The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

levain

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jdchurchill's picture
jdchurchill

ayo tfl-ers

dig my bread this week.  twas a good week:

is this photo too big?  i changed the dimensions to (800X535) what size do you guys make your pictures for this type of stuff?

and i know all you bread-nerds dig the crumb shots so here you go:

and even closer up:

omg its so nice and soft.  i am so pleased.  i think lately i have not been letting the final proof go long enough so this one went about 8hrs, but i probably could've gone even longer.   maybe this week i will try the same recipe, but do final proof for closer to 12 hrs.  anybody has an opinion about this?  ok guys thanks for looking and reading, take care.  -jdc

Mini Oven's picture

Sourdough starter from whole wheat & cumin

February 24, 2012 - 11:52pm -- Mini Oven

Sourdoughs starters methods vary.  Here is one from a Julia Child program featuring Joe Ortiz

Always good to know if you can't get a starter started, try a different method  (but please don't think you are capturing yeast from the "air," they come from the flour)

http://youtu.be/gEP3QW-V0sw

I haven't tried this myself but if you do, come back and comment,  Please!  

PiPs's picture
PiPs

It has rained and rained and after a week of soggy grey we finally have a glimmer of sunshine. And with all the rain and cooler temperatures I have really noticed how intertwined my bread making is with the weather. Every feeding and levain build is a unique decision – the balance between the temperature and feed ratios.

Wandering through the kitchen I throw a glance at the thermometer resting beside my rising levain and through the day I feel subtle change of temperature between rooms in the house. I notice this most among the quiet and peaceful times for me, scattered and far between though they are.

After arriving back home from my parents we had a house emptied of bread and I left it that way until the weekend. We have all been settling into the routines of a new year. Nat and I both back at work, plus we have had two new school milestones for the kids with one starting grade one and another starting her first year in high school.

With cool morning air and some time free on a drizzly Saturday I prepared my desem starter plus milled and soaked the fresh wheat flour. To me this is the simplest, purest form of bread - whole flour, water and salt. Later that day the dough was developed using stretch-and-folds over a three hour bulk-ferment before a quick final proof and bake. There is a fascination for me by using a longer bulk-ferment and developing the dough slowly and carefully - subtle changes over time – slowly becoming alive. It slots nicely into the rythem of a rainy day at home. Relaxing ...

After a long hiatus I finally baked some whole-wheat Fig and Anise loaves. Again these were raised with the desem starter with the chopped figs and aniseeds incorporated early in the bulk ferment.

These are a special treat for us and are consumed with utter joy - toasted, with a drizzle of honey, topped with ricotta cheese. We sit at breakfast with a slice or two and appreciate our morning amongst the din of school preparations and children slurping down breakfasts.

The sun is shining again ... all the best
Phil

PiPs's picture
PiPs

My stocks have been running low. Grains, flour, salt and even the bread in the freezer have all taken a beating over a busy Christmas period.

With suppliers back on board after holidays I was more than a little relieved when a new shipment of biodynamic wheat and spelt grains finally arraived.

Along with the grain, I was also in need of white flour. The idea of leaving a gentler footprint to me means that if I have to use processed white flour then it should be from a local and organic producer. So for this reason I have switched to organic plain white flour from the Kialla Pure Foods mill only 150 km away. (90 miles) Kialla’s plain flour with a protein level of 12.5% is stronger than the bakers flour I been currently using but has a slightly creamier colour and chewier mouth feel. For this weekends bake though, I wanted wholegrains and organic. I hadn’t planned on baking any rye until a friend suggested she would like to try a lighter rye sourdough. Nat and I have a strong appreciation for caraway seeds with rye so this was suggested as well.


Organic 40% Rye Sourdough with caraway

Formula

Overview

Weight

%

Total dough weight

1800g

 

Total flour

1071g

100%

Total water

769g

72%

Total salt

19g

1.8%

Prefermented flour

428g

40%

Desired dough temperature 26-27°C

 

 

 

 

 

Rye sour build – 12-14 hrs 22-24°C

 

 

Starter (not included in final dough)

21g

5%

Freshly milled rye flour

428g

100%

Water

428g

100%

 

 

 

Final dough

 

 

Rye sour

856g

133%

Organic plain flour

643g

100%

Water

341g

53%

Salt

19g

1.8% of total flour

Caraway seeds

19g

3%

Method

  1. Mix rye sour and leave overnight to ferment
  2. Next day disperse rye sour in remaining water and add flour.
  3. Knead for 5 mins (this is sticky and uncomfortable)
  4. Add salt and knead for a further 10 mins until dough starts to show signs of smoothness.
  5. Gently mix in caraway seeds until combined.
  6. Bulk ferment one hour
  7. Gently preshape. Bench rest 20 mins. Gently shape into batards.
  8. Final proof was one hour at room temperature (27°C).
  9. Load into oven with steam at 230°C for 10 mins then reduce temperature to 200°C and bake a further 30 mins. 

