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levain

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RuthieG's picture
RuthieG

Last night I made a starter for cuban bread to bake today as well as the liquid yeast levain for Japanese Sandwich bread. 


 


I expected to see the cuban bread starter way up the sides of the container this morning as it contained 3/4 tsp of regular yeast.  I also expected a good result from the liquid fruit yeast after sitting all night on the counter even though our home is very cool..... 


 


The result was that the liquid fruit starter far out preformed the regular yeast.  It was a beautiful sight to see......I think my liquid yeast must be a very good batch.  I wish I had taken a picture of it so you could see but perhaps I will make another batch just for picture taking.


 


Here is a picture of my refrigerated liquid fruit yeast.  It doesn't appear clear in the picture but it is a pinkish clear liquid and is made up of dried raisins, dried cranberries, grapes and apple skins and cores.  It is very active and I store it in a very cold spot in my fridge.  I am anxious to see how today's bread turns out.  The yeasted Cuban loafs are far ahead of the two at the moment.  I have already proofed them and made baguettes after the first rise.




 


Here is a shot of my Cuban bread.....It will soon be time to go into the oven.  I made it to my own shape....Not as thick and Batardish as Miami bread and not as slender and elongated as Tampa bread. Since this picture was taken, I have inserted a piece of water soaked white cotton cord across the top of each one......


 


 


 



The finished bread......out of the oven at internal temp of 200 degrees. 



 


 

alexandrut03's picture

Starter - feed

April 26, 2011 - 12:14pm -- alexandrut03

Hello again!


My starters are just great! Ok, but there's a little problem.... I feed 'em twice daily... and there's a lot of waste .. .A LOT! ) aprox. 600 grams of flour, just for my feedings). If I switch the feeding routine on 24h, will I lose quality?


Thanks! (again, as always, excuse my English)

Onceuponamac's picture
Onceuponamac

Still would like to get better oven spring - but happy with these nonetheless.

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

WARNING - This post contains some disturbing bread images!


 


First of all - I trust my liquid rye starter. He hasn't got a name yet, but I trust him.


 


Last Sunday we were having some friends over, some with wheat intolerance, and I decided to make the 100% russian rye (from Bread Matters), that always works, I thought.


And I had made a few nice batches of Hamelman's levain with wholewheat, and somehow the Polish Rye we made on the baking course I recently visited felt not so far from that, and I could make it with my rye starter.


Great.


I took the starter out of the fridge the day before where it had been for some weeks, taste and smell OK, and made my pre-ferments.


 


The stiff pre-ferment for the levain was coming along a bit sluggishly, but the liquid one for the russian rye had some bubbles soon (although not enough bubbles, in retrospect).


I expected to make some levain loaves like these from an earlier batch:


good levain


Good oven spring, nice open crumb, delicious ...


 


Well, now come the images... You have been warned, I am not responsible for your bad dreams.


 


 


 


They all tasted delicious.


But ...


bad levain


This is the levain. The top loaf proved for 3.5 hours at 26C. Seriously underproofed.


I didn't trust my finger test!


I will use this one for experiments with old bread.


The bottom loaf prooved for 9 hours. Great taste, crumb not ideal.


With the Russian Rye I expected no problems, but it rose very slowly.


Well,


The photo speaks for itself ...


After 11 hours the dough had risen to a level I expected (usually it takes half that time) and I baked it.


bad russian rye


 


My starter was simply starved, and I didn't pay attention to the warning signs.


As I said, I trust my starter, still.


Currently he is being pampered with some fresh flour ...


 


Happy baking,


Juergen


 

Franko's picture
Franko


The loaf in the photo above is from a formula of my own that I've been playing around with for weeks now, trying to get a result I could live with. Finally after several previous unsatisfactory bakes, this latest attempt produced something close to the loaf I've been trying for from the beginning. The bread is a Country Style Rye with a mixed grain soaker and a levain, so nothing that hasn't been done before in many ways over many years by other bakers. Last week I made the dough and baked it in the Dutch Oven, and although it tasted fine I wasn't thrilled with the appearance. Photo below of last weeks effort.



The scoring was poor and it spread too much from what I believe was a combination of too long a final rise and too much initial steam generated from baking in the DO. That's my best analysis at any rate. The other problem was the formulation itself, which needed multiple tweaks to bump up the overall flavour, as well as the percentage of levain, which I'd originally had far too low . With the help of a spreadsheet I'd managed to put together a few weeks prior, adjusting the formulation was a quick and easy process compared to doing it the old way. More about the spreadsheet further down.


