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richard bertinet dough again

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rolls's picture
rolls

richard bertinet dough again

i made another batch of dough from richard bertinet's book 'dough', this time i made the olive dough. i weigh all my ingredients but still feel i need to add more water. still, love his technique and books. had a couple questions though,


in his book he speaks about keeping back some dough and refreshing it from time to time, i wasn't sure though if i immediately cut off a pce of dough and leave on the side or after i let the dough rest? also does it matter what the dough contains eg sugar, fats etc does it have to be just basic flour water salt yeast?


also, what is the point of bulk fermentation? does it make much of a difference, because it seems that resting time would be faster if you divide immediately and shape into small balls eg if making pizza etc


thanks heaps in advance for any feedback.


im very excited because i just bought some razor blades from the barber, so had to make some dough to try them out, hopefully i won't have any trouble with scoring.


if anyone's familiar with richard bertinet methods etc please share, i am currently poring over his books dough and crust.

weekend_baker's picture
weekend_baker

I love Bertinet, and both his books.  If I use fresh yeast from the bakers (rather than easy bake yeast) then the bulk fermentation is necessary to let the first mad bubble of yeast wear off--so the second ferment is slower, allows more taste to develop and doesn't have enormous balloon holes, but just good open texture.


It's particularly important for shaped breads, like the baguettes, which would otherwise be all malformed and mostly air.  (While with the slower second rise they are beautiful, light, evenly formed, mouthfuls).


I would do it differently for pizza (but then I just knead, rest 15 mins, roll out, rest 20 mins for pizza dough, which is far less than I would do for bread).


As for the ferment, I understand that you just pop it in the fridge as soon as you've cut it off (since it's for taste, not as a rising agent).  If it had sugar or fats I wouldn't keep it for weeks like a sourdough starter, but just for a week (and then add the whole thing back to the next dough, rather than a part).


The razor blades make SUCH a difference!  


Oh, and regarding water--he cooks in Bath, UK, which is very damp.  When I also baked in the UK, his recipes were perfect, but now I'm baking in Australia I need a tablespoon or two extra water because it's much drier!  


 


 

M2's picture
M2

I really enjoy the slap and fold kneading method by Bertinet.  It is a messy way of handling the dough at the very beginning but feeling the dough structure changes in your hands makes me happy.


No matter where I got the recipes (Peter Reinhart's books, Hamelman's Bread, many other fabulous recipes shared by the wonderful people on this website), I always replace the suggested kneading method with the Bertinet's, and it always works.


I've started making sourdough bread since July this year.  As a newbie, I have to say that the sourdough recipe in Bertinet's Crust book gives me much confidence in continuing this new pursuit.  The recipe never fails me.  I haven't tried out other recipes in the book though...

cfmuirhead's picture
cfmuirhead

Hi!  I have spent 5 days in Bath at the Bertinet school and learned his method from the 'master' himself. I would be pleased to answer any question if I can but I know that you can also try to ask directly through his web site.


The keeping of a bit of dough is normally for people who bake quite similar breads every day or two.  If you do not bake that often, I would be tempted to freeze it and thaw it well and bring to room temp before using.  it is done for taste.  Because I do not tend to do that myself what I do is keep in the fridge some of the discard ferment from my daily feedings.  When I bake bread, english muffins, pizza dough etc I add a bit of that to my dough adjusting the hydration if necessary.


As for needing to adjust water, this is something you must do with almost any recipe to account for your environment (yes, it is humid in Engand!) but also for your flour specially if you start tinkering with the types (wholewheat, rye, white) of flour you use.  What Bertinet teaches well is to recognize when your dough is 'right'. I always keep a few ml of the liquid when I mix my dough and towards the end of mixing add more as I deem necessary.


My I suggest that as you bake regularly and often using the same recipe and same flour - this way you tend to develop a feel for what the dough should be like to produce a good bread.  Once you understand that, your are away!  Good Baking.

rolls's picture
rolls

thanks so much. im baking from australia too. i never much took into account climate etc and its affect on dough. i usually just go with the flow.


really loving his methods and recipes. the olive dough turned out beautiful. i could taste the olive oil in the finished bread so it was nice to just eat plain. though i used the other half of the dough to make fruit bread for my kids.


wish he could do online classes, don't think il be travelling to england anytime soon lol!

rolls's picture
rolls

forgot to ask about the yeast. ive never worked with fresh yeast before does anyone know if it makes much of a difference to  taste, texture etc.


also how do i convert to instant yeast?

rolls's picture
rolls

sorry one more thing. i tried out the razor blades from the  barber and these are by far the sharpest i have come across yet. but i need to thread a handle through. will this automatically curve the blade or am i supposed to do anything else?


i saw a very short tutorial on you tube about scoring it was from artisan breads week. and i noticed he didn't hold the lame at such an angle as it was curved.


does anyone have any experiencewith this. appreciate any advice.


thanks

weekend_baker's picture
weekend_baker

If you're using Bertinet's first book, he explains all about fresh yeast in it.  You basically just crumble a generous pinch of yeast into the flour and rub it in, before you add the water. (Basically like you do with easy bake yeast). 


