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liquid levain

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freerk's picture

looking for liquid levain pointers

December 16, 2011 - 1:01am -- freerk

Hey Guys,

All of the starters I'm keeping are doing fine. I have some nice whole wheat going, some rye, and my every day sourdough starter. All of them are kept at a 100%, except for a bit in the fridge of my "daily" SD, that I keep in a more solid state for emergencies (=when i forget to feed )

My liquid levain is a different story though....

I'm using Daniel Leader's way of going about business, as described in his book Local Breads.

It's built up on 60% with 50-50 rye and AP flour and kept at 130%, fed with AP flour and spring water.

codruta's picture
codruta

In the last 2 weeks, I baked a lot of breads. I hope I'll have time to write about every one of them, and I start with these two loafs.

The first one was 50% whole-wheat with roasted wheat germ using a liquid levain. The hydration is 75%, and prefermented flour is 20% of the total amount of flour. I kneaded only by hand, with folds in the bowl, then I transfered the dough in a lightly oiled container and I did 2 S-F at 50 minutes interval for 2h:30 min fermentation time. Shape a batard and refrigerated for 21 hours (I didn't intended to ferment the dough so long, but I had a busy day). I loved the aroma of this bread, tangy with a nutty flavor. My boyfriend took a half of it on a mountain trip and it held very well, in sunny and rainy weather. I ate the other half toasted, and this increased the nutty flavor. It was a simple formula, with a good result.

 

The other loaf, made two days later, was 50% rye with roasted fennel seeds, using a liquid levain. The hydration was 80%, prefermented flour 20%. I thought I could refrigerate the dough overnight, but I checked the dough after 4 hours in the fridge and it was proofed, so I had to bake it in the middle of the night (bad planning, sleepy eyes, ugly scoring). The aroma of rye and fennel filled the room. The bread was light (the huge amount of water evaporated during baking?), and I was surprised to see the open crumb, given the fact that was so much rye and the dough was at the limit of overproofing. I loved eating this bread, especially with goat cheese and olive oil.

Here is a picture with a comparative section of this two breads.

Complete recipes and more pictures can be found on my romanian blog,  Water.Flour.Salt., first one, here, and second one, here.

Codruta

davidg618's picture
davidg618

Inspired by LisaL's question  Baguettes by noon? I baked a sourdough version of my overnight baguette formula for the first time.

Beginning with 25g of 100% hydration seed starter I built 310g of liqud levain over a twenty four hour period, feeding 75g each of AP flour and water at the start, and the same again after twelve hours. I scheduled the build to be ready yesterday at 10am. I wanted to bulk ferment for 24 hours, at 55°F. I had an appointment this morning, otherwise I would have preshaped, this morning at 7 AM, to demonstrate I could have finished baguettes before noon: LisaL's goal.

I mixed the dough (1050 g, 68% hydration, 100% AP flour) at 10:00 yesterday using ice water to immediately chill the dough, autolysed for 1 hour, and did four S&F's at 30 minute intervals. The dough was placed in the retarder--my wine closet--at 55°F immediately after mixing, and returned after each S&F.

I removed the retarded dough at 10:15 AM this morning. It had quadrupled in volume! (Note 1 to myself: Don't ferment for so long, or reduce the levain by half.)

I preshaped 3, 350 g baguettes and let them rest 1 hour at room temperature (We've been having a cold spell here, the room temperature was about 67*). After restiing i shaped them, and placed them in a linen couche. I checked the dough temperature after shaping. It was a chilly 61°F.

The loaves proofed for two hours, I baked them in a preheated oven (500°F), on a baking stone, reducing the oven temperature to 450°F immediately after loading with steam for the first 10 minutes. I finished the bake in another 10 minutes at 450°F with the steam source removed.

I finished at 1:38 PM (including taking the first picture) . Three hours, and 23 minutes. Had I started at 7 AM I would have finished about 10:30 AM. The yeasted version of this dough usually proofs in 1 to 1-1/4 hour.

and the crumb

It's doable, Lisa.

