The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Most bookmarked

RonRay's picture
RonRay

Yeast Water & Other Wee Beastie Bubbles (No Math)

Yeast Water & Other Wee Beastie Bubbles (No Math)

There is a Chinese proverb, of which, I am very fond:

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names.

      a  Highly Active Culture  of  Apple Yeast Water

 

Having no delusions of being wise, I often go ahead and refer to things, for which, I have never found a proper name. However, I do try to state the meaning that I think they may deserve.

*** Some terms and the meanings I place on them when I use them.

Yeast Water (YW)... a specific instance of:
A quantity of nearly total water, which contains an active culture of microscopic life forms that will consume various nutrients and release carbon dioxide while doing so.

Yeast Water, Yeast Water Levain (YWL)... in general, intended, or already mixed with a gluten type flour:
A culture started from any type of YW that is mixed with flour and used in the same way as Sourdough Levain or Commercial yeast.

AYW, RYW, PYW, CYW, GYW, etc.... abbreviations for what is used to maintain the YW culture, such as:
Apple YW, Raisin YW, Prune YW, Clementine YW, Grape YW, etc. Used where the 1st letter's meaning should be clear to anyone.

Dust, as in apple dust, raisin dust, etc....
The accumulation of particles on the bottom of a YW culture, resulting from small parts that the culture has reduced to separate "dust" parts.

Highly Active Culture... general usage.
A Yeast Water culture that shows large amounts of activity - CO2 creation - can be in the form of bubbles rising in the actual water of a YW jar, or in a levain, which would be judged exactly as one would judge a sourdough levain.

Strong YW... general usage
Only measurable by testing growth when mixed with at least a A-P flour level gluten. This would apply to most YW that is being stored in a fridge, although, if returned to room temperature, the indications of a Highly Active Culture may re-manifest themselves.

Wild Yeast... general usage:
Any of the countless species of eukaryotic micro-organisms (over 1,500 species currently described, according to Wikipedia [1]) excluding those used in Commercial Yeast and known as Baker's Yeast, as well as Brewer's Yeast - both of which are Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and have been used for thousands of years (See Wikipedia [1, 2] ) There is no earthly reason, that I can think of, which would justify your needing to remember any of those technical terms...

Wee Bonnie Beasties (WBBs)... my personal usage
Any of the Wild Yeast that I might find useful. Sorry, but as the writer, I do have some prerogatives.

*** General Thoughts about Sourdough and Yeast Water - as far as our usage here.

All I need to know, and therefore, all I care to touch upon here, is how do I understand the cultivation, care, and usage of Yeast Water (YW) to the extent that I get the levains that will aid me in making foods I bake, &or eat - I do eat banana levain without the baking step and occasionally drink some fermented beverages..

Think of these Wild Yeast, for a moment, as if they were humans. You can find different groups that like different music, or different foods, different climates, etc. There are different groups of Wild Yeast that like wheat, others rye, others apples, grapes, etc. I think you see the point. But, they all need a source of the foods that they can eat, or that their companions can convert into foods that they can eat, and in hard times, they will eat things that they would probably not prefer to eat.

Unlike humans, Wild Yeast and their companions don't normally have drilling equipment, and while they often can be transported by air currents, they do not have wings to pick and choose locations. So, if chance places them where there are the sugars, starches and whatever that is needed for these Wee Bonnie Beasties (WBBs) to survive and multiply, then there is a very good chance that they will do just that.

Those great survival places are, more often than not, on the outer surface of commonly grown food sources. The same ones that humans often like, and for the same reasons that the WBBs like them - they are good sources of sugars, starches, and flavors - and low sources of deadly compounds (the latter consideration does not necessarily apply to humans).

Now, let us consider where these few fanciful premises can take us:
1/ The world is full of concentrated sources of these WBBs.
2/ They are there for your finding and taking.
3/ With some trial and (perhaps,) error, you should be able provide a home and diet that will keep both you and your WBBs happy.
4/ They will rise your doughs, and uncomplaining will die so that you may bake your daily bread.
5/ It is not too likely that they will remain that happy, if you force them to change their ways.
6/ Your WBBs are happy and healthiest on their original diets, and if you shift the diet, there is a very good chance the new WBBs - that come in with the new food you provide - will take over and the originals will diminish, even disappear completely.

The last item - "6/" - means that Apple Yeast Water (AYW) can shifted into a sourdough (SD) and that SD into a banana levain (BL) and the BL into a sour-rye levain (SRL) and even converted back into an AYW... Assuming you had strange tastes in what you liked to spend your time doing.

*** The Skin Game...

None of this is new., and the methods of starting a sourdough culture are filled with examples of people using the facts - without necessarily connecting the dots. Nancy Silverton has pushed using grapes to start a sourdough culture [3]. Dan Lepard says to use raisins, currants, and whey. [4] In an hour you could no doubt find any number of other examples of "Helpers to get a sourdough started".

What most of these have in common is that they start a YW culture long enough to establish an environment to foster the growth of the WBBs found in wheat flour. In my first Apple YW culture [5] I used a ¼ tsp of potato YW to jump-start the apple YW fermentation.

You do not need to be a "health nut" to realize that the skins of most commercially sold fruit have been treated
with chemicals to kill "everything except humans" ( not sure about the "except' part of that statement ). So, if you feel you must start from scratch, and use the skins of your source item, and then I would say buy from a source of untreated fruits or vegetables. Once you have any Wild Yeast culture - Sourdough, or Yeast Water, you never need to use skins again, and there are other benefits, I find, to using only the pure flesh of the fruits. Although, I will admit the "garbage disposal" approach of skin, cores, and table scraps, etc. will work to create a YW culture.

*** Do Not Be Afraid to Experiment ...

If you do not try things, you will only have "book learning". I would think, that anyone, which only had book learning would be much the poorer for the lack of the real life complement . Book learning is great, but not to the exclusion of life's lessons.

*** Why Not Just Use a Sourdough Culture and Be Done With It?

Well, I don't know. Why do anything different? Why use Sourdough and not just commercial yeast? Perhaps to learn how to do new things, perhaps, of the increase the range of options that new methods might offer you. These types of decisions are personal choices - choices each of us have to make for ourselves.

For me, there is also the fact that the general absence of the "Sour", as in sourdough, is desired at times. The fragrance from various YW levains is a worthy addition to the palette that I can use to paint the flavor of a bread, and the colors of different YW can add visual appeal to the baked goods - bread, or any other items.

In addition, there are differences in how individual types of YW levains behave. Some people have observed much faster rises with raisin YW (RYW) in certain cases, I find differences in the temperature effects on AYW, as compared to SD levains.

I also find there is the greater ease in the maintenance requirements for my AYW than there is for my SD culture. I love SD, and would never knowingly give it up. However, SD gives me one family of flavors and crumb colors, YW gives me a wider range of everything. I also have had what I consider as great results using a mixture of SD and AYW to create a bread with superior flavor, tang, color, and moistness - all based on my taste, of course, not necessarily to your taste.

But, I am not using my time writing this to play salesman. I could care less if you use Yeast Water, but two things have brought me to try to write this: First, I find - perhaps well intended - postings that are full of statements based upon fantasies (at best), and information that is only creating more "Baker's Legends" and secondly, I find more and more of my personal time being spent answering the same questions over and over. While this is a time consuming task, to the extent that I can write down these answers in a referenceable posting, the less future time that will be spent on those same answers.

*** How Does One Start a Yeast Water culture...

Well that depends on several things, but in general:

1/ Choose the type of YW you want initially. I would suggest picking one that others have had good results at starting. For that, I would say try one of these three types: Grape, Raisin, or Apple, although, feel free to try anything that turns you on.

2/ You will need to start from scratch only if you have no source of existing Sourdough, or Yeast Water cultures. Since all you need to jump-start a culture is a very small amount of any existing culture, I am sure anyone you know that has a culture could give you a part of teaspoonful of their culture to get you started.

