The Fresh Loaf

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breadbythecreek's picture
breadbythecreek

Inquiring Minds Must Know!! Can Blueberry Yeast Water be Pushed to the Limit?

The question I had is what would happen if you fed a Blueberry Yeast Water/Bread Flour levain additional Blueberry Yeast water, using seeds from previous levain builds.  Namely, what is the effect of increasing population of blueberry yeast over a series of builds while holding the overall volume constant.  Would there be an improvement or degradation in rise times or volumes?  Would there emerge a limit as to how quickly a doubling or peaking would occur?  Would it explode into a new black hole? These were the questions that I just had to answer for myself.

Methodology

I started with 10g blueberry yeast water (BYW) and 10g Bread Flour (BF). This was left to rise to its maximum height and plateau, whereupon it was chilled for the night.  The next morning 7 grams of this levain was fed 7g BYW and BF, and again left to rise to it’s maximum height and plateau, then chilled or refreshed.  Using time-lapse photography (thank you RonRay), I was able to track the level of growth for each build on 15- minute intervals. I intended to continue this refreshment pattern and observe the action until the growth/plateau cycle was found to closely resemble the previous builds or something else happened to draw my attention away. 

 Findings

 The following graph shows the results. 

 

Just looking at the doubling times, clearly the more iterations of builds shortens the time required for the levain to double.  R1 took almost 7 hours to double, whereas R2 took 5 hours, and R3 took 2.5.  Most of the trials R3-R7 in this 2-2.5 hour range to double. By far the fastest doubler was R8, at just 1.5 hours.

There is also interesting phenomena with respect to the period of growth before plateauing.  R1 took about three hours take off, presumably adjusting to the new food/environment, and didn't fall off until almost 8 hours after the first feed (5 hours of active growth).  R2 took an hour get going, but fell off an hour quicker than R1, (six hours of active growth.  R3 didn't lag at all. It grew from the time that it was fed and continued steadily for almost 6 hours.  R4-R6 all took off from the get-go, and enjoyed a solid 4-4.5 hour growth stage before plateauing.  The standouts were R7 and R8, which both not only took off from the start, but also, grew for an astonishing 6 hours before exhaustion.  So something about more yeast in the culture allowed for a longer growth stage, despite a finite and constant supply of food.

The peak volumes also varied with the yeast concentrations.  The lowest amount of yeast, R1 was barely able to double (2.3X) before giving up.  R2 was slightly better at 2.5X. R3 and R4 made it just to 3X. R5 and R6 got to 3.5X, but again, look at R7 and R8. They got to an impressive 4X! It took them a long time, but they never lagged, they just kept going, and going and going.

From a temperature perspective, there is apparently an outside, uncontrolled effect.  As we can see, the cycles R3-R8 closely track each other.  The cycles of R7 is very similar to R5, both of which were started first in the day, from seed chilled overnight in the refrigerator.  R8 proves to track closely with R6, indicating a typical afternoon pattern. So there may be a distinct positive effect from room temperature (it gets hot in the afternoon here now (86*F+).

In conclusion, I believe a YW builds should be fed subsequent builds with more active YW until a doubling can be achieved within about 2 hours and the capacity of growth is around 3x or more, usually by the third build.  Given the time and desire for even stronger levains, subsequent builds using active yeast waters will not have a detrimental effect on your doughs, although some care should be taken to avoid overproofing.

An aside... In a separate experiment, I discovered that this Blueberry Yeast Water is the least effective of my collection, bested by far by the Cherry Yeast Water.  I intend to repeat this analysis using the Cherry Yeast Water instead.

Again Stay Tuned...

-Pamela

codruta's picture
codruta

four or five grain levain

I don't know why I've waited so long to make this bread, after buying hamelman's book. I've done it before, from intructions giving on this blog, which were very helpful, btw. For grains, I used a mix of fennel seeds, flaxseeds, spelt berries and oat bran. I retarded the dough overnight, omitted the yeast as instructed, and I baked it directly from the fridge. For the final fermentation, the instructions weren't very clear to me... in case I opted for retarding the dough overnight, it still gets an hour of fermentation on room temperature, or after shaping goes directly in the fridge??

