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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

ananda's picture
ananda

Laminated Yeasted Dough Construction

Hi,

I thought some detail on creating laminated dough for croissants etc may be a popular subject.

 

CROISSANT DOUGH

 

MATERIAL

FORMULA

[AS % OF FLOUR]

RECIPE

[GRAMMES]

RECIPE [GRAMMES]

Strong White Flour

100

600

1000

Salt

1.3

8

13

Milk Powder

5

30

50

Fresh Yeast

6

36

60

Cold Water

63

378

630

SUB-TOTAL

175.3

1052

1753

Butter

41.7

250

417

TOTAL

217

1302

2170

Method:

  • Mix the ingredients for the dough to form cool, developed dough.
  • Put in a plastic bag in the chiller and rest for 30 minutes. Cut the butter into 4mm thick strips and put back in the chiller.
  • Roll the dough out to a rectangle 8mm thick. Put the butter pieces flat onto 2/3 of the rectangle, and fold as below:

 

  • Turn the dough piece clockwise through 90°. Roll out to the same size as before, fold as above, and turn. Repeat once more.
  • Chill the billet for half an hour and give 2 more folds and half turns as described. This gives 168 layers of butter in the croissant dough. Chill again for half an hour.
  • Roll the dough piece out to 5mm and use a croissant cutter to cut out triangle shapes. Stack into piles of 6 and rest covered for 2-3 minutes.   You can use a template made from wood, or, cardboard, to cut out the individual triangle shapes instead.   Please see the video, at 1 min 35secs, for a brief view of the croissant cutter on the left of the screen.
  • Tease out each triangle, fold up the top edge and roll up tightly. Roll out the feet to pointed ends and move round so these feet join up to make the classic shape.   See Vicki demonstrating this in the pictuure below.   For Pain au Chocolat and Pain Amande, cut the dough into strips, 6 x 10 cm; cover with small chocolate chips, or a thin layer of almond paste, and roll up so the seam is well pressed down on the bottom.
  • Place on silicone lined baking sheets and brush with beaten egg.   For the pain amande, dip in flaked almonds
  • Prove at 38-40°C, 80%rH for 40 minutes.

Bake in a hot oven, 235°C for 12-15 minutes; a deck oven should be set at 7 for top heat, and 5 for bottom.   No steam is used, and a damper is not needed.

[Almond Paste to make Pain Amande]

150g Icing Sugar, 150g Caster Sugar, 300g Ground Almonds, 50g Egg, beaten, 1 tbsp Lemon Juice

 

 

Key Principles of successful laminated dough:

  • 1. The dough should not be too wet. If the dough is soft, it will stick to the bench and the pin, and the laminations will quickly be ruined. If the dough is too tight, it will be difficult to roll out without the dough insisting on springing back. Some have advised that the dough need not, therefore, be fully-mixed. This is because all the rolling and folding will continue the dough development. My own thought on the matter is that the dough should be developed to the level allowed by the choice of flour used. So if a top grade flour is used, the dough should be mixed accordingly. If the flour is not so strong, it will not tolerate intensive mixing anyway; by hand, or, machine.
  • 2. The best way to deal with dough which springs back is to allow extra resting time. Allowing plenty rest between turns is the first key principle to grasp. If you compare the folding process to working out bicep muscles in the gym, you should not go far wrong. Bicep curls would be repeated to the point where the muscle is so tensed up it cannot do any more. After a period of rest the same moves are repeated. The moves are designed to strengthen the muscle by continued work. But there has to be rest in between to allow the muscles to relax. It is exactly the same for the gluten-based protein fraction in the dough.
  • 3. The other key principle is to be able to work cold. It is generally cold and raining here in the UK, but I am aware many who write on this site have problems creating cool enough conditions in the kitchen to lessen the burden of making these items; I wish I lived where it was warm too, don't you believe it! Here are a few options:
  • Use a chilled marble slab, or, a refrigerated work surface.
  • Use crushed ice in the dough, or chill the dough water for an extended period prior to dough mixing.
  • A good trick is to chill the dough overnight. Give the dough 3 half turns, then bag and chill overnight. Waken up early the next morning, give the dough its last half turn and process from there. Bake off the croissants and serve straightaway for breakfast. You have just made yourself soooo popular with everyone in the house, forever!
  • 4. What about the choice of laminating fat? Commercial croissants tend to be made with specialised and plasticised fats. This means the final product tends to be just a lot of air! Worse still if the fat is cheap, the melting point will be high, and the product will stick in the roof of the mouth [palate cling] These fats are not exactly renowned for their health-giving properties, either. So they are used on cost and performance grounds. As far as I am concerned croissants are made with all-butter. It is possible to buy a concentrated butter commercially. This is great, because all the water has been removed, so it means the butter block can be rolled out to a sheet, without it melting. Household dairy butter has a water content of 15-20%, so the problem with not working cold, is that the butter can easily start to melt, meaning the death of all the laminations you have worked so hard to achieve. So, performance-wise, butter is not the best, but for flavour, it obviously has no competition. I'm pretty sure concentrated butter is only available commercially; this is definitely the case for the UK and rest of the EU too.
  • 5. Regarding lamination; due care and skill is the 3rd principle. I teach that croissant are given 4 half turns. Danish are often given only 3. Full puff paste employs equal laminating fat to flour used in the dough. This is usually given 6 half turns. The more turns, the more layers created. Above I state 4 turns gives 168 layers. Another 2 half turns works out as follows