3/ Starting with, or without, a jump-start culture:

a/ Take a clean glass jar that has a lid. I find short squat a POOR choice, and jars taller than wide a BETTER choice.

b/ Fill about one fourth of the jar's height with your raisins, or crushed grapes, or your apple slices.

c/ Add water that is chemical free. Fill that jar about half full. I find having the fruit filling only half the volume of water is convenient for the following reasons. Raisins initially sink and as the YW starts developing, raisins will start to form bubbles and then rise, grapes tend to be a mixed bag as to floating initially, while apple slices float initially, but when really depleted they often become "waterlogged" sink to the bottom. In any case, having a section that is more or less a clear water area offers greater opportunity to notice changes that start to occur in your YW culture. This is even more true when it is a fully mature and active culture.

d/ If you wish, you can add a small amount (½ tsp.) of honey, or sugar, but it is not necessary with sweet fruit at first, but would be with vegetables.

e/ IF Jump-starting ONLY:

e-1/ Using an existing YW: add a teaspoon full of the active existing YW to your new starting YW jar,
e-2/ Using an existing SD: ½ teaspoon of SD to cup of water, stir to dissolve the SD in the water and wait for half hour to get some settlement in the mixture. Then, extract a teaspoon of the top portion of the water mixture and add it to your new starting YW jar.

f/ Place a lid on the jar, and leave the jar out of direct sunlight, at room temperature (RT), or up to about 82ºF (27.8º C)

g/ Once a day (more often will not hurt) remove the lid, and stir to release any CO2 and to add oxygen to the solution. Some people find a vigorous shaking of the jar helps. It may, I have never tried it.

h/ If after 4 or 5 days, you do not see bubbles starting to forming, raisins or grapes floating, add another sugar or honey treat. If after 7 days you see nothing, throw everything out and find a new source for your fruit purchases. Start over.

*** After the Bubbles Flow...

Once you have convincing evidence of the YW becoming active, you can make your first proofing test. After all, the only proof of a worthwhile leavening culture is in the rising of the dough. So make your first YWL (YW levain). I would do it something like this:

1/ Find a small glass container, something very much like a typical morning fruit juice glass, with close to vertical sides. The straighter the container's sides, the easier it is to judge how much the levain has risen.

2/ If you weigh the empty glass and record the weight for future reference, it might come in handy. Use your tap water to see about how much a quarter of a glass of water weighs. If it is about 40 to 50 ml (grams), or about 1½ ounces, that would seem a good enough amount. Empty the glass.

3/ Measure out something close to that weight in the YW from your culture (replace the same amount of water back into the culture) and also measure an equal weight of A-P flour. Combine the YW and flour in your "test beaker", mix the two ingredients and place a rubber band around the glass at the level of the mixture's top surface. Place it in a warm location where you can check for activity and place anything - like a piece of light cardboard on the top to cover the opening - to keep anything from falling in and to minimize evaporation from the mixture.

4/ check the level, as compared to the rubber band's location to see if it is rising. If it raises to a level equal to the twice as high as the rubber band in 4 or 5 hours you have a very active levain (and YW culture) if it has not risen at least half that much in 24 hours, then your culture is not ready to use yet. In between those extremes, you make your own judgment calls.

*** After Your Proof of Life on Mars...

Okay, you now are the proud owner of a Yeast Water culture. You have the information needed you make new types of YW, should you wish to. You should realize that the characteristics of your YW will take some time to know well, and that changing the way you feed it, or adding different types of materials into the culture will all change anything you have learned about it - just as switching the A-P flour in a White Sourdough levain to a diet of rye will make it radically different in its behavior, so too will switching from apples to prunes change the characteristics of your YW. Using certain fruits will make any YW worthless for use in bread making - these are a few: kiwi, pineapple, mango and papaya.
I strongly recommend you read the materials on TFL and elsewhere before making any changes in your culture's feeding and care. Here are a few places to start such readings [6, 7, 8, 9].

*** Apple Yeast Water (AYW)...

From here on, nearly everything is specifically meant to apply only to my AYW and SD cultures, although, I will touch on some of my observations that I made with other YW types. However, as I have said above, different YW types may have different characteristics, and often do.

So, for example, if you want specifics on RYW, search TFL on "teketeke" or "daisya". If you want info on AYW, search TFL on "hanseata" or on "RonRay" and if on a wider range, search TFL on "yeast water", &or the references listed at the end of this writing.

Of course, if you are looking for deep information on the nature of SD, search TFL of "Debra Wink", who knows more facts about sourdough WBBs than anyone I ever encountered.

*** Some Q & A that have been posed in the past...

= Q
...Now that I have my RYW proofed , should I just keep that and use it like I do my SD?
= A
...No, keep your yeast water away from flour, until you want to use it for baking...


= Q
...Okay, but why?
= A
...It appears that anything the grows and offers nutrients on its skin/surface/husk/etc. will attract wild yeasts, Labs, and who knows what else. different wee beasties will find different nutrient sources preferable to others. So, your raisin yeast water (RYW) will get competition from the beasties that love flour, and soon you will not have sweet RYW, but sourdough.


= Q
...You said you use 3 builds to make your YW levain. My SD works fine with one or two. Why use more.
= A
...I used the straight method on one of wao's YW breads and it took 16 hours to rise. With SD, generally, you've done refreshes and have a good feel for just how active the SD is. If, like many people, you keep YW in the fridge, until you want to use it; you have a very poor basis to know just how active it is. It is simple for me to take a small amount (10 to 20g) of highly active YW from my active culture and add it to an equal amount of A-P flour and in a few hours have proof positive of strong growth. Using that when it is between 60% to 80% risen and moving to Build #2 gives a strong growth and guarantees that the Build #3 will provide exactly what I planned for in rise times and volume of my breads. No 16 hour surprises anymore.

= Q
...Can I get a sour YW by keeping it in the fridge too long?
= A
...I can only tell you what I have experienced:
1/ If I start with my AYW & Flour, and use AYW (not tap Water) in all builds, I have never gotten a sour levain - even after a week in the fridge.

2/ If I start with my AYW & Flour, and use tap Water (not AYW) in all builds, I have never gotten a sour levain after 3-builds - even after a week in the fridge.
3/ If I start with my AYW & Flour, and use tap water (not AYW) in all builds, and then retain some of that levain to back slope a new series of builds (built on the old levain) I have started to get a sour by the 6th build. All 6 builds being built largely at 51ºF/10.6ºC in a wine bottle fridge.
In other words: One can convert an AYW Levain into a normal WSD by maintaining an initial YW Levain in the same manor as a sourdough culture is maintained. My guess is that the continuing refreshments of wild yeast in the flour, without any fresh YW allows the flour-loving wild yeast to take over the culture.
4/ If I start WSD (White Sourdough) Levain, and use my surplus AYW from the fridge, instead of tap water, in my builds, I can build a SD-AYW Levain that is both sour and has a beautiful fragrance and makes a sweeter, more moist loaf. It has become a favored method of mine.
5/ I have never found a condition where the sourness decreased with increased time - either in, or out of a fridge.
6/ THIS MAY BE of relevance... All of the above is with Apple Yeast Water and KAF A-P flour. Since we know that each type of flour is likely to have a different group of "favorite" wild yeast living off of it, all of these results might very well be different if the flour type changed. For instance, if you used Rye flour, I would not be at all surprised if you had different results. Thus, with your different formulae, you may well be creating different conditions than those that I have been dealing with.

= Q
...How do you know your AYW is slowing down, or needs food, and such?
= A
...I use the bubbles as a measure of the activity. A slow down, usually is for one of these reasons:
1/ The pressure got too high (because I tighten jar the lid too tight). If so, there will be swishing with foaming when the pressure is reduced by removing the lid.
2/ The water has gotten too alcoholic (I do not consider that "sour", but you might) and that water goes into the fridge to use in levain builds - other than the first build. If you cannot tell alcohol by smell, taste it.
3/ The WBBs want their sugar cube "fix" (I give one cube about every 4 to 7 days, and whenever I change water).
4/ The apple slices have little left to give. (depending upon the apple type, 8 to 10 days).
BTW I have 2 jars that have been maintained this way for at least five months, and never cooled, nor refrigerated.
5/ When the apple slices sink, you know the activity is very low. The slices float, when fresh, but as time passes they become more waterlogged, and need the bubbles to hold them up !!!
Now, I was talking about my AYW (apple yeast water in those points. But it should provide a background for any wild yeast culturing - with adjustments for the oddities by "beastie types"

Here is an image of the bubbles rising in my AYW culture. They are difficult to photograph, and often I need to use a magnifying glass to see them clearly. The streams of bubbles can be very small, fine, bubbles, but they start in the apple dust at the bottom and stream to the apple slices at the top. Of course, when a sugar cube is dropped in, it sinks into the apple dust at the bottom. So, there is a lot of sugars in the material at the bottom.