The rye sour had developed nicely and apart from the seemingly unending stickiness of kneading, the dough eventually bulk fermented into a smooth dough that shaped quite easily.

The final proof kept me only my toes as I was mowing the backyard and ducking inside every 15 minutes to check on it’s progress, as it has been quite hot and humid recently.

I am particularly fond of the crumb colour with the caraway seeds hidden amongst the rye bran. The flavour is a really nice balance of a subtle rye tang with a puff of caraway scent on some bites.

 

 

I also baked a pair of simple organic wholegrain sourdoughs - the first breads for our household this year. The levain contains a proportion of Kialla plain flour so approximately 90% of the flour is freshly milled wholegrains.

I tried a few new procedures with this bake. I milled the wheat grains in two passes. The first pass cracked the grains before passing them through the mill again at a finer setting. This didn’t produce much heat in the flour and I ended up with softer feeling flour than in the past.

The other change was the fold in the bulk ferment. I recently read a comment by proth5 on the timing of a stretch-and-fold in a two hour bulk ferment. (sorry Pat I can’t remember where you posted it) If the dough is already well developed before the bulk ferment, perhaps a stretch-and-fold could occur earlier in the bulk ferment allowing some larger gas pockets to develop in the 2nd half of the bulk ferment.


Organic Wholegrain Sourdough

Formula

Overview

Weight

%

Total dough weight

2000g

 

Total flour

1081g

100%

Total water

919g

85%

Total salt

21g

2%

Prefermented flour

270g

25%

 

 

 

Levain build – 4-5 hrs 26-27°C

 

 

Starter (60g not included in final dough)

100g

40%

Flour (I use a flour mix of 70% Organic plain flour, 18% fresh milled wheat, 9% fresh milled spelt and 3% fresh milled rye)

240g

100%

Water

120g

50%

 

 

 

Final dough

 

 

Levain

405g

50%

Freshly milled organic wheat flour

703g

86%

Freshly milled organic rye flour

108g

14%

Water

784g

96%

Salt

21g

2%

 

Method

  1. Mix levain and leave to ferment for 4-5 hours
  2. Mill flours and allow them to cool before mixing with cold water from fridge (hold back 50 grams of water) and autolyse four hours.
  3. Add levain to autolyse then knead (French fold) 5 mins. Return the dough to a bowl and add salt and remaining 50 grams of water and squeeze through bread to incorporate (dough will separate then come back together smoothly) then knead a further 10 mins.
  4. Bulk ferment two hours with one stretch-and-fold after 30 mins.
  5. Preshape. Bench rest 20 mins. Shape.
  6. Load into oven with steam at 230°C for 10 mins then reduce temperature to 200°C and bake a further 30 mins.

 

This has become familiar dough for me to mix. At 85% hydration doubts can creep into my thinking as the initial mix feels sticky and loose. Press on, add the salt and feel relief as the dough tightens up and releases cleanly from the bench.

The dough felt strong even after shifting the stretch-and-fold forward 30 mins so I left it untouched for the remaining time and was rewarded with light bubbly dough ready for preshaping. I am quite pleased with the proofing on both of the loaves and find I am becoming braver at judging their readiness for the oven. They sprang beautifully on a hot stone.

Some rye bran is visible scattered throughout the moist crumb which contains no hint of sour. The change in bulk ferment procedure has possibly led to a slightly more irregular crumb, but this will need to be experimented with and expanded.

 

Another busy day in the kitchen which was balanced by an equally busy day doing yard work.  The sun is finally shining here after a day of humid grey skys. We plan to make the most of it.

Cheers,
Phil 

 

Onceuponamac's picture
Onceuponamac

Sourdough Raisin Boule :)

 

meshugaforbread's picture

Help! Hamelman's Stiff Levain

December 23, 2011 - 3:44pm -- meshugaforbread

Hi Fresh Loaf Loyalist.

