The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Most bookmarked

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

San Joaquin Sourdough: another variation produces the best flavor yet.

 

My San Francisco Sourdough starter from sourdo.com is now two weeks old. I made another pair of my San Joaquin Sourdough breads with it yesterday. I modified my formula somewhat. I used a 60% hydration starter fed with AP flour only. I increased the amount of starter by 50%. I used KAF AP flour for the dough. I used no added instant yeast.

 

Ingredients

Weight

Baker's Percentage

Firm starter

150 gms

30.00%

KAF AP flour

450 gms

90.00%

BRM Dark Rye flour

50 gms

10.00%

Water

360 gms

72.00%

Salt

10 gms

2.00%

 

Procedure

  1. Mix the firm starter (1:3:5 – Starter:Water:Flour). Let it ferment at room temperature for 12 hours.

  2. Pour the water into a large mixing bowl. Add the starter and dissolve it in the water.

  3. Add the flours and mix to a shaggy mass. Cover tightly and let it sit for 20-60 minutes.

  4. Sprinkle the salt over the dough and mix thoroughly using the “stretch and fold in the bowl” technique. Let it rest for 30 minutes.

  5. Repeat the “stretch and fold in the bowl” for 30 strokes 2 more times at 30 minute intervals.

  6. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board, and do one stretch and fold.

  7. Form the dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Note the volume of the dough. Cover the bowl tightly. Let it rest for 30 minutes.

  8. Repeat the stretch and fold on the board. Reform the dough into a ball and replace it in the bowl.

  9. Allow the dough to continue fermenting until the volume has increased 50%.

  10. Cold retard the dough for about 20 hours. (The dough had more than doubled and was full of large and small bubbles.)

  11. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and immediately transfer it to a lightly floured board.

  12. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and pre-shape them into logs or rounds, depending on whether you want to make boules or bâtards. Cover the pieces with plasti-crap and let them rest for 60 minutes. (Give them a shorter rest if the kitchen is very warm. You don't want them to expand very much, if any.)

  13. Pre-heat the oven to 500ºF with a baking stone and your steaming method of choice in place.

  14. Shape the pieces and place them in bannetons or on a couche. Cover the loaves and proof them until they have expanded by 50-70%. (30-45 minutes)

  15. Pre-steam the oven. Then transfer the loaves to a peel (or equivalent). Score them, and load them onto your baking stone.

  16. Turn the oven down to 460ºF.

  17. After 12 minutes, remove your steaming apparatus. Turn the loaves 180º, if necessary for even browning.

  18. Continue to bake the loaves for another 15-18 minutes or until their internal temperature is 205ºF.

  19. Turn off the oven, but leave the loaves on the stone with the oven door ajar for another 7-10 minutes to dry the crust.

  20. Transfer the loaves to a cooling rack.

  21. Cool the loaves completely before slicing.

 

The loaves were already singing when I took them out of the oven. The crust developed crackles, which can be credited to the use of AP rather than higher gluten flour and the drying in the oven (Step 19., above).

 

The crumb was nice and open.

 

The crust was crisp when first cooled and crunchy/chewy the next morning. The flavor was sweet and wheaty, like a good baguette, with the barest hint of sourness. This was po

ssibly the best tasting San Joaquin Sourdough I've made. I think I'm going to stick with this version. Next time, I may use this dough to make baguettes.

David


Submitted to YeastSpotting


 


 

rushyama's picture
rushyama

Fig & Walnut Multigrain

I've been thinking of making a fig and walnut loaf for awhile and finally got around to trying it this week. It turned out very well and it's a formula I'd like to tinker with again.

 

Notes:

  • I build a little extra levain as a bit gets stuck to the side of my container. I end up adding as much as I can scrape out easily.
  • I held back about 75 grams of water to help with the addition of the levain and salt. In the end I probably left out about 15-20 grams, though a little got added with the turns when I wet my hands. The dough probably could have handled the full amount, but I wasn't sure how the figs would play into the mix so I decided to be conservative.
  • This made two loaves (the batard shown here and a boule not pictured -- being gifted.

The result:

 

This is probably one of my favorite loaves to date, hearty and flavorful. I really like the purple color walnuts bring to the game, and there's just enough figs to bring a touch of sweetness. If anything I'll add a touch more figs next time. The crust is crackly and thin, just how I like it. The loaves did color quickly, so I ended up dropping the oven temp to 425F for the last 10 minutes or so.

Hope you all are enjoying the Christmas season!

 

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Rye Sourdough with Spelt and soaker

Last week, I had some left over whole spelt flour, some corn meal, and some semolina in addition to a ripe Rye starter. Therefore, I decided to put them all to use in a new recipe as follows:

UPDATE** INSTRUCTIONS:

Prepare the Rye sour by adding a tablespoon and a half of your active rye starter to the 250g water, and mix well to disperse. Add the Whole rye flour, mix well, and let stand for 8-12 hours at room temperature until the surface just starts to crack and collapse. To prepare the soaker, weigh all soaker ingredients into a bowl, and then weigh 160 grm of water, boil it, and add it to the soaker. Mix well, cover, and let stand until overnight, or when your rye sour is ready.