168 x 3 = 504   504 x 3 = 1512.   So many layers is incredibly difficult to achieve.   Yet, to commercial bakers it is essential.   The number of layers dictates the amount of "lift" in the product, giving greater volume to weight ratio!   This affects product yield; well-aerated puff paste yield more products.   Given these doughs use expensive ingredients, a baker cannot afford to miss out on achieving correct product yield.

  • 6. In terms of volume and lift, it is important to explain how this works with yeasted doughs like these. When the product goes into the oven, the fat layers melt into the dough layers beneath, creating cavities between the dough layers. These cavities are filled with steam from the water content of both butter and dough. The steam exerts pressure on the dough layer above, causing the product to expand. See diagram below. So, it follows that the more layers, the greater the pastry will rise. So, what of the yeast? Well, the benefit is in terms of a first fermentation for sure, but it has to be achieved in cold conditions, as we have noted. This should mean the yeasts are far from worked through when the croissants are set to prove. Note the yeast level is relatively high. Any benefit has to be derived from rapid expansion as the croissants hit the hot oven. So, testing the dough for evidence that fermentation is slowing down is not a relevant test. We have no need for any sort of complex fermentation at this stage.

7. Lastly, oven treatment tends to be incredibly forgiving to croissants , so long as the oven is hot enough. Although, I think I'd be hedging my bets with items that were becoming tired and spent, in line with the notes just above.   My practical classes last anywhere between 3 and 5 hours.   3 hours is really not very long to make these items with skill from start to finish; and the resting between turns really can be so crucial here.   But I cannot think of a single class I have facilitated on this product where the students have been anything other than delighted by the tasks they have carried out, and the products they have made. It's the colour, and aroma; these items just look and smell great when they are baked. Fabulous!

 See the photos attached below, and the link to the video below that.

 

Here's the video:

Cooper's picture
Cooper

Multigrain sourdough with seeds

Well, Passover is over, and leavened bread is back, with the vengeance. :-) Today's creation: sourdough multi-grain bread with seeds. I wish Internet had the ability to transmit the emotion which crunchy crust elicits whole one tastes a slice with good salted Irish butter. 

I started with same sourdough recipe I blogged before, which works well for me.  The only modifications were: I upped the percentage of whole wheat flour a bit, and also added about 1/2% of water because I figured that all the seeds would need it. The seeds included chia, which I understand likes absorbing water, so I could probably easily go with the whole extra 1% of water.  I'll try it next time.

For the seeds mix I used some arbitrary amounts of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax, chia, white sesame, and rolled oats.  I toasted everything lightly on a dry pan, and let them cool completely before adding into the dough after autolyse phase, together with salt and remaining water.  The total amount of seeds weighed after toasting was 88g.

I also sprinkled some oats inside the banneton before I put the dough inside, and a bit more along the sides of the dough ball, between it and the walls of the banneton.  The advantage turned out to be dual: I got oats stuck to the surface of my bread and baking perfectly crunchy, which is what I wanted.  Those same oats also kept the dough completely from sticking to the form, so it practically fell out on its own while I was inverting the form on the cooking sheet. 

Levain (100% hydration) - 50g starter, 50g warm water, 50g  KA WW flour, mixed in the morning and put in warm place.
Water - 295g + 20g more to dissolve salt
Flour - 400g Wegmans AP unbleached (I didn't have any BF on hand) + 50g  KA WW 
Salt - 10g
Flour total 450+75 (from levain) =525g
Water total 315+75 (from levain) =390g 

Baker's math:
AP flour - 81%
WW flour - 19%
Water - 74%
Salt - 1.9%
Various seeds - 1.7%

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Sprouting and Malting Primer

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 Both malts above were made from the same malted berries 

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

Happy Sprouting and Malting

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Lucy’s Favorite Methods To Make Healthy and Beautiful Bread

This is something that Lucy has been researching and trying to get right for at least a couple of years and she thinks she is close enough to getting a method finalized to post about it.  First off, I am a type 2 Diabetic which makes her quest a little more difficult but the results would be better for everyone - diabetic or not.

