The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

preferment

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.

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?

nosabe332's picture

first time ciabatta, autolyse, preferment questions

March 4, 2008 - 10:54pm -- nosabe332

hi all,

baker in oakland, calif. 

i recently renewed my interest in baking, but having lost interest in the more expensive form of pie-making, have decided to jump into bread-making.

 here's a picture of my ciabatta, made from this recipe: http://www.recipezaar.com/29100.

 ciabatta number 1

mse1152's picture
mse1152

Funny how the rye discussions have popped up in the last couple of days. I'd been planning to make the New York Deli Rye from the BBA this weekend. I couldn't find white rye flour locally, and had to mail order some. The bread turned out very different from those I've made with dark rye. Looks great for sandwiches. The book calls for sauteed onions in the starter (which I'd probably like), but I chose to omit them to see what the straight bread is like.

NY Deli Rye

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The recipe starts with a rye starter, based on Peter Reinhart's barm. Well, to get a barm, you have to go through 4 days of building what he calls a seed culture, then another day or so to turn it into a barm. I've read the instructions several times, and I still don't really get the difference between the two. Years ago, I made the barm, and ended up with several pounds of stuff. So I used my own well-refreshed starter instead. Neener, neener. The barm is equal weights of flour and water, with seed culture added, which is not quite equal weights of flour and water. So I figured that refreshing my starter to equal weights would get me close enough.

Overall, I think it came out well, but I may have let the starter cook too long... I made the starter at 2:30 one day, put it in the fridge at 7:00, took it out next day at 9:30, and didn't use it till 1:00. hmmmm...it was bubbling very nicely though, and the final dough got 2 more teaspoons of instant yeast. I glazed the dough with beaten egg white before slashing.

The flavor is quite mild. If it weren't for the caraway seeds, it wouldn't taste very rye-ish, though the flavor is good. Maybe I'm just too used to dark rye breads. The crumb is moist and feels good, and the loaf is really surprisingly soft, easy to flatten while slicing. I'm going to make it again (sometime) with the onions added to the starter.

Sue

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - preferment