Next day, mix all ingredients at once, by hand or using a mixer for 5-10 minutes. The dough will remain relatively sticky, so try to resist adding any flour at this stage.Shape as a round and let ferment in an oiled bowl for 2 hours at preferably 78 F or 24-25C, folding it half way through at the 1 hour mark. By the end of bulk fermentation, the dough will have risen by 50-60%. scrape your dough onto a heavily floured surface, pat the dough even (Don't knead), divide into the desired dough pieces, and round each piece leaving them to rest for 15- 20 min, covered. Dust your basket with a mixture of all purpose flour and rice flour, and shape your dough and invert it smooth side down into the basket. The final fermentation will be only 45 minutes, but watch the dough NOT the clock. Preheat your oven at this stage with a stone in place to a 500F or 260C. 5 minutes before loading the bread, place your steaming dish filled with wet towels on the bottom of your oven.  When ready, invert the dough on baking paper lined peel/ board and close the oven immediately. Bake for 15 minutes with steam, and then remove the steaming dish and reduce the temperature to 400F for another 20-25 minutes. 

When the time is over, remove your bread from the oven. Wear oven mitts, and tap on the bottom of one loaf, It should  sound hollow. Furthermore, you may insert a thermal probe into the center of the loaf from the bottom, and the temperature should register 195-200F or 90-95C. If it doesn't, put it back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Cool the bread completely on a wire rack, prior to cutting. 

 

 

Due to the soaker, the aroma of this bread is really attractive. When cool, The crust was somewhat chewy, and the crumb slightly moist but not chewy. The flavor of this bread is earthy sweet and very pleasant. The crumb is close textured and compact due to all the whole grains, the bread might have benefited from extra lightness by increasing bread/all purpose flour.

I have eaten this bread thinly sliced with a spread of cheese, and it was fabulous. This bread keeps really well.

 

- Khalid

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Scoring Bread made with high-hydration dough

Scoring hearth loaves made with high hydration doughs is a challenge. Expressions of frustration with this in TFL postings are not rare. Much good advice regarding how to accomplish nice scoring of wet, sticky dough has been offered, but it is scattered. So, I thought I would share my own advice on this subject in one place.

These two bâtards are San Joaquin Sourdoughs. (For the formula and procedures, please see San Joaquin Sourdough: Update. Today's bake was different only in that I used just 100 g of 100% hydration starter.) The effective hydration of this dough is 74.5%. It is a sticky dough and a good test of one's shaping and scoring abilities. Yet, as you can see, it is possible to get nicely shaped loaves from this dough with cuts that bloom nicely and form impressive ears.

 

The key points in achieving this are the following:

A Key Point

  1. Gluten must be well-developed by mixing and fermentation. Good dough “strength” is important for crumb structure, but also for successful shaping. It is even more critical in wet doughs, because these tend to spread out and form flat loaves if their shape is not supported by a good, strong sheath of gluten.

  2. Pre-shaping and shaping can add to dough strength through additional stretching of the dough in the process of forming the loaves. A wet dough like this needs to be tightly shaped. This is a challenge, because it also has to be handled gently. Rough handling will result in excessive de-gassing and a dense loaf. It will also tend to make the dough stick to your hands more. When it sticks, it tears and makes weak spots in the loaf surface which are likely to burst during oven spring. The goal is to form the tight gluten sheath by stretching the dough and sealing the seams while avoiding downward pressure on the dough pieces being shaped. “An iron hand in a velvet glove.” Dough sticking to your hands can be decreased by lightly flouring your hands, wetting them or oiling them. However, the most helpful trick is to touch the dough lightly and as briefly as possible each time.

  3. The loaves need to have lateral support during proofing. This is to prevent them from spreading out. Support can be provided by a banneton (proofing basket) or on baker's linen or parchment, where folds in the couche material, sometimes reinforced with rolled up towels or the like under the material, provide the support. (I suppose the “ultimate support” is provided by a loaf pan.)

  4. The ideal material to support proofing loaves is absorbent. Baker's linen, cloth-lined bannetons and floured, coiled cane brotformen all absorb some moisture from the surface of the loaves in contact with them. This makes that surface a bit less sticky and easier to score without the cut edges sticking to the blade excessively. (I do not want the loaf surface so dry it forms a “skin.”) I like to proof loaves with the surface I am going to score on the absorbent material. This means baguettes and bâtards are proofed smooth side down (seam side up). Note that baking parchment is not absorbent, so, while advantageous for other reasons, it is not ideal for this purpose.

  5. Loaves should not be over-proofed. A greatly over-proofed loaf may actually collapse and deflate when scored. Short of that, it will still have less oven spring and bloom. This is a relatively greater problem with high-hydration doughs which are more delicate to start with. I find the “poke test” as reliable as any other criterion for when a loaf is ready to bake. However, it is not quite as reliable with very wet doughs. Neither is the degree of dough expansion. You just have to learn through experience with each formula when it is perfectly proofed.

  6. Loaves should be scored immediately after transferring to a peel and immediately before loading in the oven. Letting high-hydration doughs sit too long on the peel is asking them to spread out, especially if they have been scored ,which disrupts the supportive gluten sheath.

  7. The wetter the dough, the shallower the cuts. This is not as critical for boules, but, for long loaves like baguettes and bâtards, if you want good bloom, and especially if you want good ear formation, The cuts need to be very shallow (about 1/4 inch deep) and at an acute angle (30-45 degrees). A deeper cut creates a heavy flap that will collapse of its own weight and seal over, rather than lifting up to form an ear as the cut blooms open. The cuts made on the loaves pictured here were barely perceptible on the unbaked loaf surface. Resist the temptation to re-cut!