This latest bake went fairly well compared to the last, getting a good even jump in the oven, with the slashing opening up nicely minus any unsightly splitting or tearing. The colour is a bit darker than I'd prefer but with the high hydration of this loaf I thought it best to bake it as boldly as possible. The crumb is moist, dense, and flavourful, having what I'd call a medium sour tang to it. It's certainly a work in progress but it's getting there somewhat.



 



Making a bread formulation spreadsheet was something I'd promised myself to take a stab at sometime this year, having seen what a useful calculator they can be for adjusting formulae or quantities quickly and accurately, from using a few that my friend breadsong,http://www.thefreshloaf.com/user/breadsong had sent me late last year to try out. Being a complete newbie to this sort thing, it was a bit of a tough go in the beginning, but fortunately I had lots of expert guidance from breadsong while I plodded my way up the learning curve of making this spreadsheet . I can't thank her enough for all the tips and guidance she shared so generously with me throughout this project. This is just a very simple spreadsheet that calculates a desired final dough weight based on percentages. It's been formatted to look as close to a typical recipe layout as possible so that people who are unfamiliar with using a spreadsheet will hopefully find it easy to use. For anyone wanting something with a lot more functions and input, this one of mine will disappoint, but here's a link to Dolph's sheet that looks like it will do just about anything you could want.


http://www.starreveld.com/Baking/index.html .


Another one you might try is from joshuacronemeyer's recent post of his nifty Dough Hydration Calculator.


 http://joshuacronemeyer.github.com/Flour-and-Water/


For those who'd like to try out this one of mine, the sheet for the formula as well as the procedure are available through links at the bottom of this post. Please note that the spreadsheet file is only available by downloading it from the links provided. No email requests please. The links will take you to a Google Docs page that shows the spreadsheet with the recipe. You can use the recipe as is from the G Docs page or you can download your own copy of the file in either Excel or Open Office by clicking on 'File' , 'Download as', then select a file format (for most people it will be Excel) and it will download a functioning copy of the spreadsheet . Now it can be used by inputting your own desired dough weight in the yellow shaded cell, or change any of the numbers in the green shaded cells of the percentage column to suit your preference. The format can be saved as a template and used for other formulas as well.


Best Wishes,


Franko


Below are links to the sheet and the procedure


https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AjicIp92YPCTdHRDZTJmTm4zamxPM3JZWmJYVUZ0WVE&hl=en&authkey=CMDqqDM


 


https://docs.google.com/document/d/1SlOG7r_cdHlHEn0YwB0GgwhaCGSIgpjyPqpiDmu56Eo/edit?hl=en&authkey=CL2S_bEO#


 


 


 


 


 

Syd's picture
Syd

 


Levain


30g starter @ 100% hydration


60g whole wheat flour


60g water


Allow to ripen 8 - 12 hours.


 


Final Dough


150g levain


275g water


450g bread flour


80g dried longan


8g salt


 


Mix together levain, water and flour.  Autolyse 50 mins.  Knead in salt.  Finally knead in chopped dried longan.  Bulk ferment for about two and a half hours with folds at 50 and 100 mins respectively.  This turned out to be a strong dough and probably didn't need the second fold.  Divide in two. Preshape.  Rest 20 mins.  Shape into batards.  Final proof, two and a half to three hours.  Slash.  Bake with steam for 20 mins at 230C and without steam at 200C (convection) for another 20 mins.




Dried longans are expensive and I stinted on them.  I should have chopped them up finer, too.  As it was, not every slice had fruit in it or, at least not enough.  I love the taste of dried longan and more is better.  As a result the slices with not enough fruit were bland and now I am already planning the next attempt.  Next time, apart from adding more fruit, I will add some longan syrup to see if that will enhance the flavor even more.


 


Boule


 


150g ripe starter @ 100% hydration


300g water


80g sifted whole wheat


20g rye


350g bread flour


3g diastatic malt


Mix together and autolyse for 50 mins.  Now add:


10g salt


Knead until moderate gluten development. Bulk ferment two and a half hours with folds at 50 and 100 mins respectively.  Pre-shape. Rest 20 mins.  Shape into tight boule.  Allow to proof until three quarters risen.  Retard overnight.  Remove from fridge and allow to complete proof: one to two hours.  Bake on stone @ 230C with steam for 20 mins and @ 200C (convection) without steam for a further 30. Switch off oven, crack oven door open and allow to dry out for a further 5 mins.


 



 



No crumb shot for the boule, yet but will update with one tomorrow.  This is just my standard everyday bread, so I know how this one is going to taste.


Syd


Feb 22:  Crumb shot.



