The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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BarbaraK's picture
BarbaraK

Sourdough - knead vs. stretch and fold

Hi Everyone

I've just started on my sourdough journey. So far  I've made San Joaquin Sourdough from dmSnyder, Norwich sourdough from Susan of Wild Yeast,  Essential's Columbia Country French style and last Peter Reinharts' Basic Sourdough Bread from his B.B.Apprentice book. Many thanks to all who provided lovely recipes, advice and methods on this site.

We've loved all of them although I know they will improve as I become more experienced. I made two loaves each time  and as an experiment held the 2nd of each (as suggested by Susan)  in the frig after forming them, baked them immediately from the frig. the next day   and we found them noticeably more interesting with more depth of flavour than the loaves baked the day before. In fact my husband, who was brought up in Central Europe, thought he had died and gone to heaven to at last have bread which reminded him of his childhood.

Both Essential's and Reinhart's specify kneading or the mixer, which is something I would prefer not to have to do. My question is does anyone know if the kneading is essential with these two recipes or could I substitute wet-handed Stretch  and Fold as I find that physically less demanding than kneading?Also can I use a higher hydration or would it be likely to change the whole character of the bread? 

I almost always use unbleached white bread flour with a proportion of whole-grain rye.

Any help or advice  from more experienced bakers would be so much appreciated.

Barbara

 

 

 

 

Grandpa Larry's picture
Grandpa Larry

observations on fresh yeast

In my neighborhood, fresh yeast is available in supermarkets only during the Christmas holiday season. I bought a couple of the 2 ounce packages this past season and have been using the yeast to bake my bread and pizza. The two packages I bought have a date of 12/25/2013 stamped on the bottom. I bake pizza once a week and generally bake a couple of loaves of bread each week as well.  I still have exactly 1.5 oz. of the second cake remaining in my fridge, wrapped in plastic wrap, sitting in the butter saver.

I generally use the no knead method for my pizza, so less yeast is needed, but even so, I find the miniscule amount of this fresh yeast required amazing! I don't even bother proofing it any more. I just cut off a tiny chunk with a paring knife, dissolve it along with a teaspoon of sugar in water, and add the requisite amount of flour. The photo is pizza dough made with 2.5 cups of water, 5 cups of AP flour, and about 1/8th ounce of fresh yeast. Dough was mixed 5 hours ago and stirred down three times during that time to prevent it escaping the bowl. It was last stirred down about 15 minutes ago.

I'll generally keep a batch of dough anywhere from a day to four days in the fridge before baking. The taste of bread and pizza made from this dough is wonderful. I use the same technique with instant yeast with good results, but not quite as good as with the fresh.

I am curious to know other's experience with this type of yeast.

andy24's picture
andy24

Construction of my authentic woodfired bread oven





jims's picture
jims

Valentine Braided Bread

Happy Valentine's Day! This bread is based on the challah in Peter Reinhart's "The Bread Bakers Apprentice". It is 14" across. Will find out this evening how it tastes.

Bob S.'s picture
Bob S.

Overproofed!

Over-proofing is often blamed for collapse in the oven. This is not always the case, as will be illustrated in this posting. A fully developed dough with good gas retention properties will not collapse in the oven, but will instead grow enormous in size. Baking this loaf was an experiment in extreme over-proofing, and an investigation into the causes of collapse in the oven.

The experimental loaf was formulated and baked the same way as Buttermilk Twist White Bread (Re-mix Method), only the loaf was not twisted. Optimum proof height was reached in about 70 minutes, but proofing was allowed to continue for an additional 50 minutes, giving a total proof time of 120 minutes. The maximum dough height reached 5” (127mm), which is about an inch higher than normal. Oven spring was tremendous, and the final baked loaf was well over 6” high.

So, it is established that over-proofing causes excessive loaf volume. But what about collapse? Offered below are two quotes from Baking Science and Technology by E. J. Pyler:

“Overproofing is recognized by loaves possessing pale crust color, coarse grain, poor texture, unsatisfactory keeping quality and undesirable flavor caused by excessive acid development. In the case of green or weak flours, it also results in poor loaf volume brought about by a collapse in the oven.” (Second edition, p 676)

Green flour is flour that has been freshly milled.

“Freshly milled flour that has not received artificial maturing treatment will generally give variable baking results and produce bread that is inferior in volume, texture, and grain to bread made from the same flour after a period of storage.” (Second edition p 352)

Conclusions:

1) Fully developed dough made with strong flour will cause excessive volume if over-proofed.

2) Using weak flour (such as all-purpose) when strong flour is called for may cause collapse if a loaf is over-proofed.

3) Freshly milled (or “green”) flour may give inconsistent results. Over-proofing is likely to cause collapse in the oven.

4) Storage (under the proper conditions) improves the baking quality of flour.

5) When using freshly milled flour, due care should be exercised to avoid over-proofing.

 The next two photographs show the dough immediately after being panned:

After 70 minutes, the dough is ready for the oven: 

After 120 minutes, the dough is overproofed, and goes into the oven:

Immediately after baking: 

And after cooling:

 

CambodiaDweller's picture
CambodiaDweller

Baking Bread Overseas, Low Oven Temp only Suggestions?

I recently moved to Cambodia and was enthused to have an oven - I thought my avid bread baking days were over.  Unfortunately, said oven only seems to heat to about 300 degrees.  Thus, the bread always collapses and is very dense.  Any suggestion on ways to successfully bake at a such a low temperature or is it a lost cause?  Many thanks!

scottv's picture
scottv

my first sourdough recipe - thoughts

Tell me if I have my thinking correct on making a recipe:

take 30g of refrigerated starter (100% hydration) out on Wed AM and add 30g water and 30g flour = 90g starter
on Wed PM (after 12 hours) add 90g water and 90g flour to 90g starter = 270g starter
put 270g starter in fridge

on Saturday AM, take 270g starter out of fridge and put 10g of the starter into a clean bowl and add 10g water/flour and put that back into the frige for next week

mix 260g of starter with 400g of flour and 220g of water with 10g of salt = 880g dough
do a stretch and fold, wait 10 minutes
do a stretch and fold #2, wait 10 minutes
do a stretch and fold #3, wait 10 minutes
shape into boule or batard and proof for 2 hours

Bake!

How does this sound?

 

thanks!

Littlebrooklyn's picture
Littlebrooklyn

My first sourdough

After one failed attempt and problems with my starter I finally got a loaf out of the oven.  I cut the top with scissors instead of using a blade as last time the whole loaf sank when I used the blade, although I think it was more down to overproving last time, but didn't want to risk it this time.  I hope it tastes okay!

Lyn

 

ashleymariethom's picture
ashleymariethom

Help with scoring to get that busted-open look?!

Hey Guys,

I was wondering how to get that beautiful 'lip' that so many artisan loaves have where it's been scored in the top? I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong, but every time I bake a new loaf- where I've scored it just plumps up perfectly even to fill the gap, leaving the crust of the loaf perfectly even, instead of having that awesome "busted open" look. 

What am I missing?!

Ashley

Muskie's picture
Muskie

Water pH and strength of gluten

My water is from my well. While I have a softener, I don't use it, my water isn't hard or soft.

But every attempt at 100% hydration doughs have left them too sticky to stretch and fold. I've tried a few different types, rise at 72F, 92F, 36F...all result in dough balls I cannot work (unless I add more dough). Is it the softeness of my water?

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