= Q
...What IS your favorite fruit water? Why is it your favorite?
= A
...Well, I would call it Yeast water, not fruit water - vegetables work well, too. When I was fairly new with YW experiments, I thought I liked Clementine YW best. But Apple YW was a close second choice.

Clementine lost out more for practical considerations: I crushed the sections and only added those parts and the juice. (I found the skins of citrus, if used in YW made tastes I distinctly dislike).

Of course, any source that is highly seasonal, is not a good choice for one's "standby" YW. Grapes, raisins, and Zante Currants are all reliable year round sources, as is/are potato flakes (instant potato). Some sources must be avoided, if it is bread you wish to use the YW in - such as the warning I posted elsewhere: "Certain fruits should not be used for yeast waters intended for leavening bread. They are those fruits (or vegetables) that contain Actinidain (or actinidin) kiwi, pineapple, mango and papaya. This protease enzyme breaks down protein. If you make a yeast water from these fruits, you can still use it as a meat tenderize, but NOT in your bread dough."

I discovered that prune juice worked well to make a YW, but turned out making a dense crumb that I didn't care for very much. It did make a bread that visually could pass for a very dark rye.

Which brings up the coloring agent aspect that YW can play. Clementine and apple give a very nice soft golden tint, as well as a nice fragrance.

For me, AYW won.

Before I give the final considerations, why apple won for me, let me shift to another consideration, and that is Starting vs. maintaining a Wild Yeast Culture.

In nature, it is the skins that usually hold the highest concentrations of wild yeast. The dusty film on the skins of grapes and blueberries are wild yeast. In the modern day world, fewer and fewer skins of fruit and vegetables that one buys in the market have not been treated in one way or another to kill or remove anything on the skins. So, it becomes a bit harder to start a YW from scratch, and potentially, much less healthy to add unwashed skins to the YW. Fortunately, the skins are not necessary in maintaining an established culture, nor are they necessary if you have any type culture existing.

Since, if you have any Wild Yeast Culture, you can start a different one by jump-starting the new one. Just as feeding a pure banana purée to SD can create a pure Banana levain, or feeding rye flour to SD can get a Sour Rye, likewise, adding a small amount of raisin YW (RYW) to a jar of skinned apple slices covered with water, will get you an AYW from a RYW in about 1, or 2 days.

Of course, if you once have an AYW culture, you have no need to ever use any skins. The WBBs will slowly build "apple dust" on the bottom of the jar's clear gold-tinted water in the middle area and floating apple slices on the top. The "apple dust" seems to be that greatest concentration of the wee beasties and while I maintain some always in the culture, it adds an extended moistness to a bread. I enjoy using the "discard" apple slices (when replaced by fresh ones in the culture) mixed with raisins, honey, brown sugar as a baked apple desert - much like my Banana levain gets used as a treat.

= Q
...How can you keep from dumping your apple dust when you change water, or use the AYW for levain?
= A
...I use a baster, just a common supermarket type, but the top squeeze bulb is smaller than most. Cleaning is not a problem, since it is only used for the AYW, and I fill a quart plastic container in the sink before using the baster to extract the AYW. As soon as the extraction is complete, I simple suck the baster full of clean water from the plastic pail, shake well and squirt it into the sink drain. Repeating that 3 or 4 times is all the cleaning required and the baster is allowed to drain/dry vertically in the rack at the sink's edge.

Surplus AYW is saved in tall jars that were once olive jars and kept in the fridge's door, and used it in Build #2s and #3s of levain builds. Thus, normally, this only requires me to need 10 to 20g of fresh AYW from the active culture's water - which is replaced at once with fresh water out of the same baster that had just extracted the used amount. That AYW, of course, is what I use to make the Build #1 of any new levain build.

There is no water loss from the active culture, except what I remove - as in the above use for new levain starts. Other than that, what gets removed is nearly all water when the water gets too high in alcohol, and that is what I use to form the fridge maintained surplus.

= Q
...So simple and it sounds like you really only have to attend to it once a week....or do you toss in a sugar cube sometime before you do what you have just done?
= A
...I enjoy watching the small streams of bubbles raising from the "apple dust" and racing up to the undersides of the floating apple slices. Several times a day, I generally pause to watch them for a second, or two. It is good to open the jar one or more times a day, and just mildly stir the apple slices - the parts exposed to the air are effected differently than those that are not. Stirring also ensures that the lid was not too tight - would not want too much pressure to build up in the jar.

Of course, to stir, is to shake off bits that become the "apple dust", as well as mixing the existing dust, thus, reducing the clarity of the AYW, so I generally do this as the last act of the day. This way the AYW has overnight to regain its clarity back before I see it in the morning.

I mentioned earlier, the signs of reduced activity in a culture, and when no other basis for the decline in activeness is found, I generally add a sugar cube. This addition, generally isn't more often than once, or twice a week, but that changes, depending on how active the culture is, and how fresh the apple slices are.


*** Some Concluding Thoughts...

Yeast Water is "just another leavening agent" It offers alternatives that can be used in baking leavened doughs. Potentially, every vegetable, or fruit could be used to create a Yeast Water, and each would have its own, often subtle, differences, but sometimes very marked effects on the baked goods. I strongly suggest you compare what you have known from your use of SD and commercial yeast to your new culture. Learn the differences, and how to use them. If you do not like what you find, shift to a different food source and ,thus, shift the type of YW you have, Do not assume they are all the same.

I hope to come back and offer links to more of the specific types of Yeast Water on TFL postings. But for now, I think this should help some of those interested in more information on the subject of Yeast Water Levains.

Updated:110517-10:50    The Yeast Water Examples with Photos TFL Links Only has been posted See link:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/23597/yeast-water-examples-photos-tfl-links-only

Enjoy, and do not let your buns get burned.

RonRay

NOTE: A PDF of this document can be found at Google Docs by using the link below:

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0B_MScoZfDZkwZDFkMmY5NWQtMTA0MS00OGE2LTllNzQtMDFkMzM1Yjg5OWZl&hl=en

*** Footnotes...

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yeast
2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baker%27s_yeast
3. http://www.food.com/recipe/nancy-silverton-s-grape-sourdough-starter-316306
4. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Handmade-Loaf-Dan-Lepard/dp/1845333896/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1277986711&sr=1-2
5. http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/20460/banana-saga-%E9%95%B7%E7%AF%87%E6%95%85%E4%BA%8B#comment-143439
6. http://originalyeast.blogspot.com/2009_03_01_archive.html
7. http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/6012/baking-natural-wild-yeast-water-not-sourdough
8. http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/20693/culturing-growing-and-baking-range-wild-yeasts
9. http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/20460/banana-saga-%E9%95%B7%E7%AF%87%E6%95%85%E4%BA%8B
10. http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/20693/culturing-growing-and-baking-range-wild-yeasts#comment-143857

 

RonRay's picture
RonRay

Sourdough Crackers

Sourdough Crackers

Previous blog: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/22542/noknead-multigrain-seed-and-nut-loaf

I know that most of us, that culture wild yeast, seldom actually "discard" the discards of our sourdough. Of course, it is not unusual to hear someone new to keeping a sourdough culture remarking that they hate to have to through out the discards. And again, of course, a dozen replies of "No! Make pancakes..." or "Oh, no! Make waffles... ". Well, from now on, I will be crying "No! Make sourdough crackers.. The older the discards, the better the crackers!"

