The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough help needed for Pain-Poilane

davidjm's picture
davidjm

Sourdough help needed for Pain-Poilane

I am trying to make the Pain Poilane from BBA.  About 50% of the time, I am successful.  When it does not turn out, here's what happens:


1. The dough does not rise during firmentation.  If it does, it is very little.  The problem is, when I'm in the started stage, the starters behave beautifully.  They rise, they smell good.


2. When I bake it, it may rise a little.  But it does this weird thing where the bottom of the loaf will rise in the center rather than rise uniformly from the top. 


3. The crumb is dense and wet, even though I don't pull it out until the internal temp is around 200F.  Also, there are large wholes sporatically throughout the dense crust.


4. Taste is not very good compared to when it turns out right.


I just can't figure out what is going on.  I've tried shortening the rise times thinking that I was tiring out the yeast.  I've tried lessening the amount of starter I used thinking it was too acidic (I was doubling the amount from BBA).  They all seem hit or miss.


Notes: These are 10 cup 100% sourdough wheat loaves.  Lately, I've tried making it 80:20, Wheat:White.


Any suggestions?


Could it be the tap water?  Should I try bottled when I make the dough?


Thanks,


David

Ford's picture
Ford

I cannot answer your question exactly, but I suspect the flour.  In Bread Baker's Apprentice (BBA) page 242 "Commentary" Reinhart writes about simulating Poilâne's "high-extraction whole wheat flour."  He gives two alternatives, I would prefer the second one as the safer.  Blend equal amounts of whole-wheat flour and bread flour.  Personally I prefer King Arthur brands.  The whole-wheat will be a fine-grind.  Too much bran will weaken the gluten structure.  This is true, especially if the bran has not had time to soften and swell in the water.


Though some  bakers say that city water is OK for sour dough, I always pass my water through a carbon filter or use spring water.


Doubling the amount of starter could be adding too much acid and this might be breaking down the gluten.  I would follow Reinhart's directions very carefully until I was sure of reproducible success.


I hope this helps.


 


Ford

davidjm's picture
davidjm

Thanks for your advice.  It sounds very likely.  I'll give it a try.


Thanks!

xaipete's picture
xaipete

Can you use KA 1st Clear Flour for the high extraction flour?


--Pamela

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Pamela.


Although First Clear may not be a "high extraction flour," technically speaking, I have used it for the BBA Miche and also for the Miche, Pointe-à-Callière in "Bread." I think I got good results with both - better to my taste than anything I've been able to do with mixed WW and white flour.


David

xaipete's picture
xaipete

That's what I remembered--that you had used it for high extraction flour. It's the closest thing KA sells to high extraction, right?


--Pamela

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

xaipete's picture
xaipete

Thanks for providing me with this opportunity!



--Pamela

gcook17's picture
gcook17

I sift whole wheat flour to make "high extraction" flour for Poliane bread.  I don't know how close it is to the real thing but I gave a loaf to an acquaintance from France awhile back and they said it was pretty much the same as what they got there.  I've tried different flours and seives and came up with the best results using Whole Foods house brand whole wheat flour and a #30 seive (opening size approx. .025").  Running this flour through this seive removes about 6.5% of the flour (bran & germ I guess).  The Whole Foods WW flour is fairly coarse.  Other, finer ground flours, are too fine for my seive to remove much bran etc.


The Whole Foods flour has "365 Everyday Value" on the label.


BTW, a good source of retired laboratory seives in a lot of different sizes is ebay.  I recently got an 8" #70 for about $5.  There are almost always some for sale there. I bought the 10" #30 in a Chinese kitchen store for a reasonable price.  I can sift enough flour for a miche in less than a minute with it.