 People who have gluten protein sensitivity might also be able to digest this bread better.  Those who have a problem digesting the starches in whole grain breads should also benefit by having more starches pre-digested in the fermentation process.

 Minerals, vitamins and nutrients cannot be released in whole grain yeast bread because of the binding effects of phytic acid in bran.   We want to neutralize it so these nutrients can be utilized by our bodies.

 More than half the nutritional value in grain is stored in the bran and endosperm.  If it is sifted out to make white flour or isn’t treated properly, this extra nutritional value to us is lost.  We want to use all the grain to add nutritional value and not be wasteful.  We want to increase the protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals in the finished bread without any additives at all.

 That is a pretty tall order but the science behind how to do it has now caught up, over the last 100 years, with the bakers who have been doing it for thousands of years without really knowing exactly why what they did had such health benefits.

 On top pf all that, we want the bread to keep well, spring, bloom and brown neautifully, have a soft moist crumb, taste better and not be bitter even if it contains a high percent of whole grain - without adding a sweetener.

Now this bread making task is really starting to get difficult and take longer - but it’s not impossible - Lucy and I do it every week.....and if we can do it ….. then anyone else can too.

 Some keys to maximizing the health benefits while producing a great looking and tasting loaf of bread are:

  1. Use fresh milled whole grains -sprout,mill and dry then first if possible - make whole and sprouted grans 30-50% of the flour or more
  2.  Get some whole rye in every bread recipe - even if only in the starter.  There is no grain like rye when it comes to health benefits.
  3. Autolyse the flour including the flour in the levain build.  The enzymes will make for plenty of food for the wee beasties and the left over sugars make for sweeter and browner bread. Nothing like the pre digestion of starch for our stomachs too.
  4. Make sourdough bread and use less pre-fermented flour to do it - 10% or so. Dump the commercial yeast entirely.  It just works too fast and you lose the health befits only sourdough can provide with LAB and yeast fermentation working together.  Plus the bread will keep much longer too.
  5. Sift your milled whole grain and use the sifted out 15-20% hard bits to feed the levain.  Then retard the finished levain for 24-48 hours.  There is sill 20% starch in the bran that the autolyse enzymes will break down providing plenty of food for the sourdough wee beasties.  The wee beasties will love it and your bloom, spring, crumb and taste bubs will thank you for making the bran as soft as possible.  Plus the phytic acid will be neutralized. This will release half the health goodies that were previously locked up plus the bran will be pre-digested making life easier on your stomach.
  6. Use long cold retards for the starter, levain and dough.  Long, low and slow means extra flavor.  Lucy’s No Muss No Fuss Starter can be stored for up to 20 weeks in the fridge with no maintenance hassles.  Create recipes that have low pre-fermented flour amounts so that you can do a bulk or even shaped final proof of 18 - 48 hours.
  7. Use a higher overall hydration for the dough.  The crumb will be more open, soft and moist than low hydration bread plus the wee beasties love a higher hydration.  Too much liquid will make for Frisbee's Flat Bread.
  8. Do the counter work for building levains, gluten development and countertop bulk ferment at higher temperatures. A mix of high and low temperature brings out all the flavor your SD bread can provide.  Think Detmolder http://germanfood.about.com/od/germanfoodglossary/a/Detmolder-Three-Phase-Sourdough-Method.htm
  9. Try a double levain - one white and one dark each made with high and low temperatures with high and low hydration to squeeze out more flavor.
  10. Try a different liquid for the dough like potato water or yogurt whey to enhance the flavor and fortify the nutritional benefits of the bread. Put some healthy add ins into the dough like seeds n nuts and re-hydrated dried fruits to increase it’s nutritional value and flavor too.

Here is a recent bread that utilizes most of Lucy’s methods above.  Double Levain Sprouted 4 Grain Sourdough with Seeds and here are many, many sites for further reading about the health benefits of making sourdough bread

Happy sourdough baking Lucy’s way.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bran

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phytic_acid

http://realfoodforager.com/5-reasons-to-make-sourdough-your-only-bread/

http://www.naturaltherapypages.com.au/article/Benefits_Sprouted_Grains

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2012/11/27/what-are-sprouted-grains

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Sesame Wholewheat + Red Gum Miche + 100% Wholegrain Spelt

 

Peering over my computer monitor I can see it is still raining. My computer lurks in the smallest room in our house with a single window that allows a narrow view through to another room and then another window before a tiny glimpse of the outside world finally emerges. My computer cave seems so removed from the country roads under expansive skies that I was travelling on the week before.