  8. Minimize dough sticking to the blade and getting dragged, forming a ragged cut. The cuts need to be made swiftly and smoothly, without hesitation. A thin, extremely sharp blade is best. Some find serrated blades work well for them. I find a razor blade on a bendable metal handle works best for me. The cuts are made with the forward end of the blade only, not the whole length. Some find oiling or wetting the blade lessens sticking. I have not found this necessary.

  9. Humidify the oven with steam during the first part of the bake. This delays firming up of the crust which would restrict the loaf from expanding (oven spring) and the cuts from opening (bloom).

Most of these points apply to scoring in general. I have indicated where there are differences or special considerations applying to high-hydration doughs.

Finally, a mini-glossary:

Scoring refers to the cuts made on the surface of the loaf prior to baking. The primary purpose of scoring is to create an artificial weak spot and direct expansion of the loaf to it so the loaf doesn't burst at some random point. Secondarily, the scoring pattern influences the final shape of the loaf. And lastly, the pattern of cuts can be decorative and, if unique, can serve as a “signature” for the baker.

Oven spring is the expansion of the loaf when exposed to oven heat.

Bloom refers to the opening up of the scoring cuts during oven spring. The French term for this is grigne.

 

Ear, when pertaining to bread, is a flap of crust that separates from the surface during oven spring and bloom.

For additional information regarding scoring and a more basic introduction to this topic, please see The Scoring Tutorial Also, excellent examples of shaping and scoring can be found in videos on youtube.com, particularly those made by Ciril Hitz, and on the King Arthur Flour web site. I have not found any that address the peculiar challenges presented by higher-hydration doughs, however.

Happy baking!

David

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

This miche is a hit!

 

We baked a miche the last day of the SFBI Artisan II (sourdough baking) workshop. This was one of the breads we mixed entirely by hand. The students' miches were scaled to 1 kg, as I recall, but our instructor baked a couple larger ones, using the same dough.

These miches were among the favorites of all the students for the wonderful texture of their crust and crumb and their flavor. I gave one of mine to brother Glenn, who has stopped reminding me in the past few days that I promised him the formula.

This formula is substantially different from the miche formula in Advanced Bread and Pastry. I blogged about the background of that miche last month. This one is more similar to contemporary versions such as that of James McGuire, Hamelman's adaptation of which is found in Bread.

The formula we used at the SFBI calls for mostly white flour, with a little whole wheat in the levain refreshment and a little toasted wheat germ in the final dough. From my reading, a high-extraction flour is preferred for miches. I had some of Central Milling's “Organic Type 85” high-extraction flour on hand, so that is what I used.

 

Total formula

 

 

Ingredients

Wt (g)

Baker's %

High-extraction flour

702

100

Water

515

73.33

Wheat germ (toasted)

18

2.5

Salt

15

2.08

Total

1250

177.91

Notes

  • The SFBI formula used 96.67% “Bread flour” and 3.33% Whole wheat flour. All the whole wheat flour is used in the levain. I used Central Milling's “Organic Type 85 Flour” for both the levain and the final dough

  • I did not use wheat germ since I was using high-extraction flour, but this ingredient did contribute to the great flavor of this bread as we made it in Artisan II.

 

Levain

 

 

Ingredients

Wt (g)

Baker's %

High-extraction flour

93.7

100

Water

93.7

100

Liquid starter

50

46.8

Total

237.4

246.8

  1. Dissolve the starter in the water and mix in the flour. Desired Dough Temperature: 78ºF.

  2. Ferment for 8-12 hours.

 

Final Dough

 

 

Ingredients

Wt (g)

Baker's %

High-extraction flour

586

100

Water

398

68

Wheat germ (toasted)

18

3

Salt

15

2.5

Levain

234

40

Total

1251

213.5

Procedure

  1. Dissolve the levain in the water. Add the other ingredients and mix thoroughly by hand. DDT: 75-78ºF.

  2. Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly oiled bowl.

  3. Ferment for 3-4 hours with 4 folds at 50 minute intervals. (I did this by the “stretch and fold in the bowl” technique.)

  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board. Pre-shape as a tight boule.

  5. Cover and let rest for 20-30 minutes to relax the gluten.

  6. Shape as a tight boule and place, seam side up, in a floured banneton.

  7. Cover with plastic and retard overnight in refrigerator.

  8. Remove the boule from the refrigerator and allow to warm and complete proofing for 1-3 hours. (Watch the dough, not the clock!)

  9. 45-60 minutes before baking, pre-heat the over to 500ºF with baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  10. When the loaf is proofed, transfer the boule to a peel. Slash the boule as desired, and transfer it to the baking stone. Steam the oven and reduce the temperature to 450ºF.

  11. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove any water remaining in your steaming apparatus.

  12. Continue baking for another 40-50 minutes. (If you have a convection oven, switch to “Convection Bake” and reduce the oven temperature to 430ºF at this point. But see my tasting notes.)