Naturally, that does assume you like sour sourdough, but the crackers are great even with "un-sour" sourdough discards, Rye Sour, etc. or even non-discarded levain as the leavening ingredient.

I came across a year old post by Sarah Wood on using your discard for whole wheat crackers. The link is:
http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2010/03/08/sourdough-recipes-galore-whole-wheat-crackers/
It certainly looked simple enough, so I tried it. I am certainly glad I did, although, a batch never last very long and another few hundred calories have been ingested.

So, here is a step by step, complete with photos, Baker's percentages, some suggestions, and pointers on the ingredients and process. Even if you are not of an experimental curiosity by nature, I suspect you will have some ideas for variations you would like to try.

A small amount Sesame Oil, or Olive Oil to brush the top of the crackers and Kosher salt to sprinkle over the oiled surface will also be needed.

Substitutions of butter or lard can be made for the coconut oil, but I prefer the coconut oil, either the Extra Virgin, or the Expeller types.

Notice that I chose the ingredient amounts to exactly match the Baker's percentages. This batch size works very well for one sheet of crackers per Silpat baking sheet and a 100 grams of discards is an equally reasonable size. If you wish, make multiples of this amount and store in the fridge until you want more crackers.

I do want to mention some considerations to keep in mind when using coconut oil. Using the Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is my first choice, Expeller Coconut Oil is my second and neither one requires special consideration in a warmer kitchen, but if the kitchen temperature, or the dough temperature, is below about 78ºF ( 25.5º C) then you should either use methods to maintain the temperature of all ingredients about 78ºF ( 25.5º C) during the mixing phase, or use softened butter. Coconut oil is liquid from about the 75ºF ( 23.9º C) and above. Adding it in a mix of cold, fresh out of the fridge, levain may very well cause lumpy, difficult dough conditions. Once the full mixing is complete, this is no longer of any potential problem.

Let your finished crackers cool before placing (if any are uneaten) in an airtight container to preserve their crispness.

============= 110328-1330

   Next Blog:http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/22910/ingredient-list-and-calcultor-tfl-bakers

 

 


dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Baguette crumb - 65% hydration dough

Some time ago, Pat (proth5) posted her formula for baguettes. This was in the context of our "great baguette quest" of some months back. We were playing with higher hydration doughs and cold fermentation à la Gosselin and Bouabsa.

Pat's formula is levain-based and employs a 65% hydration dough. She has insisted repeatedly that, while higher hydration is one route to a more open, holey crumb, fermentation and technique in shaping the baguettes are at least as important and that good technique can achieve the desired open crumb even with a dryer dough.

Okay. It was past time I tested my own technique against Pat's claim.

Pat's formula is as follows:

This is for two loaves at a finished weight of 10.5 oz each

.75 oz starter

1.12 oz flour

1.12 oz water 

Mix and let ripen (8-10 hours) 

Bread

All of the levain build

10.95 oz all purpose flour

.25 oz salt

6.6 oz water 

Dough temperature 76F 

Mix to shaggy mass (Yes! Put the preferment in the autolyse!) – let rest 30 mins

Fold with plastic scraper  (30 strokes) – repeat 3 more times at 30 min intervals 

Bulk ferment at 76F for 1.5 hours – fold

Bulk ferment at 76F 2 hours

Preshape lightly but firmly, rest 15 mins

Shape.  Proof 1 hour or so

Slash

Bake with steam at 500F for about 20 mins

 

I followed this except I baked at 480F. I used Whole Foods 365 Organic AP flour. The result was an excellent, classic baguette with a crunchy crust and cool, creamy crumb. It was slightly sweet with imperceptible sourness when eaten just ... well, almost ... cooled.

Here's  the crumb:

I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

Thanks, Pat!

David

Janedo's picture
Janedo

The Great Baguette quest N°3: Anis Bouabsa

Tuesday morning, we decided to go visit the Duc de la Chapelle, Anis Bouabsa's bakery in Paris. As you probably know, he won this year's Best Baguette. The bakery is situated in a modest neighborhood, far from the typical tourist traps and chic areas. We entered the bakery and asked he woman behind the counter several questions before buying a selection of breads. She was very nice and helpful. As we left the bakery, we took some pictures of the young baker/apprenti who was scoring baguettes and sliding them in to the oven. Disappointed by the quality of the photos through the window, Florence returned and asked if we could go inside and take just a few pictures. The woman showed her the way, no questions asked!

Once inside, who came through, but Anis himself! I felt like a teenager who was getting a real-live view of her movie star hero. He looked at me through the window and asked Flo who I was. I think he thought I was a bit idiotic because I had such a huge grin on my face! He opened the door and told me to come on in.

So, here you have two passionate home bakers in front of a master, and may I say the sweetest, nicest and most generous master. We started asking him questions and he told us EVERYTHING! He explained from A to Z how he makes his famous baguette. He adapted the recipe for home use for us and explained how we could do the steps at home. He showed us how to form the baguettes, slide them in the oven, what temperature.... EVERYTHING!

We even asked him if we could come and have a real lesson and he didn't say no, he said in September it could be possible.

Now, what he told us was actually quite surprising! The baguette dough has a 75% hydration, very little yeast, hardly kneaded, folded three times in one hour then placed in the fridge 21hrs. They are not fully risen when placed in the oven, it is the wet dough and the very very hot oven (250°C) that make give the volume. 

When I get some time, I will be trying his recipe. I feel success is near!!!!

Anis gave me permission to publish his pictures. They were all taken by Florence, "photographe extraordinaire".

Jane  

Anis Bouabsa

 ExplanationsExplanations

Baguettes à cuireBaguettes à cuire

OvenOven

BaguettesBaguettes

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Greenstein's Sourdough Rye (Rye Sour) care and feeding, illustrated

Eagleswings' struggles with a rye starter and the current interest in Jewish sour rye and corn bread have prompted me to re-post my response regarding the care and feeding of rye sour. After making sour rye breads last weekend, I took some photos of my rye sour refreshment which might be helpful to those undertaking rye bread baking for the first time.

 The photos that follow illustrate the progression of each stage's ripening. The volume of the sour is, of course, increased with each stage.

 

DMSnyder's adaptation of Greenstein's Rye Sour:


There are 3 "stages" to make a sour ready to use in a rye bread recipe. You can refrigerate overnight after any of the stages. If you do refrigerate it, use warm water in the next build. The mature sour will probaby be okay to use for a couple of days, but I try to time it to spend no longer that 12 hours since the last feeding. If you have kept it longer under refrigeration, it should be refreshed.

 

Stage 1:

50 gms of Rye sour refreshed with 100 gms water and 75 gms rye flour

50 gms of Rye sour refreshed with 100 gms water and 75 gms rye flour, mixed into a paste, scraped down and smoothed over.

 

 

Refreshed rye sour with 25 gms (1/4 cup) rye flour sprinkled over the surface.

Refreshed rye sour with 25 gms (1/4 cup) rye flour sprinkled over the surface. This prevents drying out. Cover airtight (more or less) to ripen.

 

 

Ripening refreshed rye sour, starting to rise and form a dome, spreading the dry rye flour.

Ripening refreshed rye sour after 3 hours or so, starting to rise and form a dome, spreading the dry rye flour. Keep covered. Be patient.

 

 

Ripening refreshed rye sour. Expanded further with more pronounced spreading of dry flour.

Ripening refreshed rye sour after 4-5 hours. Expanded further with more pronounced spreading of dry flour. 

 

Fully ripe rye sour. This should be used immediately. If you are not ready for it, I have refrigerated it overnight. What you don't want is for fermentation to continue until the sour collapses.

Stage 2:
All of the Stage 1 starter
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup rye flour

Mix thoroughly into a thick paste. Scrape down and smooth the surface.

Sprinkle 1/4 cup of rye flour all over the surface. Cover the bowl and let rise for 4-8 hours or untile the dry rye on the surface has spread into "continents" and the surface has domed. Don't wait until it collapses.

Stage 3:
All of the Stage 1 starter
1/2 cup of water
1 cup of rye flour.

