Greater Boston Lurker/Newbie
greetings to all! Beware the following longwindedness...
I teach culinary arts in a vocational school north of boston. I'm the de facto baking instructor. (Je suis un cuisinier, pas un boulanger!) After our xmas holiday bake sale, i started looking into & playing with sourdough starter to incorporate into the yeast product portion of the curriculum. In 35+ years in the biz, I'd never come into contact with real starter. A Google search brought me here & I've gained a ton knowledge since! It remains to be seen whether or not I've actually "learned" any of it...
Anyhoo, we (my classes) started 2 batches of SD starter using the basic formula from "The Pro Chef" 7th ed. We modified it to a 100% hydration, I think ( 50/50 flour and water?)
My colleague & I wanted to produce an "artisan style" white sourdough & a deli style sourdough rye to sell in our student-school bakeshop. We finally worked out what we think may be semi-bulletproof/teenagerproof formulae for which we welcome input.
Because of the confines of the school schedule, we've swiped, bent & tweaked a few formulae to meet our needs. So far, this seems to woik. When we make rye, it's 60/40 white to rye. Here's what we've been working with:
Hi Gluten 100%
Starter (100% hydration) 20%
At 2 PM combine & mix 1st speed , 10 mins w/ hook (Hobart 20 qt.) then rest, covered with greasesd saran, over night in cool place. Next AM, 7:30, Start sponge as follows:
Flour ( 1 cup to propagate sponge)
When sponge is ready (~45 mins) return dough to mixer, add sponge, mix 7-10 mins 1st speed til uniformly mixed.
Scale out to 2# pieces, rest 30 mins. Slap & fold method, Make up into boules or batards. Proof & slash. Bake in conventional oven misting once @ 500 in skillets, 15 mins; transfer to convex oven & finish @400, low fan.
We've found that this convoluted method yields a nice flavor & the sponge addition yields a taller product. Our sample testers & initial buyers confirmed the taste & height preferences. Our crust is decent; the flavor's good; our crumb is still denser than I'd like, but I think more slap & fold & more hydration may be the solution. Whaddya think?
TIA, verbosely yours, bob