The Fresh Loaf

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Tartine No3 uses less levain............why?

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Bread Head's picture
Bread Head

Tartine No3 uses less levain............why?

Trying to understand why chad, in his new book changed his levain amount to 150grams.  It was always 200grams of levain before.

What happens when you change the amount of levain in a recipe?

What changes?  What effect does it have on your final dough?

Thanks!

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Have not read the book, but from the title, apparently it's about all whole grain, or mostly so.

Whole grains apparently ferment faster. Following from that, all things being equal, less starter may be needed to promote fermenting at the desired rate.

BobSponge's picture
BobSponge

Not only does he call for less leaven, but the process for making it from starter has been reduced to "4 to 6 hours" from overnight in the previous book. Leaven from both books is 50/50 whole wheat to white flour. 

I'm still using the overnight process to make the leaven, but have adjusted to 15% of it in my recipes.  I have not noticed a difference after about 10 loaves using the lower percentage.  I do think they rise a bit faster, so mrfrost may be correct. 

 

Bread Head's picture
Bread Head

Wait.......your saying that when you use less levain your dough rises faster?  

How?........... I though the more levain that you use the faster the dough ferments?

This loaf that I am making now I used 260 grams of levain instead of his old amount of 200 grams.  The reason I used more because its cold in Pittsburgh and my kitchen is 68˚

BobSponge's picture
BobSponge

Theory is whole grains rise faster than white flour and may need less leaven.  In book #1, the Country Loaf was only 10% Whole Wheat.  In book #3 focus has shifted to whole grains.  For example the first bread in book #3, White-Wheat Blend is around 75% whole wheat (assuming your making the high-extraction flour from 50% whole wheat and 50% white flour).

Not certain this is the reason, just a hunch.

adri's picture
adri

From my experience I can say that the amount of levain and the times of bulk fermentation of the final dough (bulk + banneton) is too much for an active starter.

I think in his first book he addresses people that recently built their starter (he describes it just a view pages before).

He also writes "I call this a young leaven...", what he built overnight (8 to 10 hours including brushing your teeth, a shower and breakfast) with one tablespoon of sourdough starter (this could be 40g) on 200g of flour.
Just about one page before he wrote: "“Fresh” and “young” are expressed and understood here in two ways: 1. the sweet stage of ripeness having been fed the normal 20 percent inoculation (2 to 4 hours)"

"2 to 4" hours ain't enough for sleeping - hardly enough for breakfast if you have good self-made bread! ;)

Bread Head's picture
Bread Head

Hi Adri, I don't understand what your saying in your post.......

adri's picture
adri

What part don't you understand? Maybe it's because I'm not a native speaker. I'll try to clarify a bit:

First I said: With the times of proving and the amount of leaven --> The dough will be overproof if you start with an active starter.

Then I said: New starters are not likely to be very active and people starting with this book are likely not to have a very active starter yet.

Then I quoted parts of the book where he (Chad Robertson) in my opinion contradicts himself about what a young leaven is.

Adrian

Bread Head's picture
Bread Head

Ok, now I get what your saying.

I do agree about the contradicting part.

Thanks.

sightrenewed's picture
sightrenewed

Tartine Book No3 is all about adding more whole grains (from traditional whole wheat to others) into the bread for more flavor and nutrition. If you consider that a higher amount of whole grains into the dough means more nutrition, it equates to faster, more robust culture activity and growth. The yeast and bacteria simply have more and higher quality of food than a 90% white flour dough. 

This is why the leaven is used in a smaller % and also built on a shorter time table for the whole grain recipes. Otherwise the leaven will become depleted by the time 8-10hrs is over, and the dough will suffer in terms of fermentation and the level of excessive sourness in the final loaf. 

Ultimately, though, you'll have to figure it out by trial and error. Chad's recipes are a starting point - depending on your flour, culture, ambient temperatures in your region, flavor preferences, etc...you'll want/need to make variations to his process to get the result you want to achieve, in the timetable you want to achieve. Which is actually pretty liberating! 

Hope this was helpful!

Bread Head's picture
Bread Head

Thank you so much!  That was a great explanation!

smignogna's picture
smignogna

While whole grain bread ferments faster, I think the reason he uses less leaven also has to do with his higher fermentation temperatures. He says the wet doughs need to ferment between 80-85F instead of the 78-82F in the original book. With a higher temperature you would need less leaven to accomplish the bulk in the same 3-4 hours.

imaloafer's picture
imaloafer

Book three moves into flour types that require more hydration. In general terms, the higher the extraction % and also the higher the protein, the higher the hydration necessary. Autolyse time is increased, to accommodate this. I have been using a 2 hour autolyse thus far for many of these dough types.

As stated above, with more of the wheat kernel available, thus using high extraction flour (I am using 85% from Central Milling) provides more food for your leaven to feed upon. You may also note that the salt was increased as well, which inhibits yeast development as well, while making gluten more elastic, thus the extensibility of these dough types is so beautiful.

ml's picture
ml

Is your 2 hr autolyse with or without levain? If with, how does this effect the fermentation time?

imaloafer's picture
imaloafer

I do a 2 hour autolyse w/ leaven. Then 5 folds, 30 minutes apart and finish up with a bulk fermentation of 1-2 hours. I use my oven with a small sauce pan of simmered water, to improvise as proofer. This allows me to keep dough temperature at about 82 degrees, my goal.

I have made quite a few of the loaf w/ 500 g High Extraction, 250 g Bread, 250 g Whole Wheat, 70 g toasted Wheat Germ and 85% hydration, pushing towards 90%. The crumbs is a bit more dense, but working on that and flavors are great. 

 

ml's picture
ml

Do you consider this a 51/2-61/2 fermentation time, or do you start fermentation after the autolyse? Have you ever autolysed the flour only overnight?

If high extraction is like 50/50 ww & white, then this is about 50% whole wheat, right?

imaloafer's picture
imaloafer

I have not done the sifting method, as my whole wheat is fine ground. I buy a type 85 flour, which is 85% extraction. I think if you're mixing true Stone Ground or Whole Grain wheat flour with white, it would be higher than 50%, but I'm not really sure on that. Even many "Stone Ground" flours are not truly that, because to be called Stone Ground, they only have to have been done so on first sifting. After that, steel rollers can and are used by many operations, that still call it "Stone Ground".

I consider the autolyse as part of fermentation process, as leaven is included.