You may have to transfer this to a larger bowl. Mix thoroughly into a thicker paste - It should pull away from the sides of the bowl as you mix it. If it is too thin, you can add more rye flour until it is more "dough-like." Cover the starter and let it rise 4-8 hours. It should nearly double in volume and be bubbly.

It's now ready to use to make rye bread.

Greenstein advises to keep the starter refrigerated and stir the starter every 3-4 days and refresh it every 10-12 days by throwing out half of it and mixing in "equal amounts of flour and water."

Greenstein says, if you are going to refrigerate the sour for any length of time, keep it in a covered container in the refrigerator and float a layer of water over it. (I don't generally do the water cover trick.)

I hope this helps some one.

David

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Sprouting and Malting Primer

The 25% extraction sprouted multi grain bran sifted from the 75% extraction sprouted flour.

The little green rosettes will make your muffins taste bettah and sprouted grains will make your breads taste bettah too!  Sprouting is way easier than making bread so it is perfect for Lucy and I to do for just about every bake ……and a great way to turn a 3 day sourdough bake into a 5 day one – also perfect for us retired folks looking for something to do.

 

Make sure you re using hulled grains if you don’t like hard to digest fiber and roughage in your flour.   I’ve seen sprouting directions out there saying to soak the grains in water for 24 hours for the first step.  Don’t do it.  You are trying to sprout them – not drown them which is what you will likely do if you soak them for 24 hours.  You want to keep grain genocide far away from you.  The first step is to weigh the grains to be soaked.

 

After a 4 hour max soak in water you have to put them n something so that they can sprout, you can easily rinse and drain them every 8-12 hours so that the mold is kept at bay, keep light out so no green shoots stay white instead of turning green and the cool humid air in.

 

I found a plastic cheese mold with small colander holes in the bottom to let the whey out when forming and pressing cheese which is also perfect for sprouting grain..  it was a bargain a 50 cents at Goodwill.

 

You can buy sprouting gadgets and containers online, at health food stores and in some ethnic markets too.  Many folks just use a mason jar with the solid lid removed and substitute a screen to let water out when they rinse the grain and just keep it in a dark place.

 

What you are trying to do is replicate how the seeds would normally germinate in the ground.  Damp – not wet, dark – no light and cool – not hot or cold.  64-70 F works  best but since you are only going to be sprouting for 24 hours total or so from when the first soaking water hits the seeds,  a bit warmer won’t mold the seeds  just rinse them more often.,

 

This 5 grain mix took different times for each variety to chit but no worries - it is all close enough.

After soaking, I drain the seeds in the cheese mold and rinse them in water, shake out the excess water, cover in plastic wrap and a kitchen towel to keep out the light.  I repeat this every 8- 12 hours until the seeds chit.  Different seeds chit at different rates with rye being the fastest and some ancient grains being the slowest but they all close enough to sprout together which is what I do’

 

Once the first white rootlets break through the seed bran shell it is called ‘chitting’ and you are now done with sprouting to make sprouted flour and ready to dry the grains.  Once the grain has chatted, I dry it in a dehydrator at 105 – 110 F for 3 hours and 30 minutes with the seeds spread pout thinly, on a single layer on the trays. 

 

You will know that you are done drying them enough, so they won’t clog up your mill, when they weigh about the same as they did when you first weighed them before soaking.  Once dry you can mill them and sift them like you do any flour.  Your taste buds will reward you for taking the time to make sprouted flour for all kinds of things. 

If you don’t have a dehydrator I used to dry my grain outside in the AZ but you have to figure out a way to keep the birds from eating it.  I used the broiler pan from the mini oven with the seed on the bottom covered with the vented broiler top.  I have also dried them in my mini convection oven where the lowest temperature was 150 F.  With the door ajar the seeds never got over 140 F. 

Some will say that this is too high a temperature and kills off the enzymes you are trying to promote but brewers have always been right, They use the same grain and enzymes to extract all the sugar from the starch in the grain to make beer at the fastest rate and the best temperature to do so – 150 F.  So keeping it under 150 F will do the trick.

Time to make white & red malts when the seed shoot is the length of the seed p here are two pictures showing when the seeds are finished malting

Now if you sprout your grain, in this case rye or barley, for 4 or 5 days until the shoot, not the 3 rootlets that first chit out of the seed, is the length of the seed itself then it is ready to dry to make rye malt or barley malt.  This much longer time requires more rinsing and cool temperatures to keep the mold at bay.

Once dry at 105 F you can just grind into white diastatic malt, below right, or you can take the temperature up to 325 F like the seeds above to brown them to make red non diastatic malt, below left.

 

 Both malts above were made from the same malted berries 

If you dry this grain at low temperature you have white, diastatic malt and if you dry it at higher temperature up to 325 F you have red, nondiastatic malt – both of which are fine bread ingredients for all kinds of reasons.

Happy Sprouting and Malting

 

holds99's picture
holds99

Dutch Oven Baking - Atta Durum Flour and K.A. Bread Flour

This bread is made using 50% Golden Temple Atta durum wheat flour (not semolina) and 50% King Arthur bread flour.  In the past I have used King Arthur durum flour.  For this bake I decided to try Golden Temple Atta.  The main difference I noticed between the King Arthur and Golden Temple durum flour, is King Arthur durum gives a yellowish color to the crumb, whereas Atta gives the crumb a light- golden tan color.  Other than color, I think the flavor of the two flours are comparable in taste/flavor.  After I finished baking this bread, I was putting away the Golden Temple Atta, it dawned on me that Varda had written a blog a while back on Atta durum flour, where she discussed some problems, options for mixing and hydration.  Using the TFL search function I found Varda’s: “Atta Durum Hearth Loaf” and read her excellent post on the characteristics of this flour and how she dealt with “taming the beast”.   The comments on the post were also interesting.  Varda used 100% Atta durum in her loaf, where I used only 50% Atta.  Incidentally, Varda’s loaf was beautiful.  Next time I will try using 100% Atta durum flour for this formula to see what results I get.

As can be seen in the photos, I used the Dutch oven method, which works well with this high-hydration dough.  In fact, I bake about half of all my bread in a Dutch oven.  As for shape, my personal preference is oval, rather than round Dutch oven.  The main reason is the oval (except for each end of the loaf) allows the slices to be fairly uniform in size/shape; nice for sandwiches.

After shaping, the loaves were retarded overnight in bannetons inside a plastic bag.  I preheated the oven to 500 degrees.  The temperature of the Dutch oven were room temp., not preheated.  I turned the shaped loaves from the bannetons into the Dutch oven, put the lid on and set them on the stone in my oven (see photo).  As can be seen in the photo, these Dutch ovens are large; the pair span the entire oven rack. 

I made slightly less than 8 pounds (7.85 lbs.) of dough and divided it equally into 2 – nearly four pound loaves.  The formula can be halved to produce approximately 4 pounds of dough, which can then be divided equally to produce 2 – approximately two pound loaves.  I also used a double-levain build.  The first build takes 12-14 hours (overnight), the second build, because of the yeast activity, takes much less time, 2-3 hours.  The final-dough flour and water was mixed together and allowed to autolyse for 30 minutes before adding the levain to the final dough mix.  After the autolyse, the levain was mixed with the final dough mixture for approximately 8 minutes (DLX Attendent - 10 qt. stand mixer - low speed) before the salt was added.  After adding salt it was then mixed an additional 4 minutes on low speed.  The dough was given 4 stretch and folds; one at the beginning of bulk fermentation, 3 more at 20 minute intervals for a total of one hour.  The dough was allowed to bulk ferment for an additional hour after the stretch and folds.  At the end of the 2 hour folding and bulk fermentation process the dough was divided, pre-shaped and allowed to rest on the work surface, covered, for 30 minutes.  Then the final shaping was done, after which the dough was placed into bannetons (seam side up) and retarded in the fridge overnight in plastic bags.

Note 1:  Before turning the dough into the Dutch oven, generously sprinkle the top of the dough in the bannetons with semolina.  After the dough is turned out of the banneton(s) into the Dutch oven, the semolina will act as an insulator and keep the bottom of the loaf from scorching.

