The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pate Fermentee

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chuppy's picture
chuppy

Pate Fermentee

Good morning!


I'm testing the flavor of a bread recipe and trying to use it as a benchmark for other recipes as well. In Rose Levy's Bread Bible, she says that pate fermentee is used to give the unique and nuty taste in the next batch of dough. What I am hoping for, is a reduced time for the pre-ferment. Not by a lot, but at least a few hours.


I know the longer bread has to pre-ferment, the better and nuttier the flovor will be. So is it safe to say that a pate fermentee will increase the flavor?


For example, if the recomended preferment is for 2-10 hours, can I allow a poolish to pre-ferment for 8 hours and add the pate ferment? I'm not so much looking for a short cut as much as unique ways to increase flavor as well.


Thanks for any help you can offer.


Chuppy

wally's picture
wally

Hi Chuppy,


Pre-ferments serve a number of purposes - they increase the lifespan of a loaf by slowing staling, decrease production time somewhat, and most importantly, to my mind, add that nuttiness you spoke of.


That said, I'm not entirely clear on your goal.  Is it to reduce the overall fermentation time in the final dough, or are you looking for ways to actually decrease the time in producing the pre-ferment? If the latter, I'm not sure you have a lot of options other than increasing the ambiant room temperature where your pre-ferment is growing.


Typically, both biga (a fairly stiff pre-ferment) and poolish (a very liquid one) require somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 - 16 hrs. at room temperature (70°) before they are mature.  Pâte fermentée, which is really just a piece of old dough with salt in it, typically takes the same amount of time.  So an 8-hour old poolish isn't going to be nearly ripe enough to yield the nuttiness you're after - or to reduce the final fermentation time in your finished dough.


I'm not sure why you would be adding pâte fermentée to your poolish, unless I'm misunderstanding you.


Good luck-


Larry

wally's picture
wally

Hi Chuppy,


Pre-ferments serve a number of purposes - they increase the lifespan of a loaf by slowing staling, decrease production time somewhat, and most importantly, to my mind, add that nuttiness you spoke of.


That said, I'm not entirely clear on your goal.  Is it to reduce the overall fermentation time in the final dough, or are you looking for ways to actually decrease the time in producing the pre-ferment? If the latter, I'm not sure you have a lot of options other than increasing the ambiant room temperature where your pre-ferment is growing.


Typically, both biga (a fairly stiff pre-ferment) and poolish (a very liquid one) require somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 - 16 hrs. at room temperature (70°) before they are mature.  Pâte fermentée, which is really just a piece of old dough with salt in it, typically takes the same amount of time.  So an 8-hour old poolish isn't going to be nearly ripe enough to yield the nuttiness you're after - or to reduce the final fermentation time in your finished dough.


I'm not sure why you would be adding pâte fermentée to your poolish, unless I'm misunderstanding you.


Good luck-


Larry

chuppy's picture
chuppy

Larry,


What I am trying to accomplish is a nuttiness of flavor in a shorter amount of time. The point of artisan bread is to allow the ingredients to marry so that the final product is a flavorful one. The recipe I am using is from Bread alone and it calls for a 2-10 hour poolish. The bread is a basic country hearth, the second or third recipe that dan covers. I am using the old dough from yesterdays loaves and adding them to the kneading process. Not sure what the results will be, but hopefully a nuttier and bolder flavor every time.


Thanks for the information Larry.


Jeff

logdrum's picture
logdrum

let the pate fermentee portion of dough ferment in a refrigerator for several days? Let it sit at room temp. for an hour or so before incorporating.


 


-d

RiverWalker's picture
RiverWalker

well I'm very amateur at this, but I tried a Pate Fermentee with French Bread from BBA just cooking it last night. (it came out quite well, not *perfect* but it tasted good, cooked well, and my slashes looked much closer to the fancy professional and nice ones from on here)   and I've been experimenting with different methods.


I had the Pate Fermentee in the fridge for I think 2 days or so before using it and it came out fine.


at least from my experience, it sounds like you are trying to mix methods in a way I'm not sure would work very well, (mechanically, if not flavorwise, if you mix it enough flavorwise it might work just fine)  or at least, not neccessarily be beneficial.


in BBA theres a whole wheat bread that uses a soaker and a preferment seperately, but that is really more of an exercise in pre-enzyme-ing a larger portion of the flour.(I think.  which of course does influence the flavor, but its different from a preferment)


like the other person said, at least from what I understand, you might have a better result, or no worse, simply by making the pate fermentee way ahead of time.


does the pate fermentee actaully give a different flavor than a poolish?   I didn't think the different preferment methods did that much difference between which method is used, just that using *some* kind of preferment makes a huge difference over not using a preferment.


 

KenK's picture
KenK

Somewhere in Hammelman's book he discussed prefermenting half of the final dough overnight.  I tried this and have been very happy with the results.  The math is also very easy for those so challenged.


For instance; if I want 30 ounces of dough at 67% hyrdration, I mix 6 ounces of water with 9 ounces of flour and just a pinch of yeast.  The next morning I cut that preferment up into a pieces and mix it with another 6 ounces of water and 9 ounces of flour, the full dose of yeast and salt.


I love 67% hyrdration doughs, I use 2/3 as close enough and figure my dough in increments of 5 ounces and can pretty much do the math in my head.