Some free time that week had allowed me the opportunity to spend a time out of the city in Pittsworth baking wood-fired breads with my friend Laurie. I always treasure the time spent with Laurie and Rhonda and try to breath in as much country air as I can possibly hold before making the trip back to my city home.

 

 

 

 

Arriving home I wanted to further pursue the wholegrain baking I have been working on—freshly milled flour, high hydration dough and sourdough starters. I had picked up a bag of richly coloured organic unhulled sesame seeds while out of town and this was to be the catalyst for a delicious bread. I am continuing the practice of retarding the wholegrain dough in bulk. Not only does this control the fermentation, but it also allows for an extended ‘wet time’ … this is always a good thing when baking with wholegrains.

The roasted seeds mixed through the wet dough add flavour, texture and a softness that remains for days after baking. This is bread that tastes and feels as good as it looks.

 

 

 

 

 

Sesame Wholewheat

Formula 6 x 750g

Overview

%

Weight grams

Levain build – 3 hrs 26°C

 

 

Starter

50

93

Freshly milled organic wheat flour

100

186

Water

64

120

 

 

 

Final dough  24°C

 

 

Levain

20

369

Freshly milled organic wheat flour

100

1846

Water

109

1938

Salt

2.5

46

Unhulled sesame seeds roasted

18

320

Hulled sesame seeds

As needed

 

Total

 

4519

 

  • Mix final starter and leave to ferment for 3 hours at 26°C
  • Roast sesame seeds for 10 mins. Turn occasionally to redistribute.
  • Mill flour and mix with water (hold back 10% of water) and autolyse for 20 mins.
  • Add starter to autolyse then mix in bowl for 5 mins. Add salt and remaining 10% of water and squeeze through bread to incorporate (dough will separate then come back together) then mix and squeeze a further 5-10 mins. The dough is very wet but should start to feel some strength by the end of this mixing.
  • Add roasted sesame seeds at the end of mixing.
  • Place in a fridge at 4°C for 15 hours. I gave the dough three folds at 30mins apart.
  • Increase or decrease the number of folds depending on the strength of your wheat.
  • Remove from fridge. Divide at 750g. Preshape.
  • Bench rest 45–60mins. Shape and roll the dough on a wet cloth and then hulled sesame seeds. Proof in couche or narrow basket.
  • Final proof was two hours at room temperature. Watch the dough!
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 250°C for 10 mins with steam. Reduce temp to 200°C then bake for a further 40 mins.

 

 

 

Laurie and I had a great bake in Pittsworth. For me it was an interesting experience going back and baking in a much smaller oven than I had been using at Chester Street. Size does make a difference :)

The day before the bake while the oven was full of fire, Laurie and I travelled out along straight flat roads to local biodynamic farmer Barry Bowden.  Barry is milling grains and selling flours under the name of Red Gum Milling. Laurie has been using Red Gum Milling flour for quite a few years now and I have always been a little jealous that he had such a great local resource at his disposal. Barry is an ingenious bloke … he has built his own milling and sifting equipment that sits within a large flour-coated shed on his farm.

 

 

 

Barry has been growing and milling all manner of biodynamic grains depending on the seasons and his clients requirements. His large industrial granite stone mill feeds into a rustic, almost steam punk looking sifter where two different streams of flour are produced depending on the screens he has in place. Even though the mill wasn't running at the time I found a bag of sifted bran and was impressed by the beautiful bran separation he could achieve. Puts my little Komo shredder to shame :)

 

 

 

I arrived back in Brisbane  a few days later with a few kilograms of Red Gum Milling’s ‘plain flour’and couldn't wait to bake with it. It is most definitely a high extraction flour, and although Barry couldn't give me an extraction level, I would guess that it was 80% or higher. It has lovely golden colour and fresh aroma but what surprised me most about this flour was its strength.

I started with a rough hydration level of 75% but quickly had increased this to 85% … this probably still wasn't enough. The finished bread was pretty chewy and the crumb was tough but delicious. Perfect for spreading butter :)

 

 

 

I have been baking a lot of wheat breads of late and I need to start diversifying. Spelt has been a long time challenge of mine, and although I have baked successful white spelt breads on a hearth, I find they are usually to dry for my liking. For me, it’s actually the colour of the spelt bran that is most appealing—rusty coloured bran that peels off nicely even in my little Komo mill.