Note 2: After 20 minutes of baking at 500 deg. F, reduce the oven temperature to 480 deg. F.  After an additional 10 minutes further reduce the oven temperature to 470 deg. F.

Also, turn the Dutch ovens around every 20 minutes.  Remove the lids approximately 10 minutes before the end of the baking cycle.  These 4 lb. loaves were baked for 58 minutes, the final 10 minute with the lidsoff the Dutch ovens.

Note 3: A few months ago I started experimenting with Chad Robertson’s technique for high-hydration dough.  He uses warm water in his final dough mix.  After final dough mix, Robertson places the dough into a plastic tub and over a 3-4 hour period he thoroughly turns the dough back on itself at half hour intervals (see Chad Robertson’s Masters Video clip on YouTube).  This method is really effective for developing strong gluten and really gets the yeast cranking.  So much so that when you try to retard the dough the yeast keeps on cranking/fermenting in the fridge, and when it is taken out of the fridge the following day the dough is over-proofed.  This results in the dough degassing when it is scored, before going into the oven.  This happen to me three times, with two different types of dough.  So, I asked David Snyder what he thought about solving the problem?  He suggested using cold water in the final dough mix and lowering the fermentation temperature.  Thank you, David.  That’s what I did.  In short, I used cold water for the final dough mix, shortened the total bulk fermentation time to 2 hours and retarded it overnight for about 12 hours.  The combination of cold water and shorter bulk fermentation time kept the yeast activity suppressed during retardation.  After removing the bannetons from the fridge I was able to leave the dough in the bannetons for close to two hours, allowing them to nearly double in volume, at room temperature, before putting them onto the D-o, scoring them, covering them and placing them in the preheated oven.

Note 4: If you are not retarding your loaves, then you don’t need to use cold water in the final dough mix.  You can use room temperature water.

Overall, the final dough mix has: 71 oz. flour, 53.25 oz. water and 1.42 oz. salt.  These ingredients make 7.85 lbs. of dough. The final dough is 75% hydration. 

Levain build No. 1  (12—14 hours)

2 oz. ripe sourdough starter (heaping tablespoon)

8 oz. water

8 oz. bread flour

Levain build No. 2  (2-3 hours)

All of levain build no. 1

8 oz. water

8 oz. bread flour

 

Final Dough Mix

 19.5 oz. bread flour

35.5 oz. Atta durum flour

37.25 oz. cold water (keeps the dough from over-proofing during retardation)

1.4 oz. salt

 

teketeke's picture
teketeke

How I make and maintain raisin yeast water

  You can jump to  http://raisinyeastwater.com/category/how-to-make-raisin-yeast-water/

  Because all of the pictures below are broken. Very sorry for this inconvenience, that my computer crushed and lost all pictures I had.

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Once I had made my raisin yeast water, I really didn't care about methods to make - I had mine, and that was all I cared about. After I was asked by some TFL members about yeast water, I realized that I really didn't know what the nature of raisin yeast water was. I 'd like to leave my recent research and thoughts here for anyone who is interested in for reference.

How to make raisin yeast water

Ingredients:

  •   45 g    Raisins( * I use organic Thompson raisins. they are NOT coated with oil, I recommend to use organic one)
  •   Water  ( I used purified this time, I also use filtered water from a refrigerator. NO using chlorine water .
    •  A jar ( I use emptied jelly jars all the time.)
Method    

Day1:

 1) Sterilize your jar:   put the jar in the boiling water for a few minutes and take it out .     Leave it until it is dry. 2) Add the raisins and the water as to 1:1 ratio like the picture below.
(No chlorine water! It kills yeast!) 3)    Shook the jar vigorously  * Tighten the lid Before shakingAfter shaking vigorously  /   Close up4) Keep the jar at 82 F / 28℃. * Tighten the lid ( The right one is correct. the left jar is the other way to make yeast water )5) 4-5 hours later :  * Keep the jar at 82 F / 28℃. Tighten the lid  Before shaking After shaking vigorously * The raisins are soaked with the water. Now it is the time to add more water.6) Add  some purified water until double the raisins.  After shaking vigorously,* Keep the jar at 82 F / 28℃. Tighten the lid 




Day 2  7)  Shake the jar vigorously as many as you can. * Keep the jar at 82 F / 28℃. Tighten the lid

----   I did that was 6:30 am ~  8:20 pm ---    shook  the jar vigorously 13 times. * Tighten the lid* All of the raisins stayed up to the top of the water.     6:20 am  Before shaking 
 After shaking vigorously   * Tighten the lid



8) At the night *Close the lid not too tight not too loose. 
* I think that the yeast needs to get some little oxygen to breath to activate for over night so I didn'tclose the lid tight anymore because the raisins stayed up to the top of the water for a half day.Day 39) In the morning  Shake the jar vigorously.     *Close the lid not too tight not too loose Before shaking    close up After shaking vigorously      Close up10)   Refrigerate it when you hear shwwwwww... sounds while it was fermented at 82 F.).  *Close the lid tightly  after shaking vigorously.Day 411) in the morning: *Close the lid tightly after shaking vigorously andPut it back in the refrigerator . Before shaking  Close up After shaking vigorously     Close upDay 512) In the morning: Shake the jar vigorously.   Tighten the lid and put it back in the refrigerator.   Before shaking   * I smell a bit strong alcohol smell which means fully fermented but it needs more rest before baking bread.     After shaking vigorously  * The alcohol smells was weaken.( mild level)13) At the night( Approximately 12 hours later)-- READY TO BAKE!To make levain for my sandwich loaf with raisin yeast water.Levain:
  • King Arthur all purpose flour   149g
  •  Raisin yeast water                          107g
----------------The day before-----------1. Pour 107 g raisin yeast water into the container. The taste:  Sweet and little bit of alcohol.The result of the PH level test Between PH 5.5 and 5.75.Added 149 g KA AP  and made the levain.Viscosity: Hard. I had to knead by hand.* "Hard " means that there is a lot of sugar in the dough.------------------------------------------------------------------------------Next day--- Final dough
  •  King Arthur bread flour                       281g
  • 1 egg yolk + Whipping heavy cream=58g
  •  Water                                                            144g
  • Sugar                                                                 13g
  • Butter                                                                29g
  • Salt                                                                    6.8g
Method
  1.  Mix all the final ingredients and the levain except the butter and salt.
  2.  Autolyze 30minutes.
  3.  Add the salt and butter and knead until you pass a window pane test.
  4. Bulk fermentation at the room temperature until triples.
  5. Preshape
  6. Shape
  7. Bake  35 minutes at 410F until golden brown.    *Cold oven method:  Spray a couple time  in the oven and put the loaf in.  Set up 284F for 20 minutes. increase the temperature to 410F for 10 minutes, lotate 180 degree the loaf pan and bake 10 more minutes until golden brown.
The levain rose tripled ( 9 hours later)Bulk fermentation: The final dough rose almost tripled in 5 hours at 72-73F.Final proof: The dough rose over the top of the tin in 2 hours at 82F.Baked for 35 minutes at 410 F.( I couldn't use " cold oven method" because I was using the oven a hour ago before )When I ferment the final dough at colder temp, I can see the cracks.          The taste was really good. nice volume.  The crumb was not wet, it was nice texture.I smelled a bit of fruity smell from the raisins when I sliced it after 5 hours I baked, but the smell was very slightly and very pleasant.-------------------------------------------------------------  Comparison:5/267 :00 am--   From left: No lid / Vigorous shakes/ my old one - generous shakes10:30 am--  From left: No lid/ Vigorous shakes/ my old one5/27 5:50 am  From left: No lid/ Vigorous shakes/ my old one (I just refreshed)Comparison of the crumb:   ( 12 g sugar not 13g  used in the final dough)  Vigorous shakes    No lid* I didn't like No lid bread because I smelled strong yeast like Active dry yeast when I put it in my mouth.No lid raisin yeast water itself  has no strong yeast smell neither taste , which gave me a surprise.Our taste gives us more details than this PH test in my opinion.----------------------------------------------

For reference,  I want to mention about yeast water that I found from some Japanese sites  and the others from winery .