I'm very excited to be making my first post. I've been reading for the past year. I am new to the bread world and am currently attempting my first levain. I've made poolishe's, biga's etc... but never a levain and I'm having a lot of trouble.

I just finished the intial mix and its so dry. I know its bad to add extra water but I thought b/c i didn't weigh it perhaps there was too much flour from my rye as it could have been a heavier flour. This didn't help. Is it suppoed to be this dry?

PiPs's picture
PiPs

To be honest, I hadn’t a clue what I felt like baking this weekend. My mind wandered over many possibilities. In the end my inspiration for this bake came from Nat. Though she is an avid admirer of all things bread, when I put the question to her about this weekend's bake, the answer came swiftly …

Olive bread!

Of course…

…  how could I have forgotten Nat the Rat’s most favoured of all loaves.

The strange thing is, I can’t remember the last time I made an olive bread …

I do however, remember the last time I ate olive bread. While we were on holidays in New South Wales, we took a day trip to a small town called Bellingen. In this beautiful little hideaway I tasted my first EVER woodfired sourdough. It was an olive bread, baked by a small organic bakery called Hearthfire …. It was the  most amazing olive bread I have ever tasted. A crumb that melted in your mouth, flecks of herbs throughout and large chunks of olives. We almost finished half of it with a spicy pumpkin hummos whilst picnicking by a small creek. On my return to Brisbane I even called the owner of the bakery to thank them for the amazing bread …

I think that delicious experience has scared me off making my own olive bread … until now.

When it came time to start prepping and sourcing ingredients to compliment the kalamata olives in my own bread, I needed to look no further than our front porch to find inspiration. Growing in small pots we have sage, rosemary, basil and thyme. Only a few hours later the dehydrator filled the kitchen with the aromas of drying herbs. Some lemon zest, (courtesy of the Tartine olive bread formula) and I had everything I needed.

Olive and Herb Levain

Formula

Overview

Weight

%

Total dough weight

1600g

 

Total flour

958g

100%

Total water

648g

67%

Total salt

12g

1.5%

Prefermented flour

163g

17%

Desired dough temperature 26°C

 

 

 

 

 

Levain build – 5 hrs 26°C

 

 

Starter (not included in final dough)

81g

50%

Flour (I used 70% AP flour, 18% Sifted fresh milled wheat, 9% sifted fresh milled spelt and 3% sifted fresh milled rye)

163g

100%

Water

81g

50%

Salt

1g

1%

 

 

 

Final dough 26°C

 

 

Levain

244g

30%

AP Flour

556g

70%

Freshly milled whole wheat flour

200g

25%

Freshly milled rye flour

40g

5%

Water

567g

71%

Salt

11g

1.4%

Kalamata olives halved

287g

36%

Finely chopped dried herbs

1tsp

 

Zest on 1 lemon

 

 

 

Method

   1. Autolyse flour and water 45 mins

   2. Add levain and knead 5-10 mins. Add salt and knead a further 5-10 mins. Gently mix in olives, herbs and lemon zest.

   3. Bulk ferment 2.5 hours with two stretch and folds at 30 mins in the first hour.

   4. Preshape and bench rest for 20 mins

   5. Shape and proof for 2.5 hours

   6. Bake in steamed oven for 10 mins at 250°C then 30 mins at 200°C

As you can imagine our kitchen smells heavenly this afternoon.

The crusts chorused loudly when they were removed from the oven while I fought the growing temptation to pick at protruding olives.

The crumb is soft and anything but chewy with olives nestled and peering out of every slice.

For me it won’t surpass the olive bread from our holidays but I am pretty sure I have made Nat’s weekend.

All the best,

Phil

JonnyP's picture

Mixer help needed for Polish Country rye

November 18, 2011 - 3:05pm -- JonnyP

Background:  I have made over 100 loaves, mostly using the sourdough "no-knead" meathod.  Now I have a 300W Kitchen Aid mixer on loan.  I have tried the following recipe several times:  http://www.lkphd.com/baking/2010/7/8/polish-country-rye-bread.html

My problem: gluten never seems to develop to anything even remotely like a "windowpane."  Worse still, after just 2 minutes in the mixer, the dough starts to break down, and become progressively more soupy

 

 

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