The Fresh Loaf

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stiff levain

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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

breadbakingbassplayer's picture
breadbakingbass...

Hey All,


Just wanted to tease you a bit.  I don't have pictures yet, but here is the recipe for something I will call the "Everything Levain".  I pretty much had all this stuff laying around in my kitchen, so I wanted to make a bread using all of it...  Here is the recipe below.  I will post pictures later this weekend.


Edit: So I finally cut into it.  A friend whom I gave a loaf said the crust was too crusty, and the inside was a bit "dense"...  My loaf, while it was very "crusty", I found the crumb to be pretty OK.  As for the taste, it's pretty OK.  There were so many things it it, that I can't really place any of the flavors individually...  I prefermented 50% of the total flour, with most of it being the mixture of bits.  Maybe next time I will preferment less, up the hydration, and bake it for a shorter amount of time...  Overall, I am pleased with this "bold" bake...  Enjoy!


Tim





3/16/10 - Everything Levain


Stiff Levain (60% Hydration)


440g - Bread Flour


70g  - Rye Berries (freshly ground)


70g  - Spelt Berries (freshly ground)


70g  - Hard Wheat Berries (freshly ground)


70g  - Millet (freshly ground)


70g  - Jasmine Brown Rice (freshly ground)


70g  - Cornmeal


70g  - Graham Flour (Bob's Red Mill)


70g  - 10 Grain Cereal (Bob's Red Mill)


600g - Water


100g - Firm Sourdough Starter (60% Hydration)


1700g - Total


 


Final Dough


750g - AP Flour


250g - Bread Flour


760g - Water


36g -  Kosher Salt


¾ Tablespoon - Instant Yeast


1700g - Stiff Levain


Yield - 3500g dough


 


3/16/10


Stiff Levain


7:30pm - Grind all grains


7:50pm - Mix all with wooden spoon until combined, knead with wet hands until rough dough is formed, cover and let rest.


11:30pm - Knead into ball, transfer to oiled container, cover and let rest on counter.


 


3/17/10


1:00am - Transfer to refrigerator overnight.


8:30am - Turn dough, shape into ball, return to refridgerator.


 


3/18/10


12:52pm - Take levain out of fridge, place on counter and let rest.


1:00pm - Mix flour/water from final dough, place in oiled container and let rest/autolyse in refrigerator.


6:04pm - Take dough out of fridge.  Measure out salt and yeast.  Cut up stiff levain into pieces and place onto dough, sprinkle with salt and yeast, knead 5 minutes and rest for 30 minutes, covered.


6:50pm - Knead dough 1 minute, cover let rest for 30 minutes.


7:20pm - Turn dough, cover let rest.


9:00pm - Divide dough into 3 equal pieces, shape, place in linen lined basket, covered with towel.  Proof for 90 minutes.


9:30pm - Arrange 2 baking stones on different  levels, arrange steam pan, turn on to 550F with convection, preheat for 1 hour.


10:30pm - Turn off convection, place 1 cup of water in steam pan, close door.  Turn boules out onto floured peel, slash as desired and load directly onto stone.  After last loaf is in, add 1 more cup of water to steam pan, close door.  Lower temp to 460F and bake 1 hr with no convection, rotating and shifting loaves between stones halfway through bake, lower to 430F for remaining half of bake.  Loaves are done when crust is deep brown, and internal temp is 210F.  Cool completely before cutting.


 

breadbakingbassplayer's picture
breadbakingbass...

Hey All,


Just wanted to share with you a very large 2.225 kg mixed levain miche that I baked on 2/23/10.  It is roughly 12 1/2" in diameter by 5 1/2" tall.  It was well worth staying up late on a weeknight to do.  We cut into it on 2/25/10 at a dinner part, and it was worth the wait...


Please excuse the crumb shot as it was from my friend's iPhone under less than stellar lighting conditions...


Tim






Formula:


Stiff Levain


216g - AP


129g - Water


22g - Firm SD starter (60-65% hydration)


366g total




Liquid Levain


144g - AP


144g - Water


14g - Firm SD starter (60-65% hydration)


302g total




Final Dough


576g - AP


286g - BF


144g - Organic Hard Wheat Berries (freshly ground)


44g - Organic Spelt Berries (freshly ground)


30g - Organic Rye Berries (freshly ground)


762g - Water


26g - Kosher Salt


366g - Stiff Levain


302g - Liquid Levain


Approx 2500-2600g total dough


 


Directions:


7:00am - Mix stiff and liquid levains, place each in covered containers and let ferment on counter for 8-10 hours.


6:40pm - Measure out final dough ingredients.  Prepare a bowl of water for dipping your hands to knead.  Place all water in large mixing bowl.  Cut up stiff levain and place in mixing bowl along with liquid levain.  Add all try ingredients on top and mix well with wooden spoon.  After all is combined, with wet hands, knead dough in bowl using french fold method squishing out any lumps.  Knead for about 5 minutes until relatively smooth dough, cover and let rest for 30 minutes.


7:15pm - Turn dough using stretch and fold method, cover and let rest.


7:45pm - Turn dough, cover and let rest.


8:15pm - Turn dough, cover and let rest.


8:45pm - Turn dough, cover and let rest.


9:15pm - Turn dough, cover and let rest.


10:15pm - Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and shape into boule.  Cover and let rest for 15mins.


10:30pm - Final shape and place into floured linen lined basket, lightly flour top of dough, place towel on top, place basket in plastic bag, proof for 60-90 minutes.


11:15pm - Place baking stone on 2nd rack from bottom, prepare steam pan, preheat 550F with convection.


11:45pm - Add 1 cup of water to steam pan, close door.  Turn boule out onto floured peel, slash, place directly onto baking stone, add 1 more cup of water to steam pan, close door.  Turn oven down to 460F, no convection.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Rotate loaf, bake for another 15 minutes.  Then turn down oven to 400F and bake for another 55 minutes, rotating half way.  Loaf is done when internal temp reaches approx 210F.  Cool and rest for 24hrs before eating.


 


 

LA Baker's picture

Barm in place of Levain? Confused....

February 6, 2010 - 12:31pm -- LA Baker

I want to make some of the recipes in DL's Local Breads, but I don't want to make his levain from scratch.  I have a great starter that works, do I need to start again with a Levain?


I'm sure this info is on this blog somewhere, but I couldn't find the exact answer I need.  Can someone tell me the difference between BARM/STARTER/LEVAIN/POOLISH/BIGA/PATE FERMENTE/STIFF LEVAIN?  Can you subsitute one for the other, or is one process that different from the other?  Are they basically the same thing, but merely two ways to do the same thing?

cdnDough's picture

Stiff starter is slow to rise

January 3, 2009 - 6:21pm -- cdnDough

I've been working with Leader's stiff levain for a few months now and it has always ripened (doubled in volume) within 8-12 hours after feeding.  My usual routine has me feeding and baking 2x per week.  However, after a few days in the fridge, it seems to be taking its time today.  It has risen about 1.5x after 24 hrs this time.  I'm thinking that I may skip baking with it and try a few days of feeding to see if it perks up.  Does anyone have any ideas as to what else I can try?  Thanks.

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