  13. Remove the boule to a cooling rack, and cool thoroughly before slicing.

Notes on procedure

  • Traditionally, we were told, this bread is scored in a diamond pattern, but any scoring pattern that pleases you is fine. Just be aware that the diamond pattern tends to yield a flatter profile loaf than a simple square or cross.

  • This bread benefits from a very bold bake. The crust should be quite dark. It may look almost burned, but the flavor and crunchiness that is desired requires this.

  • This type of bread often improves in flavor very substantially 24 hours after baking.

    Crust

    Crumb


    Crumb close-up

Tasting notes

I sliced and tasted the bread about 4 hours after removing it from the oven. The crust had crackled nicely and was very thick and crunchy – the kind that results in crust flying everywhere when you slice it. The crumb was well-aerated, but without any really large holes. The crumb structure is similar to that I got with the miche from BBA made with this flour, but a bit more open. The crumb is chewy-tender.

The flavor of the crust is very dark – caramelized-sweet but with a bitter overtone where it is almost black. The crumb is sweet, wheaty, nutty and absolutely delicious. My note above notwithstanding, it's hard to imagine the flavor getting any better in another day.

I am enormously impressed with the flavor of the breads I have baked with Central Milling's “Organic Type 85” flour. I want more of it, and I want to try some of their other specialty flours, including those they mill for baguettes.

I will definitely be baking this bread again. I would like to make it as a larger miche, say 2 kg. Next time, I will lower the oven temperature to 420 or 425ºF when I switch to convection bake for the crust to be slightly less dark.

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Philippe Gosselin's Pain à l'Ancienne (according to Peter Reinhart, interpretted by dmsnyder, with modifications)

Gosselin Pain a l'Ancienne

Gosselin Pain a l'Ancienne

Gosselin baguettes

Gosselin baguettes

Gosselin baguette Crumb

Gosselin baguette Crumb

Gosselin Pain Rustique

Gosselin Pain Rustique

Gosselin Pain Rustique Crumb

Gosselin Pain Rustique Crumb

Both Peter Reinhart's "Bread Baker's Apprentice" (BBA) and Daniel Leader's "Local Breads" contain formulas for "Pain à l'Ancienne," based on the explorations during the 1990's by several Parisian bakers of lengthening bulk fermentation to achieve improved flavor. Of course, these techniques could not have been used in the "old days" that the name of the bread implies. Bakers devoted to this new technique use modern refrigeration which was not available to their ancestors.

Reinhart based his version of pain à l'ancienne on that of Philippe Gosselin. In BBA, Reinhart describes Gosselin's method in very general terms and then says the formula he provides is modified to make it easier for home bakers. In January, 2003 Reinhart sent a message to an internet mailing list which contained a detailed enough account of what Gosselin told him to write a formula. For me, the original formula did not seem more difficult than the one Reinhart published. This is because I almost always bake on weekends when I can accommodate my activities to the original formula. So, I thought I would give it a try. My interpretation of Reinhart's interpretation is as follows:

Pain à l'Ancienne of Philippe Gosselin, as described by Peter Reinhart

Flour.......................500 gms

Water......................375 gms

Salt.........................8.75 gms-

Instant yeast...............5 gms

Mix the flour with 325 gms of ice cold water and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, remove mixture from refrigerator. Add yeast, salt and another 25-50 gms of cold water and mix thoroughly for 4-6 minutes.

Ferment at room temperature until doubled in bulk (up to 6 hours).

One hour before baking, preheat oven to 460F.

Divide into 4 equal piece and gently pre-shape into torpedos.

Rest dough 10 minutes.

Shape into baguettes by stretching to 12-14 inches, score and bake immediately with steam at 460F.

The breads I made today used the following modification and extrapolations:

1. I used 50 gms of Guisto's rye flour and 450 gms of KAF Bread Flour.

2. After the long "autolyse," I mixed the flour and water with 30 gms of additional water, the yeast and the salt. The autolysed dough had moderate gluten development already and didn't want to take in the additional water with hand stirring, so I did the best I could with a scraper, then mixed in my KitchenAid with the paddle for about 3 minutes, then the dough hook for another 3 minutes. I then transferred the dough to a 2 quart glass pitcher and used Hamelman's in-the-bowl stretch and fold technique - 20 folds, 3 times at 20 minute intervals over the first hour. I then let the dough rest, covered, until doubled.

3. Gosselin's instructions to Reinhart indicated the dough would take 6 hours to double. In my (warm) kitchen today, it doubled in 4 hours.

4. I emptied the dough onto a flour-dusted board and dusted the top. I divided the dough into 3 parts. I pre-shaped the two smaller ones into rectangles and folded each long side to the middle and sealed the seams. Those, I rested with the seams down for about 10 minutes then stretched into "baguettes" and placed them on floured parchment paper. The larger piece was just cut in half to make pain rustique, rested and similarly placed on parchment.

5. I baked at 460F with steam on a pizza stone. After 7 minutes, I removed the loaf pan and skillet and continued to bake for a total of 20 minutes. I then turned the oven off, cracked it open, and left the loaves on the stone for an additional 5 minutes.

Comments

These breads had a nice, crunchy crust and an open, tender, somewhat chewy crumb. The taste was classic sweet baguette - as good as I have ever made. My wife liked it, but said she preferred the taste of the Anis baguettes with sourdough added. No surprise, as we are both partial to sourdough breads.