The nicest spelt breads I have eaten have been baked in tins—and this seemed to fit nicely with my current method of baking wholegrain breads using lots of water. The tin supported the slack dough through it's final rise and pushed it further upwards during the bake.

This has been my go-to bread all week … I cannot get enough of it! The crumb is soft and moist—hardly comparable to the dry crumbly feeling that some breads seem to have.

 

 

 

 

 

100% Wholegrain Spelt

Formula 2 x 1350g tinned loaves

Overview

%

Weight grams

Levain build – 3 hrs 26°C

 

 

Starter

50

93

Freshly milled organic wheat flour

100

186

Water

64

120

 

 

 

Final dough - 24°C

 

 

Levain

20

245

Freshly milled organic spelt flour

100

1224

Water

100

1224

Salt

2.5

31

Total

 

2724

 

  • Mix final starter and leave to ferment for 3 hours at 26°C
  • Mill flour and mix with water (hold back 10% of water) and autolyse for 20 mins.
  • Add starter to autolyse then mix in bowl for 5 mins. Add salt and remaining 10% of water and squeeze through bread to incorporate (dough will separate then come back together) then mix and squeeze a further 5-10 mins. The dough is very wet but should start to feel some strength by the end of this mixing.
  • Place in a fridge at 4°C for 15 hours. I gave the dough three folds at 30mins apart.
  • Increase or decrease the number of folds depending on the strength of your wheat.
  • Remove from fridge. Divide and preshape.
  • Bench rest 45–60mins. Shape and proof in tins
  • Final proof was three hours at room temperature. Watch the dough!
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 250°C for 10 mins with steam. Reduce temp to 200°C then bake for a further 60 mins.

 

And it seems the word is out on the street that I am baking at home again … and this has meant quite a few ‘home sourdough’ have been baked for friends and family.

Happy baking to all ... I know I am!

Cheers,
Phil

isand66's picture
isand66

Hamburger Onion Parmesan Buns

We bought some chicken Buffalo style sliders the other day so I wanted to make some tasty buns to go with them.  The buns needed to be hearty enough to hold the burgers and the fixings as well as soft enough like a hamburger bun needs to be.

I adapted a recipe from KAF and made several changes including the flour types and changes and additions in several ingredients.  I added some dried onions and some Parmesan powder to give it a little extra flavor and just enough honey to round out the flavor profile.

These would have been perfect had I not left them in the oven a few minutes too long since I was working at the same time I was baking these.  One of the benefits of working from home but also one of the possible pitfalls.  In any case these tasted great and made perfect burger buns and sandwich rolls as well.  If you try these you will not be disappointed, of that I can guarantee you.

The European style flour I used has a small percentage of white whole wheat flour and malt which along with the Spelt flour and Durum flour really gave these rolls some excellent flavor.

Hamburger-Onion-Rolls

Directions

Bring the milk up to a boil in a heavy-duty sauce pan and let it simmer for a couple of minutes.  Take it off the heat and let it cool to room temperature before using.

In the mean time leave your butter out at room temperature or soften in your microwave.

Mix flours with yeast to combine.  Next add remainder of the ingredients and mix on low for 1 minute and then for 9 minutes at speed number 2 and 1 minute at speed number 3.  You want to mix/knead until you develop a nice thin window pane which will ensure that the rolls end up nice and soft.

Take the dough out of your mixer and form it into a ball and place in a well oiled bowl or dough rising bucket.  Make sure to cover the dough and let it rise at room temperature of if you have a proofer set it to 82 degrees and let it rise until doubled.  It took me about 1 hour to double in my proofer.

Next gently deflate the dough and form into rolls and place on cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Cover with a moist towel or plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray.  Let it sit at room temperature for about 1 hour until the rolls have almost doubled in size and pass the poke test.

NoSeedsRisen

Around 30 minutes before ready to bake the rolls, pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees and prepare your oven for steam as well.  I use a heavy-duty pan in the bottom shelf of my oven and pour 1 cup of boiling water in right before placing the rolls in the oven.

Right before you are ready to bake the rolls prepare an egg wash, paint your rolls and add  your topping of choice.

Seeded-Risen-Rolls

Seededclosup

Bake the rolls at 450 degrees for the first 5 minutes and lower the oven to 425 degrees until they are nice and brown.  Just make sure that they don't turn into charcoal like mine almost did :).

These should take about 25 minutes to cook thoroughly.  When done  let them cool on wire rack for at least half an hour before digging in if you can wait that long.