David G

Rodger's picture

All ye who pass, see if there is any sorrow like unto my sorrow

September 8, 2010 - 6:19am -- Rodger

I thought it would be entertaining to take the plunge into wild yeast, and perhaps it is, to some of you.  This loaf has an atomic weight somewhere in the 130s.  I think I'll start over from the beginning.



The caverns are probably from the few grains of commercial yeast I tossed in late in the game, thinking they might wake up the wild culture.  Oh well...

breadbakingbassplayer's picture
breadbakingbass...


Hey All,


Just wanted to share with you a project that I am working on...  So on 8/30/10, I took delivery of 75lbs of flour from King Arthur which I ordered because they were having a free shipping on certain items.  This included their AP flour along with their WW and White WW.  What to do, what to do...  So, I baked my first full sourdough bread without adding any yeast not too long ago: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/19389/83010-sourdough-progress with great success as far as open crumb, and crackling crust...  The flavor was very good, but there was one person who thought it wasn't salty enough or something...  Anyways, back to this project...


The previous sourdough bread was based on a liquid levain (100% hydration) which is also the hydration of my storage starter...  So my bright idea was to convert my liquid starter to a partially whole grain stiff starter at around 55% hydration...


On 9/1/10 at around 10:20pm, I threw out about half of my liquid starter, kept a small portion of it and mixed it as follows:


200g AP (King Arthur)


100g WW (King Arthur


150g Water


100g liquid sourdough storage starter (100% hydration)


550g total stiff starter yield


10:20pm - Mix all, place in covered container, let rest on counter.


12:20am - Place in refrigerator


 


9/2/10 - Feed Stiff Levain Again (Starter Build #2)


200g AP


100g WW


150g Water


550g All of starter from the evening before.


1000g total stiff starter yield


9:00am - Mix all, knead into ball, place into covered container, place in refrigerator.


 


9/3/10 - Final Dough


600g AP


200g WW


200g White WW (KA)


700g Water


24g Kosher Salt


600g Stiff Levain


2324g Total dough yield


6:18pm - Take stiff levain out of refrigerator and let rest on counter.  Give the levain the float test.  Measure out all ingredients.



Stiff levain out of refrigerator.  Notice the bubbles.



With a wet spoon, cut out a piece of the stiff levain and place it in some water to see if it floats...  If it does, it's ready to use.  For more on the float test, please check out this link: http://www.farine-mc.com/2010/01/building-levain-la-gerard-steps-2-3-and.html  Note point A3.



Cut up levain into pieces, place in large mixing bowl along with the measured amount of water required for the recipe.



Premeasured flours.  Note that on the bottom is the AP flour, and on the top the WW flours.



Kosher salt



All the ingredients in the bowl.  Notice that on the bottom is the water and stiff levain.  Then the whole wheat flours, the AP flour, then last on top is the Kosher salt.  This sequence is very important, and will prevent the formation of lumps or dry clumps, and dry bits stuck to the side of the bowl.



Beginning the mixing at 6:57pm.  I am using a large plastic/rubber spatula.  This is the initial mixing which takes about 30 seconds.  You can pretty much keep the spatula stationary and move the bowl at this stage.  It is just to mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients.



This is probably about 1 minute of mixing.



A little more mixing.



Done mixing with rubber spatula... Now time to get wet and dirty with hands and water...



This is the dough after the following: make sure you have a bowl of water next to you...  Wet your hands and squish the dough in order to work out any lumps...  Then slap fold and roll two times.  This technique that I use is a hybrid of what Richard Bertinet does with in his sweet dough video, except I prefer to do it all in my mixing bowl to prevent getting my kitchen counter sticky and messy: http://www.gourmet.com/magazine/video/2008/03/bertinet_sweetdough


1.  Take the ball of dough by one end, let it stretch down using gravity.


2.  slap the bottom part of the dough into the bottom of the bowl.


