The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

The zymurgy letters

BvN's picture
BvN

The zymurgy letters

Had a stuck sponge this time. Fell back to good 'ol "dry active" to re-inoculate and the sponge took off like gang-busters. Will taste the results tommorow while I keg my new Red.


The bread really rose this time. I even noticed "oven spring" which I understand, results from what in brewing is the protease rest (122 F). I expect some conversion (beta glucanase - 104 F) is also involved.


Found some words in the Wikipedia that refer to what I am attempting - barm {from which the English get the word barmy - which may explain the why of my efforts :-} and emptin's (emptings) - an old American cooking term that showed up in print in 1790's (Simmons). The description of emptin's exactly describes what I have been doing.


According to the Wikipedia,  "active dry" was invented for WWII and "instant" was invented in the 1970's.


As to the current state of my recipe - the sponge provides all the yeast and water for the bread. 1 Tbs malt extract powder to each 3/4 cup of water (simulates wort) and 2 parts bread flour to 3 parts water (provides the right consistancy for the sponge). The fake wort is raised to 85 F and shaken in a gallon milk jug to remove chlorine and add oxygen). The yeast is pitched and allowed to rest for an hour or two. Flour is added and allowed to rest overnight.


Re-inoculation method for a stuck sponge is: 1/4 to 1/2 cup water, 1 teaspoon malt extract powder, raised to 105 to 115 F, one packet of "active dry", rest for 15 minutes, pitch it into the stuck sponge and stand back :-)


Assuming the new bread has the flavor I am looking for and given the cost of "active dry" versus the effort to maintain a pure yeast culture, I may drop the yeast culture effort and only use the emptin's on the days I rack (primary and secondary fermenters) - which is at least a couple of times a month.

Comments

NetherReine's picture
NetherReine

I don't understand most of what you said, but it is fascinating nonetheless!  Thanks!

BNLeuck's picture
BNLeuck

*blinkblink* You make beer, don't you? I recognize some of those phrases from a friend of mine's obsession with making The Greatest Pale Ale On Earth. (Don't ask...)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

you go through so much trouble!  Why don't you just remove some of the yeasty brew during top reproductive activity and put it with flour to make your dough?


Mini