Crumb

IMG_0130
Cleopatra didn't mind the "dark" rolls at all....
txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Laminated Sandwich loaf - best of both worlds

Sending this toYeastspotting.
Click here for my blog index.


After weeks of driving, moving, and settling down, I've finally gotten my new kitchen more or less in order and ready to start baking/bloging again. Loving everything about Seattle so far, the active lifestyle, the urban living environment in downtown, the seafood, the "green" mentality -- I even like the grey weather! It's good for making laminated dough... :P


Now back to bread, this is a very Asian bread, I don't think I have seen anything similar in a western bakery. It's essentially the love child of Danish and Asian Style Soft Sandwich bread, inheriting the best qualities of both parties: nice and crispy on the outside, soft inside, and full of buttery goodness. While still a laminated dough, in order to rise high in the sandwich tin, it differes from croissants(tips here) and traditional danishs in following ways:
1. For croissants and danishs, we usually keep the dough fairly dry to ensure crisp and clean layers. While more kneading would make layers seperate more, resulting in a better crumb, we usually don't knead the dough to fully developement for the ease of rolling out. However, Asian style soft sandwich breads need to be kneaded very well to pass a very thin and strong windowpane test, otherwise the bread volume would suffer, and the texture won't be shreaddably soft (see details here). For this bread, we do knead the dough well (similar to other Asian style soft sandwich breads). In the mean time, the dough is kept pretty wet to have more extensibility, which make it possible to roll out.
2. Since the dough is fairly wet, and shaping procedure is different from traditional croissants, we don't expect as many honeycomb-like holes in the crumb, instead, crumb just need to be fairly even and open. In the mean time, the final dough doesn't need to be rolled out very thin (15mm instead of 4mm for croissants). For those reasons, the amount of roll-in butter is considerably less than croissants.
3. While for this particular batch in the first photo, I did one 4-fold, and two 3-folds, but this bread usually requires less folding than croissants. The most common method is one 4-fold, and one 3-fold, which I tried in another batch with good result.
In summary, since the dough requires less folds, and doesn't need to be rolled out very thin, it's an easier laminated dough than croissants and danishes. However, it does have different challenges: the intensive kneading to full developement, the final shaping which requires concise cutting and weighing, as well as braiding.

Laminated Sandwich Loaf (Adapted from many different sources)
Note: for details and tips on making croissants, please see this post
Note: for tips on kneading soft sandich loaves see this post
Note: this recipe makes about 930g of dough, less or more depending on how much you trim off the edges etc.

-levain
starter (100%), 44g
water, 75g
bread flour, 134g

1. mix and leave at room temp for 12 hours.

-final dough
bread flour, 361g
milk, 145g
egg, 77g
sugar, 60g
salt, 10g
instant yeast, 7g
butter, 41g, softened
levain, all
roll-in butter, 245g

1. Mix everything other than butter, knead until gluten starts to form. Add in butter, mix until fully developed. see this post for details.

2. Round, press flat, put in fridge immediately for 2 hours.
3. Make butter block, put in fridge for at least one hour before using.  Take out the dough, roll out, and enclose butter. (see this post for details)
4. Roll out to 20X60CM, fold one 4-fold as in the following pictures. Put in fridge for one hour


5. Roll out again and do one 3-fold, put in fridge for one hour. (see this post for details)
6. Repeat 5. (optional)
7. Roll out dough to 1.5CM-2CM thickness. Length of the dough piece  would depend on the tin you use. Since we are braiding them, you will need the length to be about 2X length of the tin.
8. Cut the dough into thin pieces. This is where experience becomes important. We are braiding 3 pieces into one group, each group need to have a certain weight. Do note that if a tin requires more than one group of dough, each group should weigh the same, otherwise bread would appear uneven at the end. In another word, for each tin, select a weight for each dough group (less for flat top, more for round top),  then stick to that weight for each group of dough.
a) For my bigger Chinese pullman tin (pictured on the left), I need 2 groups, each group has 3 pieces, and each group (all 3 pieces together) weigh 225-250g (225g if cover of the tin is used to make a flat top shape, more if cover is not used to make round top as in the picture).
b) For my small Chinese pullman tin, I only need one group of 3 pieces, each group (all 3 pieces together) weigh 150g (if cover of the tin is used to make top flat).
c) For 8X4 US loaf tin,  I suggest to use 2 groups, each group has 3 pieces, and each group (all 3 pieces together) weigh 250-270g.
d) For KAF 13X4X4 pullman pan, I would suggest to use 4 groups, each group has 3 pieces, and each group (all 3 pieces together) weigh 195-215g.
9. For each group of 3 pieces of dough, braid them. Make sure the cut surface is facing up, to expose the layers. Fold ends under, put into tin.