I was concerned that the pre-shaping of the baguettes, which Reinhart does not call for in his adaptation of Gosselin's formula, would decrease the openness of the crumb too much. It was more open than I expected. I guess I have learned to handle dough gently enough. On the other hand, it would be worthwhile to try making baguettes with this method but just cutting the dough and stretching it, without any other shaping, to see if the crumb would be even more open.

If your baking schedule allows for Gosselin's method, I would certainly recommend you give it a try. In my hands, it makes very fine baguettes.

The pains rustique require no forming, and are essentially like ciabattas. Reinhart says this dough can also be stretched into a circle or rectangle and used for pizza. I have not tried that and would be interested in hearing from anyone who does so.

David

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

San Joaquin sourdough two ways

San Joaquin Sourdough Two Ways

David Snyder

September 28 and October 2, 2017

 

Background

My San Joaquin Sourdough originated in Anis Bouabsa's baguettes which had won the prize for the best baguette in Paris in 2008. Bouabsa's baguettes departed from convention in utilizing a 21 hour retardation after bulk fermentation and before dividing and shaping. Jane Stewart (Janedo on TFL) and I initially modified Bouabsa's formula by adding a bit of rye flour and some sourdough starter for flavor. I then omitted the commercial yeast altogether and began using the modified formula to shape as bâtards. Over time, I have tweaked the formula and method in various ways, but have settled on the current one as providing the best product.

I most often make my San Joaquin Sourdough as bâtards of about 490 g, but I have used the same dough for baguettes quite often. I have also modified the formula in minor ways to make an “Italian bread,” and have used it for pizza too.

This week, I made two batches of San Joaquin Sourdough. One I used for bâtards. The other I made as “pains rustiques.”

Professor Raymond Calvel, the renowned French baking teacher and bread scientist, was the man who taught Julia Child to bake “French Bread,” the author of “Le Gout du Pain” and the inventor of the autolyse. Shortly before his passing in 2005, Professor Calvel visited the United States and taught at the Culinary Institute of America in upstate New York. The C.I.A. and the Bread Baker's Guild of America produced a series of videos which included interviews with Professor Calvel and documentation of his baguette formula and methods. These were available for downloading and also as VHS tapes at one time. Now, they are available on youtube. They are well-worth viewing for any serious baker.

On one of the tapes, almost as an aside, the narrator said Professor Calvel's personal favorite bread was what he called “Pain Rustique.” He made this with baguette dough, but, rather than shaping it in the traditional manner, the dough is simply cut into rectangular pieces with a bench knife, proofed and baked. I made this bread once a number of years ago, and it was very nice. It was similar to ciabatta in that it was very puffy with large air pockets.

Today, I made a variation on pain rustique, using San Joaquin Sourdough dough and methods, except for the shaping. Note: The formula used for these pains rustique was actually only 72% hydration. Based on my results, I would increase the hydration to 76% hydration (as in the formula below) or even higher for my next bake of this bread.

Formula 

Total ingredients

Wt (g)

Bakers %

AP Flour

479

89

WW Flour

33

6

Medium rye Flour

29

5

Water

412

76

Salt

10

1.8

Liquid starter

17

3

Total

990

180.8

9.2% of the flour is pre-fermented


Liquid Levain ingredients

Wt (g)

Bakers %

AP Flour

29

70

WW Flour

8

20

Medium rye Flour

4

10

Water

42

100

Liquid starter

17

40

Total

100

240

 1. Mix the levain by dissolving the liquid starter in the water, then add the flours and mix well.

2. Ferment at room temperature, covered tightly, until the surface is bubbly and wrinkled. (8-12 hours)

 

Final dough ingredients

Wt (g)

AP Flour

450

WW Flour

25

Medium rye Flour

25

Water

370

Salt

10

Liquid levain

100

Total

990

 

Method

  1. Dissolve the levain in the water, add the flours and mix to a shaggy mass. Cover and autolyse for 30 minutes.

  2. Add the salt and mix to incorporate.

  3. Transfer to a clean, lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly.

  4. Bulk ferment for 3-4 hours with stretch and folds in the bowl every 30 minutes for the first 2 hours, then a stretch and fold on the board after 2.5 hours. The dough should have expanded by about 50% and be full of small bubbles.

  5. Refrigerate the dough for 18-24 hours.

  6. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and transfer it to a lightly floured board.

    For Pains Rustiques

  7. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces and pre-shape as logs or round.

  8. Cover the pieces and allow them to rest for 60 minutes.

  9. Stretch each piece to a rectangle 8-12 inches long, depending on the weight of each piece.

  10. Proof for 45 minutes, covered.

  11. Pre-heat the oven to 500ºF with a baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  12. Transfer the loaves to your peel. Turn down the oven to 480ºF. Score the loaves, if desired, and load them onto your baking stone.

  13. Bake with steam for 10 minutes, then remove your steaming apparatus and continue to bake for another 10-12 minutes.

  14. Remove the loaves to a cooling rack, and cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.

 

For Bâtards

  1. Divide the dough into two equal pieces.

  2. Pre-shape as rounds, cover and let rest for 1 hour.

  3. Shape as bâtards.

  4. Proof on linen or parchment, smooth side down for 45 minutes.

  5. Pre-heat oven to 500ºF with baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  6. Turn down oven to 460ºF.

  7. Transfer loaves to peel.

  8. Steam oven and transfer loaves to th baking stone.

  9. After 12 minutes, remove steaming apparatus.

  10. (If you have a convection oven, turn switch to convection bake and turn the temperature down to 435ºF). Bake for 18 minutes more in a dry oven.