 

Scott Grocer's picture

Help adapt formula for use with levain

February 3, 2011 - 1:38pm -- Scott Grocer

I've got a formula for a nice American style pizza dough that rises in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours, but I was thinking about swapping the instant dry yeast and long ferment for a levain so I could do silly stuff like make same day sub rolls or maybe even soft dinner rolls. Mostly I just wanted something to experiment with.


The problem is that I just can't seem to grasp how to adapt the formula. I was thinking about plugging say, 20% Biga (100% flour, 60% water, 0.2% yeast) into the following formula in place of the IDY:

arlo's picture
arlo

Before I went and watched my boss's dogs and house while he was away on vacation, I managed to bake a few loaves of bread that I did not get a chance to blog about.


The first loaf was a 100% whole wheat mash bread from Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads.


Reinhart 100% Whole Wheat Mash loaf


I was rather curious about this loaf after having made a few rye breads using Hamelman's hot rye soaker technique. What I remembered from those loaves is the mash imparted a slightly sweet taste to the final loaf as if there was a touch of sugar or honey. Bwraith blogged about this bread as well seen here; Whole Wheat Mash Bread. There is no need for me to rewrite the recipe since it is available on Bwraith's blog, which he kindly supplied in his post.


I only made two changes to the loaf. I used a whole wheat starter in place of the biga, as Reinhart provides as an alternative leavening agent. Also I left out the suggested sweetener in the recipe for two reasons; I felt many of Reinhart's recipes from WGB to be far too sweet to begin with, and second because I wanted to see the potential of the mash. To my surprise I found the end loaf to have a full 'whole grain' taste which I desired, a slightly sour taste, but only a slightly sweet taste too. I half-expected the wheat mash to match the rye mashes I have dealt with before, but to my surprise it couldn't compare. Though this loaf was still very tasty. I imagine the sweetness I was looking for has to do with the more ferment-able sugars found in rye.


 


Reinhart 100% Whole Wheat Mash


 


The next loaf of bread I baked was from The Culinary Institute of America's Baking and Pastry book.


 


CIA Whole Wheat Levain Loaf


It was a simple whole wheat sourdough. The end product though after an over night retardation provided a very, very tasty loaf in my opinion that certainly surpassed what I was expecting. The formula and procedure follows;


Whole Wheat levain


Ingredients                         Bakers %              Weight


Bread Flour (Sir galahad)     50%                     5.4 oz


Whole Wheat Flour              50%                     5.4 oz


Water (DDT 76)                  75%                     8.1 fl oz


100% Starter *                   40%                    4.32 oz


Salt (Grey Sea Salt)            2.7%                   .3 oz


 


*Starter used was a 50/50 of Sir Galahad and Fresh Milled 100% Whole wheat flour. As with the whole wheat flour used in the loaf, it too was fresh milled.


 


Method


1.  Combine the flours, water, sourdough and mix on low speed for about 4 minutes. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes. Add the salt and mix 1 minute on low and then 2 minutes on medium. Aim for a improved stage of gluten development. The dough should be slightly soft but elastic.


2.  Bulk ferment the dough until nearly doubled in volume, about 1 hour. Though it took me about 3 hours in a cold apartment. Fold gently and ferment for another hour. Fold again. Ferment for another 20 minutes.


3.  Preshape the dough into a round and let rest for 15 - 20 minutes.


4.  Gently shape the loaf into a batard or round when sufficiently relaxed.


5.  Place in a banneton lightly floured and covered with plastic overnight in the fridge to have a slow final rise.


6.  When the dough has risen, or the next morning, preheat your oven with your dutch oven or cc, or latest crazy steaming method to 470F.


7. When preheated, remove bread from retarder, load into your oven, score and cook covered (or steamed) for twenty minutes. After twenty minutes remove steaming apparatus, bake in a dry oven for 17 minutes, or until loaf registers 200F, sounds hollow when thumped or looks nice and done to you!


8. Cool completely, slice and enjoy.


 


CIA wholewheat crumbs


 


CIA wholewheat crumb


Two different loaves, but both very tasty.

RonRay's picture

Culturing, Growing and Baking with a Range of Wild Yeasts

November 17, 2010 - 9:04pm -- RonRay


This Forum Topic will hopefully provide a location for those interested in all forms of Wild Yeast. While certainly most of us are well aware of the sourdough type of wild yeast, many may be unaware that there are countless other useful wild yeast. I was recently introduced to a impressively large group of other wild yeast - As Akiko explained "In Japanese, we call it " MIZU SHU" -水種 (水ーWater 種ーYeast)".


With the help, translations, and veteran comments of RobynNZ and Mini Oven I had captured, grown, and baked bread from an Apple Water Yeast in 4 (four) days.