Final fermentation. Approximately 1 hour at 76 degrees. [The dough can be retarded for several hours or overnight, which case the bulk fermentation should be 2 hrs with 1 fold, and the yeast left out of the mix.]

Not knowing what to do, I let it stand 45 minutes at room temperature (78F), but I still don't know if that was good, or this step shoud have been skipped. Maybe someone can clarify this.

Also, I don't know if baking directly from the fridge was the right decision, I wonder if it would have risen more if I let it stand 1 hour at room temperature before baking?

Anyway, I'm extremely pleased with the result, the taste is absolutly amazing.

More pictures and the addapted recipe (recipe in romanian, translator on the sidebar) can be found here, at my new blog  Apa.Faina.Sare

breadbythecreek's picture
breadbythecreek

Survival of the Fittest – Which Fruit Yeast Water to Keep?

I’ve been experimenting with various types of yeast water for several weeks now.  I now have five separate jars percolating on the counter or in the refrigerator.  Since I’ve discovered that very little if any fruit flavor is discernable in baked breads made from these waters, it makes sense to me to keep only one.  It also makes sense to me to keep the one that is the most effective.  I have heard that raisin yeast water is the strongest and most active.  When I first started experimenting with these waters, I made a raisin/apricot yeast water, but the color and murkiness was not appealing, so I threw it away shortly after it was created.  Today I am making a new jar with just raisins and another with just apricots.  These will be tested against the winner of this trial.

To see which of my active yeast waters are the more effective, I created test waters containing 30g each of peach, blueberry, strawberry and cherry.

 

 To these amounts I added 90g fresh water and one sugar cube. These jars were left out overnight to activate the yeasts.  This morning I took 3 grams from each of the jars and 3 grams of AP flour. These were mixed together and placed in identical test-tube like glasses (tall and very narrow).

9:30am, roughly 3 hours since start time

 Now it is four hours into the test.  Gauging from my ongoing work on the blueberry yeast water, this first build will take approximately 7.5 hours to plateau.  Halfway through, it seems that the growth pattern of the testers matches too closely to the order in which the tests were prepared, lagging perhaps by no more than 5 minutes from the first (cherry) to the last (peach).  Also, both the strawberry and the peach were slightly more hydrated than either blueberry or cherry.

 

At 12:31pm, roughly 6 hours later, it appears that the cherry levain is far stronger than either the blueberry or the peach. The strawberry levain is only slightly behind the cherry in growth.

At 2:09pm, roughly 7.5 hours later, it is still cherry in the lead.  At this point I noticed that the glasses are not identical – some are deeper than others.  This accounted for, the cherry is still slightly more effective than the strawberry.  Also, approximately at this same time, cherry had reached its maximum height, approximately double the start level.   Strawberry went on to double at approximately 8 hours, as did peach.  Blueberry, interestingly enough, did not achieve more than a 50% growth over the entire period.

 

So there you have it. In terms of overall effectiveness for a first level build, cherry is the strongest of the test set.  The rest are not as effective for raising culture in a given period of time.

 

Next trial, Cherry against raisin and apricot.  Stay tuned.

 

breadbythecreek's picture
breadbythecreek

Blueberry Yeast Water Boule with Blueberry Puree

 The last set of experiments was to determine whether the use of fruit based yeast in the absence of flour in the starter would result in more fruit flavor in the final loaf. Much time and effort went into weaning my standard sourdough starter from a diet of wheat flour and water to a diet of pure fruit puree.  This starter was used to create a boule with the starter, AP flour and peach puree. The result was less than spectacularly peachy. 