  11. Transfer loaves to a cooling rack and let cool thoroughly before slicing.

Photo Gallery

San Joaquin Sourdough Pain Rustique

 

SJSD dough, fully fermented and ready to divide

Dough divided for Pains Rustiques

Pre-shaped

Shaped and proofed, ready to bake

SJSD Pains Rustique - some unscored, others scored in various ways.

 

San Joaquin Sourdough Pain Rustique crumb

San Joaquin Sourdough Bâtards

Pre-shaped piece

Shaped loaves proofing

Loaves proofed and ready to bake

San Joaquin Sourdough Bâtards

San Joaquin Sourdough Crumb

Enjoy!

David

WoodenSpoon's picture
WoodenSpoon

Rye Levain

I have been busily working away on my Rye levain formula and the one I just baked off this morning on one of the best yet. Recently I have started to shy away from my standard 100% hydration white or primarily white levain towards much firmer entirely whole grain levain starters. I still keep my chef at 100% hydration and I think that going from a cold wet chef to a warm dry levain to a warm wet final mix is really contributing to the flavor complexity.

Here's how I made it.

Levain build #1

  • 3g 100% hydration rye chef
  • 21g fresh milled whole rye
  • 10g warm water
  • 12 hr ferment at room temp

Levain build #2

  • 5g 50% hydration rye levain
  • 50g fresh milled whole rye
  • 25g warm water
  • 12 hr ferment at room temp

Final dough

  • 480g bread flour 70%
  • 170g fresh milled whole rye 25%
  • 45g levain 7.5% (5%rye, 2.5% water)
  • 55g rye chops 8%
  • 536g quite warm water (hold 36g) 79%
  • 13g salt 2%

First I mixed the flours and rye chops and hydrated them with all but 36g of the warm water and let it sit for 45 minutes. Then I added the salt and in a different bowl I moistened/mashed with a fork the 45 grams of firm levain in the remaining 36 grams of water and added that to the dough. After a quick mix with a wooden spoon to incorporate the salt I mashed the whole dough in my hands and as adding water to already partially developed dough isn't always the easiest thing to do. 

Once the dough came back together I gave it a firm two or so minutes of slap and folds followed by a twenty minute rest, then I gave it another quick set of slap and folds and a ten minute rest then another quick set and a fifteen minute rest then another quick set and an hour rest.

After an hour I have it a good stretching and folding in the bowl followed by a very quick slap and fold half an hour later and one more another half an hour later. 

By now the dough has been fermenting for around 3 hours and forty minutes. I gave it an additional 5 hours and forty minutes of room temp bulk fermentation shaped it and popped it in the fridge for 19 hours.

Around noon today I put the loaf in a 500 degree oven, poured hot water over my preheated lava rock and baked it for 55 minutes turning the oven down to 450 after the first two minutes.

This is one heck of a good loaf with a pretty prime aroma to boot. Earthy, hearty and lactic with that characteristic rye spiciness followed by a light acetic zing. So tasty.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

My sourdough starter routine: a FAQ

My Sourdough Starter Routine: FAQ

December 30, 2014

 

I get questions about how I manage my sourdough starter frequently enough that I decided to put the information in a single blog entry to which I can refer in the future. What follows applies to a sourdough starter/levain containing mostly white wheat flour. Mostly rye and mostly whole wheat starters are different beasts.

Please understand that this is my routine. It has worked well for me for a number of years. I am not presenting it as the only way to manage sourdough starters. It may not be the best way at all for some one else. But, as I said, it works for me, and here it is:

My starter was originally was purchased from KAF in about 2008. (See: Classic Fresh Sourdough Starter - 1 oz.).

Taking care of mother

I keep my "mother starter" in the refrigerator. It is fed at a ratio of 1:2:4 (Starter:Water:Flour). When feeding the mother, I mix 50 g starter, 100 g water and 200 g flour to make 350 g total. This is refrigerated imediately after mixing. I refresh the mother every 2 to 3 weeks. The flour feeding is a mix of 70% AP, 20% WW and 10% Medium or whole rye.

Getting active

When preparing to make bread, I generally refresh the starter as a liquid starter at a ratio of 20:50:50 (Mother starter:Water:Flour) using the same flour mix described above. This is fermented to peak activity at room temperature (generally about 12 hours). 

This refreshed liquid starter is then fed again according to the specific formula I am following. In other words, the degree of hydration, the flour mix, the ratio of levain:water:starter and the fermentation time and temperature are variable.  When posting a formula, I specify these variables. This may involve converting the refreshed liquid starter to a firm starter.

Ripening

How long it takes to ferment a starter before it is ready to feed again or mix in a final dough depends on four variables (at least those are the ones I can think of at the moment):

  1. What flours you put in the starter. For example, flours with whole grains ripen faster because of their mineral content.

  2. The ratio of seed starter:flour:water. If you introduce relatively more seed starter, it has a “head start” and will ripen faster. All other things being equal, a more liquid starter will ripen faster than a more firm starter.

