The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

preferment

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steelchef's picture

Has anyone used or considered wine/beer yeast as a sourdough starter?

April 21, 2011 - 11:44pm -- steelchef

Curious!


I used to make wine in the basement and had great success with natural sourdough starter. It has been six years since moving the wine making to a U-Brew. Now I can't get a natural starter happening.


So, has anyone used a wine or beer yeast to start a poolish?  Any info would be appreciated. I intend to give it a try regardless.


 

Scott Grocer's picture

Preferment: Would milk be OK?

February 18, 2011 - 12:03am -- Scott Grocer
Forums: 

I've got a sandwich loaf recipe here that calls for a preferment that uses all of the water and a final dough that includes powdered milk, which I never have on hand.


The preferment is supposed to be very slack, batter like and fermented for up to 24 hours at room temp before use.


I know that the higher the hydration the faster a sponge develops, but would there be any obvious problem (enzyme action, black magic, bad juju?) using whole milk in the sponge instead of water and omitting the final dough's dry milk?


Thanks!

cranbo's picture
cranbo

In researching another thread, came across this interesting article on preferments from Lallemand, in PDF format.


One interesting morsel:



The preferment minimizes the lag phase by providing an optimum environment for the yeast. The result is higher gas production later inthe process, especially in high-sugar doughs.



The lag phase is the "ramp up" phase that occurs before yeast reach their maximum productivity. The article has a nice chart. 


Here's another interesting one:



Yeast activation takes place during the first 30 to 60 minutes in all types of preferments. Longer preferment times are not necessary for yeast activation, and can have a negative effect because yeast start to lose activity once the available sugar has been consumed. The only reason for longer preferments is for flavor contribution or dough development.



I think they're referring to the activation of commercial yeasts here (Lallemand is a commercial yeast producer, after all). Yeast activation is sourdough I think is different altogether. 


 

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

I love beer breads, so when I saw the Team USA formula featured in Crust and Crumb (Reinhart) I had to try it. 


Reinhart points out that this formula is a bit unusal because it utilizes two distinct preferments (three, actually, as Reinhart says in the notes, when you include the beer).  It uses a firm starter made up from a barm as well as a pate fermente (old dough).  I used Beck's beer, which I had on hand instead of an amber ale.  I made the barm/firm starter and pate ferment from scratch using the formulas in the book. I also roasted my own diastatic malt powder to deactivate the diastase enzymes since I do not have non-diastatic malt on hand and don't have much call for it.  Toasting worked out just fine, but I was not prepared for all the smoke.  (Maybe I over-toasted it just a bit.)


I baked this bread with Pendleton Mills Power, home-milled hard white winter wheat, and Wingold Dark Rye flour.  I substituted 1 ounce of coarse rye meal for an equal amount of rye flour.  I found the formula produced too dry a dough on just the water called for (1/2 Cup) and had to increase that to roughly 1 1/4 Cup total.  Some of this is probably due to the home-milled whole wheat flour, which I find to be pretty thirsty in all cases.  More of it is probably due to the coarse rye meal.  The dough balanced out at a very nice texture with the additional moisture and my old Bosch mixer never broke a sweat on the four-loaf load, even with the several extra minutes of heavy work it had to put in while I adjusted the hydration.  Total mixing time came out close to 13 minutes.


After fermenting, degassing and fermenting again I shaped the dough into free-form oval loaves and proofed them in pairs on parchment.  They were scored and baked in pairs on parchment on my baking tiles under a roasting pan lid preheated with the oven to 475F.  I misted the loaves liberally before loading them into the oven, and again just as I lowered the roasting pan over them.  I found baking times somewhat shorter than called for in the book, but that is expected given the shape I used.  Boulles would probably have taken the prescribed amount of time.


This formula produces four loaves of bread.  I could not find a pleasing way to fit all four into my basket, so here are three of the four.



The crumb looks like this:


 


 


Calling this "beer" bread has a point, in that the addition of a nice fully hopped brew should add an additional flavor dimension of hoppy bitterness that is subtle and enhancing rather than strong and overpowering.  Perhaps I should have gone and bought the amber ale called for and drank the Beck's with lunch.  In any event that flavor dimension was not very prevalent in these loaves.  They are good, but I think these would be more accurately called whole wheat and rye.  I accept responsibility for that, for both the beer selection, which weakened that flavor component, and for the inclusion of the rye meal, which gave the bread a stonger rye flavor.  I'm certain this combination of divergences does not do justice to the original flavor.  The beer does add a softness to the crumb however, that is an excellent offset to the chewiness (IMHO) of bread flour.  The crust is not a crispy french bread crust that shatters when you cut into it, but has a very agreeable chewy bite that is also very flavorful.  Overall this is better than average bread, and I will make it again.  Next time I will get the proper amber ale and leave out the rye meal to see what difference it makes.