3.  Fold the top part that you are holding into the center, and roll it into a ball in one forward motion.


4.  Rotate bowl 90 degrees and repeat.



Place entire bowl into large plastic bag, autolyse (rest) for 30 minutes...  Have a cup of coffee, tea, or beer...  I'm having beer...  Just as a note, these series of steps lasted from 6:57pm to 7:02pm, which is about 5 minutes out of your life...



Dough after 30 minute autolyse.



7:40pm - Dough after 2 slap, fold, and rolls...  Sorry for the blurry pictures.  Notice how much smoother the dough is...



Dough after about 10-15 slap, fold, and rolls...  Notice the dough tear at the bottom.  At this point when this happens, stop handling the dough, place it in plastic bag and wait for about 20-30 minutes.



8:00pm - This is the dough after the 20 minute rest, and 6 additional slap, fold, and rolls...  Place bowl in plastic bag, let rest for another 20 minutes.



8:20pm - This is the dough after the 20 minute rest.  Notice how it has spread out...



This is the dough after 2 slap, fold, and rolls...



Transfer to plastic tub lightly oiled with extra virgin olive oil.  I'm sure any sort of neutral cooking oil would work.  My tub is a 4L tub, which is the smallest tub you would probaby want to use for the amount of dough this recipe makes...



Top view.  Sorry for blurry...



Added plastic wrap before putting on top.  My containers don't seal all that great.  Plus, it's insurance if the dough pops the top in the fridge...



Place in to fridge...  40F to 45F...


9:25pm - Turn dough, return to fridge...



9/3/10 - The moment of truth...


I was at work for longer than I had intended today...  Argh!




5:00pm - Do I have magical dough, or a dough explosion?



Dough Explosion!!!



Release my cornichons!!!



Dough texture shot...  Looks well fermented...  Fingers crossed...



5:00pm - After I cut off the dried bit from the exploded part, I divided the dough and shaped them into boules weighing approx 1100g.  The dough shaped nicely without tearing...  More fingers crossed...  Now for proofing for about 2 hours...



Bannettons in plastic...


5:50pm - It's pretty warm right now... 85F in the kitchen...  Proofing going well.  Turned on oven with 2 stones, steam pan.  Preheat to 550F with convection for 45 minutes to 1 hr...




7:10pm - Take the baskets out of the plastic, give it the poke test, take the thermometer out of the oven, prepare one cup of water, locate oven mitt, lame, peel, cup of flour, turn convection off...



Slash as desired...



Peel directly on to baking stone, put oven mitt on, carefully pour one cup of water in steam pan, snap picture, close oven door, turn down to 450F without convection.  Bake 50 minutes, rotating half way...



This is one of them halfway through the bake.  I rotated them, and shifted them between the upper and lower stones...  25 more minutes of baking, and then a weight and temp check...  I'm shooting for 935g or less after bake weight which puts it at a 15% weight loss, which is good...


8:00pm - Weight and temp check...  Weight around 980g, and internal temp is around 200F...  I'm looking for 210F...  Bake for another 10 minutes...






Will post crumbshots tomorrow...  Enjoy!


Tim

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

 


I made my San Joaquin Sourdough today with a couple of modifications.



 


The last few bakes, I have substituted a liquid levain for the the firmer levain and also have used a higher percentage of levain, although, since I've used a liquid levain, the percentage of pre-fermented flour in the dough is actually lower. Also, note that, while the “final dough” hydration is 72%, the total dough hydration is actually closer to 78% because of the high-hydration levain. This is actually a somewhat higher hydration than my original formula for San Joaquin Sourdough.


The second modification was to cold retard the dough for a longer time – 36 hours as opposed to the 16-20 hours I have generally used. This was for my convenience, but I've also been curious about the effects of longer cold retardation on this dough.