  3. The ambient temperature. A warmer temperature speeds up metabolic processes, including fermentation, at least within the usual range of kitchen temperatures. (The Temperature/Metabolism curves for fermentation and acid production are beyond the scope of this FAQ.) This effect can be rather dramatic. As a consequence, any instruction for how long to ferment a levain without specifying the ambient temperature should be taken with a grain of salt. (In fact, adding salt to the levain is one way of slowing fermentation down, but that's another topic for another day.)

  4. The flavor profile you want for the bread you are making. A “younger” levain will generally be less sour. A more “mature” levain will have more acid and make bread that is more sour. (Assuming the formula for the bread is otherwise the same.)

 How can you tell how ripe a levain is?

There is a lot of confusion about the criteria to use in judging the ripeness of a levain. The most common criterion I see is how much it has expanded, and “doubled in volume” is most often the specific criterion. The problem with this is twofold. First, unless you are fermenting your levain in a graduated container or have marked your container yourself, doubling is hard to measure accurately. Second, I don't think doubling carries the same meaning for liquid as for firm levains. And, at no extra charge, here is a thirdfold: Depending on the flavor profile you want, doubling (even if you could measure it accurately) may be too much or not enough.

So, as implied, I use somewhat different criteria depending on the levain's hydration, and I do use a container that is graduated, and I do use a semi-transparent container, so I can view the internal structure of the levain, not just its surface. My container is also tall relative to its diameter and has relatively straight sides. It is more like a cylinder than a bowl. This provides support to the ripening levain that permits greater expansion.

My Sourdough Starter Fermentation Container

Ripeness criteria for a firm levain

A firm levain is one with a hydration level of around 50%. That is, it contains half as much water, by weight, as flour. A firm levain can expand in volume a lot more than a liquid levain. So, volume expansion is actually a useful criterion for ripeness. A doubling in volume is generally associated with enough yeast activity to raise your dough well, but it may not be ripe enough to have fully developed flavor. I usually let my levain triple or quadruple in volume before I mix it in the final dough. In addition to volume expansion though, I look for an extensive network of large and small bubbles throughout the levain. I can see these through the walls of the container. I look for a well-domed top of the levain. And, last but not least, I look for any signs that the levain has had a decrease in volume, which indicates excessive ripeness. This is indicated by a concave surface, rather than a dome.

There is a lot of wiggle room between “ripe enough to raise dough” and “peak of fermentation, just short of collapse.” A less ripe (“young”) levain will make a sweeter bread, one with more creamy flavor from lactic acid formation. A riper (“mature”) levain will have relatively more vinegar-like, acetic acid sourness. Besides the criteria already mentioned, the aroma of the levain tells you the relative prominence of lactic versus acetic acid. You could use your sense of smell alone to judge when your levain is at the point of maturity you desire, in order to achieve the flavor profile you want for your bread.

 

Firm Levain, just fed

Firm Levain, 10 hours after feeding. Note: Approximately doubled in volume. Full of bubbles. Domed surface. I regard this as a still "young" levain.

 

Firm Levain, after 10 hours. Note: Domed surface. Some bubbles on surface.

Ripeness criteria for a liquid levain

A liquid levain is one with a hydration level of around 100%. That is, it contains equal weights of water and flour. A liquid levain cannot expand as much as a firm levain. Quite simply, all those water molecules get in the way of connections between folds of the long gluten molecules that provide structure to a firm levain and a bread dough. Now, a liquid levain does expand as fermentation produces CO2 gas, but this forms bubbles that rise to the levain surface and pop rather than getting trapped in a gluten web and causing levain expansion. If you use a glass container or a semi-transparent plastic one to ferment your liquid levain, as it ripens you can see the internal structure of the levain become full of tiny bubbles – almost like a mousse.  On the surface, you see bubbles forming, faster and faster as the levain gets riper, until they actually form a froth on the levain's surface. The surface of the ripe levain often has a "wrinkled" appearance.

As with a firm starter, one can choose to use the liquid starter “young” or more “mature.” With a liquid starter, as with a firm starter, levain recession or collapse indicates that you have let your levain over-ferment.

 

Liquid Levain, just fed.

 

Liquid Levain, just fed.

 

Liquid Levain after about 9 hours fermenting at room temperature. Note: Bubbly interior.

 

Liquid Levain surface after about 9 hours fermenting at room temperature. Note: Bubbles forming. Surface just beginning to wrinkle. This would still be "young."

The consequences of levain over-fermentation

Over-fermentation implies any combination of several bad things. The yeast may have fermented all the free sugars they can get at. Reproduction and fermentation will both slow down. The levain may not be as potent in raising the dough to which it is added. The levain may also contain excessive amounts of metabolic byproducts, especially organic acids. A little acid is good for both flavor and gluten strength. Too much acid is bad for yeast growth. An optimally ripened levain has positive effects on gluten structure, but, over time, protease activity increases, and those enzymes will degrade gluten. (That's why a very over-ripe sourdough starter that hasn't been fed new flour for a long time gets more and more liquified.)

What's missing?

There is another important variable in my routine for sourdough starter feeding and use, and that is the manipulation of fermentation temperature. Temperature effects the rate of yeast and bacterial growth and metabolism dramatically. Different metabolic processes are favored by different temperature ranges. Temperature changes can change the flavor of your bread. However, that is an advanced topic which is beyond the scope of this FAQ.