 This time the fruit was blueberry.  I initiated my starter from my blueberry yeast water and bread flour, and through  successive refreshments (5X), I created sufficient starter for the following loaf.  I don’t know, but I suspect the loaf was once again, overproofed as I ended up with yet another “muffallata” loaf. The color of the crumb is most striking, almost like a pumpernickel.  The taste is faintly blueberry, sweetish. With cream cheese it tastes very much like a bagel.

Formula: 

70g starter (10 starter/30 flour/30 BYW @100%)

158g blueberry puree (132L,26S)

175g AP flour

4g salt

234:166 = 70% hydration dough

total loaf =407g

To make this loaf, I took 9g of the starter (4th refreshment) and fed it 30g each bread flour and blueberry yeast water.  This I left at room temperature for about 3 hours until it has more than doubled. Then I combined it thoroughly with the blueberry puree, which interesting enough was more like a jelly than I expected, there must be lots of pectin in blueberries.  I stirred in the flour and the salt, gave it a S&F and let it rest for ½ hour. This was repeated for three hours, then not thinking, I put it in the cooler (46*F) for about 3 hours.

Then, remembering that I needed to shape it, I took it out of the cooler, preshaped it and left it out for 30 minutes. Then I shaped it into a boule and placed it into the floured banneton.  This was replaced into the cooler for the remainder of the night. 

The next morning I took it out of the cooler and let it warm up until the oven and combo-cooker was up to temperature (460*F). The loaf was baked for 20 minutes with the cover on, 10 minutes with the cover off, and an additional 10 minute with the oven door ajar.

   

Mebake's picture
Mebake

HansJoakim's Rye leavened Pain Au levain

I have eyed Hansjoakim's post : here ever since he blogged about using his excess ripe rye as a leaven for a Pain au levain with Wholewheat from Hamelman. Hans has generously posted his recipe, and i, sickened from my failures with liquid white levain, and attracted by the description of the flavor, finally decided to try it yesterday.

I used Waitrose Organic Strong white bread flour for 80% of the white flour, and 20% all purpose - plain flour. Whole wheat was waitrose organic plain flour, and Rye was Doves Farm organic Rye.

Brushed the flour off:

The Ovenspring was substatial. Was it the Rye? or i was growing impatient with my dough at 11:45 pm? fermentation was faster with this Rye leavened bread. Though i would add 1 hour more to the bulk fermentation. Final fermentation was 2 hours.

The Bread was chewy due to the 12.9% protein flour. The flavor was superb, as described by Hans! Thank you Hans for the solid recipe, this is one new favorite of mine.

Khalid

 

 

 

ananda's picture
ananda

Pain de Campagne with Gilchesters Farmhouse Flour

Pain de Campagne using a Stiff Wheat Levain and a portion of Gilchesters Organic Farmhouse Flour

Leaven Build

Material

Recipe [grams]

1. Leaven Build One

Saturday, 15:00

Refrigerate Overnight

Leaven

60

White Bread Flour

[Marriage’s Organic Strong White Flour]

100

Water

60

TOTAL

220

 

 

2. Leaven Build Two

Sunday, 11:00

Leaven from above

220

White Bread Flour

100

Water

60

TOTAL

380

 

 

3. Leaven Build Three

Sunday, 19:00

Refrigerate Overnight

Leaven from above

380

White Bread Flour

200

Water

120

TOTAL

700

 

Final Dough Formula

Material

Formula [% of flour]

Recipe [grams]

Leaven from above

   Flour:  22.22

+ Water: 13.33

     Total: 35.55

   400

+ 240

    640

Carrs Special CC Flour

50

900

Gilchesters Organic Farmhouse Flour

27.78

500

Salt

1.78

32

Water

55.56

1000

TOTAL

170.76

3072

Overall Pre-fermented Flour

22.22

-

Overall Hydration

68.89

-

Flour Mix

72.22% White Bread Flour

27.78% High Extraction Flour

-

 

 

Method:

  • Combine both flours with the water and autolyse refrigerated overnight
  • Combine the autolyse with the leaven and work up the dough for 3 minutes.   Add the salt and develop a further 3 minutes.   Rest for 15 minutes.   Develop a further 5 minutes.
  • Bulk proof for 3 hours.   One S&F after 2hours.
  • Scale and divide into 3 pieces: 1 x 650g, 1 x 930g and the remainder, 1492g
  • Final proof in Bannetons for 4 hours
  • Bake Profile for the largest loaf, I loaded the loaf, once tipped out and cut, into an oven at 250°C and utilised steam.   After 15 minutes I turned the heat down to 220°C.   After another 20 minutes I turned the heat down to 200°C and baked the loaf out a further 20 minutes.   Then I left the loaf in the oven, switched off, with the door propped open.   Finally I cooled the loaf on wires before the inevitable photo shoot.

 

One note: a long proof, accounted for by use of refrigerated autolyse and leaven.   The dough proof temperature ranged between 18 and 23°C.   Seven hours of total proving was just about right; the percentage of pre-fermented flour is reduced on most of the breads of this nature which I have been baking recently   Photographs are shown below; tastings have not yet been carried out.

 

Very best wishes

Andy

RonRay's picture
RonRay

Apricot Yeast Water Test Loaf

Apricot Yeast Water Test Loaf  [Update:110530-1000] 

   If you are unfamilar with Yeast Waters, and wild yeast, you may wish to view

Yeast Water & Other Wee Beastie Bubbles (No Math)

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/23441/yeast-water-amp-other-wee-beastie-bubbles-no-math

This was my first chance to test Apricot Yeast Water. I have intend to for a while, but wanted to wait for fresh fruit to be available. I did find some this week and started a culture with 3 of the small fresh apricots, jump-started the culture with a bit of my Apple YW.

I have heard that the dark dried apricots make a very strong levain – the more common dried fruit that are a yellowish orange have been treated with sulfur-containing compounds to keep their color (and kill the WBBs). So, the only dried apricots to use are the dark brown unsulfured fruit. Not wishing to waste time and effort, I wanted fresh, organic apricots, which start being available May through August in the northern hemisphere.

I was impressed with how fast the culture became active, and equally surprised how fast the activity ended. I tasted the YW to see if, somehow , it had gotten too alcoholic so fast. All I detected was no noticeable sweetness, and decided it must be a lack of sugar. I dropped in a sugar cube and within a very short time it became very active – so much so, that I feared the foamy head might fill the remaining air space in the glass container. It did not take long before the activity decreased nearly as fast as it had restarted.



It only took a few trials to conclude the apricot WBBs have a real thing about sugars. So, I decided to do a test of the leavening strength of the new culture. I took a small quantity of just the water, about 20g and mixed it with an equal amount of AP flour. I set this up with a clock beside it, and in front of a time lapse digital video recorded. You can see the results on YouTube, Link:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/23719/time-lapse-video-apricot-yw-levain


The result was a doubling in about 2 hours. Certainly a good showing for a brand new YW culture. So, a test loaf seemed quite justified.



I started the Apricot Yeast Water Levain (AYWL) builds. Details of my standard test loaf can be found here:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/23694/standard-kiss-loaf-or-keep-it-simple-smiley


Details of this loaf are in the table below:



A copy of my personal test log can be found at Google Doc Link:

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0B_MScoZfDZkwMTIyM2E1ZjQtYWFlMi00Y2I5LWFiYTktMWI5ZGMzYTgzMzgw&hl=en_US



I had some surprises in store, however. I generally, hold each of my chosen 3-build levain developments to a 24 hour period. Instead, a late afternoon to early evening completed Builds-#1, and #2 with #3 started and placed in retard at 40ºF/4.4ºC for an overnight. Details can be found in the log.