 



Liquid Levain:

Baker's %

Weight (g)

Flour

100

60

Water

125

75

Starter

25

15

Total

 

150

Final Dough:

Baker's %

Weight (g)

AP Flour

90

450

Whole Rye Flour

10

50

Water

72

360

Salt

2

10

Pre-Ferment

30

150

Total

 

1020

Procedure

  1. Mix the liquid levain (1:5:4 – Starter:Water:Flour). Let it ferment at room temperature for 12 hours.

  2. Pour the water into a large mixing bowl. Add the starter and dissolve it in the water.

  3. Add the flours and mix to a shaggy mass. Cover tightly and let it sit for 20-60 minutes.

  4. Sprinkle the salt over the dough and mix thoroughly using the “stretch and fold in the bowl” technique. Let it rest for 30 minutes.

  5. Repeat the “stretch and fold in the bowl” for 30 strokes 2 more times at 30 minute intervals.

  6. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board, and do a stretch and fold.

  7. Return the dough to the bowl and cover.

  8. After 45 minutes, repeat the stretch and fold on the board.

  9. Reform the dough into a ball and replace it in the bowl.

  10. Allow the dough to continue fermenting until the volume has increased 25%.

  11. Cold retard the dough for about 36 hours.

  12. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and immediately transfer it to a lightly floured board.

  13. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and pre-shape them into logs or rounds, depending on whether you want to make boules or bâtards. Cover the pieces with plasti-crap and let them rest for 60 minutes. (Give them a shorter rest if the kitchen is very warm. You don't want them to expand very much, if any.)

  14. Pre-heat the oven to 500ºF with a baking stone and your steaming method of choice in place.

  15. Shape the pieces and place them in bannetons or on a couche. Cover the loaves and proof them until they have expanded by 50-70%. (30-45 minutes)

  16. Pre-steam the oven. The transfer the loaves to a peel (or equivalent). Score them, and load them onto your baking stone.

  17. Steam the oven. Turn the oven down to 460ºF.

  18. After 12 minutes, remove your steaming apparatus. Turn the loaves 180º, if necessary for even browning.

  19. Continue to bake the loaves for another 15-18 minutes or until their internal temperature is 205ºF.

  20. Transfer the loaves to a cooling rack.

  21. Cool the loaves completely before slicing.

Because I was planning on a longer cold fermentation, I refrigerated the dough sooner than I would have otherwise – when it had expanded about 25%. In the refrigerator, the dough continued to expand, but very slowly. At 24 hours, it had expanded to 150% its original volume. At 36 hours, it had doubled in volume.

The dough was of about the same consistency as usual. This is a sticky dough, at 78% hydration, but it was easy to handle with lightly floured hands. The dough had nice extensibility but excellent strength. The pre-shaped pieces and shaped loaves held their shapes very well. I could not say that the longer cold retardation resulted in any problematic gluten degradation.

The crumb was as expected with this bread. There was no evident effect from the longer retardation. The flavor, on the other hand, was distinctly tangier. The initial flavor was the lovely, complex flavor of the San Joaquin Sourdough. The moderate sourness came through a bit later, and the flavor lingered on the palate for an exceptionally long time.

I would certainly recommend trying this version to any who have enjoyed the San Joaquin Sourdough before and favor a more assertive sourdough tang to their bread.

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

 

jennyloh's picture

Liquid Levain - How do I know its ready?

June 14, 2010 - 3:44am -- jennyloh

I'm wondering if anyone can proivde me insight as to how do I know if my levain is ready?  I'm trying to make Vermont Soudough by Jeffrey Hamelman.  My kitchen is measuring 28 degree celsius.  Much higher than the recommended temperature.  The levain looks healthy and bubbly. It's been in my closed cool oven (not on) for the past 6 hours.

breadbakingbassplayer's picture
breadbakingbass...

Hey again,


Here's a Poilane style miche using liquid levain that I baked on 3/4/10.  The flour mix was 75% WW, 25% AP at 75% hydration.  The liquid levain was made prefermenting 20% of total flour using all WW flour for the levain.  The salt was 1.8%.  Each miche was about 1500g before baking.


Tim



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