"Yeasts will activate in two different ways:
1. with oxygen:
{Sugar -C6H12O6+Oxygen--O2}→{ Carbon dioxide-Co2+Water -H2O} 
(* We call it " Breath" which means the yeast is active. )

2. with no oxygen:

{Sugar-C6H12O6 }→{Carbon dioxide gas 2(CO2) + Alcohol(Ethyl alcohol)-2(CH3CH2OH)}

(※ We call it "Alcohol fermentation")When there is no sugar in, it turns to acetic acid ( quite sour), except apple and raisin which contain malic acid. ( milder )

When we make raisin yeast water using a jar, The yeast water will activate with the oxygen in the jar first ( Breath), and occur alcohol fermentation when it is no oxygen in the jar. Alcohol has bactericidal action which prevents to have mold and unwanted bacteria. Natural yeast is tolerant to alcohol so that they live together, however, he doesn't grow without new oxygen.While alcohol fermentation is working, natural yeast stops growing, therefore, it is not time to congratulate yourself yet because of the bubbles ( carbon dioxide gas) , you have to get more oxygen to have your yeast water activate by loosing a lid to access air ( oxygen) into your yeast water.

To make non sour bread, grow Saccharomyces cerevisiae ( S.ellipsoides) in the raisin yeast BEFORE Lactic and acetic acid bacterias grow at proper temperature. Saccharomayces cerecisiae will be tolerant to them. ( Saccharomayces cerecisiae >Lactic acid and acetic bacteria)

*Lactic bacteria and acetic bacteria are in the air. Especially acetic bacteria increases in summer. They exist in the air and grow in all kind of fruit and vegetables and other kind of food that they contain glucose. To make kimchi, we use the power of lactic bacteria that is in the Chinese cabbage. Japanese sake is also used the power of lactic acid bacteria that is in the rice. Acetic bacteria will really activate at over 30℃. To make sweet raisin yeast water ( or other fruit yeast), We should fully grow Saccharomyces cerevisiae ( S.ellipsoides) in the raisin yeast ( or other fruit yeast) BEFORE lactic and acetic bacteria grow. Lactic bacteria is not bad when we make yogurt yeast to make sweet bread. When Lactic bacteria is fully grown in yogurt yeast, Other unwanted bacteria can't grow in the yogurt yeast because the lactic bacteria is tolerant to them at proper temperature. * Exception: Sourdough

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------*How I maintain my raisin yeast water: *Use a sterilized jar and filtered water. (no chlorine water) 

*And the raisins are NOT coated with OIL. Organic ones taste much better.


* I don't measure the water actually but by volume like the picture above.

Ingredients:This volume will be about
  • 13-25g raisin yeast water (5-7% -in the summer  10-11% in the winter) *  The temperature by the snake light differs from all season so that I adjust the raisin yeast water amount by the room temperature.
  • 45 g raisins                   (20%)
  • 225 g water                   ( 100%)
Method:1) Shake the jar vigorously after putting all the ingredients in the jar.2) Close the lid not too tight /not too loose and keep it at 76-82F around for overnight.3) Shake the jar vigorously and store it in the refrigerator. ( I don't discard the raisins in the jar)* It is very important to keep some sugar in your yeast water not to get your yeast water hungry. I use the refreshed raisin yeast water after 12 hours I store it in the refrigerator to stabilize.

4) Shake the jar vigorously every morning 1 time to get some f your raisin yeast water.     I shake it vigorously every morning and night which is  2 times in total  now.  (September,20011)

If you store it more than several days, I will  *refresh it before baking.*Using this maintain raisin yeast water method.

Here is the link that you might be interested in:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yeast--------------------------------------------------------------Other methods that I found in Japanese sites1)http://levadura.exblog.jp/12421595/

I read one of Japanese home baker’s method of making raisin yeast water: To make non sour (sweet) and well risen bread, she tighten the lid and shake the jar gently once or twice a day during the process, and she said" if you make bread with this yeast water, you will have dense bread because the yeast didn't get enough oxygen while it was fermented although the taste is wonderfully sweet. In according to make bread that has volume, she add mashed mixed fruit in the yeast water to ferment it again in a bowl that is covered with plastic wrap at room temperature .It sounds good, but it will give me more work. I rather make raisin yeast simply in good condition.

2) No lid method:

http://cookpad.com/recipe/543057 She tested 2 kind of methods between with lid and no lid like me.  She said that No lid doesn't have any alcohol smell and rise very well. She is right but I had a different result after baking. I smelled alcohol from the crumb and the crumb remains wetter in the crumb but I also think that no lid one rise well in the oven.

This is the result:

https://www.evernote.com/shard/s46/sh/aae4b7bd-4181-42f3-b4fd-af43f60b70d7/bfbb002b43291f87240bb662ec67d05e

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q & A:

Q:  Does the taste of yeast water affect to the bread?

A: I say " Yes" That is why I smell and taste my raisin yeast water if it is fine. My raisin yeast water is  sweet with mild alcohol generally. When the raisin yeast water is just made, You may smell strong alcohol, but it will be milder and read to bake in the next day.  If you smell sour or funny, I strongly recommend you to throw away all of your raisin yeast water, and make a new one.

--------------------------------------------------------------

Q : Why do you shake it vigorously during the process?

A: I have two purposes. I can squeeze more sugar to feed the raisin yeast water by the vigorous shakes, which also activate the raisin yeast.I don't recommend this technique for fresh fruit yeast water which have bitter skins because the bitters remains in the yeast water and the bread.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q:  Can I use a water bottle to make raisin yeast water ?

A: I prefer a jar. It depends on you.  However, I highly recommend not to use a weak water bottle like "Walt-mart" brand.I tested it before. On the second day, I smelled some chemical from the bottle. Although I noticed that the raisin yeast water in the bottle had a lot of bubbles and very active, which reminded me of  the process to make beer.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSrbukazO_Q

Day 1                   Day2 ------------------------------------------------------------Q:  How do make bread with raisin yeast water?A:  I use my yeast water like sourdough I used to have.Example: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/23726/thank-you-syd I also use my raisin yeast water as sherry wine or mirin ( sweet Japanese sake for cooking) to make teriyaki sauce, orange sour chicken sauce, and so on. I also keep my alcoholic raisins that are fermented in the jar for home made rum raisins. So I can make Daisy's Panettone.http://www.thfreshloaf.com/node/21104/my-first-panettone-milanese-notes-trial-run-formula-and-method-thanks-all-advice Once, I used 2 tbsp this rum syrup to fix the sour flavor when I made David's miche:http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/23593/david039s-miche-raisin-yeast-water ( NO.5) Home made rum raisins.I add some sugar in whenever I add more alcoholic raisins.I discard the raisins that I make raisin yeast water from beginning because they are smashed and less sugar left in them.-------------------------------------------------

Q :  Is it okay to smell strong alcohol from my raisin yeast water?

A: Yes. When the raisin yeast water is just made, You may smell strong alcohol, but it will be milder and read to bake in the next day. Also,If your raisin yeast water is kept in the refrigerator for a couple days only, It will be fine. If you smell it strong, I will shake the jar vigorously. The smell will be weaken.   It is very important to see how active your raisin yeast water is. Very healthy one is the raisins keep floating  around the top of the water, and you can hear strong pops ( shwwww..) when you shake it and open it up.Here is the result of a sandwich loaf when I used my old raisin yeast water that was little strong alcohol smell.https://www.evernote.com/shard/s46/sh/039147ff-264d-4fa4-959d-65cf8cab1c3c/94659bd4a5655d3db0b0b2d4ddc79392------------------------------------------------------------Q:  How is it different from between non organic and organic raisins?

A: I have some experiments using Sun-maid raisins ( golden and regular ones)

Regular one is okay, but I tasted weird flavor in the bread a little bit when I compare to organic one.I strongly recommend not to use sun-maid golden raisins. It smelled and tasted very weird.