Thanks for stopping by
OldWoodenSpoon

cranbo's picture

What is the maximum preferment percentage in finished dough?

February 6, 2011 - 12:21am -- cranbo

Most recipes I've seen at somewhere hovering between 20-25% of flour weight. I recently read someones recipe that was using a 30% preferment and I thought it was a bit high. 


At some point, I imagine, once you reach an upper limit (say 50%?) your dough quickly changes to the preferment.


So I have 2 questions:



Paul Paul Paul Paul Paul Paul Paul Paul Paul Paul Paul Paul's picture
Paul Paul Paul ...

As my pilot entry I just want to do a little background about my bread baking, and then show pictures of my latest success.


So, I won't tell you that I used to always stand by my mom or dad's side, and eagerly noted every motion of everything they did, and passionately exclaimed "Ooh I want to be a CHEF when I grow up!" because that would be lying. No- my story is certainly not a Disney-esque, awe inspiring one, unless you want to hear about someone who spontaneously took on this new hobby, or lifestyle if you will. Hell- sounds a lot more interesting to me!


All throughout my life, anything I would see would firmly plant itself in my hand, and be hard to forget. Yes, as a kid I was definitely a "scaredy cat", little things would get mentioned, and like cement, it just stayed in my mind, all day. Especially nowadays, when there is a lot of work to come, and I am stressed out, man- I obsess over my work! I have minor OCD, what can I say?


But hey- it's not always a bad thing! I tend to have a great memory, which means good things and hobbies stick in my mind also. Before I talk about bread, I just want to really give an example by talking about my poker habit. One day, I was watching a documentary which followed around a professional poker player, and there sparked the new big thing in my life. All I could think about was POKER, POKER, POKER! Yikes- I didn't even know how to play poker.... But soon I was online, working to create a bankroll out of nothing.


Likewise is the story about baking (except that I have no idea what initially sparked my interest). Suddenly, I had the starting of a passion for baking. When talking to my mom about the idea of making bread, she exclaimed something like, "Why would you do that? We have a breadmaker that can do that all for you!" Yes, this was true, but it made bricks more than bread. Man over machine, I don't think she understood that concept for a while.


As my passion for bread grew, I took a very expensive private lesson with a baker in San Francisco as my holiday gift from my family, while at the same time I started to neglect my sourdough starter, but that's for another story. Anyways, now that you've read this "novel" I want to show you my latest creation, inspired by txfarmer's 36 hour baguettes! I made these baguettes with a poolish instead of sourdough starter, and a lot went wrong, but the outcome was great. As you'll see from the pictures, this was the worst looking baguette on the outside, but the best looking on the inside.


Open Crumb


 


Crust


Hope this wasn't too wordy of a first blog. I know that with most blogs I just scroll right down to the pictures and only read the blog if I like the pictures! By the way, I'm only fourteen. So yes, I play poker illegaly every day, I am an opinionated liberal, and I'm an innocent breadbaker. Bite me haha.

freshbaker86's picture

feeding dough?

November 29, 2010 - 8:46am -- freshbaker86
Forums: 

Hi


 


Im new to the forum and bread making, but I worked for a guy at the weekend making pizzas and he gave me the left over dough. He said feed it tonight and every few days with flour and sugar or honey and it'll survive as long as you want it, just break off bits when you want it.

janij's picture

Why does Hamelman not preferment his whole wheat flour?

September 12, 2009 - 3:20pm -- janij

I love Hamelman's multigrain breads.  Both the levain version and the preferment version.  My question is, why does he not preferment or use the whole wheat flour in his levains?  I would think, and I am NO expert, that it would enhance the flavor to use part of the whole wheat flour in the preferments instead of the bread or AP flour.  Does anyone have any insight on this?  I think I will try using the whole wheat in the levain this time and see what happens.  I use fresh, hand ground flour.  So I don't know.  Anyne got any ideas on this?

Mylissa20's picture

Predigestion and gluten strength

August 18, 2009 - 9:17pm -- Mylissa20
Forums: 

I have started using a predigestion for my WW loaves to compensate for phytic acid, but I seem to be having trouble getting a good rise out of my loaves.  My predigestions have been approx 12-14 hours with 3, 45 min rises after adding the additional ingredients.  Has anyone else had any problems with this? I am wondering if the 14 hours is great for dealing with phytic acid but perhaps breaks down the gluten too much for average sized WW loaves.  Thoughts?

jeffmaughan's picture

Why use a preferment?

June 10, 2009 - 1:56pm -- jeffmaughan
Forums: 

Why make bread using a preferment?  Why not just ferment the total amount of ingredients for the same time as it takes to make the prefermented dough plus the addition of the remaining flour and yeast in the recipe?  Would this not make the bead taste better as the total amount of flour will have been fermented for longer?

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