 The one temperature manipulation I will discuss is cold retardation. I often refrigerate my levain, usually at the point that it is nearly fully mature. I do this for two reasons, primarily. The first is, quite simply, my convenience. If I have to go out (or go to bed) at the point that a levain is going to be optimally ripe and ready to mix into a dough, I will stick the levain in the refrigerator, maybe for a few hours, maybe for a day or even two. The other reason I refrigerate a levain is to make it more sour. Especially a firm levain will generate more acetic acid in a cooler environment.

If I have refrigerated my levain, before mixing it into the final dough, I will usually let it come to room temperature. Sometimes, I will let it ferment further at a warm temperature, for example 86 dF in a proofing box. It is appears almost over-ripe already when it comes out of the refrigerator, I usually use warmer water when I mix the dough, so the over-all dough temperature is no excessively lowered by cold levain.

 I believe I have addressed the questions I get asked most often about my sourdough starter care and feeding. As indicated, there are additional more advanced topics I have not addressed in this FAQ. Maybe I will another day. 

I hope this helps.

Happy baking!

David

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Sourdough Hokkaido Milk Loaf - a classic shreddable soft bread

 

Some facts first:

- Hokkaido is a place in Japan.

- Hokkaido Milk Loaf is THE most classic/common/well-loved sandwich bread in Asia. It's enriched with milk, heavy cream, butter, egg, milk power, and quite a lot of sugar - which makes it richer than most Asian soft sandwich bread recipes, pushing toward brioche territory. The finished loaf is very tall, very soft, rather rich tasting.

- Hokkaido Milk Loaf has nothing to do with the place Hokkaido. Nothing. Well, other than the name.

- Hokkaido Milk Loaf is usually made with dry yeast, a sample recipe can be found here using straight method: http://schneiderchen.de/237Hokkaido-Milky-Loaf.html, many TFLers have also done this bread successfully.

My notes:

- I adapted the recipe to use SD only. In fact it was over a year ago that I first attempted, since then, I have gone through many iterations on ingredient ratios, fermentation schedule etc. This is my measuring stick on how well my SD sandwich bread method works. What I am posting below is the latest version. In the begining I reduced sugar/fat ratio, but now I know my SD starter is strong enough to take on what the original Hokkaido recipe calls for, so I have slowly raised fat/sugar ratio back up, now it's comparable to the dry yeast version. The bread has the classic rich flavor and soft texture of Hokkaido loaf, and a slightly tangy taste thanks to SD starter.

- Like other soft sandwich breads, the success of this bread relies on intensive kneading. Please see the following two previous posts about this topic:

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

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/23061/extremely-sourdough-soft-sandwich-bread-most-shreddble-soft-velvety-ever

- The same dough can be used for rolls and other breads. Other than the sandwich loaf, I also made some rolls filled with chocolate hazelnut paste. I didn't specify ratios for the filling because I winged it, using whatever was on hand. I like to over fill the rolls with filling, which means lots of coca/hazelnut/sugar mixture, AND lots of softened butter to absorb it.

- Comparing to my previous soft sandwich breads, you might notice that baking temperature is higher (400F rather than 375), I find it gives a better lift to the bread.

 

SD Hokkaido Milk Loaf

Note: 19% of the flour is in levain

Note: total flour is 250g, fit my Chinese small-ish pullman pan. For 8X4 US loaf tin, I suggest to use about 270g of total flour. For KAF 13X4X4 pullman pan, I would suggest using about 430g of total flour.

Note: for the rolls, I used a 8X8 square tin, and 340g of total flour.

 

- levain

starter (100%), 13g

milk, 22g

bread flour, 41g

1. Mix and let fermentation at room temp (73F) for 12 hours.

- final dough

bread flour, 203g (I used half KAF bread flour and half KAF AP flour for a balance of chewiness and volume)

sugar, 33g

butter, 10g, softened

milk powder, 15g

egg whites, 38g

salt, 4g

milk, 74g

heavy cream, 63g

 

1. mix until stage 3 of windowpane (-30sec), see this post for details.

2. rise at room temp for 2 hours, punch down, put in fridge overnight.

3. takeout, divide, round, rest for 1 hour. shape as instructed here for sandwich loaf. For rolls, roll out the dough into 16X12in (quite thin), mix together coca, toasted hazelnut, and sugar in a blender, first brush the dough with lots of softened butter (LOTS), then spread on coca/hazelnut/sugar mixture (again, LOTS), roll up, cut off two ends, then divide into 9 pieces, and put in 8inch squre pan.

4. rise at room temp for about 6 hours. For my pullman pan, it should be about 80% full; for US 8x4inch pan, it should be about one inch above the edge. The dough would have tripled by then, if it can't, your kneading is not enough or over.

5. for sandwich loaf, bake at 400F for 45min, brush with butter when warm. for rolls, bake at 400F for 25min.

 

Thanks for all the protein, fat, and sugar in the dough, the bread should be very tall - if not, more kneading is needed.

 

With enough (but not too much) kneading, and proper fermentation, the crumb should be velvet soft.

 

Same for the rolls. The rich taste of the dough matches well with the filling.

 

I am sure I will keep tweaking the recipe, since I just can't leave a good thing alone. :P

 

Sending this to Yeastspotting.

Pages