The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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zoqy71's picture
zoqy71

Hi from England

I'm a keen baker and cook. Now back in the kitchen after 2 years of traveling the World. 70% of my baking is with a sourdough starter and I'm a big experimenter in the kitchen.

nami5602's picture
nami5602

Sourdough very dry

Hi, today I made my 1st sourdough bread. Well, it's rising in the oven (turned off) now - but there is an issue which I couldn't find answers to so decided to ask on here. It's a Mary Berry 'sourdough rye bread' from her book 'Mary Berry's Complete Cookbook.' Ingredients:

1.5kg strong white flour

1 x 7g sachet yeast

250ml lukewarm water

3 tbsp caraway seeds (optional - I didn't use)

1 tbsp salt

For the starter:

250g strong white flour

1 tsp fast-action yeast

250ml lukewarm water

For the sponge:

200g rye flour

250ml lukewarm water

So, I made the starter as directed (purposely being vague here so no-one can copy the recipe for free.) and left for a few days at room temperature. It definitely seemed active -  bubbling and doubling in size at it's peak. Then, added the sponge ingredients and left for a few hours (precise time in book). Again, it bubbled well. Then, mixed the other ingredients, left it to rise. 

The problem I encountered was with the mix. It was incredibly stiff - so much so I had to add a lot more water just to incorporate the flour. Why is this?

So, the other instructions are to knock it back, shape, score, prove, and bake. 

It is rising - slowly as expected - just wondered why the dough was so dry. Thank you.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Well, that's a bummer

I spotted a news story yesterday reporting that Dave of Dave's Killer Bread is in a bit of trouble again.

If you are unfamiliar with Dave's Killer Bread, you can check out the profile I did on him a couple of years back.  Since then the company has continued to grow, with distribution all up and down the West Coast.  It is good stuff.

First off, I hope the injured police officers involved are alright, then I hope that Dave and his family are able to take care of whatever it was that set him off this time.  He is a talented guy with his heart in the right place, but clearly he also a few problems that he needs help dealing with.

chris319's picture
chris319

"Tupperware odor"

This is a totally bizarre question but it does have relevance to baking.

Does anyone else know what I mean by "tupperware odor"? I don't know how best to describe it other than to say it is kind of a "plasticy" odor.

Come to learn that Tupperware, and also Rubbermaid I think, food storage containers are made of low-density polyethylene, or LDPE a.k.a. plastic #4.

I was moving my sourdough starter into a tupperware-like container which I believe is made of LDPE. A few hours later I checked the starter to see if it still smelled yeasty. It had gone uncharacteristically soupy, as if a lot of proteolysis had taken place. It didn't smell that yeasty but "tupperware odor", or LDPE odor, was unmistakably present. It got me to wondering if there was some kind of chemical reaction going on which put the kybosh on my starter. Stranger things have happened. I had been keeping my starter in a plastic picnic cup not made of LDPE with no "tupperware odor" and had no trouble whatsoever. Over the summer I was having fits trying to get a starter going and what kind of container do you think I was using? LDPE! My successful starters have been made in plastic picnic cups.

I am going on vacation next month and want to bring my starter with me. Yes, I know it's strange but I think I would rather do that than leave it in the fridge. I stir my starter once per day so I will be able to do that. I want some kind of unbreakable or hard-to-break sealable container with a fairly wide mouth. Do they still make peanut butter jars out of glass? That's one possibility. Peanut butter jars used to be made of kind of a heavy glass. Something ceramic would also do. I don't think a mason jar would be break resistant enough. Glass mayonnaise jars tended to be tapered toward the mouth, not good for stirring.

I will be driving so I don't have to worry about being beaten senseless by a TSA thug who thinks a fermented mixture of flour and water could bring down a jetliner.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

YW & SD 50% Rye with Scald, Onions & Young’s Double Chocolate Stout

Lucy worked hard, using Varda’s Tzitzel quest as a starting point, to do 3 takes on Tzitzel.  We liked take 2 of the 3 tries to date the best.  But it just wasn’t enough of a full bodied, deep flavored bread to stand up to the kind of smoky mats we like.

With Eric Hanner’s first anniversary of his passing upon us, I couldn’t help but make a stronger rye based on his died minced onions and soaker water we like so much in deli rye breads.

 

We upped the rye to 50% from 40%, upped the SD and YW levain to 30% of the total from 20% since we decided not to retard this load as we did the others.  Whole grains shot up to 55% a substantial increase too.   This bread was starting to make us happier that usually.

 

To put the top knot on the other knots, we decided to use Young’s Double Chocolate Stout for much of the dough liquid that wasn’t onion soaker water.  We had a bunch of whole wheat and white whole wheat in the mix too, so we added some VWG and upped the hydration to near 90% from 85% to compensate for the more thirsty whole grains.