The taste is somehow fresher than with instant yeast, which always tastes a bit musty to me!


 And the bread is much lighter, more bubbling, more 'alive'.  It's hard to describe, but once you've held it in your hands you'll see exactly what I (or Bertinet) mean!


When you thread the razor blade onto a lame, or any handle, it will curve naturally.  (Bertinet sells a lame from his website, and that's what I use.)  I hardly hold mine at an angle at all--it's a bit tricky, and I found that it was more important to cut deeply enough.  (I was making slashes that were barely 1mm deep, which just decorates the top.  Once I worked out to go for about 5mm, I actually got real bloom.)

ScottHall's picture
ScottHall

Slashing - I use a double sided razor, threaded over a wooden coffee stir stick. Depth of slash depends on proof level (under proofed - slash deeper). As for the angle of lamé when slashing - depends. Baguette 30 degree angle, 5 or 6 quick slashes slightly diagonally over the length - if ends were to connect would look like a lightning bolt. Batard - one slash through the skin and quickly another on a very sharp angle on one side of the open slash to form a lip. Generally all other types of slashing requires no angle.

rolls's picture
rolls

about the deepness of the slash, do you go over the same cut more than once, or just once and thats it?


also, how can you judge when its underproofed?


how do you stop it dragging, is it just practice?


thanks so much for all your helpful feedback, appreciate it.

weekend_baker's picture
weekend_baker

Obviously if you are really good, it's all done with one flick of the wrist and no drag!  But you can safely cut it more than once.  The drag is just practice--it's the angle you're holding the blade at, I think.  


I find the difference between a brilliant cut and a real disaster is quite small in terms of how I'm holding the blade, but it's fine to give up as soon as it starts to go wrong and go back and try to slash again.  Not as good, but the loaves won't collapse on you or anything, which is what I was afraid of!


If the bread hasn't quite doubled in size, it's probably underproofed.  (what do other people do to judge?)

ScottHall's picture
ScottHall

Estimating proof time - keep an eye on dough temp and room temp  - approx 27°c is good. When the time has come and you think the dough is ready, poke the dough with your pinky 1-2cm deep - when it bounces back in 1-2 seconds its good. If it bounces back right away - give it another 10 - 20 min and check again. Generally it s helpful to have had experience with overproofing the dough many times - through those dissapointments you will naturally form a well rounded instictive awareness of proof levels.

ScottHall's picture
ScottHall

Dragging


Speed is key, especially for baguettes.

rolls's picture
rolls

i made up  a batch of pain ordinaire from the village baker but increased water by half cup as he suggested and used richard bertinet's method to knead the dough.


i should have stuck with a more stiffer dough, as the whole point was to try out my new home made lame. i used a chopstick threaded through the doubled edged razor and yes thank you it did curve. im so happy with this new tool of mine.


i just made two baguettes, six dinner rolls, and kept back a 200g pce of dough for next time as bertinet suggests in his book dough.


i think the bread should taste good as they had a  long fermentation time, but lookswise i got one really good gringe but the dough was just too soft even though i gave it a very short proof time and hardly preheated the oven. i did get good oven spring though!


so do you think if i make up a more stiffer dough, say 65% hydration, i should find it a little easier to slash and maybe get better results? i recently came across a scoring tutorial on the wildyeastblog.com which was really good also.


thanks so much and if anyone can direct me to other helpful info on scoring on this site or the net, much appreciated!

bassopotamus's picture
bassopotamus

I usually do my baguettes with about a 67% hydration (nothing magic about the number, it is just nice round weights of flour and water), and it scores pretty well with a decent knife. The only downside is the crumb isn't real open.

ScottHall's picture
ScottHall

My baguettes are normally 85% hydration and I live on Vancouver Island (high humidity). When you are ready to slash the dough, let the dough sit for five minutes so the surface of the dough becomes drier and is not so soft. This makes the slashing easier. Slash quick. Do not start the slash at the dough. Begin the slash 2 or 3 inches away from the dough and maintain speed throughout the entire slash motion. Move on to the next slash quickly. 


 

rolls's picture
rolls

thank you so so much this thread has been so helpful. i just have a bit of a silly question, does the curve of the lame matter?, i think mine is too curved.


may i ask which direction you slash your baguettes, top/bottom, angle of lame left to right or vise versa?


even with a drier dough i still find i get an open though irregular crumb, i think its because i don't really punch down the risen dough, but then again, am i supposed to deflate the large air bubbles?


thanks again,