10. Proof at around 27C until 80-90% full, about 4-5 hours in my case. Egg wash if you are not using the pullman pan cover.


11: Bake at 425F for 10min, lowered to 375F and bake until done. The bigger Chinese tin which took 450g - 500g of dough, needed about 40-45min of TOTAL baking time. The smaller tin which took 150g of dough, needed 30min in total. If colors too much, cover with foil.

 

If the gluten network is fully developed, the bread should be proud and tall, with clear layers visible.

If the pan cover is used, the dough amount needs to be fairly accurate for the pan, other wise it's each too short (not reaching the top), or bursting out (the cover can literally be blown open). This neat rectangle shape is nicknamed "golden sticks".

The crumb soft but open with honeycomb structor.

In general, I feel it's easier than croissants, since you can fold less and doesn't have to roll out as thin. However, the success does depend on proper kneading and careful piecing and shaping.

 

RonRay's picture
RonRay

Yeast Water & Other Wee Beastie Bubbles (No Math)

Yeast Water & Other Wee Beastie Bubbles (No Math)

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

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

      a  Highly Active Culture  of  Apple Yeast Water

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*** The Skin Game...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well that depends on several things, but in general:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

e/ IF Jump-starting ONLY:

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

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

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

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

*** After the Bubbles Flow...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For me, AYW won.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


*** Some Concluding Thoughts...

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

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

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

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

Enjoy, and do not let your buns get burned.

RonRay

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

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

*** Footnotes...

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

 

zolablue's picture
zolablue

Sourdough Challah (photos & recipe)

I baked my first challah last Thursday and wanted to share.

I was unsure what to expect but it was so much fun. I’d been meaning for some time to bake a recipe from Maggie Glezer’s book, A Blessing of Bread, which is a wonderful compilation of traditional Jewish recipes from around the world. Floyd has written a very nice review of the book here.

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/bookreviews/ablessingofbread

I decided to start with Glezer’s own personal recipe for sourdough challah. I love making sourdough and was interested to see what the texture of this bread would be compared to a yeasted challah which I have eaten only a couple times.

The recipe seemed easy to me despite the fact Glezer calls it expert. I’m not sure why but, again, I’m new to challah. The dough was so easy to mix together and then, as Glezer puts it, the time involved is mostly waiting after that.

She says to bake it to a dark brown which I did. I’m not sure if it is considered too dark or not but it was really a beautiful color and I do typically bake my bread darker as she instructs in Artisan Baking.

The crumb was amazing to me. It was very creamy and soft and almost reminded me of an angel food cake. It has remained moist to this day (5 days later) as there are only two of us to eat and can’t quite get rid of all the bread I bake. I am going to cut very thick slices of what is remaining to freeze and later use to make French toast.

I decided for my maiden voyage into challah bread I would make an elaborate braid. I used the six-strand braid version and got a lot of help from the video Glezer did showing how to do it. Gosh, the internet is awesome! Just as she said it makes a beautiful, very high loaf.

Braiding ChallahFine Cooking Video, Maggie Glezer

http://www.taunton.com/finecooking/videos/braiding-challah.aspx?

I’m posting the recipe so those of you who are new to challah as I am can have a chance to make it and perhaps will be inspired to buy this lovely book. For those who have made challah for years I’d love it if you tried the recipe and let me know your thoughts on it compared the some of your favorite traditional recipes.

More of my photos can be seen here:

http://zolablue.smugmug.com/gallery/3500289#197395950

Thank you to each and every one of you on this site that have been such inspirations in baking such as Floyd, Bill Wraith, Susanfnp, Mountaindog, JMonkey, Browndog, Bluezebra, Eric, SDBaker, Mini Oven, Dolf, Qahtan, Zainab and so many others. All you wonderful bakers have helped me incredibly along the way over the past few months that I have been baking so many thanks to all.

My Sourdough Challah - Maggie Glezer's personal recipe from her book, A Blessing of Bread

Sweet sourdough breads are delicious and well worth the time (which is mainly waiting time) if you are a sourdough baker. The sourdough adds a subtle tang to my challah, and the crumb has a moister, creamier texture that keeps even longer than the yeasted version. While it’s true that challah or, for that matter, all bread was at one time sourdough (the Hebrew word for leaven, chametz, means “sour”), challahs have definitely gotten sweeter and richer since the introduction of commercial yeast. To convert such recipes back to 100 percent sourdough, the sugar has to be cut back in order for the dough to rise in a reasonable length of time (sugar that is more than 12 percent of the flour weight inhibits fermentation), so this version will taste slightly less sweet than the yeasted one, a deficit completely overridden by the rich complexity of the sourdough. I have also changed the all-purpose flour to bread flour, which has more gluten, to counteract the starter’s propensity to loosen the gluten (the acids in the starter change the proteins, a natural part of sourdough baking).

