The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

substitutions

sybram's picture
sybram

substitutions

I'm playing with PR's Ciabatta formula (BBA) today, and I know you guys can save me considerable trial and error, so I hope to take advantage of the vast knowledge and experience in this group.  I plan to do the formula three times to compare all aspects of the bread, such as taste,  texture, feel, time involved and probably some I am not aware of yet.


First, I'll make it as writ using the biga.  Then I want to use sourdough (my barm is ready) with the added dry yeast, and finally, with only sourdough to leven.  Of course I have no idea as to the amounts of barm to use in the last two mixes. 



When using the barm and the yeast, would I use the same amount, by weight, as the biga?


I'm going back to read PR's BBA info about fermenting and sd, hoping he tells how to substitute one for the other, and I just forgot, but I would love to hear what our resident experts (or not) think about it.  Everyone here is so helpful, and I could read you on and on, and I do.


Syb

flournwater's picture
flournwater

I did the same experiment.  I simply used the baker's percentages to qualify my sourdough starter as an ingredient.  The calculations aren't difficult and the results were surprisingly good.  The version using only sourdough levain produced a lighter textured crumb and a thin crisp outer crust.  The version using sourdough levain along with active dry yeast produced something very close to the biga version. I got so enthused after my first sourdough levain loaves that I've been experimenting somewhat recklessly in that area to see what develops.  Too much fun ....


Looking forward to reading about your experience.


http://gallahadabovethefog.blogspot.com/

sybram's picture
sybram

Thanks for your comments, flournwater.  I only got the sd with the dry yeast one baked yesterday.  It turned out great--probably the best tasting bread I've made so far.  The holes weren't real big, but I found it degassed quite a bit just getting the loaves on the stone.  Any advice about that?  I had them resting on parchment and just transferred them that way onto the stone.  I don't really know how I could have been any more gentle about it. 


I'm doing the 'as writ' version with the biga today.


I'm not sure how much sd to use when that's the only leven I use.  Did you use more by weight that the poolish called for.


Another thing, PR's formula for biga says it makes enough for the ciabatta or Italian bread, and I took that to mean to use all of it, but it's way more by weight than the poolish weight called for.  Thoughts?


Syb

flournwater's picture
flournwater

The method you describe for delivering the loaves to the stone looks to me to be about as gentle as anything else you might have tried.  If you lifted them with the parchment they probably lost a bit more of their gas than they might have if you had done the final proof on parchment resting on a peel and slipped them off the peel onto the stone, but that's open to conjecture.  I believe that a Ciabatta, while it should have well defined wholes in the structure, isn't very appealing when it's all holes and no substance.  Too much of a good thing isn't always better.  I try to focus on overall texture and flavor and leave the holes as a consideration further on down the list.


I used ratio of levain to flour for my experiments using 80% levain to 20% new flour.  Because I used 100% hydration starter, that gave me about 71% hydration on the final mix.  I have done it with 70/30 and gotten good results too.


The most important thing I've learned is that I have to watch the fermentation and final proof much more closely with levain only mixes than I do when I'm using active dry yeast.  ADY offers me a larger window within which to operate but the wild yeast approach, which I find developes more slowly, dies much more quickly.  I try to catch it at the end of final proof just before it begins to wilt.  The window for that is about five minutes in my kitchen.


I agree that PR's instructions infer using all of the biga and that's what I did; I made the biga version.  The poolish version calls for 22.75 ounces of poolish and the poolish recipe makes about 23.28 ounces so I'd use it all for that version too and wouldn't be concerned about 1/2 ounce difference. 


Letr us see some images of your results if you can and I'm anxiously waiting to read about your successes; large or small.


My next experiment (tomorrow) is a 36 hour fermentation, proof depending on how the dough performs, and a dutch oven bake.

flournwater's picture
flournwater

Hey, Syb, I finished the last experiment:


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/12837/learning-through-experimentation#comment-76207


Turned out quite nicely. Not enough dough to fill the entire bottom of the Dutch oven but the crust was thin and crisp, tender moist crumb, enough holes to validate its airiness, wonderfully flavorful (although not as sour as I had hoped  -  but I'm not very good at achieving that goal; at least not yet)


Now I'm back to the BBA Challenge and corn bread. I don't like sweet cornbread (not even sweet/savory cornbread) but I'll honor my commitment to finish every recipe in the book.

sybram's picture
sybram

Well, I have lots to report, and it's not all good.  I can be such a dork.  Have I mentioned I multi-task to the point it's almost impossible for me to complete a bake correctly?  It's just so exciting to live that way, but frustrating, too, I must say.


I got really amazing rise from the first bread of my experiment--the one where I was questioning the amount of biga.  Duh!  No wonder, since I forgot I had DOUBLED the biga amount, so I would have some ready for another project.***  I even had my container labeled as such, but you sort of have to read it for that to help you much.  Anyway, great rise, as I said.  Tasted good, too, but the loaves were huge, and I knew something had to be wrong. 


Today, I made the all sd loaves, and they turned out great.  Very sour tasting.  They stayed in the fridge 36 hours.  When I took the dough out of the fridge, I let it sit an hour, poured it out and did SF, another SF after one hour and another after two hours.  Formed and let proof almost four hours.  I was gone, so I called home and gave DH baking instructions.  He did it all perfectly.  Only took 15 minutes to bake.  The loaves look pretty much like yours.  I'm trying to get the big holes like PR's picture.  Tomorrow I will do the poolish version as PR gives it.  I don't think I can top the flavor of today's loaves, but I want to see the difference. 


I wish I could do the pic thing, but I played around with it today again and just couldn't get it.  I must remember the next time the grands are here to get one of them to help me.  I don't know why it's so hard for me.  I do it on Dave's Garden (check it out if you like to garden), but it's way different.  Yes, I've seen the tutorial.  It'll happen one of these days.


***  I was just reading the "you know you're a breadhead if................", and it is all sooooo me.  Here I was just starting a three day baking project, and I doubled my biga so (heaven forbid) I wouldn't have to wait to start another, and who knows, I might work it in sooner.  Good Grief!  This wouldn't be quite so bad if we weren't in the middle of a slab leak adventure.  There's been 12 machines drying out/dehumidifying our house, texturing, painting and tiling.  Friday the carpet goes down.  Tomorrow I cook for a big group at church.  Whatever.  Our breadlife must go on. ;^)


Syb