 

The next morning, I did the shaping that basically matches the pan bread version detailed by txframer here:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/20669/sourdough-pan-de-mie-how-make-quotshreddablyquot-soft-bread

The dough pan was covered with food cap and place in the proof box at 82ºF/27.8ºC. Most loaves that I do, which are similar to these conditions, will need a 6 hour final proof. I was rather shocked when at 4½ hours I found it was as high as any “normal” fully proofed dough. I did a rapid catch-up and dough was in the DO, with the cup of boiling water, and into the oven, within a 5 minute period. Again, details can be found in the PDF log.

From a cold oven start and oven set to max (450ºF/232ºC) in the DO it was steamed for 20 minutes. Lid removed at 20 minutes and the temperature dropped to 400ºF/204ºC with a total of 45 minutes for the baking.

The finished loaf had an internal 207.7ºF/97.6ºC and a hot weight of 437g – down 8% during the baking. The loaf was cooled on wire for over an hour, before cutting.



The loaf had a very nice aroma, but neither taste, nor smell indicated the apricot components in the loaf. The crumb color was softly off-white in the orange-brown range, but only in a small degree. Texture was moist and softer than my general SD loaves. A pleasantly fruity, slightly sweetish flavor. The top crust portion was chewier than I would have expected, but quite acceptable.

   I should, also mention, I could detect no tang at all. I had expected a bit from the apricot flavor itself. But, any tang vanished along with any apricot specific flavor.

 

The crumb was exactly as expected, given the 60% HL (hydration level) and the highly developed windowpane test it was kneaded to.


Based upon this single test loaf, apricot WBBs develop much stronger levain than any I have seen before. The Apricot YW rise times are somewhere between 25% faster, or if you are one of  the half empty glass types, the other Yeast Waters are 33% slower ;-)

Update:110530-1000I have just had a couple additional slices of this Apricot YW loaf. In the 23 hours since baking, there has been a flavor change. It is still quite pleasant, but definitely less sweetness. The change is hard to describe, but while it is NOT "astringent", that is the closest word I can think of to describe the very slight difference in flavor. My initial reaction was 'use a bit less than 2% salt, next time'.

Ron



tssaweber's picture
tssaweber

Did I hit the jackpot?

For quite some time now I gave up trying to find the European type flour “Ruchmehl” or “Halbweissmehl” here in the US, even though I still believe that the farmer’s style breads and rustic hard rolls would need this flour.

Two days ago browsing through Costco I found this flour and reading the label I felt this could be it.

 

 

 Two 10 pound bags for a little bit more than $6 was also a very good price and it is unbleached and not enriched, so let’s give it a try!

Coming home I prepared a preferment and later in the afternoon mixed the dough. No cold retardation for this time because I was too curious to taste the rolls and didn’t want to wait. The result was and tasted awesome!

 

Happy baking!

 

Thomas

For the interested bakers: http://www.ultragrain.com/index.jsp

Update from my trip up North: http://tssaweber.com/WP/2011/05/up-north-in-the-driftless-area-of-wisconsin/

pmccool's picture
pmccool

Must be time for croissants

There was a bit of frost on the grass here in Pretoria overnight and the temperature inside the house at 6:30 this morning was a bracing 55ºF.  By 3:30 this afternoon, the indoor temperature had rocketed all the way up to 57ºF!  Another day or two of this and the granite counter tops in the kitchen should be chilled enough to handle laminated doughs with no risk of butter breakouts.  That, of course, assumes that the butter block is soft enough to be malleable.  I may have to set it out in the sun for a few minutes...

Paul

codruta's picture
codruta

hydration, dough consistency

Hi everybody. I hope someone can help me understand what is "Correct the hydration as necesary. The dough should have a medium consistency". I've made hamelman's "pain au levain with mixed sourdough starters", but the dough did not feel wet enough. I added 25ml water (for a total dough of 1400g), and I think I should have added even more. Maybe the flour I used absorb more water than hamelman's flour, or maybe I was on the right side, but I did not knew it. Can anyone show me some picture with a wet dough, a medium wet dough, and a dry one? This is how my dough looked (1)after mixing, (2)before the first fold, and (3)(4) some pictures of the crumb next day:

thank you, codruta

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