 

The rye sour and YW levains were built separately and the white flour listed was for the YW levain.  Both were retarded for 24 hours at the same time even though the YW was a 1 build affair and the ryes sour was a 3 stage build.

 

Since we were going to make this bread in one day, we only had time for a 1 hour autolyse but we did do our usual 3 sets of slap and folds and 2 stretch and folds all 15 minutes apart.

 

We did a light chop on the caraway seeds in the coffee grinder and added them and the multigrain scald and overnight soak in the fridge sand which weighed 150 g wet, on the first set of S& F.  Both were completely incorporated at the end of the 2nd set of S& F’s.

  

This is a smoked pork carnitas quesidilla  style with caramelized mushrooms and onions, 2 cheeses, and killer home made red salsa...and lets not forget the smoked brisket taco for lunch

We then shaped the dough into and oval and immediately placed it seam side down in the rice floured basket.  The dough proofed for 4 hours before it was refrigerated for1 hour while Big Old Betsy was preheated to 550 F and the (2) lava rocks and water pans for steam were inserted at 525 F

 

15 minutes after the oven hit 550 F we un-molded the dough onto a peel that was covered in parchment, slashed 3 times and loaded onto the bottom of two stones.  After 5minutes of steam the oven was turned down to 525 F and 5minutes later it was turned down again to 500 F at the 15 minute mark the steam was removed and the oven was turned down to 425 F.

 

The bread was rotated 180 degrees on the stone every 5 minutes until the bread reached 205 F on the inside when it was removed to the cooling rack.  Total baking without steam was 13 minutes with 28 minutes of baking total.

 

The bread browned up a deep, brownish, mahogany color and bloomed OK.  It spread more than it sprang indicating it was too high in hydration and possibly slightly over proofed.

 

It smelled terrific in and out of the oven with the caraway and onions dominating.  Can’t wait to cut into this bread and taste it but we will wait for 24 hours before doing so.  Well, couldn't't wait for 24 hours as usual.  The crust had gone soft over 16 hours wrapped in plastic. The crumb was open soft and moist.  It was more open than I though it would be with so much whole grain rye and scalded berries.

Underneath the breakfast eggs is some white bread baked yesterday.

The flavor of the crust and crumb, the onion coming though so well, were just the way you want them for a bread begging for mustard. pickle and pastrami.   The little yellow flecks of the corn meal is a delight - thanks to Janet for the corn inclusion in the bread.  This is the best Jewish Deli Rye type bread, with a chew of scalded betries, we have managed to date.  Just delicious.  Thanks to Eric for the dried minced onions and re-hydration addition and the slap & fold push that changed my bread baking forever.

The 'mixed grains en pot' are now oer a foot tall! 

We've got 4 pots of tomatoes too.  Lucy says I've gone to pot and she might be right!  This bread made a very nice pepperjack melt, dijon mustard, dill pickle and pastrami sandwich for lunch with the usual salad, veggies and fruits on the side.

Formula

 

Build 1

Build 2

Build 3

Total

%

Multigrain SD Starter

15

0

0

15

3.06%

Rye

30

25

20

75

15.29%

AP

75

0

0

75

15.29%

Yeast Water

75

0

0

75

15.29%

Total

195

50

20

240

29.56%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Multigrain SD Levain

 

%

 

 

 

Flour

158

32.11%

 

 

 

Water

138

28.03%

 

 

 

Hydration

87.30%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Levain % of Total

295

31.28%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dough Flour

 

%

 

 

 

White Rye

50

10.19%

 

 

 

Corn meal

10

2.04%

 

 

 

Whole rye

73

14.88%

 

 

 

AP

100

20.39%

 

 

 

Whole Wheat Bread Flour

100

20.39%

 

 

 

Dough Flour

333

67.89%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salt

10

2.04%

 

 

 

DC Stout 225 & Onion Water 90

315

64.22%

 

 

 

Dough Hydration

94.59%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Flour

491

100.00%

 

 

 

Stout 225, Onion Water 90, Water

453

92.25%

 

 

 

T. Dough Hydration

92.25%

 

 

 

 

% Whole Grain Flour

55.66%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hydration w/ Adds

89.52%

 

 

 

 

Total Weight

984

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add - Ins

 

%

 

 

 

VW Gluten

15

3.06%

 

 

 

Dehydrated onion

6

1.22%

 

 

 

Caraway

10

2.04%

 

 

 

Total

31

6.32%

 

 

 

  

jjainschigg's picture
jjainschigg

Slight off-smell and (perhaps) orange mold on starter

I've been cultivating a new starter for about 2.5 months: white with a little rye as a yeast transporter (I've done this before with good results). Had no trouble getting it going. Added a little lemon juice at the beginning to offset leuconostoc infestation. Fed regularly. Tapered off the rye flour. Maintained good activity levels for a while, with rapid doubling. Waited for the 'juvenile starter' acetone-generating tendency to die back. Starter stabilized and developed proper sour/yeasty smell with good activity. Began baking with it. No problems. Loaves delicious, etc. Baking about once a week and feeding daily. Keeping the starter around 80% hydration.

