The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Mixed Starters

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wassisname's picture
wassisname

This mixed-starter sourdough has become my favorite style of light-ish sourdough.  It has proven itself capable of standing up to my "creativity", and that alone counts for a lot.  The rye flour takes some of the chewiness out of the crumb and prefermenting it lends the flavor of the bread a distinct tang.  If sour isn't your thing then this probably isn't the bread for you.  But, it really works for me.   1/3 whole grain gives it some substance and 70% hydration keeps it easy to work with.  I started the dough in the mixer, just until it came together, then kneaded by hand.

Under the influence of the aforementioned "creativity", I baked one of the loaves with the seam-side up.  I wasn't sure it would be a good idea, but in the end there was little difference between the two loaves.  If anything, the seam-up loaf had a somewhat better crumb.  The scored loaf was scored a little too cross-wise and wasn't able to expand as much.

Seam-Up

Seam-Down

Adjustments for next time:  I think I will take 30 minutes or so off of the bulk ferment time and add it to the final ferment.  Also, one fold instead of two - the dough was already pretty tight, but because it was kneaded by hand I gave it the second fold.  I think I would have been better off without it.  Lastly, the whole wheat starter was more ripe than I would have liked, even with the salt in it.  As the nights get cooler into autumn that should become less of a problem.
Oh, and now that it is officially autumn the next batch will probably be loaded with seeds! 

On a side note:  The trouble I go through for a decent loaf of bread is nothing compared to what I'll put up with to grow a few good vegetables.  I decided to expand the garden a bit and began prepping the ground for next season.  The soil here is dismal so "prepping" generally means digging a big hole and filling it up with something better than what was there originally (except with grapes, grapes just love it).  The only thing worse than the soil is the chalky, volcanic rock underlying the whole neighborhood.  I've been surprisingly lucky in placing my vegetable beds... until now.  There was no getting around this one.

Anyone have a stick of dynamite handy?  I'll be back in the kitchen working on my next bread!

Marcus

 

 

 

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

For a long time I wanted to bake this bread. It sounds like home, and it tastes like home.

I am from the Black Forest, here a photo taken during my last visit:

Wolfgang Suepke posted the formula in his blog - quite a nice read because he sheds light on some regional eating habits in Germany.

The bread is a 20% rye bread with 80% (almost) white wheat flour, containing 1% of lard. 12.5% of the total flour is prefermented in a rye sourdough, and 40% of the total flour is prefermented in some kind of wheat biga.

The rye sour matures at ca. 26C for 16 hours, and the wheat preferment is put into the fridge after 2 hours (just when yeast activity becomes visible) and left there overnight (or up to 2 days).

Mixing and shaping as usual (folding works well), the dough needs ca. 1 hour bulk proof and 1 hour final proof.

The formula is on google docs. You can export the spreadsheet to excel and adjust the quantities according to your needs:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AkcYHhPxccKtdGJ2WVY4ZHV1bHdocGprdkhOam5UMFE

Mr Suepke uses wheat flour Type 812, which I do not have here in the UK, and light rye flour Type 997, which I get from Shipton Mill.

For the wheat part I use 50% high extraction flour and 50% bread flour (Shipton's No 4).

Here a picture of the bread:

It is proofed in a basket seam side down, and left to crack open at the seams. This creates the characteristic look.

The crumb is niceley elastic, and typically not too open.

The taste is complex with a strong wheaty note, due to the large amount of prefermented wheat. Despite the small amount of lard used it gives this bread a special note that goes very well with the regional meat products, especially with the famous Black Forest ham, see e.g.

http://www.foehrenbacher.de/audfox.php?action=7&id=1&method=detail

A very rewarding bread!

Happy Baking,

Juergen

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