Skill Level: Expert

Time: About 20 hours (about 8 1/2 hours on baking day)

Makes: Two 1-pound (450-gram) challahs, one 1 1/2-pound (680-gram) challah plus three rolls, or sixteen 2-ounce (60-gram) rolls

Recipe synopsis: Make the sourdough starter and let if ferment overnight for 12 hours. The next day, mix the dough and let it ferment for 2 hours. Shape the dough and let it proof for 5 hours. Bake the breads for 15 to 40 minutes, depending on their size.

For the starter:

2 tablespoons (35 grams/1.2 ounces) very active, fully fermented firm sourdough starter, refreshed 8 to 12 hours earlier

1/3 cup (80 grams/2.8 ounces) warm water

About 1 cup (135 grams/4.8 ounces) bread flour

For final dough:

1/4 cup (60 grams/2 ounces) warm water

3 large eggs, plus 1 for glazing

1 1/2 teaspoons (8 grams/0.3 ounce) table salt

1/4 cup (55 grams/1.9 ounces) vegetable oil

3 tablespoons (65 grams/2.3 ounces) mild honey or a scant 1/3 cup (60 grams/2.1 ounces) granulated sugar

About 3 cups (400 grams/14 ounces) bread flour

Fully fermented sourdough starter

Evening before baking - mixing the sourdough starter: Knead starter into water until it is partially dissolved, then stir in the flour. Knead this firm dough until it is smooth. Remove 1 cup (200grams/7 ounces) of the starter to use in the final dough and place it in a sealed container at least four times its volume. (Place the remaining starter in a sealed container and refrigerate to use in the next bake.) Let the starter ferment until it has tripled in volume and is just starting to deflate, 8 to 12 hours.

Baking day - Mixing the dough:

In a large bowl, beat together the water, the 3 eggs, salt, oil, and honey (measure the oil first, then use the same cup for measuring the honey — the oil will coat the cup and let the honey just slip right out) or sugar until the salt has dissolved and the mixture is fairly well combined. With your hands or a wooden spoon, mix in the bread flour all at once. When the mixture is a shaggy ball, scrape it out onto your work surface, add the starter, and knead until the dough is smooth, no more than 10 minutes. (Soak your mixing bowl in hot water now to clean and warm it for fermenting the dough.) This dough is very firm and should feel almost like modeling clay. If the dough is too firm to knead easily, add a tablespoon or two of water to it; if it seems too wet, add a few tablespoons flour.

The dough should feel smooth and very firm but be easy to knead.

Fermenting the dough:

Place the dough in the warm cleaned bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Let the dough ferment for about 2 hours. It will probably not rise much, if at all.

Shaping and proofing the dough:

Line one or two large baking sheets, with parchment paper or oil them. Divide the dough into two 1-pound (450-gram) portions for loaves, one 1 1/2 pound (680-gram) portion for a large loaf and three small pieces for rolls (the easiest way to do this without a scale is to divide the dough into quarters and use one quarter for the rolls and the rest for the large loaf), or sixteen 2-ounce (60-gram) portions for rolls. Braid or shape them as desired, position them on the prepared sheet(s), and cover them well with plastic wrap. Let proof until tripled in size, about 5 hours.

Meanwhile, 30 minutes before baking, arrange the oven racks in the lower and upper third positions if using two baking sheets or arrange one rack in the upper third position if using one sheet, and remove any racks above them. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C/gas mark 4). If desired, preheat one or two baking sheets to double with the baking sheet(s) the loaves are on. Beat the remaining egg with a pinch of salt for glazing the breads.

Baking the loaves:

When the loaves have tripled and do not push back when gently pressed with your finger but remain indented, brush them with the egg glaze. Bake rolls for 15 to 20 minutes, the 1-pound (450-gram) loaves for 25 to 35 minutes, or the 1 1/2-pound (680-gram) loaf for 35 to 45 minutes, until very well browned. After the first 20 minutes of baking, switch the loaves from front to back so that they brown evenly; if the large loaf is browning too quickly, tent it with foil. When the loaves are done, remove them from the oven and let cool on a rack.

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