Then the cold weather hit and my kitchen started going through daily temperature convulsions as I fought with myself about whether to turn on the furnace for a couple weeks (temperatures down to around 62 degrees, then up to maybe 68 in the daytime). I could immediately see the slowdown in yeast activity, but I kept baking with the starter and aside from longer (much longer) rise-times, it seemed fine. I was actually quite happy for a while because temperatures were such that I could cold-retard on the counter at night, which seemed to work great: developing the flavor without allowing loaves to become overproofed.

Then something started going off with my starter. I kept feeding it daily (keeping it on the counter in covered container with some holes punched in it). And I wasn't surprised when it stopped doubling in a couple-three hours because the kitchen still gets cold at night (though I've turned on the furnace now, so it gets up to around 68 in the daytime). But I fed it yesterday ... it doubled eventually ... sorta/kinda ... but today, I opened up its container and now can smell a sort of 'off' scent ... still backed by the sour-beery-yeasty smell (which I find delicious) but ... not so delicious. A little bit like ... (sorry to use this word, here, but I know you're all clinically-certified bread professionals) ... vomitus. And there looked to be a very, very slight, almost imperceptible orange-ish sheen on the top.

Looking for advice. Seems to me the cooler temps have slowed the yeast and maybe allowed something other than lactobacillus into a niche. So I've applied some first aid -- spooned off the top layer, poured off half, slung in some white flour, a bit of rye (reinforce the yeast population?) and a little lemon juice to help create a more weirdness-resistant environment for a while (though you would think the lactobacillus would be doing that, no?) And now waiting to see what happens.

In general, my experience with these things is that they're hard to kill once they're stable, so I have hopes of the patient pulling through. Am I crazy?

dablues's picture
dablues

Too Much Sugar!

Almost all the recipes I have found that are interesting and I would like to do uses way too much sugar for my taste.  I have lowered sugar content from 1 1/2 cups to 1 cup of sugar with no problems but some of the recipes for cookies, cakes, and other items uses 2 to 3 cups of sugar.  On these recipes if I go from 2 or 3 cups down to 1 cup would I need to make changes to the other parts of the recipe.  My husband is diabetic and I like to only include 1 cup of sugar the most.  Any thoughts on this? 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Almost Twin White Breads - One YW / SD and One SD

It has been a long time since we have done any YW baking and it was time to refresh the YW after 4 weeks hiding in the fridge.  We decided at the last minute to do a test comparison bake. One with a YW/SD levain and one with just a SD levain.

 

The YW / SD version had 4% more whole grains.  We wanted to weigh it down a little more than the SD version and we added a multi-grain scald to both since we love whole berry scalds in breads almost as much as w love sprouts.  The YW version was 22% while grain and the SD version was 18%.

 

Both are a little light on the whole grain side but we also need some croutons for Thanksgiving stuffing too and these loaves should fit the bill well.  The levains were built over 3 stages and then refrigerated for 24 hours after they had risen 255 after the 3rd stage feeding.

 

Since these were white breads we did a 1 hour autolyse this time.  We did up the hydration a couple of points on the YW version to account for more while grains.  We did follow our usual method of 3 sets of slap and folds (7, 3 and 1minute) and 2 sets of stretch and folds all 15 minutes apart. As soon as the folding was comp, ete the dough was pre-shaped and then shaped into a boule and an oval for the SD/YW version.

 

Some of this year's lettuce crop in pots

We put the dough seam side down in the baskets hoping to get a natural cracking at the seams when the dough hit the heat and steam the next day ala Ski’s Forkish and David Snyder’s Pugliesi.  The dough was then retarded in the fridge for 16 hours - 4 hours more than we would have liked but that is life.

 

The dough nearly proofed 100% in the fridge because of the extra 4 hours.  No worries since we had planned to bake it cold right out of the fridge and not to slash it so the stiff cold dough wouldn’t collapse due to any over-proofing.

 

The dough was un-molded and placed into Big Old Betsy 20 minutes after the oven hit 525 F and the oven had further climbed to 550 F.  It was sandwiched between 2 stones and the mega steam was supplied with two Pyrex pans filled with lava rocks and half full of water that were placed in the oven when it hit 525 F

 

The bread steamed for 5 minutes at 550 F, 5 minutes at 500 F and 5 minutes at 475 F. After 15 minutes the steam was removed from the oven as it was turned down to 425 F, convection this time.  We rotated the bread 180 degrees every 5 minutes until the bread registered 205 F on the inside - exactly 15 minutes after the steam came out and 30 minutes total baking time.

