge, just like commerically-yeasted bread does (but more slowly).  If it's not doubled the next day, take it out of the fridge and allow to rise some more (although it'll take a good couple of hours to come to room temperature).

There is a danger the dough will collapse if you allow it to over-ferment.

Six hours for bulk fermentation of sourdough doesn't sound too long to me, especially if your kitchen is a little cold.  Sourdough takes much longer to rise than commercially-yeasted bread.  Next time put it in the fridge sooner so that it doubles overnight.

rottenfood's picture
rottenfood

Hey, PF. 'Just a word about an overnight retard. While the rise and dough development is really slow in the fridge - it *does* continue to develop. That means if you've fully developed the dough and refridgerate - it'll likely pass into over-fermentation and flatten out on baking. Get it right & the flavor rewards you handsomely. I'll typically knead only enough so I can't feel the salt crystals after autolyse, let it ferment (with or without moist heat) until at least 1.5x size, shape twice, put loaves in bannetons inside a plastic bag and refridgerate overnight. If you shape before refridgeration, you can bake about 1 hr at rm temp, instead of 2+ & then shaping.
Best of luck w/ the build. 'Sounds tasty.

Pizza Fool's picture
Pizza Fool

Sorry for the delay in responding.  My wife made latkes every night and I forgot all about bread.  Today was a snow day and as usual I underproofed my loaf.  Anyway, thanks for the advice.  I have to say I'm much happier with mixed leavened breads because of their predictability and ease of scheduling.  Although my Achilles heel continues to be proofing, I think with mixed leavened breads there's far less uncertainty.