Franko's picture
Franko

 



 


Chad Robertson's Tartine Bread book has been getting a lot of attention on this forum of late so I decided to order a copy and see what it was all about. Mr Robertson's description of his journey to create the bread he had in his mind is a fascinating read and speaks to the dedication he has for his craft. While the book doesn't get into the same level of technical detail as Hamelman's 'Bread', it doesn't suffer for lack of clear and precise instruction, making it accessible to anyone interested in producing fine hand crafted breads, croissants, and brioche. Included is a chapter on various ways to use day old bread, which in itself is worth buying the book for, and one of the best collection of recipes I've seen for quite some time. Eric Wolfinger's excellent photography is found throughout the pages and adds significantly to the overall high quality of this book.


 


Chapter 1-Basic Country Bread describes in detail Mr Robertson's foundation formula and procedure for making the bread upon which all his other breads are based. Out of respect for copyright I wont share the formula here , but as Mr Robertson says, it is a simple process , and the formula is that of a basic levain style dough. It seems that this past weekend a few other TFL'rs decided to make this bread as well, notably David Snyder, who had wonderful results using Chad Robertson's technique of baking the bread in a dutch oven. http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/20473/basic-country-bread-quottartine-breadquot-baked-dutch-ovens


Never having used a pot for baking a loaf, I was intrigued by the photos in the book of the dark bold bake that this method can achieve, but as the recipe makes two loaves I decided to bake one in the pot and the other on the stone using Sylvia's method of steaming that's been so successful for her and other TFL members. I made the dough up by hand giving it a 45 minute autolyse and then a 3hr bulk ferment following the guidelines in the book for folding in the bowl, a technique I appreciate because of it's easy cleanup. The dough was divided into 955 gram portions, lightly rounded and rested for 20 minutes before final molding, then placed in floured bannetons for an overnight rise in the refrigerator. I would have liked to have done it all in one day but it was a 'work night' so my time was limited. After 19hrs of final cold rise the first loaf was slashed and placed in the lid of the dutch oven with a round of parchment beneath it, and the pot was placed on top of that. I thought this way would be easier than lowering the loaf into the pot with a lot of extra and unnecessary parchment paper. The oven and pot had been preheated to 500F for a good 40 minutes before the bake began, then turned down to 450F for the remainder of the 45 minute bake.


After 20 minutes the pot was lifted very carefully off the loaf and the loaf continued it's bake, finishing the crust and taking on a rich brown colour.




When the first loaf began it's bake I took the second one out of the fridge and let it warm up on top of the oven, so that by the time the first was out and my stone had heated for the second bake it was ready to go. Into the oven it went with Sylvia's towel steaming method in place and the vent blocked. I gave it as much steam as I possibly could during the first 10 minutes, spritzing regularly in 3-4 minute intervals. It didn't result in quite the jump that #1 had but it did bloom nicely along the slashes creating the type of pattern I've been trying to get on some previous bakes of other levain style breads.



Even with an 8 minute longer bake than #1 it just didn't take on the same kind of caramelization as the pot baked loaf. Still, I was happy with both results and I think both methods have their place depending on what your preferences are for a particular type of loaf. I'm not sure I'd use the pot with anything other than a very lean formula, as I think you might just get a little more colour than you were bargaining for, but for the Tartine basic Country Bread, and similar lean levain style breads it's a method I'll continue using.


Recently my wife Marie hinted that I might be getting a new mixer under the tree this year for Christmas since my KA is getting pretty long in the tooth, so to speak. Now I love new toys as much or even more than next person, so she was a little shocked when I told her that I've decided to start mixing bread by hand as often as possible from now on. It just makes sense to me that the breads that many of us are trying to emulate, are breads that have been around since long before the electric mixer appeared on the scene. I realize it's possible to mix these 'craft/artisan' breads with a mixer by controlling speed and mixing time, but for home baking it's become apparent to me that it's much more practical, and in most ways more satisfying to use the two best mixers I came equipped with. If I had any doubts about making this change they were put to rest when I cut into loaf #1.




 


This is the type of crumb that I want for my wheat based levain breads.... not exactly, but closer than I've come previously, which I think is due largely to the fact that this dough was worked even less intensively than I would normally do by hand. Why it took me so long to connect the dots that have been staring me in the face all this time, I believe is due to having been trained on mixers, and having used them throughout my professional career for bread mixing. Just goes to show that in baking, the learning never stops if you keep an open mind to the new ideas.. as well as the ancient tried and true methods of bread production.


 


Best Wishes,


Franko


 


 

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