 

The bread browned beautifully with huge blisters on the outside of both but more so on the YW / SD oval.  The bread did spring but it was contained within the crust which didn’t crack because it was 100% proofed.  So these are totally unblemished crusts but still very attractive!  The YW/SD appears to have puffed itself up a little more than the SD  boule.

 

The crumb of the YW / SD was open, soft and moist with a SD tang that was somewhat muted but not missing either.  It is a delicious bread.  We didn't cut into the SD version and froze it whole for Thanksgiving.  This bread made for a nice cotto salami and aged cheddar cheese sandwich for today's lunch. This bread reminds me of Tartine only it has more chew due to the scald.

 

YW / SD Formula

 

Build 1

Build 2

 Build 3

Total

%

Multigrain SD Starter

15

0

0

15

2.59%

Yeast Water

30

0

0

30

5.18%

Whole Rye

5

10

9

24

4.14%

Whole Wheat

5

10

9

24

4.14%

Whole Spelt

5

10

9

24

4.14%

Water

0

15

17

32

5.52%

Total

60

45

44

149

20.53%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Multigrain SD Levain

 

%

 

 

 

Whole Multi-grain Flour

80

13.72%

 

 

 

Water

70

11.99%

 

 

 

Hydration

87.42%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Levain % of Total

14.40%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dough Flour

 

%

 

 

 

White Whole Wheat

100

0.17256

 

 

 

AP

400

69.03%

 

 

 

Dough Flour

500

86.28%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salt

11

1.90%

 

 

 

Soaker Water

375

64.71%

 

 

 

Dough Hydration

75.00%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Flour

580

100.00%

 

 

 

Soaker Water

445

76.70%

 

 

 

T. Dough Hydration

76.70%

 

 

 

 

% Whole Grain

22.35%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Weight

1,110

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scald

 

%

 

 

 

Whole Wheat

25

4.31%

 

 

 

Whole Spelt

25

4.31%

 

 

 

Whole Rye

25

4.31%

 

 

 

Total Scald

75

12.94%

 

 

 

 

SD Formula

 

Build 1

Build 2

 Build 3

Total

%

Multigrain SD Starter

15

0

0

15

2.58%

Whole Rye

9

6

10

25

4.29%

Whole Wheat

9

6

10

25

4.29%

Whole Spelt

9

6

10

25

4.29%

Water

30

18

10

58

9.96%

Total

72

36

40

148

25.41%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Multigrain SD Levain

 

%

 

 

 

Whole Multi-grain Flour

83

14.16%

 

 

 

Water

66

11.24%

 

 

 

Hydration

79.39%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Levain % of Total

13.54%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dough Flour

 

%

 

 

 

AP

450

77.25%

 

 

 

Dough Flour

500

85.84%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salt

10

1.72%

 

 

 

Soaker Water

360

61.80%

 

 

 

Dough Hydration

72.00%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Flour

583

100.00%

 

 

 

Soaker Water

426

73.05%

 

 

 

T. Dough Hydration

73.05%

 

 

 

 

% Whole Grain

18.45%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Weight

1,093

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scald

 

%

 

 

 

Whole Wheat

25

4.31%

 

 

 

Whole Spelt

25

4.31%

 

 

 

Whole Rye

25

4.31%

 

 

 

Total Scald

75

12.94%

 

 

 

 

Lucy got her shots today so she wanted her ears rubbed!

Paul Ringo's picture
Paul Ringo

Sourdough

     I'm just wondering why sourdough bread is called 'sour'.  My starter only has potato flakes, sugar and water. It ferments and smells like over-ripe bananas at times but it doesn't match my idea of 'sour'. 

    I appreciate your wisdom. 

 

Paul

Paul Ringo's picture
Paul Ringo

Checking in

     Just wanted to tip my hat as I walk through the door.  I live on the most beautiful river in the world (Sabine River) in SW Louisiana. I can almost literally throw a rock to Texas across the river.

    Mostly baking sourdough bread now but I've gone through several iterations of Challah, various standard type breads.  I've got a notion that somehow the simplest breads are most to be appreciated because of the interaction of the fundamental elements without fru-fru. 

     Having said that, I've been experimenting with seasoning some of the sourdough that I use for baking with some of my favorites spices.  All of them have been relatively successful although I have to admit that the liquid crab boil was a bit too rich in one batch. 

    I'm learning at my own pace so I'm sure I'll have more questions that may sound like they're coming from a rookie.  That's because they are and I don't want to presume to understand something that I really don't understand. 

Glad to be here.

Paul

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