------------------------------------------------------------Q: Is it okay that my raisin yeast water sank on the bottom in the refrigerator?A: This is depends. If  all of the raisins doesn't float back up to the top of the water within a day after shaking vigorously, I think that the yeast is weak or some unwanted bacterias are in it.  I did throw it away and  made a new one when I had the problem. It happened when I didn't take care of the raisin yeast water for a couple weeks.------------------------------------------------------------Q; What temperature is better to make bread for raisin yeast water?

AFor Levain bread:

In the summer, I  use colder temperature around 70-73 F for bulk fermentation, 70-76 F around for final proof   .

In the winter, The temperature is around 76F for Bulk fermentation, 70-76F for final proof.

I think that raisin yeast water bread is not sour unless you retard it for a long time.  But it differs from what king of flour you use.  Rye and Whole wheat flour give it more acid or earthy flavor.

Happy baking,

Akiko

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Buns for Sandwiches

Nice recipe for some one day buns for sandwiches, hot dogs, or burgers.   Adapted from a Beth Hensperger recipe.  I had just written out the recipe with instructions and deleted the whole thing ; /   So here goes again!

8 oz. Spring Water

1 Large Egg

4 TBsp. soft unsalted Butter

2 TBsp. Sugar or Honey

15 oz. Bread Flour with extra to adjust hydration if needed.  I used Gold Medal Bread Flour on sale here for less than 2 bucks a 5 lb. bag.

1/4 cup King Arthur dry Milk Powder

1/4 cup mashed potato - I used a microwaved potato.  Fast and easy

1 1/2 tsp. sea salt

2 1/4 tsp. IADYeast

  1 egg yolk plus 2 Tbsp. water and 2 Tbsp. milk for glazing

   Sesame and Poppy seeds, springs of fresh Rosemary.

Add liquid ingredients to KA Mixer, add dry ingredients,  I sift my flour and dry  milk powder together.  The KA Dry Milk Powder tends to be sticky and can clump together and become hard if left with moisture for to long..so I just always sift it with my flour..using a wisk or a wire scoop.  Mixed until shaggy adding more flour as needed to adjust hydration.  Cover and rest 25 minutes.  Knead until gluten formation just begins.  Stretch and folds 30 minutes apart until gluten has formed nice windowpane.  Pour out onto counter, shape even weighed rolls, I made 8.  Place on parchment lined pan and press down to shape buns.  I pressed a biscuit cutter nearly all the way through just for a little extra pattern on rolls.  Let rise till nearly double.  Glaze and sprinkle on seeds.  Baked 350F in a convection oven setting till nicely browned..about 20-25 minutes.

 

                                   

                                             The pattern from the biscuit cutter was not very pronouned..

          

                                                   

                                                          I called these my Aussie Sandwiches : )  

        Sylvia

 

                               

 

 

Pretzels

pretzel shapingThe other day I was reading Jeffrey Hamelman's recent book Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes when I came across his pretzel recipe. His recipe requires a pate fermente overnight, a long fermentation, and a bath in a solution of water and lye, which means rubber gloves and goggles are required.

"Rubber gloves and goggles and caustic fluids to make a batch of pretzels?!? You've got to be kidding me," I thought.

The next day I found myself flipping through another baking book when I stumbled across another pretzel recipe. No caustic bath. No preferment. Not even an initial fermentation: simply mix everything together, shape the pretzels, and bake them; beginning to end, under an hour.

So which is it? Is it necessary to make the preferment and use lye to make decent pretzels at home? Do you even need to ferment the dough to make passable pretzels, or can you just jam them into the oven?

Find out below.

By the way, the other baking book I was looking at was Breaking Bread with Father Dominic 2. Not a bad little book. I gather that it is out of print, but if you see a cheap used copy at the local bookstore it might be worth picking up.

I didn't follow his recipe exactly, but it provided a nice balance to Hamelman's recipe.

The Experiment

There was no way I was going to try the lye bath at home. Maybe to make world class, authentic German pretzels that is necessary, but for a half dozen pretzels at home? Forget about it.

I decided to try make pretzels with an initial fermentation and without. I also tried boiling them briefly in water, egg washing them, and just baking them dry. If any of those methods could produce something reasonably like the soft pretzels I've had before I'd be happy.

The Recipe

I buy my yeast in a jar so that I can measure out as much or as little as I want (well, that and it is cheaper when you bake as often as I do). If you are using yeast from a packet, you can either use half a packet or double the recipe and use an entire packet (at least the packets they sell in the grocery stores in the US... international bakers will have to do their own conversion).

If you are using instant (AKA Rapid Rise or Bread Machine) yeast, you can just mix the yeast in with the rest of the dry ingredients before adding the warm milk and it'll activate fine. If you are using active dry yeast, mix it into the warm milk along with the malt powder (or brown sugar) and give it 5 to 10 minutes to activate before incorporating it into the dry ingredients.

Pretzels

Makes 6 large pretzels
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon malt powder or brown sugar
2-3 cups all-purpose unbleached or bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm milk (approximately 110 degrees, which is 1 minute in my microwave)

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix together until it forms a ball. I start with 2 cups of the flour and mix it together until it forms something like a thick batter, then add more flour a handful at a time until it'll form a nice ball that I can knead by hand.

Either use an electric mixer to mix the dough for 5 minutes or remove it from the bowl and knead it by hand for 5 to 10 minutes until the dough begins to get smooth and satiny.

If you are going to ferment the dough (more information on whether this set is necessary below), return the ball of dough to a clean, greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set it aside to rise until it has doubled in size, approximately an hour.

If you fermented it, degas the dough gently before moving on to the next step.

Before shaping, start preheating the oven to 425 degrees.

Cut the dough into 6 pieces. Roll each one into a short log, cover with a towel, and let the dough relax for 5 to 10 minutes. After it has relaxed you should be able to roll it out and stretch again fairly easily.

pretzel logs

After taking this photo, I let them relax again and then gave each a third roll and stretch session before they were as long and thin as I wanted (about 15 inches long and about as big around as my index finger). They'll nearly double in width while baking, so it is ok to roll them out quite thin.

pretzel shaping

Shaping pretzels is simple, once you get a hang of it. Place a rope of dough on the work surface in front of you. Take each end in a hand, loop the dough away from you, and bring the ends back toward your stomach, crossing them about an inch above the rope. Apply a little bit of pressure to make the loops stick together, but not too much because you don't want then to flatten out.

Pretzels don't appear to need to rise again before baking, so you just need to figure out how you want to prep them for the oven. Here are the options I tried:

To boil them: If you want to boil them, bring a pot of water to a boil. Dunk each of the pretzels into the boiling water for 5 seconds, then place them onto a baking sheet and sprinkle with coarse salt (I use the kosher stuff that is easy to find at the grocery store) or other toppings.

pretzel shaping

I used a pair of spatulas to hold the pretzel in place while holding it under water.

To eggwash them: Simply place them on a baking sheet, brush them gently with an egg that has been whisked, then sprinkle with coarse salt or other toppings.

To bake them (mostly) dry: Sprinkle or spritz them with a little bit of water so that the toppings will stick, then sprinkle with coarse salt or other toppings.

Place the baking sheets into the oven. It took around 15 minutes for my pretzels to get golden and brown. Remove from the oven and eat immediately.

Results

pretzels done

We definitely thought the boiled pretzels (on the left) were better than the pretzels that had just been spritzed with water (on the right). The spritzed ones were dry and had a slightly french bread like crust. Crust like that is good on french bread but not so good on soft pretzels.

I liked the boiled pretzels more than the eggwashed pretzels, my wife preferred the eggwashed pretzels better. The eggwashed ones rose considerably more in the oven than the boiled ones, so they were quite soft and fluffy. The boiled ones were still soft, but they were a little denser and chewier.

Truthfully, I couldn't tell the difference between the batch that I let ferment for an hour and the batch I baked immediately. If I were tasting them side by side with no toppings I probably could detect a slight difference. But at least when I eat soft pretzels they are a medium for other flavors (salt and mustard), either method produces an adequate pretzel.

pretzel alone

And the lye bath? At least for the home baker I can say with confidence that you can skip it.

Defender of the lye bath? Or have any other insight into proper pretzel making? Please comment!

Pages